tonight i was reminded of a scene from one of my favorite movies: the sandlot. it’s a scene that isn’t one that you immediately think of when you think of the movie but it’s a pretty cool scene nonetheless.

in this scene it’s fourth of july, the only day of the year where the guys can play a night game. at one point during this sequence, the guys all stop playing and look up at the fireworks with the music playing in the background. it’s one of those weird introspective moments in a movie that doesn’t really have many of those. it’s like those kids are looking at the fireworks and thinking of everything that’s going on in their lives and being something more than a bunch of twelve year olds hanging out when in reality it’s just a small scene right before they go to the amusement park and get sick off of chewing tobacco while the song tequila plays.

we had a huge thing at the church tonight. apparently it’s become somewhat of a tradition in the last four years and tonight’s was the biggest of the years they’ve had it. i spent the entire day setting up tables and coolers and all kinds of things. i met this person and met that person and forgot just about as many names as i was told. i spent probably an hour and a half or two hours in the dunk booth tonight. it was all a big whirlwind.

i just kept going and going.

i just kept shaking hands and saying, “hey, i’m jonathan. nice to meet you too.”

i just kept climbing out of the water and back onto that little platform.

after we closed the dunk booth off i had about 20-25 minutes before the fireworks started. i finished filming a video for church on sunday, met another couple people, and then went and changed clothes. when i came back from all of that i sat on the curb with a couple of students to watch the fireworks. we talked for a little bit but when they started we all sort of shut up and just watched.

it was the first chance i had to really stop and think all day.

the fireworks were going off. there was music playing to go along with them too. it was my own sandlot scene except i was sitting on a curb with some high school kids and not on a baseball field with eight friends.

all of a sudden a bunch of different thoughts started running through my head.

i realized how absolutely amazing it was that god had worked all of this out. he had this plan for me to come to this church and work here and do all of these things i’m doing or am going to do.

i realized that as scary as this whole thing is, i’m ready for it and it’s what i’m supposed to be doing. i know that it’s not going to be easy but tonight felt natural for me. it felt like everything that i’d ever done or every talent or personality quirk that i had was to prepare me for this job and this life and this work. it all clicked.

i realized how much i already miss the girl. i’ve spent the last thirty days falling like crazy for her, telling her goodnight every single night, and kissing her on the forehead after she got in bed before i left her house. (listen, this is my blog, i can be cheesy every once in a while.) by this time in the night, she had already gone to bed and i couldn’t say goodnight because i was getting dunked by a nine year old. i knew there would be nights that something like that happened but it still doesn’t mean that i have to like that. we both know that me being here and her being there is the way things are supposed to be right now but it still sucks and i still wish she was here.

i realized that this next year isn’t going to be easy, but it’s going to be great. there are going to be times when i’m extremely frustrated or times where all i wanted to do is lay next to the girl and watch how i met your mother or so you think you can dance (hey, it’s actually not that bad of a show…) and won’t be able to. at the same time though, there’s just something about doing what i know i’m meant to be doing that brings this peace over me. i ran from the idea of ministry for so long. i got so depressed during that time. i hated life and was extremely unhappy during that time. now that i’ve finished the school that i needed to finish and am actually doing what god told me to do, i feel this comforting spirit around me. it’s like god’s reached down and wrapped his arms around me like a big giant snuggie and said, “hey. i’m proud of you. i got this. stay with me and you’ll be alright.” that feeling is something that’s so (insert smart positive adjective here) that i can’t really explain it. all i know is that if you haven’t felt it then i’m sorry and i hope that you do soon.

all of these thoughts happened within about a five minute span or so. it wasn’t long before the students started talking again and i was back in a conversation with them. then the fireworks ended and we cleaned and did all of the post-event things that you have to do.

i’m back here in my room and it’s 1:29 in the morning. i’m sore, i’m tired, and i think my feet are finally back to normal after being pruned. i’m thinking through all of those things again and processing through everything that happened and i’m just thankful. i’m thankful for a god that has a story that he wants to write with my life. i’m thankful for all of the things that i ever experienced to get me ready for this. i’m thankful for the amazing girlfriend that i have that i can miss and want to share all of these experiences with. and i’m thankful for that feeling of god and the snuggie.

things are rarely ever perfect. they barely ever go to plan. and normally you don’t always get what you want.

but when you’re in tune with god and you’re on the same page with god, you can be thankful for the crappy times and appreciate the good ones even more.

and i’m thankful that i finally caught up with him in my story.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.