Friday, January 22, 2010

2009 In Review: Triumph, Tragedy, and Everything in Between

My blogging has been excessively delinquent over the past few months...please accept my apologies.

Life has recently moved a a frenetic pace...so much so that my boss made me take a day to
simply spend time in the woods to think, pray, read, write, and process. In that day I realized that I haven't stopped moving since September. And I enjoy that...the working, recruiting, traveling, speaking, etc. The problem is, though, I've done a lot of living, but I've not reflected on life...I haven't stopped and listened to God. One thing I learned in my day of solitude, is that I wanted to write a review of 2009 similar to my review of 2008 (I've also considered review of the 2000s...could be a project for later).

Without further adieu...in 2009 I: (by the way, there are links throughout)


*Rang in the new year in Knoxville with the Bryants and the old JBC crew.
*Created, with Mikey Krepps the band "Don't Blink"

*Spent a weekend in New York city with 4 of my closest friends. Flight, hotel, and rental car: $120/person...the weekend was legendary

*Attempted to go to Super Bowl XLIII (to no avail), but instead watched my beloved Steelers win their record 6th Super Bowl at a wing joint in Tampa with Ryan.
*Spent a week in Haiti building church benches with a group of men in their 60s and 70s.

*Had a hit (sort of) video on youtube.
*Took a recruiting road trip from Fort Myers to Charlotte with Ty and Amy...and in the middle of the night on the side of I-75 ended my 13 year old streak of not vomiting. (I'm sure you love reading this one)
*Flew to Knoxville to spend a random weekend with Chris and Emily just because I missed em.


*Had mom and dad come visit for Easter...


*Had the privilege of spending two weeks teaching a course on the book of Acts at Ggaba Bible Institute in Kampala, Uganda

*Left much of my heart in Tennessee as I flew to Kenya to spend 2 months with 3 terrific interns

*Taught 6th grade math for 3 weeks in the Kenyan bush

*Received a goat on behalf of the community of Morloo, Kenya

*Learned how to "minus a neck" on a chicken
*Proved to several Kenyans, during a 30km 'nature hike' that white people can, in fact, walk more than 3 kilometers without passing out.
*Fell in love with Fanta Citrus

*Climbed a mountain and turned around
*Witnessed a group of children from a remote village (our school in Morloo) in a major singing/dancing competition.
*Didn't get stuck in this window

*Looked at the stars and sang "Yellow" about 30 times with my interns
*Stood in a safari van while staring at a herd of cape buffalo, and, over the phone, had the last conversation I'd ever have with my best friend
*Led 2 funeral services for Chris...I cannot describe the experience...
*Came back to Florida...and, again, left my heart in Tennessee
*Started on plans for 2010
*Was blessed to get a new (to me) car...for free! (courtesy of my brother) It's a Saab of course...my 4th
*Had a blast at Raynor (fellow team-K 2006 member) and Josh's wedding.
*Danced at a Spanish hip-hop concert
*Spent the entire month of October on the road recruiting with Adam, Kristy, and Bri

*Made my yearly pilgrimmage to Neyland Stadium
*Went to my 2nd National Missionary Convention
*Went to a family reunion in Atlanta
*Played at several open-mic nights.

*Enjoyed The Office a little too much
*Spent Christmas with my family...and it was great
*Ended the year at the Urbana conference with 17,000+ college students
*Said goodbye (and good riddance) to 2009 at a bowling alley in St. Louis with Ryan, Derek, and Misty.

In 20 years I'll remember plenty from 2009, but to me, it will always be remembered as the year that the we lost Chris Morgan. Emily lost her husband, Gracie lost her dad, I lost a brother/friend (as did many, many others), and Kenneth/Sue, Morgan/Kathy, and Bob/Carol all lost a son. Maybe one of these days it'll all make sense, but I'm not expecting that to come in 2010...and that's ok...knowing why isn't my job. Instead, I'll be ok with that uncertainty because of my certainty that Chris is doing just fine...way better than any of us. And regardless of what 2010 brings, in the end, I'll be just fine too.

Even so....maybe it's just me...but 2010 sure seems considerably less funny and lacking a staggering amount of loyalty compared to any of the other years I've known.

Goodbye, 2009.

Chris, my brother...I'll see you later.


1 comment:

Kathy said...

Well said Matt. It is still hard to believe that he is gone. Each day I think of him with a longing that only that side of heaven can cure. I am proud to claim him as my son-in-law but really did not realize just how much of a friend he was to me.