This is my New Years post.
It’s short. But, just like the clock must hit 12:01 I must write to you.
A lot of people scoff at New Years hope. Bogged down by failed resolutions & the shipwrecks of last years pain. I get it. I can count on 4 hands the heartbreaks & the failed goals that riddle even just 2012. If you’re anything like me you’ve made your fair share of mistakes & have been hurt by people near & far.
But let me remind you…no…let me remind US.
With every choice to hope comes more & more room for magic.
Don’t. Stop. Hoping.
Life will not get better with pessimism, with being sarcastic & bitter.
Life will not get better without faith, without dreams, without moving past our mountains of hurt & failure.
I pray that in 2013 you will believe, you will hope, you will fight for the story that is your life.
You are worth it. Your story is worth it. You are beautiful.
You are powerful.
Happy New Years.
I hope it’s your best one yet.
Challenge. Yum. The call to get better? Tasty. Hearing a motivational message, watching a video that makes you feel all tingly. Nom. Nom. Nom.
Our hearts eat up inspiration like a tray full of bacon. We love the stuff. We enjoy the idea of doing great things, of living better, of working out more, eating better, volunteering more, developing THAT skill, pursuing THAT girl, quitting THAT habit, reading more, going to Africa, studying more, waking up earlier, CHANGING THE WORLD.
We sip our lattes, tune in our Mumford, slip our feet into our Toms, and we dream. Our hearts soar with glorious possibility. If you’re like me, you sit and wonder about WHAT COULD HAPPEN IF I ACTUALLY DID THIS!? I picture myself acting out the current desire. “Look, here’s me lifting weights, look, here’s me helping that person, look, here’s me WITH that person, look here’s me STOPPING that bad habit, oh and now I’m in Africa!”
We’re even masochistic about it. The pain of conviction does something for us. I can’t tell you how many times I have sat around with a group of friends talking about how “convicting” something was, how much it made us “feel” challenged, then we did nothing. How many hours I’ve spent thinking about making a difference instead of becoming it. When someone tells us we need to change, we get fired up! Righteous anger at our short comings fill us and fuel us! We will be different! We will be better! Then the feelings fade. We pack up and go home, waiting for the next round.
How much time do we spend thinking about doing something instead of actually doing it?
How many pairs of ASICS piled in our closet will it take to get us to the gym?
How many hours listening to a musician we wish we were will it take to put us to practice?
How many paintings do we have to think about until we PAINT ONE?
How many fact sheets, testimonies, confrontations, or sermons, must it take for us to fight that addiction?
How long will we be strangers to the LIVING of our dreams?
We build our dreams like cars without engines. We sit in them. Feel the steering wheel. Close our eyes and pretend we were taking those turns, the wind hits our face, the open road before us, we are rapture. Then we open our eyes. We haven’t moved. We play with the seat warmers then get out.
The problem is, we think our FEELINGS are our engine. That we go when and where and as long as THEY go. It’s a lie. Greatness is achieved by CHOICE. Nobody that ever did anything worth anything ever FELT like doing it the whole time. Change is achieved by CHOICE. The engine we need is cold, stern, hard, selfless, crazy, scary, CHOICE.
There are SO MANY areas in my life that I look at, that I think about, so many things I want to do or be or give up that I ponder on. The areas in my life that have gotten better, the moments in life I have truly helped someone, the times I’ve done something worth doing, have been when I chose PASSION far after I stopped FEELING IT.
The longer you sit around and wait for passion to take you somewhere, the longer you will sit around and wait. Build the engine. Take small steps. You were created for massively WONDERFUL, EXCITING, things! The hard part is those things are on the other side of some extremely BORING, PAINFUL, and ORDINARY CHOICES. Becoming the type of person that gets to DATE or MARRY that person is on the other side of a lot of choices that say NO to NOW and YES to FUTURE that say NO to feelings and YES to what is RIGHT. Don’t let challenge or dreams or desires sit idly on your mind anymore. Move. Make. Build. Give it up. Start it now. Anything worth doing will take time. It will take PROCESS. It will take hours of obscurity honing your talent.
Learn that skill. Help those people. Go to that place. Talk to that person. Forgive them. Get to the gym. Write that song. Tryout for that team. Start that organization.
