Last year I wrote 29 reflections/highlights/insights/things and the year before I wrote 28 reflections, now I bring you 30 reflections/highlights/insights/things! I can’t believe the “big 3-0″ hits today! Unreal! As I wrote earlier in the week, I’m actually not fearing it and I’m actually looking forward to it. Why? Here is one reason why….
The years teach much which the days never knew. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
This reminds me of sitting in Pastor Michael’s office, during one of our Monday morning discipleship sessions, reflecting on something (which was normal, as he would spiritually kick my butt time and time again!) and looking at him and saying, “I just wish I could get old fast!” Kind of strange coming from the mouth of a college student, but then again it wasn’t for me. It was sometime during college that I realized growth, maturity and wisdom can’t be forced. It develops over time in the heart, mind and life of an individual. It takes time. It was then that I realized the years are a great teacher. So here’s to another year and another decade behind me and a just a tad bit more wisdom, growth and maturity hopefully to my life! Oh yeah, the learning might just be beginning, if this quote is true…
Everything I know I learned after I was thirty. – Georges Clemenceau
- Number 1, has to be what I just wrote! I’m excited to welcome this new 30-something chapter to my life because it seems to bring a whole new set of adventures and lessons to my life!
- I have absolutely beautiful and stunning sisters, that every year continue to amaze me with their beauty, talents, creativity and so much more! I love you Megs and Miks!
- My parents seem to become cooler and cooler with everyday I know them. I can’t quite describe this. They have always been my biggest cheer leaders, but they seem to become greater and greater with age! They amaze me. Thank you Mom and Dad! I’m thankful I was conceived 30 years and 9 months ago!
- Even though age brings wisdom, years also break hurts. I think the 29th year of my life, might have brought more emotional hurts than the previous short 28 years. Many events transpired over the last year that brought me to my knees in tears and also in prayer! Most of these events, I of course, wish I wouldn’t have had to deal with, but then on the other hand I’m grateful for them. Doesn’t make sense does it? At least not by the world’s standards, it doesn’t make sense! But if God does exist and is indeed sovereign then each hurt, betrayal and etc. had a purpose, it wasn’t some random event that happened at the result of broken people, including me! (Romans 8:28) Therefore, I am grateful for the hurts that the 29th year brought, because God was working for His Glory and my good in the midst of it all!
- I love traveling. Every time I’m traveling, I feel at home! I love it! New places, new faces, new cultures and more of seeing God’s beauty expressed all over the world! (below: Nerja, Spain & New York, New York)
- Much to my mother’s displeasure, I’m still accepting applications for this position! (see below) (I listened to my mother tell me, at least, once again, this week, that she would like grandkids sooner than later! Haha! You’ll have to talk to Megs and Tom about that one mom!)
- In my 29th year I discovered that the “coaching blood” of my father also flows in my veins! Last year, because of several situations, I became the head coach of the Prague Lions Junior Team and I couldn’t have asked for a better first season as a head coach! We only had one loss and it was by a mere two points. Then we went on to have one of the biggest comebacks in Czech football history and then repeated this in the Championship game to reclaim the crown! What a huge blessing! I’m stoked about our fall season! GO LIONS!
- The Czech Republic celebrated 20 years of freedom from communism last November and as I was in the midst of the crowd I had a this overwhelming longing to see another revolution in this country! This isn’t anything new, I’ve said this before, but being in a throng of Czechs celebrating political and social freedom, made me long for a deeper change here. Please continue to pray for the Czech Republic, pray that this revolution would take place!
- I’ve learned and important fact of life this year – that the more I learn, the more I realize I have no idea what I’m really talking about. I’m told this is wisdom! This may be true, but I’ve been blown away by this. It’s produced a hunger to learn even more! I love that the education/maturing process never ends!
- I really like coffee. I’m thankful for my many friends at St. Arbucks, who hook a brother up time and time again! It’s funny the Wenceslas Square St. Arbucks baristas and managers are like a second family! Thanks guys!
- My retirement. Yes my 29th year brought retirement to my life! That is retiring as a player of the great sport of football! I had planned on planning into at least my first year of my 30s, but because of situations that took place within the Lions, I decided that I could have a bigger impact as a coach, rather than as a player or do the ridiculous thing of being a player/coach! This is has been tough at times, because I’m a competitor and love competing, but at the end of the day it was the right decision. Beyond that I count it a blessing that I wasn’t forced to “retire” because of a serious injury. I’m thankful that I’m not that guy “who’s trying to live the [hopeless] dream” and continue to play, when he should have hung up the cleats and let the young pups have at it! Furthermore, I love coaching because of things like this.
- I’ve learned that I can’t receive enough grace and I certainly can’t extend enough grace. Grace has become a much closer friend in the last year of my life, than they previous years. I’m looking forward to the journey with grace for years to come!
- What do you do with critics? That is a good question! Depending on what field of work you are in, with more years means more opportunities, increased leadership roles and more critics! My 29th year has been spent with learning to turn my critics into coaches and using their words and thoughts (whether they are good or of ill intent) as lessons to grow as a leader, man and much more! (see more on this)
- This year brought another cool coaching opportunity! I have the extreme blessing of being the offensive coordinator for the Czech Junior National Team! Which has meant that I get to coach 12 of my guys that are on the Junior National team, but also coach guys from all over the country! I’m so thankful for this opportunity to coach and make a positive influence on more young men here in Czech! Here’s the highlights of our qualifier game against Italy. CESI! CESI! CESI!
- My family has always been, um, “entertained” (a better word might be embarrassed by me) but as I’ve matured I’ve realized there is a place for my “entertainment!” Which is a good lesson to learn, but I also don’t want to be boring. I like keeping people on their toes. I like making people laugh. So I think the last year was another year of learning balance here, at least that is what I think!
