The sun is out.
The best time of year in North Carolina (or upstate South Carolina where I currently attend Presbyterian College) is when the weather is predictable and stable. This, then, amounts to roughly about 3 weeks out of the 52 on the calendar. The only time a weather app is ever even remotely close to accurate is in real time. Want a cold December? Sike– 76 degrees on Christmas (true story). 90% chance of rain next week? Sunshine all month. Raindrops (drop top) are very hard to predict, almost like a Cleveland Browns game– oh wait.
But the one thing that is quite amazing to me is that, almost every day, I see the sun at least once. Here lately, it’s been kicking it. It may not be for long. It may not be very bright. But rarely is it just dark and cloudy for the entire day. And, to be quite honest, any chance I get to open my eyes and see things around me, the sun is out, which means I’m breathing. And, therefore, I’m awake. And, therefore, God is good.
The sun is out.
The last several months of my life have been interesting, hard, easy, long, short, turbulent, smooth, et cetera. I’ve witnessed firsthand what God can do with those of us who try and call our own shots (@me). I’ve seen what real humility is. I’ve been an active part of God’s plan for my life and other people’s lives. Here at PC, I’ve met some absolutely incredible people. The small group of friends I’ve made here have done nothing but help me grow, both as a believer and as a person. My friends back home still check on me, hype me up, hold me accountable, and keep home close. My family is doing phenomenal. I just got to see my older sister get married in December, God used me to lead my little brother to Himself with a salvation decision, and my younger sister is just as beautiful as any girl could ever be (want to date her? Ell. O. Ell.). My mom and dad are balling at their jobs, my home church is flourishing, and my hometown is still my favorite place to be.
I’ve seen some wild things happen to me and to people around me. I came into college with several relationships of varying types that I knew would last forever– God said, “Nuh, uh.” I came to college with this idea that Jesus didn’t have a lot to say on a daily basis. That’s far from true. I came to college thinking that the Oregon Ducks wouldn’t let me down again. That was a pipe dream. I came to college thinking I new answers to questions about my faith. I didn’t– but I’m fixing that. I came to college finally relinquishing some things to the Lord, and all He has done is amaze me– every day. You won’t find a single dark spot in my life. There are days when the dark wants to be in my grill, but it can’t be. I’ve got no reason not to see the joy around me. It’s sunny up in this joint. I’m rolling– like a fat kid on a skateboard going downhill toward a McDonald’s. The sun is shining, yo.
The Son is out.
I find comfort and intrigue in a lot of things. I pull for a less-than-average college football team, and have been doing so for a painful decade. I love a music genre that most people have barely heard of (Christian rap… so you like Toby Mac?). Don’t even get me started. My family is a 6 person party. I know plenty of people who share some similarities in what we have as a unit, but I have yet to meet a family that reminds me of us. I can say with the utmost conviction and truth that there has never been a time that I’ve not enjoyed being a Shortie (as we affectionately call our squad). I enjoy the ability to learn from and talk with people older than me, my age, and even younger. All of these things are but a small dose of what my life is about. That, and potatoes, for I eat them at least once a day (except now– I’m doing a ketogenic-ish diet… 35ish pounds down as of now. I’ve become a vapor in the wind).
But these things don’t matter. At the end of my life, I will have to give an account of what I’ve chosen to do with my time. There will be no need for me to rant about how Chip Kelly left Oregon in their prime, or how Marcus Mariota should have stayed for one more year. No one wants a run down of how long I’ve played disc golf. I won’t be asked to label my favorite albums of all-time, or rank the artists I like. No one will ask for my explanation on why Toby Mac is NOT Christian rap (because he’s not, for all of you techno-junkies). All 6 of the Shorties will be in Heaven together. But there will be no need to answer for them, just as they won’t answer for me. No one will give a single crap about any fun facts I can spit out or stories I can tell. No one cares about that now.
The fact is that the Earth will fall away. God’s purpose for me is to chase holiness. Psalm 11:7 says that, “… the upright shall behold His face.” When I look into the face of the One who created the stars, I want Him to be proud of what I’ve done. I want to see some of my friends and family in glory with me one day. Matthew 10:38 says that if I can’t follow after Him, then I don’t deserve Him. I fight sin with reckless abandon because my life has been completely changed by the Cross. I live life like God is a living God. I try my best to be like Jesus because He’s called me to be a certain way and to lead a certain lifestyle.I believe in Jesus because He is who He says He is. I mean, after all… how many bodies did they find in the tomb? The same number they found of Oregon National Championship rings.
Which is zero, in case that joke was over your head.
If my eyes open into a view of this world, I rejoice, for I know I’ve been blessed with another chance to be like Jesus when I can see that the sun is out.
When darkness tries to take some shots at me from time to time, attempting to close me off from my Father, I don’t worry. The darkness can’t last– the sun is out.
When I forget who I am, who He’s called me to be– or simply when it feels as if I might be alone with a Bible in hand and a cup of coffee– I do not let doubt go one step further. I trust in the name of Jehovah Jireh. Why?
The Son is out.
Chase after the Lord and watch the blessings fall.
And remember, communism sucks.