To: The 2001 Me From: The 2011 Me

I have this website that sends out an email, www.pw.org and one of their things is a poetry and fiction prompt newslettery thing.  This week’s poetry prompt (that I’m taking my sweet time on) is to write a poem/letter to oneself from 10 years ago.  I copied down the idea in a notebook last night, and I started thinking about this thing today.  Will I spit in the face of the Back to the Future movies and alter time?  Hey, I’m sure that with some help from the future me I could have gotten a sports bet right.  I’m thinking: Appalachian State over Michigan (come on, how many of us Mountaineers really thought it would happen?)

What about practical things that would/should apply no matter what?  Dude, stay away from credit cards and learn who Dave Ramsey is!  That would have been really nice if a future me came and told me that.  There’s other practical advice, too.  Probably about wasting time and complaining about not having any.  Isn’t it funny that when we’re younger we think there’s just no time, but when we start to travel down the road a bit, even a decade, we realize how much time we really had?

I started to think about all the stuff that’s happened in my life over the past ten years.  I’ve gotten a Masters in music, said “no mas” to school, and in 2008 started in seminary.  That’s just God’s sense of humor right there, folks!  I met a beautiful girl at a party after a football game in 2001.  We dated, got engaged, got married, bought a house, sold a house, rented and moved more times than I care to think about, had a beautiful baby girl, moved to another state, had career changes, then had a beautiful baby boy.  A busy ten years on the family front.  I didn’t realize I’d teach band ten years ago… I was going to take the world by storm with my trumpeting prowess.  My former self would need to know some things about teaching band (because he tuned a lot of it out in college when he should have been paying attention!)

The last thing I wonder about is whether I’d tell myself about Jesus.  That’s the biggest thing that’s happened in the past 10 years.  With all the other accomplishments, events, accolades, and what not- that has been the most important development in my life.  In that time travel is not a possibility for humans, I’d say this sort of evangelism isn’t really mandated in the Great Commission.  But if I had the chance, I would.  At 23 I wasn’t interested in Christianity, actually I thought that Christians were party-poopers!  I have the feeling, though, that it wouldn’t have changed God’s plan and purpose for my life.  It would actually, in a cyclical sort of way, fulfill and fall in line with His plan.

So, if you had the chance, what would you say to yourself from 10 years ago?

Until next time!

Renaissance Man

I have to admit something.  I actually spelled ‘renaissance’ without the aid of spell check, a dictionary, or the help of any art/ music professors.  The title of the post is actually an inside joke of sorts.  It refers to what the athletic director of Morehead High School said about me in my last year of teaching.  He was giving introductions to all of the coaching staff, and when he got to me, the band directing youth pastor turned rookie assistant cross country coach it seemed appropriate.

In all honesty, I’ve always liked the idea of being skilled at many things.  I remember in college as a trumpet player the idea of focusing only on one aspect of the instrument never appealed to me.  I wanted to do equally well on the classical side of the horn as well as the jazz side.  Of course, this is highly unlikely unless your last name happens to be Marsalis.  But it was a goal.  In my trumpeting career (if that’s what one can call it) I did do a variety of things.  I got the chance to play with a civic orchestra for part of their season, for example.  Big whoop, you might say.  I’d rather say that I got to play Dvorak 9, Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait”, Beethoven 5, and a few other really neat things.  It was the time when my piccolo paid for itself by the plethora of “Messiah” side performances I got!  Swing bands, brass quintets, jam sessions (including one blues jam where I was the weird trumpet guy), a demo that I made with some folks, all kinds of crazy gigs.  I guess I did a few interesting things as a musician.

I think that in doing this blog, in seminary, in my interests in things like running, and in a new career and new family life this renaissance man mentality has pushed through.  Of course, I’m still holding firm to my quasi- Lenten vow, but I feel that if I were to look at the different categories of people I follow on Twitter it would run quite a large gambit.  Jazz/ jazz musicians, writing topics, a couple of celebs, friends, running things, youth ministers/ ministry, Christian “celebs”, Christian bands, and more.  I don’t know, but I think sometimes that focusing too narrowly puts on blinders.  There’s a big world out there.  If we are obedient to Jesus’ Great Commission we can allow our lives (even something as trivial as a blog) to reach more people than in one narrow aspect.  I hope that my Renaissancyness will be able to do that.

Until next week!