- One of the things I’ve longed to do more here in Prague are charity activities in areas that are outside of my normal grid here in Prague. I’ve, more over, longed that I can somehow do a little cross pollination and bring different “worlds” of mine together here in Prague. In the last year, the Lions partnered with a home for troubled girls, with the Lions cheerleaders, and also helped in two charity events, which were for after school program for at risk kids. It’s slowly becoming an embedded value into the hearts of my guys, that we should look for opportunities to help those who are in need of help. I can’t wait for the next opportunity!
- My 29th year, especially the last few months of my 29th year, have been filled with many moments that I need to preach to myself that God is indeed on His thrown and “upholds the universe by the word of His power.” I often feel like I’m trying to hold everything together, when in reality that is futile. I can’t hold everything, or anything, together. I can’t make everything, or much, right. BUT I can know and trust in the one who can and who does! I’m more thankful for the sovereignty of the Lord more than ever before. It is this “theological” truth that is a terribly practical reality of how I continue to endure here in Czech.
- I love creating! It’s true I do, but with the many hats I wear here, I don’t get a ton of time to “do creative things” like I wish I had time for! There are those rare moments of bliss, in the midst of life, where there is a moment of creativity and I love it! I often wish I could bottle that moment up and open it in one of my moments where I just feel the need to create. I’m thankful for the epiphany creative moments that do fall upon me!
- This last week has reminded me of a life lesson I need some major growth in – working hard but ALSO resting hard! Time and time again I work, work, work myself straight into being sick! With the growing volume of responsibilities and opportunities I need to be very intentional to rest well, so that my work will be better and will endure!
- I love adventures! I’ve blogged on this before, but when Megs and I went to Barcelona last November we spent a few hours in a restaurant and by the time we were leaving we friends with most the servers and felt like we were regulars at that Tapas restaurant in Barcelona. We also picked up a few facebook friends from the night too! It’s one of my highlights of my 29th year and is one of the other reasons I love traveling – adventure!
- I for the first time in my life have more friends than my ever-uber-popular sister, Megs! Wait do facebook friends count! Megs, I somehow had to work this in here!
- I’m going to miss my sister, Megs, so much, as she is moving back to the States to marry an awesome man and start a huge new chapter of her life! I’m so excited for her, but I’m so going to miss her! One of my biggest regrets of my 29th year is that I didn’t take advantage of having my sister living in the same city as me.
- I’ve learned that I need to listen more, simply – keep mouth shot and listen more!
- I love the body of Christ for so many reasons, but one of the reasons is that in the body of Christ God provides second families to me! I’m very thankful for the love I receive for my “second families” here in Prague and throughout the we world! Thank you guys for being there for me time and time again.
- Strength in weakness. Is this upside down in the world’s eyes? Yes. It it consistent with Jesus, the disciples and the Bible? Yes. (1 Corinthians 1:25-27) At one point this year, I was told I have “all the power” to do something and my response was that Jesus laid down his “power” for something greater. I’ve seen this played out in a few other ways as of late, as well. The simple truth, that sometimes to be stronger you have to be weaker first. I’ve used the illustration of cancer patient this spring, as I’ve thought about this. If someone needs to have cancer removed, they will need the cancer removed, of course, but in the process of removing the unhealthy cancer they will also loose some healthy tissue, they will lose strength! BUT without losing this strength, without being made weaker, they will never be healthy, they will never be stronger. I’m learning that this is okay. It may even be necessary! What ways do you need to get week in life?
- I love my guys! Being a coach of high school aged guys means that I spend a lot of time with guys that are now 10+ years younger than me and I love it! I love turning my guys worlds upside down by loving them in ways that don’t make sense to them! Like today, I was talking to one my guys, who got in a little trouble and I told him, “Call me. I’m here for you if you need anything.” He knows this is true, but him hearing it again made him stop and think once again, “What’s up with this guy? Why does he love me?” As I look at coaching, my opinion is that if you don’t make a positive impact on your players on AND OFF the field then you are wasting your time and their time! Sadly, this applies to most coaches! My heart – love them, teach them, be there for them, make a difference! It was a blast taking some of my guys to the States with me and, Lord-willing, doing just this!
- As I enter my 30s, still waiting to fill the previously mentioned “position,” I am fighting to not become that bitter, single thirty something! Again and again, I’m reminded by the Spirit, that I’m exactly where God wants me to be and I’m learning about contentment again and again! With learning about this contentment, it’s freed me to enjoy and celebrate the dating, engaged, newly married and not-so-newly married friends around me. Case in point the Riegl and Ernster weddings were huge blessings to me, in ways that weddings haven’t been in the last 8 years or so. Just say NO, to bitter, single thirty somethings!
- I’ve learned this year, that I need to fight for hope more than ever before and fight against the cynicism in my own heart! After all if the tomb is empty I have all the reasons in the world to be hopeful!
- Every day I live here in Prague, this city and it’s people surprise me! These surprises are sometimes in good ways and sometimes in not-so-good ways! Nonetheless, Prague and the people of Prague keep me on my toes, and I’m constantly loving this city more and more. The surprises of shear beauty that jump out time and time again catch me off balance and keep me going! Thank you Prague!
- I’m realizing that coming up with 30 reflections/highlights/insights/things is really hard, this might be the last time I do this here on zACHhARROD.com for my birthdays. To many years to come up with something! I will have to seriously rethink this! However, after writing this I’m amped for 30! Bring it on! Wait it’s already here! After all, I hear life really begins at 30 and now I really start to learn something! Here’s to a new decade and a bunch new adventures and highlights!
Thanks for stopping by, no matter if you’re in your 10s, 20s, 30s or 80s be a revolution today!