[[image:IMG_6384.jpg::right:0]]I haven’t posted for a while due to just being busy on the road and lack of chances to hook up to some high speed love. I’ve been in europe for almost two weeks now and so far it’s been a great trip. I was able to spend some time with my wife and mother in London for about a week. It was such a great time. The highlight of our time together was probably going to La Portes Des Indes in the Marble Arch area for some fine Indian cuisine. It’s probably my favorite restaurant in London, if not the whole of Europe. Yummm!!
So far, this has been an interesting trip for me. I am not sure why, but I think I’ve been getting nudged into some unexpected introspection. I don’t know about anyone else, but introspection is not fun for me. But that’s probably why I keep finding myself suddenly taking inventory of who I am because I’m sure as hell that I’m not the one kicking off these ideas in my head. I feel this nagging outside force that’s calling me outside of myself, exposing that I actually don’t have a super man cape flying around my neck. It’s exposing a judgmental mind, a lazy soul, and a hardened heart. From this, so far I have come to realize that I’ve become so comfortable in my life. I’ve failed to accept the challenges that are so clearly looking me right in my face. So far, from all of this I’m beginning to think that to be floating along in my life of comfort is a dangerous and irresponsible place to be. Maybe more importantly I can begin to admit that I am capable of evil I may not have expected. I can say all day long that I’m a sinner and “fall away” daily and I can be sincere, but can I truly look at the pain that I’ve caused squarely in the face even when that pain hasn’t confronted me first? You know when you’re “right” but the WAY you’re “right” is just ending up hurting someone else. Even in our moments of being correct, we can be so incorrect in a much larger scale. I think of Walter Sobchak from The Big Lebowski when he keeps asking “The Dude” very angrily “Am I wrong, Am I Wrong?!?” and The Dude replies ” No, you’re not wrong Walter, you’re just an asshole!”. And Walter replies contented,”Ok then…”. It’s ok that he is an asshole, as long as he’s right. It’s one of my favorite lines in the whole movie and maybe for good measure. Maybe we all have a little Walter in all of us. I do for sure.
This is not to say that I’m in any way at the end of the road when it comes to really taking a look under the hood and seeing what needs to be tweaked or for whole parts that need to be replaced……but I am becoming more comfortable with this period of questioning who I really am. I’ve been asking myself what kind of person others around me think I am. Am I someone who is really making the lives around me better? After asking these kinds of questions and, more importantly, getting to know some of the answers a little bit, I was beginning to feel so self absorbed and clueless. After a some fairly serious introspection…I’m beginning to feel a large sense of humility but also a budding sense of optimism. Not optimism in the sense that I’m getting near the end of the process, but that I’m beginning to embrace the fact that there is a long way to go. Simply being aware that there is some serious renovation to be done can get you excited for the improvements, no matter how painful or costly that renovation may be.
I’m currently in Barcelona and today I had the day off. I took advantage of this incredible city and hopped on a tour bus with some friends to take it all in, soak it up. I’ve been here a few times before but have never really attacked the city as I did today. There is a temple here in the middle of the city called La Sagrada Familia. It is a temple that has been under construction since the late 1800s and it was designed by a brilliant Spanish architect named Antonio Gaudi. Gaudi’s architecture is found all throughout this city but this church is his most heralded and adored. I spent about two hours total at this church and was just amazed at the artistry, the story telling, and the incredible beauty that this place, unfinished even, possesses. Gaudi died in a car accident in the 1920s and was unable to finish the church but his family had hired new builders and architects to continue the work based off his original design. They are expecting it to be completed in about eighteen years from now. As I spent time at the church in the duality of the beautiful artistry interwoven with a gritty construction zone, it seemed very fitting. Many times we visit huge, impressive cathedrals and we enjoy the beauty without the benefit of seeing the actual work it took to make. With this church, that’s not the case. You see the beauty and the hard work side by side. The stain glass AND the dusty scaffolding. There is even a forklift sitting idle right in the middle of the church floor!
I left the church with optimism. I felt God has been shaking me lose that past few weeks just in time for me to see a glaring example of how beautifully unfinished we are and that he loves us in whatever stage of construction we may be in.
I’ve posted many of the photos from my time at the church here. If you don’t believe me about the forklift, help yourself.