There are lots of dates on the calendar that cause me to wax nostalgic. It’s not uncommon for me to recall, usually with great detail, significant moments that happened on a certain date, “X” number of years ago. Because of this, my friend Wes sometimes calls me “Rainman”. Fair enough. I prefer to think of myself as the Human Time-Hop.
It’s one of those days. Today is May 21, and I first moved to Nashville 12 years ago today. In the years since then, I’ve had some very high highs, some very low lows and much in-between. Today I’ve been reflecting on the extremes, ebbs and flows of my journey, and what a journey it has been.
- I’ve traveled around the world and I’ve been depressed and unable to get out of bed.
- I’ve stayed on the club level of luxury hotels in foreign countries and I’ve been unable to pay my rent.
- I’ve been chauffered in limos and I almost lost my car to repossession.
- I’ve hobnobbed with A-list celebrities and I’ve served meals to the homeless.
- I’ve made the most money of my working years and the least money of my working years.
- I’ve been the one to call and I’ve been the one who couldn’t get a call back.
- I’ve bought expensive clothes and I’ve had a friend buy me a shirt and khakis for a job interview.
- I’ve dined in the homes of international dignitaries and I’ve walked in mud and feces in small African villages.
- I’ve had the VIP treatment and I’ve cleaned the bathroom at Starbucks.
- I’ve had a dream that turned into a nightmare that turned into redemption.
- I’ve rolled with the punches and I’ve been down for the count.
- I’ve swam in the ocean on the opposite side of the world and I’ve felt trapped in my own house.
- I’ve left jobs and I have lost jobs.
- I’ve made some huge leaps of faith and I’ve been paralyzed by fear.
- I’ve developed strategies and I haven’t had a clue.
- I’ve held on to a lot and I’ve let a lot go.
- I’ve been entitled and I’ve been humbled.
- I’ve screamed “no” and I’ve said “yes”.
- I’ve been honored and I’ve been disrespected.
- I’ve treated friends to dinners and gifts and I’ve had to have someone buy my groceries.
- I learned how easy I can buy into the lie that what I do is more important than who I am.
- I learned that it’s foolish to mistake a full passport for a full heart.
- I learned that being known deeply by a few is worth far more than being known about by many.
- I learned that it’s ok to disappear behind the apron of service.
- I’ve been at the top of my game and the end of my rope.
- I’ve had friends come through and friends fall through.
- I’ve laughed a lot and cried a lot.
- I thought I knew Jesus and then I found Jesus.
- I’ve fallen apart and I’ve been put back together.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. [Philippians 4:12-13]
What a journey indeed. It looks nothing like what I could have ever imagined 12 years ago today, but oh, what I thought I wanted and what I got instead.
Today, I’m thankful.