Don’t just stand there.
Join me, let’s not think about doing good, let’s DO it.
Let’s be dreamERs.
I speak only because you can.
I write only because you can.
I create, make, invent, because you could.
My words matter, they stand tall like redwoods because your’s do.
I lead because you could.
I dance because you can.
I laugh because the same joy can be your’s.
I am beautiful, handsome beyond all reckoning because you are.
I matter because you do.
You see, we have the same fingerprints. No, not the ones on our fingertips.
Rather the one on our faces, on our torsos, on our brains, on our souls.
He who spoke EVERYTHING ELSE into being took the time to shape us with His own hands. His fingers leaving traces of Him all over us.
Fingerprints, our linked lineage.
Black, white, yellow, brown.
Rich, poor, famous, iPhone or Android.
God painted us. He built us. For beautiful things. For grand designs. To behold impossible things in this life time.
Your breath is splendid.
Your thoughts have merrit.
Your movements write songs.
You were made for grand, grand things.
To know God is to know yourself.
Stop the comparing and realize.
Because I’m beautiful, you are too.
Because you matter, I do too.
Let’s pick up love.
Let’s be daring in the way we live.
Let’s put down the crumbling things of this world and put more stock in His word.
For in His promises we find the true future of our species. We broken rarities. We shattered angels. Spectacular spectacles of how powerful second chances can be.
I’m gonna live loud, because you can too.
Regardless of your personal opinion on Invisible Children or policies on Foreign Aid, this video speaks a powerful message, “Whether you lead or follow, you eventually MOVE.”
I pray for us that this kind of things disturbs us. I pray that it disturbs ME. Not just for some distant land but for the atrocities that ravage our every day arenas! We have to chose to MOVE, to do SOMETHING, to respond with love + action, and make selfless decisions that help people.
The humility and authenticity that both Jason Russell and all of Invisible Children show in this video is exemplarily. My love for these people is deep. Their actions, dreams, bravery, and creativity awakened something in me when I was in 11th grade. They moved me to think bigger, to think less about myself, to see things impossible as something that COULD BE DONE, to see the needs of people and to take responsibility for them.
Without further ado, please watch this video, let it sink into your heart. Not just for the sake of these Children but for the sake of YOUR children.
What kind of story will we write with our lives?
Put your sticks down. Let your barking cease. Your import does not swell with your title.
Being in charge does not make you a leader.
Your vision to be seen as visionary stiffles that which your leaders put before you.
Oh young upstart, you harsh speaking pup, quiet now, hush.
Your voice will be found with time, patience, humility.
Depart from the scrapings to be noticed, to be told your strivings matter.
Find your grit, your worth, in putting yourself UNDER the people you pile OVER because you want to be UNDERSTOOD so you wont be OVERLOOKED to avoid being UNDERVALUED because you are OVER-SCARED.
Your voice is so loud that it’s quiet.
You’re so far in front that it’s not even leadership.
You are a manager at best, a task tosser.
What you are looking for is found in SUBMISSION.
The leadership you are looking for is found in SERVICE.
Your’s is a backwards journey.
An upside-down quest.
Leading, importance, influence, IS NOT ABOUT THE LEADER, it is about they who might be lead and in being lead…served.
Reminded, re-convinced each day that their steps matter, that they can accomplish great things.
But you, Oh Self Important One, smother dreams with your desire to be called king.
Oh what a tragedy!
How your heart must SCREAM!
That it’s greatness, it’s beauty, is trapped by your insecurity!
How your mind must tussle, watching that which you might build SLOPPED here and there because you are more worried about YOURSELF then the team.
Being an armor bearer to you is more about being VALUED then it is being VALUABLE.
Oh Self Important One, just hush.
You will find more daring and purpose with a plunger in hand.
For a cleaned toilet would out-do your current self inflating mockery of leadership.
Kneel. Submit. Apologize. Serve.
These are the steps to leadership, to influence.
Run from undeserved and bloated titles so that you might TRULY take people somewhere.
Your beauty is not lost.
Oh Self Important One, turn your eyes from yourself.
Your soul wounds wont be healed by praise.
Oh Self Important One, you poison the well other’s draw from.
You burn down the house you profess to build.
