Five favorite things

My long-time friend Heather has tagged me with a meme listing my five favorite things (in no particular order). So here we go!

1) Receiving and spreading knowledge. I am an education nut (read: “nerd”); I love to receive it, and welcome opportunities to share it.

2) Discussing important topics. I want real back-and-forth dialogue on things that I’m interested in. I’m not much of a small talk guy. I like big talk: theology, politics, pressing interpersonal problems, anything that matters or strikes my fancy as unique. Discussion of sports does not qualify.

3) Studying origins. I’m not primarily talking about the evolution/creation controversy here: I like to know about the beginning of almost anything. This has led to almost choosing ancient history as my postgraduate field, and it did lead to my choice of Indo-European/Germanic linguistics, which seeks to uncover the details of the origin of each language family. I like visiting historical sites so that I can experience, as much as possible, times and circumstances anterior to my own – and the earlier, the better.

4) Experiencing nature. I have not had much luck at spending time out there in recent years, due to my young family, my schooling, and my urban residences. My ideal summer would be a hike down the Appalachian Trail or some other wilderness experience. For now, the occasional camping trip has to suffice.

5) Having a family. This is definitely my #1 favorite. I’m a husband and a father of three, and I can tell you with all conviction that, as a Christian, nothing else is nearly so fulfilling or important – even essential – as having a family. My life isn’t just about me, or just about a woman I love and enjoy during my lifetime, but about what we build together that will last. My wife and I will probably die within 60 years and everything I will have said or written will quickly fall away, but our children and their children will be our living, self-perpetuating legacy. More so than anything I believe or do while I’m here, what knowledge I gain, what great discussions I have, it will be how I perform as a husband and a father – how I mirror our Lord – that will serve as my greatest act of worship. My family is the treasure I will lay down at the feet of my God when I stand before Him. I married young and became a father young, which is countercultural nowadays; I am grateful that in so doing I didn’t have the chance to bury the money He entrusted me or squander it on self-fulfillment, but that I invested it early on in something that will grow and honor Him in ways that I will have ample opportunity to observe within my own lifetime. Sure, it’s been harder to perform by the world’s standards: I would have finished this degree long, long ago, could have already had a nice house of my own and lots of possessions to be proud of, would have already hiked the Appalachian Trail, etc. But when I look at eternity…who needs a degree? Who needs stuff? I have a family! Thank you for this blessing, dear Father.

Runners up:

Scifi/fantasy. Gotta love it. Don’t read much of it, but I like to see a good scifi/fantasy film or TV series.

Movies. Good movies. I’m picky, but I definitely appreciate a well written and well executed film, especially a well written and well executed scifi/fantasy film.

The internet. Yeah, this makes me sound like a hopeless, couch (desk?) potato geek (but see number 4 above). The thing is, it’s not the internet’s slant towards goofing off and time-killing that make me enjoy it: rather, it’s the currently unparalleled potential to aid me with favorites 1, 2, and 3 above.

If you read this, you’re tagged! If you have a blog and care to, do it there; otherwise, you may simply wish to list your five favorites in a comment below.

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