Sunday, May 21, 2006

Life is what?

Life is hard….so what?
Scott Trammell, May 16, 2006

I finished college in 1995 with a degree in Civil Engineering. Normally, after graduating, many engineers will go to work for a few years and then start preparing for their PE exam. Once they pass this exam (which in California, is actually 4 separate exams, where most all other states only have one), they will have the honor and prestige of being referred to as a Professional Engineer. There’s a certain amount of status that goes along with that. All of a sudden, you have credibility. Even other engineers, PE’s especially, speak to you differently and treat you differently (respectfully).

I’d never had the desire to get my PE. Others thought it would be a good thing for me to have, but I saw no use for it at the time. In my career, yes it would have been good to have but I didn’t think it would help my career, so I put it off. Besides, hearing the horror stories from other engineers about how grueling the exam can be (mostly from those who didn’t pass it), didn’t help me in wanting to subject myself to that kind of punishment and potential for disappointment. I already had enough disappointment in my life, I certainly didn’t want to add another failure to an already growing list.

Over time, my career path took a slight change and I found myself in a position where having that PE would have come in handy. It wasn’t necessary, but it sure would have helped, so I began considering it. I still didn’t want to subject myself to such a difficult test, so again, I put it off. Later, I found myself working on a construction job as the Project Engineer. I was pretty much responsible for everything. I shared an office with another engineer who, although he was a nice fellow, wasn’t altogether too bright when it came to civil engineering or construction. Then one day I found out that this guy had his PE! This fellow had actually passed the California PE exams. Then I began thinking that if this guy can do it, it can’t be all that hard!

So I filled out the application, and was accepted to be allowed to sit for the exam. I signed up for study courses and review courses (it had been a long time since school, over 8 years) and I did all I could to prepare for that test. And you know something? I passed. First time. It really wasn’t all that hard, and parts of it were embarrassingly easy. I remember wondering “what was I so worried about?” It wasn’t nearly as bad as I was told it would be. But I also know why it wasn’t so hard for me. I was prepared for it. I studied hard and carefully organized my reference materials and sought advice on test taking techniques from others who had done this before me. Sure, there were others who complained about the exam and how hard it was (since they didn’t pass it the first time), but that’s because they weren’t prepared for it. They didn’t listen to the advice of others who had already been there and done that.

Life is hard. That’s a fact. You need to be prepared for it. Jesus never said that following Him would suddenly make life easy or better for you. Jesus said that He came to give us life. But not just life, but life more abundantly! That means the lows will be lower and the highs will be higher. And we know through God’s Word that there is a great reward waiting for us at the end. So many people want to know what God’s will is for their life. We read the books and study “The Purpose Driven Life”, and still we ask what God’s will is for us. (“If it isn’t about me, then what is it about?”)

I can answer that for you. You don’t have to look any further, the answer has been there all along. Would you like to know what it is?

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1st Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice, Pray, and Give Thanks (be Thankful). Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Sorry to say that it doesn’t always work out that way. Three simple things that, at times, seem so very hard to do. It doesn’t have to be so hard, but we make it that way when we choose to follow our own selfish desires rather than trust God and follow Him.

Life is hard. So what? Jesus took care of all the heavy stuff on the cross so that we wouldn’t have to. Just look at what Christ did for us, and all that He went through, and our petty little problems don’t seem so bad. Maybe then we’ll realize that life isn’t so hard after all. My wife taught me that with Jesus in you, life isn’t hard, life is JOY!
(My wife is such a blessing, but that’s another story altogether).

So to be prepared for this life, we need to study. I am so thankful that God provided us with a study manual so we can be prepared for the things we will encounter in this life. And the best part? It is all open-book! (Keep your Bible nearby).

Rejoice, Pray, and Give Thanks. I think it’s worth a try, don’t you?
After all, it is God’s Will for you.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Stampede Days Rodeo Princess

Meet my little girl.

Stampede Days Rodeo Princess

May 2006.

Absolutely Beautiful.