27 January 2009

40 days

Forty days is coming fast - it's the ramp-up towards Recognition, the culmination of the four-degree (freshman) year here at the Academy. It's gonna be tough: some say it's as challenging as basic, just a different kind of challenge.

So, I'm thinking about staying off of facebook for forty days. It's a huge time suck: time I should be spending with God. I'd probably still update here, and these auto-update to my facebook notes, but that'd be about it.

12 January 2009

Why, oh God?

42%.

42% of the 884 Palestinians killed in Gaza were women and children. That's 275 children and 93 women. Why, oh God?

Can I help to end this?

There are children in this video, crying on a stretcher, too young to talk, yet wounded by war - in more ways than one.

Added 14 Jan:
The part that really gets me about this is the extreme apathy I see towards it all. It doesn't matter if they're Palestinian or Israeli; people are dying, and most Americans I meet don't care - we're just living in a bubble.

Habakkuk 1 answers a lot of the questions this raises, too.

11 January 2009

Colorado, why didn't I meet you sooner?

Woke up at 0445 today for a trip with the ski club up to Keystone. I slept or tried to sleep most of the way up, but couldn't go back to sleep after we stopped at a gas station. It was worth being awake, though: snow covered the mountains and frozen waterfalls dotted their cliffs.

Up at Keystone - anywhere between 9000 and 1100 feet, it was gorgeous. Snow coming down, and cold enough to freeze the fingers of my gloves stiff, but gorgeous. I was, of course, shaky at first, and crashed many times. But snow is a rather forgiving surface, and I survived the day with nothing more than a sore shoulder.

I couldn't have picked a better way to spend the day: carving (and sliding) down snow-covered mountains amongst pine trees, quiet except for the sound of my skis.

And I thought skiing in Michigan was fun...

06 January 2009

Fool

"For who do you know that really knows you, knows your heart? And even if they did, is there anything they would discover in you that you could take credit for? Isn't everything you have and everything you are sheer gifts from God? So what's the point of all this comparing and competing?" (1 Corinthians 4:7 MSG)

Just yesterday, I checked my class rank here and proudly told my parents what it was. But I have no right to be prideful about it. Did I make myself smart? No. So why do I act as if I did?

"If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a 'fool' so that he may become wise." (1 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

How do I become a "fool"?

03 January 2009

Tucson



Wake up, eat, ride. Lunch is GU and Clif Bars on the bike. Come back, eat some more, chill, go to sleep.

That was pretty typical day here in Tucson. Riding through the deserts and mountains of southern Arizona, there are few places I'd rather be. And I'll definitely be coming back to many of these places in the future, with a hammock and a sleeping bag.

Yesterday, we did Mount Lemmon, a 26-mile climb that took us from 2500 feet up to 9000 feet. We passed through the cacti near the bottom, up through the scrub brush, then into pines and aspens. Near the top, there were kids sledding in a foot of snow. Beautiful views of the desert floor and river valleys, mountains on the horizon.

I'll be sorry to leave this place - I've forgotten it's winter in most of the country. Every day here has been over seventy with cloudless skies. But, 500 miles and a week later, it's time to head back to USAFA. Racing season is coming...