We all have experiences that ring loud in memory. For me, the memories that ring loud are often very recent. I have been blessed with, oftentimes, a short memory which for any athlete or coach is a very good thing. However, there are moments both good and bad that ring out louder and forever hold that of a breath-taking landscape in the images of my mind.
Things like getting the first walk-off hit of my life as a 10 year old at Lenora Park in what now seems like a previous life, a morbid conversation in a Starbucks parking lot, my first ever and only Home Run, my 16th birthday party, the breath-taking view from the top of Whiteside Mountain in Highlands, NC next to a few of my best friends in the world, long conversations in a fast-food restaurant's back corner booth, crying with friends not knowing what to do next, and times of worship at Sharptop Cove.
The good, bad, and the ugly. These memories seemed to have disappeared in this whirling dervish of a time period called senior year. But now, this minute lapse of time is over and what lay ahead of me is the wilderness of Africa. As I crest the hill of the 19th year of my life, and as trip departure is now less than one week, I keep coming back to these various, few, dispersed memories of my life. I know it is not merely this upcoming trip arousing memories, but what the trip represents. I did not look at graduation as the end of this first chapter of life but I have for 2 years not looked towards this trip. When I return, THEN high school will be over, and it will finally be time to move on to what God has in store for me at Davidson, but what matters to me now, one of the greatest gifts God has and will ever bless me with is a finely tuned memory of what matters the most in this first, nearly finished chapter of my life.
The summation of all knowledge, wisdom, and life experience I have gained have brought me to this point, this trip to Tanzania, the trip of a lifetime. But these memories have become a broken record over and over in my head these past few weeks and they occur more often the closer the trip comes. I do not know how to explain only to say that I know God has something great in store for me and his mission for me in this world. It lies somewhere in the plains of Africa.
I have never understood the song "Always On My Mind" because the song writer seems to question what he has done in the past. He questions his decisions, mistakes, and victories. I have always had as a mission to "live life" to the fullest. But this song has relevance to me now.
I do not regret decisions, mistakes, and victories because I know that these memories have brought me to where I am and shaped me into the person I have become. These are the memories that will signify the first chapter of my life. These are the memories that will forever, for the rest of my life be "Always On My Mind."
Thank you to anyone who had anything to do with any of these memories. You're influence will be forever etched into my mind. I appreciate it all more than I can ever say, this is how I try to get as close to saying thanks as I can.
I will be keeping this blog up to date as often on my trip as possible. Prayers are graciously received. God has had me chase rabbits, dogs, deer, whatever you want to call it, various memories God has used in the first chapter of my life to form me into His likeness. Now, God has raised me for this point in my life, this trip, the beginning of a new chapter. Now, it is time to chase lions.