Thoughts At 33…

I turned 33 yesterday.

I have now had as many birthdays on this earth as Jesus.

I really just can’t accept the fact that many of the men in the Scriptures were younger than I am at this moment. I still find it to be true that you don’t really wake up one day feeling like an adult. You just find yourself with more bills, responsibilities, joint stiffness, and hair growing in the wrong places.

I have the rare opportunity this weekend to rest without my kids – thanks to my amazing parents – and rest usually leads me to reflection. As I reflect on finishing my 33rd year on this spinning ball of dirt and rock, and am primarily grateful. For my wife, my kids, my parents, my health, my country, my church… and for all the times God saved me from ruining my life.

The older I get, the more totally certain I am that any good in my life – any success or happiness – is all grace. I’m far too naive, selfish, and short-sited to have constructed the amazing things that God has done in my life.

For my 30th birthday, Stephanie arranged for me to have lunch with my pastor and pick his 40-year-old brain about what he would tell his 30-year-old self. I wrote a bit about that here.

Here are a few additional thoughts that I would share with a younger man…

Speaking Of Slavery…

There’s been a lot of talk about modern-day slavery – or “human trafficking” – lately.

The awesome folks over at Passion have put a lot of time and effort into raising awareness and helping point to resources like

When I read that right now – right this minute – there are 27 MILLION slaves in the world… well, my brain just kind of retreats at the thought.

Considering my mortgage and the fact that I have three kids under 5 years old – my net worth is basically zero dollars. Am I just going to drop everything and fly to Thailand and go Jack Bauer in a brothel?

And then I visit a website like, which tells me that based on the size of my house and household and the age of my children and the items I own and the things that I typically eat and buy – based on my fairly “normal” “American” lifestyle…

There are about 100 slaves who contributed to my day-to-day life…

Running Teaches You…

Running teaches you that there’s a difference between working hard and feeling bad.
Consumer culture tries to teach us otherwise.
How many television commercials talk about “making life easier”?
If everything you knew about life came from TV, your goal would be to live the easiest, most comfortable and unchallenging life you possibly could. You would believe that the only good feelings are sensual pleasures such as the taste of a good soft drink and the fun of driving an expensive car and lying on the beach.