This is a part of my Cambodia Trip Series, checkout another video:
A LOT has happened since my most recent video blog. The most important being I’ve entered into the final count down. 7 days from now, I’ll be in Cambodia! I’ve officially started packing my suitcase (though I’ve been packing my camera bag for three weeks! I’m going to be doing a LOT of filming while in country, at least I hope so. It’s fully loaded, and the only thing left on my list to acquire is this lens: Olympus 12mm f/2.0. If you’re interested in helping me out with that, let me know!).
This should be a video (and you should be able to hear “The Final Countdown” music playing in your head the whole time you’re reading this), but one my my hard drives started to crash today, which meant 1hr+ on the phone fighting my warranty. I’ll have a new drive tomorrow!
This past Sunday, we had over 70 people attend a Sex Trafficking Awareness event. Dr. Cyndi Romine from Called To Rescue shared with us about the growing problems in our area. We’re about two months away from launching a local Anti-Trafficking Task Force. Here is the video if you’re interested, it’s GREAT stuff (though a little, long, so grab a drink and some kettle chips. The audio is great!):
We went to a local Vietnamese restaurant last night (Yi Shen) to let the kids experience a small piece of what the food will be like in Cambodia (the two countries share a lot of culinary similarities… at least that’s what Wikipedia tells me). We ate pretty basic, but the phở was terrific. They had a really nice market as well, I’m going to swing by tomorrow to grab some snacks for youth group to give them a “taste” of Cambodia.
I met an independent film maker who primarily does documentaries at one of the trafficking meetings I went to on Sunday. He had some great advice, that has helped to relieve a lot of stress: Don’t worry about the story, just shoot, and shoot a lot, but only when I want to. If I try to force a story on my experience before I get there, I’m going to frustrate myself the whole time. But, if I allow the story to write itself, and allow myself to enter into the experience, rather than just observe from a distance, what I do film will be more worth while.
I’ve got quite a bit left to do:
- Youth Group on Wednesday
- Prep for, and launch Sticky Faith on Sunday
- Pack EVERYTHING into on suitcase
- Make sure all my camera gear is ready to go.
- Recheck all my camera stuff, eliminating 1/4 of it
- Take my own Visa photos
- Get my anti-malaria medication (my Dr. is being weird about prescribing travel meds)
- Load all my homework onto my iPad (20 hours on the airplane each way should let me get a LOT done!)
- Spend every moment I can squeezing my wife and kids. I already miss them. It’s going to be tough being away from them! Why? Because they are awesome! And my favorite people… EVER!
Yup. I’m pretty sure I fall into the nerd category. I love computers, technology, and gadgets. I’m a total “gear head”, meaning that whatever current technological pursuit I’m enthralled in, I love to research, hours upon hours, about every detail, reveling in the multiplicity of options. Josh (my eldest bro) and I call it McFadden’s Disease, and we’re pretty sure it is a genetic trait passed on through the male bloodline.
I’ve worked with computers since I was 14, at an Internet Service Provider, doing tech support, and then moving on to the IT department. It was an amazing job, and I’m continually thankful for it. I was going to pursue Electrical and Computer Engineering, but a few weeks before school started, I decided that wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. I switched schools, and pursued Youth Ministry, while at the same time developing a negative taste for my techno-self. It was the right decision, I don’t regret it at all. Yet since then, I’ve somewhat struggled with technology, with this idea that it is more of a distraction than a tool. I admired the lives of The Desert Fathers, and often thought of ditching technology, but I don’t think I’d like to eat honey locusts while wearing a burlap sack (we have enough people doing that in Oregon already). But that wasn’t really an option in school, so I just lived with this underlying feeling of guilt, nagging at me that I needed to shelve this aspect of my life. Visually, in my mind, it always seemed like two different paths. Path #1 = Jesus. Path #2 = Technology.
