2001 was 12 years ago. What’s up with that?
To put in perspective how this concept has blown my mind, here are some things that happened way back then.
- Steve Jobs introduced the first iPod
- A gallon of gas was $1.46
- Dale Earnhardt, Sr. died in a crash at the Daytona International Speedway
- The XFL was launched and subsequently flopped
- The most popular movies included Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Shrek, Ocean’s Eleven and Pearl Harbor
- Dharma & Greg, Everybody Loves Raymond and the Drew Carey Show were still on television
- Terrorists attacked the US on 9/11 killing thousands of people
- Oklahoma Sooners beat the Florida State Seminoles (sadly) 13-2 in the Orange Bowl
- Baltimore Ravens won the SuperBowl 34-7 over the New York Giants. Ray Lewis was the MVP.
- This was the top song of the year:
In 2001, I was entering my junior year of college. I was enjoying waking up late and eating food from the cafeteria. That year, our lacrosse team was 4-7. That year, I broke up with someone for the first time. I like to refer to that day (October 3, but I’m not keeping track) as my Independence Day.
So much has changed since 2001 both in our culture and in our lives. I was a happy student, surrounded by impressive grades and great friends. But, I was missing something and didn’t even know it. God was doing a work in me that I wouldn’t see for many years to come.
During my junior year, I started taking the first of a couple semesters of poetry writing. I recently remembered the following poem illustrating where my thoughts were at the time.
Today I watched Noah sail away
everyone in town had been helping him build
they’ve been working for weeks
I’ve been sleeping for years
but I heard he wasn’t going by himself
so I washed in the best stream, put on my best white suit
and brought my tools, even though I’m not a very good carpenter
As I walked up to the side of the ark
I was pushed aside by a pair of antelopes,
two beavers followed, damn, and some camels, too
even a couple of doves flew overhead. I didn’t see them though
but I knew they were there.
they seemed to have dropped a little something on my shoulder
So I took off my white jacket, hung it from the branch of an apple tree
and then the skies turned from friendly to mean, light to dark,
I heard a heavy thump at my feet, it was a ladder
and Noah, his wife and sons and their wives, and hundreds of animals
looked down and waited
Looking at the bottom rung of the ladder,
I realized all I had left were some problems
and a black umbrella to hide me from the rain.
It’s very humbling to look back at this poem and see how God was filling my thoughts and convicting me about how I was missing him. It would be another couple years before I would make a decision to commit my life to following Christ, but the Holy Spirit was already working on me. Poetry has always helped me understand myself. The subconscious creeps in and lingers.
The loneliness, abandonment and disappointment I was feeling when I wrote the poem is completely different now. God has accepted me. Christ has redeemed me. The Holy Spirit guides me. The emptiness I felt has been replaced with hope. The desperation I felt has been replaced with joy and satisfaction. The shame I felt has been replaced with love. I thought I was completely unworthy, but Christ showed me my value.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. -Ephesians 1:7-8