Tuesday, September 9, 2014

On Turning 30

Photo Credit: Lhoretse (Creative Commons)
I turn 30 today.

My twenties are over, and they've been awesome.

I graduated from college, got married, became a full-time pastor, moved to another state, bought a car, bought a house, had two children, wrote two books, and moved to another country in my twenties.

This doesn't include the countless conversations, laughter, tears, and memories from the thousands of beautiful and fascinating people I've encountered over the past ten years. This decade has been full and fulfilling, and I am humbled and grateful for the grace bestowed upon me.

So what will the next ten years look like? I have no idea. When I look back upon the life I've lived thus far, it's full of unexpected blessings and beautiful surprises. I never planned any of this. Oh, I had plans. But not these ones. These turned out far better, and were usually in spite of me and directly connected to Jesus and his guidance.

Even though I'm unsure what the next decade will look like, I'm still going to set some goals and see where they lead. I'm publicly posting 30 goals for my 30s, right here and now. This isn't an exhaustive list--I have unspoken dreams for my life that aren't ready to be posted on a blog yet--but it's a pretty full one. So if the Internet and blogs still exist in ten years, this will be a public record of what I was aiming for.

Here are 30 goals I'm setting for the next decade of my life:

1. Lead each of my children to Jesus (Copeland - June 2015)
2. Get a masters degree. (Maybe two--one in theology, one in education or English/writing) (MA in Theological Studies, Portland Seminary, April 2017)
3. Get a doctorate
4. Surprise my wife with a special vacation or celebration
5. Write a book (Jesus Goes to the Movies, Aug 2015)
6. Write another book
7. Become a professional film critic; be a member of a film critics circle (Cinemayward.com, Oct 2015; OFCS 2017)
8. Ride first class on a plane
9. Attend an international film festival (VIFF, Sept 2014; Cannes, May 2019)
10. Do a silent retreat and/or spend a night at a monastery
11. Meet my birth mother (July 2015)
12. Speak to 1000+ people at a gathering or conference
12. Take a creative writing or film studies course
13. Go on an overnight backpacking adventure in the woods/mountains
14. Buy a house
15. Take each of my kids on an individual trip, just them and Dad
16. Drink a bottle of wine worth $100+
17. Meet an author / celebrity I respect (N.T. Wright, Spring 2018; Dardenne brothers, May 2019)
18. Get another tattoo (July 24, 2019)
19. Teach a university course ("The Bible in Contemporary Culture," Portland Seminary, May–July 2019)

  • 20. All of N.T. Wright's New Testament theology (Christian Origins and the Question of God) 
  • 21. The Brothers Karamazov or Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky 
  • 22. Inferno; Purgatorio; Paradiso, by Dante Alighieri 
  • 23. Paradise Lost, by John Milton
  • 24. Confessions, by St. Augustine (September 2018)
  • 25. United Kingdom - England, Ireland, Scotland (April/May 2016; Moved to Scotland Sept 2017)
  • 26. Australia 
  • 27. New York (again) (March 2020)
  • 28. Chicago 
  • 29. Greece and Turkey (locations from Acts and the early church) (Budapest, Vienna, and Prague, October 2019)
30. Watch the entire Sight and Sound Top 250 of 2012 (or 2022)

Things I hope I'll always be doing: love and follow Jesus; love and support my wife; love and encourage my children; teach and disciple others in the way of Jesus; live the Gospel.

One of my personal values is to live a great story. I'm confident the Author will continue to tell a great story in and through me in the next ten years.

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