Friday, February 29, 2008

Thoughts on a Leap Day

Today is February 29: Leap Day, which only comes every four years. I have a friend whose birthday is on February 29, so she only gets to celebrate a real birthday every four years (she always has an excuse to party, though, so the seeming lack of birthdays doesn't hold her back). Because of this she remembers where she was on every Leap Day of her life. My memory isn't quite that good, but I thought I'd look back and see where I was (generally) on all the Leap Days of my life.

1980- I wasn't born until November, so I was barely an embryo on this Leap Day, if that. Good times.

1984- I was still a toddler, probably not even in preschool by this point. I had a baby brother who was about 18 months old, and our mother's life was probably focused on meeting our every need. Those were the days.

1988- I was in first grade, and we were living in Colorado. At some point during these few years we had a blizzard that dumped so much snow on us that I literally walked to school in snow that was waist deep. It was only uphill one way, but still.

1992- I was in fifth grade and we had just moved to Nashville that previous summer. This wasn't the best year because I missed my friends from Denver, but I eventually adjusted.

1996- I was a freshman at Brentwood High School and was chomping at the bit to get my driver's license in the fall. Mr. Box, our band director, decided it would be a good idea to have a "Leap Day Concert" since they happened so rarely.

2000- My freshman year at Butler, and I had been a pledge in Phi Kappa Psi for a little over a month. I was in my first year of my first youth ministry job at Speedway UMC in Indianapolis, which is about two blocks from the actual Speedway. We didn't have church on Sundays when there were races because it was too loud and the foundations of the building shook. I made the mistake of having a youth event during qualifying for the Brickyard, so I learned this the hard way. I thought the roof was going to fall in.

2004- My first year at Vanderbilt Divinity School, and I was working at Crievewood UMC in Nashville as Youth Director, where I would also eventually become Associate Pastor. Grad School was kicking my butt, but I was starting to get the hang of it. Jessica and I had dated for a while the previous semester and had taken a break, so on Leap Day I was still pining away for her and hoping we'd get back together. Thankfully that would happen in less than a month!

2008- Here I am in Clarksville, TN. I'm the pastor of Bethlehem UMC, I'm married to Jessica (yayy!), and I've spent my Leap Day writing a sermon about Jesus' conflicts with the religious establishment of his day, watching "The Sopranos" on DVD (my latest fixation), and of course, blogging. 

Looking back at where I've been on all the Leap Days of my life, I realize how blessed I am to have had as many different experiences as I have in the relatively short time I've been alive. There have been good time and bad ones, but overall it's been pretty great. So where will I find myself on Leap Day 2012? All I know is I'll be 31  years old. The rest? We'll just have to see. Stay tuned...


ed said...

Matt, I just started reading your blog a few months ago and reading this is a WOW moment. I was born and raised in Colorado Springs. I first felt the call to ordained ministry as a parishoner at Speedway UMC under Bruce Buckley and Larry Bush. It is indeed a small world

Anonymous said...

This was great. I hadn't taken the time to really think through my life in that way until reading this. It's really fun and it shows you just how far your life has come and/or changed, etc.