The Future Now

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Who are you now?

How do you handle things now?

Who do you believe you are now?

 

I have heard, and myself believed when I get a new job, when I get a girlfriend, if I moved then…  Then I will be….  It doesn’t make sense.  It never has, but I have believed this, and I still do.

 

I will be a certain way when I get, when I buy a house…  Somehow, magically I am going to be a better person later on in the future when something happens, or I receive something.  Supernaturally the future Trevor is going to be way happier, extremely more humble, and more compassionate when I get these magic objects.  Be it a physical object, a personal relationship, or a new title, somehow these future prospects are going to make me who I was made to be.

 

But being older and looking backwards at life I can see reality

 

Life. Doesn’t. Work. Like. That.

 

I follow this man who is a Franciscan Friar and he has been helping me find the truth, and find my own personal “now”.  Who I am today, how I handle myself today, will be how I handle myself in the future (more often than not).  I think we forget that when we move, when we start a new relationship, when we get a new object, we follow ourselves. I will still be Trevor when I buy that new outfit.  I will still be Trevor when I get that girl.  If I want to be different, if I want my life to look different, it has to start “now”.

So,

What can I do? What if I want to change?  How can I channel who I want to be, or see the future Trevor later, and start working on that guy now?  What if I want to be more patient, more compassionate, help more, love more, do more, have more friends, be more informed, and be more present?

 

Be it now.  Today is all we have.  Today is all we will ever have.

 

This Franciscan Friar says that we spend 94% of our time every day thinking two things.  We are either re-thinking over and over and over the past, how we could have been better, done different, or made a different choice, OR we are thinking and worrying about the future.  That is almost all we spend our minds energy on.  Little to nothing else happens in our brains.  So the work we need to start doing is focus on the present.  Be present now.  Be happy now.  Be content, humble, and compassionate now.  Be the person we want to be in the future, now.

 

When we wait for a future happiness we negate the present joy.  Waiting for the future, the not yet, the “I will be when”, is the same ideal as the old adage of insanity.  Doing the same thing over and over again hoping for a different result.

 

If life is going to be better with a spouse/city/future/career/dwelling, are we dismissing our present now as worthless.  Maybe life will be better, maybe we will be happier.  I’m not saying it won’t, but for the most part we follow ourselves to those places.  And if we don’t focus on being future happy Trevor now, future happy Trevor later probably won’t happen.  I say to myself I will be better at managing my time when I have a family.  I’ll be more prioritized and able to say no when I have a family.  The truth is if I do not start saying no, and being diligent with my time now, I will not be better or good at it when I have a family.  If it doesn’t happen today, more than likely it will not happen in the future.

 

So I want to be present.  I want to be in the Now.  I want to be different and it’s going to start today.

 

Maybe I’m the only one who thinks this way, but my gut is telling me you think these thoughts too!

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Bless

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Eat, Drink, and Be

Not sure why but I keep returning to my own vomit…

For some reason I can’t get enough.  I can’t quit hitting my head against a wall to see how much damage I can do to the wall.  I keep forgetting how fragile I am, and how hard the wall is.

I truly believe I have found the way in which the world works.  The alchemy of this life, and I keep forgetting it.  Daily.  It’s as if I know how to get back to the garden, and yet I stay in chaos.  It’s almost as if we thrive in the chaos and peace and unity are boring.

The greatest travesty in all of human history, the grandiose atrocity of life, I would argue, is getting what you want.  (That’s a really bold statement).  And real true authentic faith is all the stuff in between.

 

Here’s my case: (Also, feel free to disagree) (Always feel free to disagree)

The most disappointed I have been is in getting what you want.  When you receive the prize, the object you have desired, the apple in your eye, it turns into something you never imagined.  (no this isn’t because I just bought a vehicle… I frickin love the new vehicle, it is so sick) But It becomes one more thing you have.  It becomes what it is, an object, a person, a job, or a destination.

I’ve been trying to understand truth.  Real truth.  And the more you try to study truth, the more mystery there is.  How can something be true?  Is it revealed in nature?  Is it brought about by scripture?  What if scripture doesn’t talk about it, but is vague and implies it?  Is it true if your mother told you?  Is it true if it works?  What happens if it works one day but doesn’t the next?  What about when someone tells you something true that you are not sure of, but it sounds true?  Is it true because a learned teacher taught you?  Where did they learn it from?

 

(I’m sorry for that rant)

 

I keep forgetting a universal anomaly.  Never is life, never was life, and never will life be about the destination.  We will never arrive.  And I don’t want to arrive.  We should always be curious, we should strive for more questions and less certainty, and we need to stop being obsessed with having.

