It’s hard to believe that I just turned 30. There are so many land mark birthdays, and for me 30 is one of those. Turning 30 is great. It’s hard to believe, but its still great. As I’ve spent some time thinking through the last 30 years I’ve come across the following reflections and important lessons learned, which are not in any particular order.
Education isn’t everything but it’s not nothing
I’ve realized that I am definitely a learner. If I could have a full time job that allowed me to spend the rest of my life in school I would. Interestingly, the degrees that I’ve completed (BA, Biblical Studies, MS, Organizational Psychology) and will complete (Mdiv, Master of Divinity) have been helpful in so many ways, but the educational certificates themselves don’t automatically qualify you for whatever you want to do in your career. You still have to work hard at your vocation and experience is really important.
Creating disciplines early on would have prevented plenty of heart ache
I really wish I was more intentional on being more disciplined. It’s so much harder (not impossible) but harder to create and establish knew disciplines (spiritual, physical, emotional, health) as you get older.
I don’t know everything, and the more I realize it the smarter I am
Listening is more important than talking
I spent a lot of time early on trying to validate who I was and the value I brought to each conversation. I could have learned so much if I kept my mouth shut and listened to the incredible experience and wisdom from those around me.
The affect of sin is not simply personal, its communal
I’ve realized now more than ever the danger, trauma, and sadness of sin. Even more so, I’ve seen and experienced how the affect of sin does at times the most damage to those closest to you. Over the last three years I have seen pastors and ministry leaders that I’ve met personally and have had great respect for, go through moral failures. I’ve seen the damage it has caused to not just their families but how it extends to their church members as well.
Getting married young and having children is the best thing that happened to me
I love it. Seriously, I love it. I love that I go home to three handsome boys who love having dadda home. Who want to wrestle, play, and cuddle me. I love having a godly wife who encourages me and fights for me in all things. Sure, its been hard at times, but it really is more than worth it. I don’t think its a coincidence that I started the path of my educational and vocational journey with excellence the same time Brittany and I got engaged.
Being a husband and father is more important than any stage I could ever get on
It’s hard to explain the adrenaline rush when you get on a stage and have thousands of peoples eyes on you. But that is nothing compared to the feeling of walking through the door of my house and having my oldest son Liam running to me yelling at me about everything I missed, and my second son Levi yelling, “Dada your home, your home. I missed you, your home!”. I pick that over the largest stages, all day, every day.
My ethnicity, cultural background, and early childhood is more important than I could have ever known
So much of who I am today and the skill set that God has given me is a result of two years as a child I spent in India with my grandparents. I strongly believe that the reason I can get on large stages and share and communicate is because my earliest memories are of me on stages with my grandfather in India standing next to him as he preached the gospel to countless people. I could have never imagined how important that would be for the job I have today. Further, growing up a second generation Indian in a western context has provided me with a unique concept. I know that God is going to use this in some specific way, I just don’t know what that is today. Who knows, maybe my blog post when I turn 40 will have that part figured out!
You can never out run God, ever
It doesn’t matter how long you try, how creative you are, and how strong willed you think you are. You will always walk away with a limp when you encounter God and try to wrestle with him.