May 6, 2000 – Saturday – 1:00 p.m.

I’m at my grandparents’.  I was headed out yesterday to visit Vince and say goodbye before he flew off to Bolivia, but my car broke down near Bottom’s Bridge in New Kent County.  I think I blew the engine.  I’m not sure what is going to happen, but it is nice being here.  I’ve had some time to reflect and think.

Soon I will be 24-years-old.  I am not married, but I’ve found a potential girl.  I’ll soon have a Master’s Degree, and I need to start working.  I have an interview Monday at a place called Acoustic Works.

I’ve watched some old home videos since I arrived here yesterday.  My grandpa always had the latest video camera in his hands while I was growing up.  How amazing to see me as a little boy back in 1987!  God is teaching me something.  I long for the life of pure love and innocence.  Oh, to be a child again.

I’ve come a long way.  High school, college, graduate school, all all the different churches that came with those places.  All the different friends.  Some now lost forever.

And all the different girls.

Cincinatti, Winston-Salem, Metuchen.

All the places I’ve walked.

I’m no longer a student, and that is all my memory has known.

So fix me God.  Prepare me for the next wave.  Send to the place you have prepared for me.

November 2, 1993 – Tuesday – 9:35 p.m.

Retrospect is sort of happening right now.  My mom found my fourth grade yearbook.

Fourth grade!  Nate is in third grade right now.  And I’m a senior.  What happened?  

Everyone goes through this.  Everyone goes through grade school and middle school and high school.  Some even go through college.  They are surrounded by all those people.  All those different dreams.  Each individual with their own past and perception.  And each one shapes the other into who they will be.

Youth.  The shaping of one’s existence.

When I hear adults talk, the one thing that stands out in their conversations is their youth.  Why?

Whatever the reason, it is all happening to me right now.  In fact, half of it has already flown by.

In my life, there are two separate areas of my youth: school and church.

So many people are shaping me during these days.  Their words, their actions, their existence.  The way they smile, the way they make me laugh.  The way they hate me.  The way they love me.

Would I be the same person if Wynne didn’t always give me a hard time at school?  Would I be the same person if I didn’t see Lisa’s beautiful eyes every day?  Would I be the same person if Ryan went to another church?

Obviously, I would be a very different person.  And it works in reverse, too.  I’m affecting the lives of people I encounter every day.  Either positively or negatively.  I wonder which it is?  It’s up to me.  I see that now.  I matter.  Everything I do and say matters.  I can change the entire world simply because I was around some people on this planet during their youth.

Jesus, please help me change it for the better.

August 20, 1993 – Friday – 11:25 p.m.

Tonight at work I did something so funny.  After I got off, I went up to the counter and ordered a hamburger with extra cheese.  You know, as opposed to just ordering a cheeseburger.  I knew the woman running the cashier so she played along.  The grill order went back and John, the manager, picked it up.

Now John is the man.  He knows what he is doing every second and around every corner.  You don’t mess with John because he can run the whole place with one hand tied around his back.

So John picks up the order and calls out to his crew, “Hamburger, extra cheese!” without giving it a second thought.  Now John is supposed to have it all together and when he said that the place just died laughing.  He tried to cover it up, but it was so funny.

School starts in 56 hours.

Wow!

Two days of summer are left.

Tomorrow, I’m going to singing practice, then the swimming shindig, then shopping, then to Ryan’s house for children’s church practice, then to skit practice, then to youth group, and then home.  Sunday is church!  Then school.  Oh boy.

But to tell the truth, I’m actually looking forward to it.