starving for substance

sometimes i wonder

Posted in Uncategorized by starvingsteve on May 29, 2010

why did you go gentle into that good night?

sick of it

Posted in Uncategorized by starvingsteve on May 24, 2010

I’m studying for the CPA exam and I’m sick of it. Not so much sick of studying for the exam, but sick of my horrendous work ethic that’s never been called to task until now. I could talk ad nauseum about this but it boils down to the fact that my whole academic life, I was always smart enough to get by so that’s all I did. Now when I’m actually supposed to study for something, I have no idea how to. I wish I was exaggerating, but I have never really studied for anything before in my life. I remember a few classes in high school and college that I tried to put the effort in, but in general, I got by with nothing.

I’m sick of how I always take the easy way out. This is anything from school work to working out to to friendships to my spiritual life. As long as I can get by, I really don’t care. I have terrible study habits but I’m smart enough to get passing grades so I don’t care. I have horrendous eating habits but I work out enough to keep my weight in check (I have gained zero pounds in college) so oh well. I maintain my relationships but generally avoid people once I know them. I know how to be a good Christian, so that’s all I do. There’s no beating my body and making it my slave so that I don’t get disqualified for the prize.

Comprise is always the thing that’s killed me. I’m looking for every excuse to quit. Thankfully, Eminem is here to provide some nice reminders.

I know Eminem isn’t very Christian and his lyrics are subversive, profane, and usually vulgar, but that really can’t take away from his masterful command of the English language and the raw emotion and passion he has. The only active mainstream rapper that can come close to comparing with Eminem is Jay-Z. I’m serious, the way he rhymes is nothing short of brilliant and the way he packages those rhymes to address his subject material is genius. He released this gem of a song in 2002 called “Till I Collapse,” [(which I won’t post here because of language but you can watch it on YouTube (Eminem needs to be listened to unedited btw)].

His worldview is so misguided but his message of persevering no matter the odds and no matter the cost is a perfect pump up song. There’s no quitting, there’s no easy way out. It’s just hard work and facing your battles. And I know that’s what I have to do but changing years of always taking the easy way out sucks.

So here we go again with another concerted effort to change, to build discipline, to keep running this thing.

body mass: incredible

Posted in Uncategorized by starvingsteve on May 18, 2010

My cousin is a doctor completing his residency in Cincinnati and he recently posted a facebook status saying that he just had a patient with a body mass index of 81.  I know that a lot of debate surrounds the concept of BMI but at the very least, it’s a good ballpark figure.  So when you have a BMI of 81, unless you’re some mad scientist’s creation of Wee Man and Mariusz Pudzianowski, chances are you’re pretty fat.

So what does a BMI of 81 look like?  Glad you asked cuz I made a handy Excel Spreadsheet to try and conceptualize.  My cousin never gave an exact height or weight, so I had to come up with a bunch of possible combinations, starting with 4’2″ and ending with 6’1″.  Just check out how ridiculous those numbers are.

Pretty crazy stuff, right?

So eat a bag of pork rinds, skip a day at the gym, drive everywhere.  Because there’s always someone worse off than you.  Isn’t that the basis for thankfulness we always teach?

and so here we are

Posted in Uncategorized by starvingsteve on May 8, 2010

our generation is so selfish and so unworthy to fill the shoes or carry the mantle of those that have gone before us.

while they struggled with war, poverty, and pain

we struggle with comfort, material excess, and peace.

to share a family tree with those generations past is not so much of an honor for ourselves but a slap in the face to them.  yet in the same way they struggled to survive in the days of old, they struggled to serve and make our lives better in the days of now.  who are we to be thought of with them?

and so here we are.

standing on the shoulders of giants, left with a legacy but woefully unequipped to carry it forward.

the good ones, in death, show the living how to live.  the great ones show them how to really die.

“therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

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matthew 6:33

Posted in Uncategorized by starvingsteve on May 4, 2010

in the first couple hours of november 16, 1996 i came into this room and flopped down in the middle of the floor and passed out on some blankets i brought up.  i was tired after a long day of moving and there was no real excitement at being in a new house, in a new room, in a new town.  i was just ready to go to bed.  a few hours later, i woke up and went to my first day of school at copeland manor elementary school (home of the cougars!).

it’s now 2:55am on may 4, 2010 and i’m sitting in virtually the same spot i passed out in 13.5 years ago.  the contents of the room have changed but the basic color scheme/blinds/closet, etc haven’t changed in that time.  looking around the room, i see memories of years gone by.  a shelf full of yearbooks, medals stashed in a drawer from solo/ensemble contests in middle school, books i read in elementary school, random rocks i brought back from korea, stuffed animals i used to call my friends (they had their own names and personalities), a water polo ball stolen from another school.  everything i am is a product of who i was and since the present is always now, i am always different.

13.5 years from now i doubt i will have access to this room, it will belong to some other kid with dreams.  it will house a new life with new items of nostalgia.

there’s a shift that happened in those 13.5 years.  as a nine year old, the person i would be at 22 never crossed my mind.  i just sat waiting for the future, knowing it would come but concentrating on the present.  now as a 22 year old, i’ve spent enough time worrying and replaying scenarios about the future that on the inside i’m as world weary as a 36 year old, but outwardly still playing the part of the nine year old.

we’re only given one life.  the question often asked is “will you use it wisely?”  like this life we’re given is akin to the powers of spiderman.  like this life is something that we will use later in the future with great responsibility, after achieving positions of great power.  no wonder the masses sit and wait for their inner resolve to reach critical mass only to become dead weight.  with the wrong question comes the wrong answer which begets the wrong actions.  we’re only given one life.

“are you using it wisely?”

don’t live well

Posted in Uncategorized by starvingsteve on May 4, 2010

die well.

piecing things together

Posted in Uncategorized by starvingsteve on May 1, 2010

this year, ever since good friday, i’ve really been thinking about romans 8:18.  “for i consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

whenever “major” verses come into my head, ones that stick to me for a while, i end up hearing it again and again in rapid succession.  last year, it was 2 timothy…and then i listened to messages from the gospel coalition.

so this year, that verse popped into my head during good friday, and i really do feel like God put it there for a reason.  then on saturday, i got a missions update from a distant relative talking about a fellow worker that had passed away.  this verse was used to eulogize him.  then, the next day, easter sunday, one of the people being baptized used it in her testimony.

“for i consider the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

thinking about the fact that i’m 22 years old, live a virtually carefree existence with a virtually picturesque upbringing, it’s hard to call what i’m going through “suffering.”  but what is a good reminder is the lesson of perspective.  so often we have a very relativistic view of our trials and circumstances, that because it’s hard “now” it must be really really bad.  so i love how this verse takes our eyes off of ourselves, off of the present, and forces them to look to the future.  to the day where we will see clearly, face to face.