A Letter

Dear God,

Yesterday at church I was helping out on the parking team and I watched a girl get out of her Infinity and walk into church wearing her TOMS shoes. The girl is probably a really sweet girl with a much bigger heart than mine but for a moment she was the object of my own self-aggrandizement. I patted myself on the back, not because I don’t have an Infinity (I can’t afford it) or a pair of TOMS (I look like a clown in TOMS), but because I don’t want them.

Then I realized that I don’t want a new house either, my 600 square-foot apartment will be just swell, thank you very much. I realized I don’t want a limitless gift card to the Nike and J. Crew outlets or a lifetime supply of Southern Tide or Vineyard Vines shirts. I realized I don’t need a new iPhone, in fact, God, I don’t even want a new iPhone.

I realized that as much as I would love to watch Oklahoma State go 12-0 in football some year and play for a title, it’s not that important in the grand scheme of things.

God, you made some really intelligent people who created this thing called the iPad. Apparently it makes Bible-reading much easier, but I don’t want one.

I got to thinking about it and I don’t really think sports are all that important either, which implies that fantasy sports are even less important. I realized I love sports, but sports don’t love me, and sports don’t actually matter eternally.

Oh, one more sports note, thank you for making that tract of land us humans named “Augusta” but I guess it’s not really that wonderful, you know, relatively speaking.

I realized that I don’t really want to be wealthy someday, or famous, or even moderately well-known. I don’t really care about those things. They’re vices, mostly. I don’t have much desire for power or what our depraved culture labels “success” for my marriage or family.

I realized that all I have any yearning for is you and my community of family and friends. I patted myself on the back a few more times at church last night for all these realizations. I’m so holy.

After I realized all that, I realized something else:

Every word I speak and action I take…
Every Tweet I proclaim and ‘like’ I click…
Every email I send and website I visit…
Every magazine I read and meal I eat…
Every phone call I make and conversation I have…
Every TV show I watch and thought I think…
Every single day I live, my life…

Says something vastly different from what I wrote above.

We’re worlds apart, you and me. Thank you for relentlessly shattering me with your grace.

Your son,
Kyle

P.S. Thanks for my wife Jen, she’s pretty cool. And she’s always reminding me of how unworthy I am before you. Do you think you could maybe, you know, get her to be a little less sweet about it though, it makes getting mad at her pretty hard. Thanks.

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T Free

I love technology. The things you can do with a phone or a computer remain relatively unfathomable to me. I actually probably love technology a little bit too much (when a person can conference call/stare at another person halfway around the world on a device no bigger than a brownie, how can I be blamed?) so Jen has to reel me in sometimes. Of course, she wishes we still lived in the 1920s and churned our own butter…but that’s a different post for a different day.

Anyway, yesterday we went to the lake with a small mixture of old and new friends. We played on the jet skis, went tubing, got sunburned, ate a ton of food, and sat around in hammocks and chatted about our lives. Basically if you could create the ideal day at the lake, this was it. At some point late in the afternoon we headed in from having our bodies flung about the water on a giant raft Chuck Noland would have killed a man for. My friend and I were chatting back and forth and he said “isn’t it like the best thing ever to not have your phone with you and not have anything to do or worry about?” “Yeah,” I exclaimed, “it feels pretty good.” It did too, it was the perfect end to our summer (I know Summer isn’t technically over until the end of September but for me it’s over next Saturday because I measure seasons by sporting events…and college football starts next Saturday…judge me).

I could go on and on about technology and its pitfalls and how it sucks our souls clean of every good thing, but I would just like to encourage you to do this: take a technology-free day, or at least half-day. No phones, no computers, no iPads, Kindles, anything. Just you, some friends, some family, some good food…and just enjoy being alive.

We used to do fast from technology on Sundays (though writing on this blog has temporarily killed that) and we enjoyed it to the point that we looked forward to that day more than any other day of the week. It was refreshing. So stop reading this and go get some sunshine! We encourage you to do something similar. Your iPhone won’t break up with you while you’re gone. Promise.

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