The end of July

Today is my 31st blog in as many days, and I am happy to have arrived here. The July Challenge is over!

Moving forward, I’m going to rest. Meanwhile, there are a lot of planes in the air, out here in the real world:

1) The Vision Quest

I’ve dreamed of it for years, and have always found an excuse not to do it, but I’m finally doing it. On August 25th, the day I turn 27 years old, I will drive to the mountains of New Mexico, free of distractions and deadlines … and spend 10 days alone among the peaks.

It’s going to be a climactic end to a rich summer. I have high hopes for good rest, memorable adventure, fear and risk, communion with my Jesus, and new ideas and passion for the coming months or years.

2) Preparing for marriage

Nicole and I are reaching little milestones everyday with our planning, and we’re getting excited. February 16th feels far off, right now, but I know that date will rush up to meet us. It will come faster than we expect.

Meanwhile, I have chosen to move into my own apartment for the next 6 months, as a chance to truly live as a single man, for the last time in my life — and also for the first, it turns out. Since I left my parents’ house 8 years ago, I have never actually had my own space, and perhaps have never really wanted it this bad. Now with the coming quiet home, this new latitude, I am hoping to enjoy a more peaceful, solitary, even somewhat monastic existence this fall. We’ll see how well that works.

That leads me to the next thing …

3) Loosening ties of community

On August 17th I will move out of the Argosy Project and into my own place a few miles away. Some other Argonauts will stay here, others will leave like me. Among those who are leaving are three of my very closest friends, who later this fall will be overseas in Africa and the Middle East, for a period of years. This is a hard thing for me. I will miss them dearly.

Meanwhile, Argosy will continue to change and grow, new faces will come in, and soon it will not quite be my home anymore. It will become new, and different from my memories. Just like Hampton House, which was my home before Argosy.

For the first time in 8 years, it seems I am entering a quieter time, with less people and more space, more isolation, and more rest. I have long surrounded myself continuously with faces that I love, for these years of adolescence and maturing … but with this coming move, and with the coming end of my bachelor-hood, I feel a significant shift is now at hand.

There may be a season again, in 6 months or a year, when I (with Nicole) will jump headfirst again into a new community, a new family, even a new city or country or lifestyle. But that time is not now. What’s happening now is a downshift, an emptying-out, and perhaps, as I said, a bit of urban solitude.

It will be quite a change for me. I will miss the comfort and warmth of dense community, which has grown so familiar over these years. But right now, I am certain, is not the time for it. Not like it has been, anyway.

4) Writing more … or who knows

This month has been highly instructive, but I’m not sure yet how to handle what I’ve encountered, in these weeks of disciplined writing.

There is a yearning in me to get off the beaten path, to live a life without 9-5 boundaries, where I can set my own pace and achieve to the extent that my heart wants to reach. I want to experience variety, I want to invent, and be an entrepreneur again. I want to inspire, encourage, challenge, and change lives. This is the thinker and brainstormer in me; the writer; the artist; the innovator; the adventurer; the discipler; the rebel. Who knows what else is in there.

There is another, different craving in me: for substantive work, for definite results and quantifiable goals; where the pace is predictable and the service rendered is tangible and demonstrable; where the job ends on a daily basis, and I don’t have to start it again until I get back to work the next; where I have a defined salary, and benefits, and I can plan my finances into the future, and I don’t have to worry. That is the doer in me; the physics student; the web developer; the advocate; the project manager; the analytical nerdy dude; the efficient worker. Also, there we find the ordinary American 20-something, in me, who just doesn’t want to have to need his God on a regular basis, just to make end’s meet.

Two competing motivations. Neither are perfect — there is something useful and something harmful in each. I’m still sorting out which is what, and which is good for now, or for later, and how, and for what purpose, and what I’m willing to give … or not willing to give up.

That is my quest, as a creator and a dreamer and an adventurer, who just wants to live a life of passion.

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So, to that end, to all those ends rather … I’m going to ease back on the blogging. I’ll do something like twice a week through the month of August, and then we’ll re-evaluate things around Labor Day, when I get back from the Quest.

Until then … well — hope to see you around. Thanks for coming with me, this month. Your company has been appreciated 🙂

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3 Comments

  1. Enjoyed getting to know you Ian, as I was able to read some of your blogs. May the Spirit of Christ be ever so real to you and may He fill you daily as you fellowship with Him, during these coming months of change and as you prepare for marriage. I pray heaven’s richest blessings would be freely and abundantly and continually poured out on you morning by morning, that you may be a blessing to all, wherever you go and in whatever you put your hand to do, to the glory of God. Thank you Ian for sharing your heart and your life with others!

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  2. Excited to hear about the plans, brother! I’d still like to get coffee sometime soon. Maybe meet in Dallas? Actually, I’m headed to the Winds in early September. It could be arranged to meet up on the way, if you want, maybe on your return drive. I’d like to hear what the Lord has said to you in the wilderness!

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