Monday, June 20, 2011


On Saturday, I did a 5K. It was a fundraiser for an old friend, Ray Wallen. Ray was injured in a boating accident on Lake Norman a few weeks ago. The accident resulted in one of his legs being amputated. Ray was an all state runner and a member of the wrestling team at West Henderson so it was a bit disheartening to see our old friend in a wheelchair. But, because he's Ray Wallen, he was full of spirit and optimism.

It was a great occasion. Our friend, Ryan, flew in from Colorado to show his support. He won the race in the 18s. I ran a respectable 28:30ish. I was pleased with the effort, though I'm paying for it now.

The best part, however, was the reunion of old friends and teammates. It was great to see all these people come out to support Ray. They were there, young and old, runners, joggers and walkers. Lots of people I have not seen in many years. It was fun and festive. Not the best circumstances to reunite, but it was great to see everyone rallying for a cause. Here's some of our old cross country teammates and Coach Price, who led this group to state titles in 1993 and 1995.

Times-News Article on Ray

Ray Wallen Benefit website

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Pursuit of Happiness

I have long believed that we put too much stock into happiness.

This is from Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback column, who gave this excerpt of this year's Commencement speech at Rutgers University by novelist Toni Morrison:

"I have often wished that Jefferson had not used that phrase 'the pursuit of happiness' as the third right ... I would rather he had written, 'life, liberty and the pursuit of meaningfulness' or 'integrity' or 'truth.' I know that happiness has been the real, if covert, goal of your labors here. I know that it informs your choice of companions, the profession you will enter. But I urge you, please do not settle for happiness. It's not good enough. Personal success devoid of meaningfulness, free of a steady commitment to social justice -- that's more than a barren life; it's a trivial one. It's looking good instead of doing good.''

Happiness just seems so self serving. And fleeting.

Now Joy, on the other hand...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Awesome Kids

So I was hanging out with some students the other day when I overheard this conversation:

BM: If you show me that dance, I'll love you forever.
BW: (mockingly) Why does your love always have conditions?
BM: (as meekly and innocently as possible) Because I want things.

It was a conversation in jest between two really great kids, but I loved it. When we fail at love, there is only one reason why: We have made love about us.

In church-speak, we always talk about God's unconditional love. It's a hard thing to wrap our heads and hearts around sometimes, because that is so rarely the way we love.

But, oh if we could...