Once we gain what we so terribly desire, we are almost instantly disappointed.  When you get to the end of a hike and you are at the waterfall on top of a mountain, what is the first thing you do?  You look around and see that there is more.  There is a high mountain in the distance, there is another waterfall miles away, and there are more trails ahead.  So what do we do with this?

Take joy

Take it with you

We needn’t hold on to joy and keep it as if we found it, but we need to enjoy it as we go.  Gratitude for the journey is how life works.  We are not built for the destination.  We are built to go, to adventure, to be on this ongoing creation of the world.  We are a part and we are all participating in the constant mystery of this world (which never stops spinning, or we would die).

So, I want to wake up every day and say these words: “Enjoy the journey Trevor for you are not designed for the destination”.

What do you desire?  Do you think life will be “whole” when you have it?  Do you think all your fears and insecurities will fade away when you receive what your inmost heart desires?  Or, can you already be whole now?  Can you enjoy what you have while striving for something more?  I’m not saying it’s bad to want, or desire, but I am saying we should try and not miss all the greatness along the way.  Are you so focused on the prize that you miss the people in front of you?

 

There are so many great things in store for today even if you don’t believe it.  Even if you cannot see.

 

Be blessed

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The Big One

I ran across an article the other day on the “Big One”!  As in…. earthquakes. 


It scared me to think about the “big one” hitting soon. Truth is were due for one. As in California is going to split in half and LA will fall into the ocean. 

The article had tips on how to avoid and how to prepare but it made me wonder. 

Do I really live this way? 

Do I keep waiting for everything to fall apart?

Life is too good right now, something bad is going to happen….?

Do I live in anticipation for all things to crumble and die? 

I remember my first earthquake. I had to be four or five because we were still living in Temecula, but it was terrifying.  The whole house was moving… MOVING.  Truly shifting and moving and shaking.  And then it stops. 

But then, aftershocks.  It all starts again. You begin to think it will never end. Your house is gong to collapse and the world is imploding. I think aftershocks are the worst. 

But I feel like I live waiting for everything to fall apart. I live and believe in scarcity not abundance. 

It’s all I know.  My life experience has made me believe this is how the world works.  But I want to change. I want to be different.  I want to live in abundance. And this is why

There are greater things in store (definition of hope). 

Good things will happen to me. God will provide (it is one of His names). 

Someone receiving  what I want does not mean I won’t get it, I may truly get something better! 

Waiting for life to fall apart, waiting for people to leave or hurt you, waiting for the good time to end is not truly living. It is death. It is scarcity. And it is and doesn’t have to be true. 

I have started meditating on truth. I meditate now on good things. I spend time in gratitude and continue to be hopeful for greater things to come. 

Could it also be that waiting for bad things to happen keeps your eyes open to bad things to happen?  Do we only see what we want to see?  If we always hit red lights will we only ever notice the red lights and ignor the green lights we get at the right time?  

I want to focus on the good that happens in a day. I want to focus on beauty. I want to keep my hope alive and dream about far greater dreams.  Jesus never talked scarcity or safety.  He never said the kingdom of God is limited.  Only a few enter. Only some get a crown.  And in fact he calls it a banquet and invites those who could never repay him or do anything in return.  He is abundantly generous to all.  He is full of delight and hope and never had any time for anything but the present. 

Be present in what you have and who you have!  Life is not going to fall apart.  Plus, the “big one” might hit but it’s ok. Life comes from death and beauty comes from ashes. Take hope, there are greater things in store! 

Trevor 

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PE with Jordan McDougal

Why you chose the education profession and if you are currently teaching?

My name is Jordan McDougal and I graduated from Sacramento State University last May. My goal since I was young was to become a high school physical education teacher. I played competitive sports throughout my childhood and into my high school career so I always had a passion for sports. My mother has been a middle school PE teacher for over 20 years and my father has been teaching engineering at the high school level for the same amount of time. As a child I would go to work with my parents and I had to much fun watching home interact with their students and when I saw my mom teach sports I thought to myself, I’m going to do that someday. Well, here I am!

I have been subbing in the Elk Grove Unified School District since September and it has been great hands on experience. I have also done a long term subbing position, though it was not in my content area.

How did your personality affect your choice of content area?

After following the Team Technology link and completing the Metarasa personality questionnaire I found out I was the my closest personality (stereo)types are ISFJ and ISFP and my most preferred leadership style is as an ideological leader.

One of my personality types is ISFP and it says that I have some deeply-held values. Living an active lifestyle and taking care of my health has always been something I valued and has been lived out by my parents example. I also have a strong sense of the type of lifestyle I enjoy, which I want to maintain as listed by this personality type. I have grown up involved in sports teams and it has been an important part of character development.

How does or will your personality affect your relationships with your students?