Be done now. Be humbled.
Scream to God that you might have exodus from this folly.
Oh Self Important One, just hush.
My sister Emma got married almost two weeks ago.
It was beautiful. Her last name is Powers now. She’s pretty lucky. From Rush to Powers.
"Emma Rush Powers". She’s gonna take over the world.
The whole wedding weekend was nuts. So much family. So many friends. My birthday thrown in the mix. We were in Portland, so weird stuff happened. It was the type of weird stuff that made you want to live harder, like the puppies in a shopping cart or the costumed adventure race, Han Solo seemed a bit out of shape though.
Weird stuff happens x100 when you’re a part of a divorced family. Love becomes more about territory if you’re not careful. It’s hard not to feel like broken glass when your family is fractured so. It weighs on you, makes you feel drained, like a raisin. But then you snap out of it and look at how beautiful they are. You see how choice you all are no matter how damaged. Then you smile. Then you dance, at least in my family.
The wedding weekend was happening. Got some Stumptown Coffee, some Voodoo Donuts, ate at a place called “Mother’s”, rode bikes with my dad, prepped wedding stuff with my mom, listened to loud rap with my sisters, gave money to the guy with puppies in a shopping cart…, walked around a market, drank more coffee, and then boom, I was putting on a suit with my dad. We Rush men slip into dapper and class like a pair of old shoes, the kind that always fit just right.
We got more coffee (yes I have a caffeine dependency) and then we were sitting in a room full of people, watching my baby sister trade her last name out. Watching her look longingly into the eyes of a man I consider to be of the highest caliber. My mom was crying. My Grandfather was confused by the non-traditional flow. This baby kept saying “uh-oh”. But there she was. Looking radiant. Looking brand new. You could not have guessed the things she’s faced. We’re all battlegrounds, war torn, but my sister Emma? She looked like sanctuary, a spot on the earth undisturbed, healed completely for the moment, all the world has thrown at her put off, disallowed to come near her, she was radiant.
This was the best part of the whole trip. Hipster paradise, family reunion, my birthday, were great and all…but those were the moments I wish stretched on forever. The ceremony was conducted by a guy I’m almost positive is a chaplain for the NFL, or is trying to be someday at least. It was funny, moving. Emma was so brave. Then it came. The crescendo, for my part that is. One of the last things before Emma and Mike said their vows was a performance by my two other sisters, Lyndsay and Meredith. They sang “House of God Forever” by Jon Foreman, an adaptation of Psalm 23.
Bliss. Rapture. Comfort. I replay their voices over and over. It was so peaceful. The words. Their voices. The moment. We felt perfect there. I felt so okay I can barely describe it. In that moment I remembered what it was like to be held. I remembered what it was like to be a kid again, to have cares wiped away by a hug. When I was small, Lyndsay used to sing me to sleep. I’d have her sing me that song from Pocahontas, “Colors of the Wind”. She would sing it over and over and over until I would finally fall asleep. Banishing my cares with her voice, ushering in the sleep my tired little body needed.
That was it, when last my small heart fluttered, touched by memories, stirred by hope. Memories of beautiful times, hope that we were all gonna be okay. Shortly after, Emma and Mike became one before God, family, and each other. Then they walked down the aisle together and we partied like it was 1999.
My sisters sang that song into my heart and it has stayed there. But in a few weeks, I’m gonna forget it. That peace, that joy, that hope, will slip away if I don’t feed it. We all need reminders. All of us.
We all need to be reminded that it’s going to be alright. That here is light ahead. We are never alone. There is a God that loves us. That the maestro of this universe is on our side and He is GOOD. You can get past this. You will find peace if you look in the right places. It’s going to turn out alright. You were not created to be crushed, to be dragged through the mud of this life. You always have a second chance. You have a story to tell.
Here are the words that struck my heart so, the arrows my sister’s voices sent out like bows. I hope you can find comfort in them like I have, for no words are more true.
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of God forever.
More books books books
Means more baggage baggage baggage
More baggage baggage baggage
Means you’re heavy
But one book book book
Cuts chains in half
Breaks the hold of your soul’s poverty
Makes ya light light light
Logos. Bible. Word.
Free free free
It kills the poison in me