Sunday, February 26, 2006

Not who I used to be

Without a trace he disappeared into the void and
I've been searchin' for that missing person
I went bowling today. Decided I'm not who I used to be.

I used to go through life without many consequences, happy or at least satisfied in myself no matter what happened, able to forget that things weren't right. Now I can forget, but all the while I know that I'm forgetting that things aren't right. Big difference. Even John said, "you do have a melancholy side."

I used to be in shape. Now, not so much. It's a curve getting back into the routine of working out.

I used to be perfect in school. And being perfect in school mattered. Now, school is utilitarian—useful for getting where I want to go, useful as an escape. But my personal worth is no longer tied up in my GPA.

I used to believe in love. Human love. The guy-and-girl selfless type. But not anymore. At least, I don't think I'm capable of it. Maybe that's for others. Maybe that's impossible but everyone does a good job of faking it. All I have is my experience, and at this point I've developed into a relational cynic.

I used to be a pretty good bowler, too. Had an average around 146. I didn't do crap at the bowling alley today, averaging 110 in two games. I've definitely changed....

Not all these changes I see are bad. I also used to be callous to obvious sin in my life. Now it knocks me to the deck. I used to not think about my present in the context of the future. Now I'm in the planning stages of the rest of my life. Nothing takes the levity out of everyday choices like knowing you don't have long before these choices become life-practices. I used to think of ministry as whatever was fun at church. Now I get to serve and share my heart with kids, and I have a desire to find my own ministry outlets and a heart for finding God-at-work. I used to care a whole lot what other people think. Now I'm learning that not everyone's opinion should matter to me. I used to take in rap as a good portion of my music diet, and now my iPod primarily holds modern/alternative rock. (Okay so not all changes have to be that serious.)

Nope, I'm not who I used to be. You can thank Stars 'n Strikes for helping me figure that one out. But do I want to go back? No. Sure, I'd love to get back some of what I had—that belief-in-love stuff in particular—but what I've gained outweighs what I've lost. All I can say is, God is sovereign. He's gotten rid of junk in my life, and He's brought me through tough times. And, just like a good little human, it's jaded me. But I also know that my spiritual heart has been ripped and torn so that I can feel, really feel, like I never have before.

I think we can call off the search for that missing person. Let him go, I don't need him anymore.


Blogger Bulldawgy said...

Ah, young grasshopper!

God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.

Just remember, love is not all wine and roses! You are a brave young soul, and I firmly believe that if you cling to what you know love to be - and what Scripture teaches about love and marriage - your cynicism will one day melt into joy. Hold on to the truth found in Christ.

8:45 AM, February 27, 2006  
Anonymous Kevin the Producer said...

When I broke up with my first serious girlfriend, I spent at least a month listening to "I Don't Believe in Love" recorded by Queensryche. Needless to say I am not a big fan anymore.

But shortly after that breakup, I bumped into a girl I had met at college a few quarters before. Four years later, I married her.

There is hope to carry on. :-)

9:39 AM, February 27, 2006  
Blogger guiroo said...

Or you may never find someone and then you'll be able to focus all your time on ministry outside of a family.

However I find life to be a lot like bowling. (Regina and I used to bowl alot on dates as you already know.) If you try too hard you can psych yourself out.

Just enjoy the experience and throw the ball down the lane - more pins tend to fall that way.

This advice does not apply to professional bowlers as much practice should be invovled, but in life we don't get that many chances to practice things to perfection.

10:39 AM, February 27, 2006  
Blogger banjodude said...

Amen, bro! Praying for you.

10:54 AM, February 27, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

personally, i liked the old Jeffrey.

11:56 AM, February 27, 2006  
Anonymous Amy said...

Hey, are you still working in Sparks?

3:00 PM, February 27, 2006  
Blogger banjodude said...

who, me?

6:33 PM, February 27, 2006  
Blogger Jeffrey J. Stables said...

Nope, I'm not working with Sparks right now. School takes up too much weekend work nowadays. But I still work at Bible Quiz and AwanaGames events, and I'm staff at Scholarship Camp. Do you have an Awana club?

10:38 PM, February 27, 2006  
Anonymous Amy said...

no, not you. Jeffrey. :-p

But you're welcome to answer if you like. lol.

10:38 PM, February 27, 2006  
Anonymous Amy said...

Oh okay, just wondering. Well, I have an AWANA club, but it's on Wednesday nights, when I really need to be in youth. Therefore, I'm not leading right now but hope to in the future. The reason I was asking is because I'm going to be at the Sparks club at Shadowbrook on March 25, and I was wondering if you would be there, but you probably won't be so shame on you :-)

11:04 PM, February 27, 2006  
Blogger Jeffrey J. Stables said...

Well I might be able to show up on the 25th, if the memo's going out that all the old Awana people are visiting that night. ;)

11:23 PM, February 27, 2006  
Blogger Abi said...

amy don't get your hopes up, just because he said it doesn't mean he'll do it.

11:35 PM, February 27, 2006  
Anonymous Amy said...

Okay, well, consider this your memo. lol.

3:03 PM, February 28, 2006  
Blogger guiroo said...

Classy, Abi. :-|

10:24 AM, March 01, 2006  
Anonymous daniel said...

Dude, I used to be that "I don't believe in real love" type. And you're right, until you meet the one, you won't...because (obviously) every other relationship will end in pain. Anyway, who am I to be giving advice...I just know that I used to be like that...then I met her.

9:03 AM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger Jeffrey J. Stables said...

Yeah...only I started out believing wholeheartedly in love + hard work always working out. I think you've got it the right way around, 'cause I'm out on a limb now...

12:18 AM, March 09, 2006  

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