As a personality type ISFJ I am labeled as a serious observer of people, listening intently and getting to know a great deal about them. You pay attention to their emotions and feelings, and are keenly aware of the state of relationships between them and you take your responsibilities to them very seriously. These qualities will help me a great deal with connecting with my students and identifying the needs of each student. My approach will be caring and sensitive and I will be able to teach each students in a way that they learn best, I will know this by how observant I am.

How will your teaching and learning style affect your teaching and your students’ abilities to be successful?

            I am a reflective, intuitive, verbal and global learner. My teaching style ranked high as a personal model and facilitator. These outcomes will have a great affect on how I will teach my students and their ability to be successful. I need to be aware that I will have students who have a different learning style than I do and I need to cater to those areas. By being aware and making changes this will help my students be successful. As a facilitator I will be giving a lot of responsibility to my students as I also thanked high in being a delegator. I will also speak from personal experience in order to convert a concept as one of my teaching styles is a personal model.

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Bitterness and Church: by Hannah McCleary

So I wrote something down.

My thoughts after my first time at church all semester…

I’ve lost control of my bitterness, Like a drug habit.  It started out small and localized, an occasional craving to judge and perceive the actions of others as potential to be hurt or offended. I used it as a defense mechanism against hurt.  If I’m high on doubt and distrust, I can pretend I never cared for that intimacy/acceptance/inclusion etc. At first I thought I had control of it…”I can stop being bitter whenever I want. I’m simply choosing to let it out to play.” But i think it has grown to control me. It has crept into areas of my life I never thought it would.

This morning I realized that what I thought was manageable bitterness has manifested itself as a generalized perception of church as a place of inauthenticity and judgement.  Which has led to an aversion from the place all together. I sleep in on Sundays in stubbornness and arrogance. “I don’t need to go to my meeting, I won’t learn anything new. I have it under control.” And its keeping me from the very place, the very person, who could cure all of my internal frustration.

I’m wallowing. I’m held captive by my own negativity, and I’ve been tricked into thinking even Jesus couldn’t solve my problems. As if a little bitterness is too big for him. (Arrogance again)

So I sat in my first service in months and hear of disciples questioning Jesus because he doesn’t act like they always hoped he would.

They’re offended, and what he’s teaching is hard.

“You do not want to leave too do you?” He asks them.

Do I? Me? Did I really turn away for so long because I was convinced something or someone else could give me the comfort of friends, fellowship, attention, purpose I want, when I want it? Seems silly when you picture Jesus really in front of you asking, “do you really want to go?”

Where else will I go? I know somewhere deep down there’s nothing for me elsewhere. Maybe it took trying to do it without him all semester to truly understand the nothingness, the death that exists outside of him.

I can’t control my habit on my own. I’ve kept it from him for too long, assumed I had it under control. I wanted to preserve it as a security blanket. But as it creeps outward into the most precious areas of my life I have no choice but to snap out of it, and ask him for help.

I’m not strong enough to control my bad habit. But Jesus, you are. I’m sorry my arrogance and anger and bitterness has led me elsewhere for so long. But where else will I go? In you there is no bitterness. There is security in vulnerability. There is freedom from anger. In you there is life.

Maybe I didn’t believe that until now.

James 1:27

John 6:67

-Hannah

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Are you mad?

I get angry

Maybe mad is a better word.

You might not recognize my anger, you may never see it, I pray you never see it, and I like to keep it that way.

It is a boiling in my stomach.   My anger swells up and takes over my mind.  It can’t be controlled and there are only a few things that get me back on track.  It comes out on the road.  It comes out on a run, and mostly it gets dumped on God.  Somehow it is His fault.  Somehow He did this.  And somehow He doesn’t make it better.

A few days ago I stopped being mad, because I realized why.  It also took me realizing I was mad, or angry.  But I am now done with anger (or I’m trying to stop, I’m addicted)

I realized why I was angry, or where it came from.  This is what I concluded.  And it has helped a lot.

I was sitting in a room with a lot of Younglife staff people and I couldn’t stop being mad.  I was mad I was sick.  I was mad the training wasn’t helpful.  I was mad I was away from my apartment.  I was angry about the meal choice for a plant based diet (two salads for two meals…).  I was angry at the amount of sleep I didn’t get.  I was mad about my fingers hurting because I was out of practice playing guitar.  I didn’t understand what the speaker was saying, so I wrote down all the things I was mad about.  And there was a theme.  A BIG THEME.

It was all about ME.

All my anger comes from not getting something that I want.  My madness comes from people overlooking ME.  It stems from feeling a certain way about me.  From feeling left out, lonely, or used… Which is all about me?  It is a branch of feeling like no one cares anymore, people think I’m old hat now, and I am no longer needed…..  All of this is narcissism to its core.  The psychological definition of narcissism is: “Extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.”- says google.