We all have times when we need to set things aside, allowing them to deescalate as a priority. I’ve since realized that technology comes naturally for me. It doesn’t have to be the thorn in my side, but it can be an incredible tool for bringing education, justice, unity, and Jesus to people (not to mention helping out my parents and grandparents). Pursuing technology is no less “holy” than pursuing youth ministry. In fact, I think we suffer from escalating the sacred, to the point of inducing mental breakdowns rooted in guilt and shame for those who aren’t professionally pursuing full-time vocational ministry. It all depends on what we do with it, and how submitted we are to the Spirit.
But, I also struggle with Hyper-Idea-Disease, so things can quickly become the end, rather than the means. Video has been the first “hobby” I can remember that has started with a clear evaluation of my priorities. “It WILL be a tool.” However, I’ve struggled along the way over the past few years, allowing it to take up to much of my time, but overall, the pursuit is so that it will benefit the Kingdom, and not myself. It has been a slow road, with a LOT of learning along the way, but I’m starting to get some clarity on it’s potential.
When we critically evaluate ideas (not just initially, but continually), we can have multiple paths overlap. Sometimes that keeps us going in the same direction, and at other times that moves us into new areas of exploration and discovery. There will always be multiple voices in our head, pushing and pulling us in different directions. I’m embracing it for the time being, and deeply enjoying it. There is a new sense of freedom that has been very rewarding, especially since ministry’s accomplishments are often slow.
Lately, slowly approaching an idea has been very helpful for me, but I want to know what does your discernment process look like?
I have a LOT of ideas. I’m sure that 90% of them are terrible, and it’s pretty easy to decide to NOT do them. But then you have the remaining 10%. These are the ideas that keep you awake at night, the ones that give you energy just thinking about them. I’m not talking about some thwarted dream to turn broccoli into diamonds or make Google Plus the next big thing, but ideas that have a legitimate future. Powerful ideas can have far reaching commitments, and for me, I usually have let my car drift over the guardrail with an idea before assessing the practicality of its pursuit.
If you never pursue ANY of your ideas, then these question aren’t for you. These questions will help you process which ideas will either fit into your schedule, or which ideas are worth recreating your schedule for.
How does this idea fit with everything else?
What’s your focus or passion right now in life? Does this idea work with that or against that? If this idea is competing with recent decisions, should you reevaluate them first?
How much time, money, and energy will this idea take?
My priorities in life are: God, Family, Job. Maybe yours a quite different from these, but I find that most new ideas will borrow time from one or all of these areas. Am I willing to allow something else in? Will take this project on put to much financial strain on my family? Will it rob me of all my energy to stay on top of my game at work?
Can you start small? What boundaries can you set to “test the waters”?
My recent discovery of good boundaries has allowed me to experiment with some fantastic new pursuits, while limiting their control of my life. I was recently asked to create something for the TweetTheBible campaign, and boundaries allowed me to open the door to this project amidst everything else that I have going on right now. For ideas that are long-term, how can you trial run the idea without selling your house to make it happen?
What are you willing to give up in order to make this happen?
Ok. So this idea is worth it. But if it is going to take your time, money, and energy, what are you willing to give up to make it happen? You can only add so much to your life before dying from a caffeine addiction or a brain aneurism induced from stress. Would you quit your job to pursue this? Move across the world? Give up your spelunking hobby?
Who can you surround yourself with to help you finish or maintain this idea?
Community. Is. Important. Even if you’re a closet introvert like me, you can’t do everything all on your own. If you’re really passionate about this idea succeeding instead of just YOU succeeding, then you’re likely going to need help. Who can support you, dream with you, work with you, and do the things that you can’t do. Part of succeeding is knowing when to hand off part of a project to someone else.
I want to be a big idea chaser, but I also want to remain faithful to my biggest priorities and commitments. I have 994 notes in my Evernote notebooks, half of these are ideas that I want to pursue, these questions help me process through them.
If you suffer from H.I.D (hyper-idea-disease), what questions have you found most helpful?