I’ll leave that last sentence alone.

In realizing where my anger comes from I am able to see my selfishness.  I am able to put a word or language to feelings and emotions.  Maybe this can help me stop spending energy on areas of my life that lead me to death?  Maybe this can stop the criticism of me in my own head?  Maybe I can see the importance of valuing others over myself?   Maybe I can start taking myself way less seriously?  How about that thought?

This will take time.  A lot of time.  This is not an easy task at all.  I’ve been doing this my whole life.  All disappointments, all hurt, most pain, most loneliness all comes from ME.  Comes from thinking I deserve, or hoping others find ME important, or want to be around ME.

So,

I am sorry

I am sorry for being angry

I’m sorry for thinking about me way more than thinking about you

I am sorry I put my rights, and deservedness before yours

I apologize for placing my wants and desires above you and your feelings

I am sorry I take myself way too seriously

I am sorry I have a high view of who I am

I am sorry I care more about what you think of me than what I think of myself

Keep me accountable.  I am willing to have more conversations if you want.  It comes subversively, and subtly.  It comes without warning, and it comes from stress.  I want to be needed.  I want to be wanted, and those are my desires, and they usually come before everyone else all the time.  No exaggeration.  I want to also start caring about what God cares about above caring about  ME.  Maybe I shouldn’t be mad at Him, and know He truly does have my best in mind.

Breathe that in.  Jesus cares about you, so you no longer have to.  What would today look like if I believed that?  Jesus cares about me, so I don’t have to… Take another breath.  We would stop anger, we wouldn’t be afraid of the future, and we wouldn’t be stressed or worried if we truly believed He loves us.  So, let’s take some time and try.  Will you help me?

 

 

 

 

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Be real with me

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Do you believe what you see, or do you see what you already believe?

I had a really bad day yesterday, but I am not sure if it was actually a bad day, or did I already believe it was a bad day so all I saw were bad things?  Maybe I already had it in my head that it was going to be a bad day.  So, as things added up they seemed to be bad.  Things kept turning out to be against me.  Things kept falling apart.  And then there was a moment of wonder, of maybe this is all simply how I am choosing to see it.

I was at a Younglife camp the other day doing program.  I was with a friend running from the dining hall towards club because we were going back on stage in four minutes.  I barely had enough time to think, let alone stop and look at something.  But my friend pointed towards the ground and said check it out.  We stopped, I looked at him and asked what?  Check out what?  And he pointed to the ground where the lights from camp made color and designs you wouldn’t believe.  The lights from the building had collided with the water from the rain and made a myriad of prisms and Van Gogh like swirls.

All weekend I was focused on the tasks at hand.  The next club, the next game, the next event, and I missed so many beautiful moments.  My attention was on the “important” things.  When all around me were pieces of heaven.  All around me were conversations with angels.  All around me was the essence of Jesus.  If only I had time and the mindset to see it.  After that moment I decided to stop believing I was stressed and busy, and started to see all the abundance around me.

What happens when you focus on everyone around you getting engaged and or married?  What happens when you see everyone around you buying new clothes or getting new cars?  What happens when you focus on everyone’s exaggerated bragging posts on social media?  About the trips their on, the meals their eating, and the parties they go to?  What happens when you focus on everyone else’s green gr ass?

I’ll tell you what happens.

You murder all the good in your life right now.  You destroy the people in front of you.  You mistake those closest to you as hindrances instead of joy.  You start to only focus on what you do not have, and depreciate what you do.  You may even start to think God doesn’t care.  Maybe He isn’t listening?  Maybe He is a jerk because He is giving everyone else the very thing you want?

I’m starting to live my life and my life is full.  My life has great people in it.  My life is being lived out on my timeline that God has for me.  It might not add up to others.  It may not look like others.  It may not be as glamourous or the way I believe it should be going, but it is my life.  My life goes to the gym when I don’t want to.  My life is full of incredible conversations, incredible opportunities, and it is mine.  Where I choose to focus is where my heart and joy will be.

What if we saw the truth?  What if we tried to see what is really happening, and not what we believe to be happening?  How different would today be if you lived in appreciation and not in believing we deserve different?

Jesus states that this world is yours and everything in it.  Everything in it is yours.  Everything.  Fullness is at hand for you today.  I think it lays hidden in gratitude.  It waits dormant in us.  May my identity be defined by gratitude.  May my life be full of appreciation and dedicated to seeing what I have as enough.  Maybe things are not as they seem?  Maybe there is something good out of a bad day?  Maybe what we think should be or should happen isn’t what is best for us after all?

Bless

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