my search to understand the bigger picture

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I am a LIAR!

"Christ became what we are, so that we might become what he is."

Let that just soak in for a minute. I mean, it sounds great, right? This is one of those sentences that kind of makes everyone feel just a little bit better. And it is completely true......................but.....................

I'm nowhere near what Christ is.

NO WAY! I know this comes as a shocker to almost all of you. Upon further evaluation of this sentence, I've realized that it's quite painful. It's sobering. I posted this quote on twitter and Facebook earlier today, I suppose because I thought it was cute. I thought people would think great things about me, such as "Thad is really deep. He's really thinking about God stuff." or "He's really beginning to get it." possibly even "Thad is such a blessing. He always shares amazing thoughts and life-giving statements."

But, I've come to the conclusion, that I am a LIAR. I mean, I put that quote out there, as if to say, "Look, I've got some stuff figured out, and I want to share it with you all today." Isn't that what we are saying when we threw random quotes out there like that. I mean, it is great when something so moves you that you can't help but share it with the masses. But really, how many of us have actually gone on and allowed the truth of that quote to truly transform our lives.

This is problem I see in myself all too often. I settle for knowledge. Literally, I stop once I've learned something. But the whole point of learning, is the application of what you've learned. Otherwise, you haven't really learned it. It's one thing to be aware of an idea, thought, etc. It's a completely different thing to have been transformed by that idea, thought, etc.

Tonight I was reading Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller, and came across another quote. "What I believe is not what I say I believe; what I believe is what I do." I've come across similar quotes before. But this struck a chord with me tonight, almost in a refreshing sort of way. I say a lot of things as if I believe them, but my actions show a completely different story. I spent some time reflecting on this, asking God to reveal to me whatever he deemed important. And while I didn't come to any earth shattering conclusions, I did get the feeling of being loved regardless. Not that God was saying, "It's ok". But more like, "I know, and I love you anyways Thad". Acceptance. What a gift.

I'm a liar, but God still loves me. Is there anything more powerful, than to have someone (God) know the innermost struggles of my soul, and still take the time/patience to reassure me of their love? Better yet, to actually still love me?

I am a liar, and God loves me. And I'm learning to love him a little better each and every day. Hopefully my actions reveal that more and more every day.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Altra Instinct Shoe Review

I've been anxiously waiting to write this post for some time now. I wanted to wear these enough to give an honest perspective, but it has been difficult because I have them in rotation with 4 other pairs of shoes at the moment. This is going to be more of a layperson's review, as I'm not necessarily well-veresed in the hyper-techinical jargon of footwear.

This year has been one of transition for me, not necessarily on purpose though. The New Balance Trail Minimus came out in March of 2011, and I jumped on the bandwagon, having become a huge fan of Anton Krupicka. I had done some running in the past in some Nike Free's, and over the winter picked up a pair of New Balance MT 101's. That's what I used on the trails this entire year (over 500 miles worth). Eventually, as the year wore on, I wore the Trail Minimus more and more for everyday use. A few months ago I began to run in them, and now have about 170 miles on those. I also purchased my first pair of VFF's this summer, and wear those 3-4 days a week to work. So, my current rotation of running shoes consists of the Nike Free's, Nike Lunar trainer, New Balance Trail Minimus, and the Altra Instincts. I suppose the reason I gave the Altra's a try is because I loved the significantly smaller drop of the NB MT101's and NB Trail Minimus. I did a ton of research online of the Altra's and spoke to a few friends who had given them a try, and decided to pull the trigger myself.

The first thing I noticed after trying them on, was the roomy toe box. This seems to catch a lot of people's attention, and rightfully so! They almost felt like there was too much room at first, but once I got out and began running in them, this became one of my favorite features! The zero drop was another surprise, as my mid foot strike feels completely natural when I run in them. Thankfully, I spent many months working on my foot strike and running in more minimalist footwear, so that there wasn't much of a transition period at all for me. Within a week or so I had logged my first 10+ mile run in them. I'm finding it increasingly difficult to keep up my rotation of footwear, because I keep wanting to pull these out for every run.

The Altra's have definitely been worth the investment. While not flashy in appearance, they more than make up for it in performance. Actually, as a financially restricted runner, I appreciate the fact that a bunch of cost in flashy, unnecessary additions hasn't been passed on to me. I'm paying for what I'm getting. And, that may just be the most attractive thing about this product. They are worth every penny. Functional. Comfortable. Great reputation.

The only thing left, is to see how durable they end up being. I've read numerous reports of runners putting well over 1,000 miles on them, in some cases with more of those miles being trail miles than road. So, with only 128 miles so far, it seems like these could last me quite awhile yet!

You can find out more information on their products at and follow them on twitter altrazerodrop.

Friday, December 2, 2011


Contentment is such a battle these days. Advertising/marketing has gotten so effective at tricking people into thinking they will only be happy if they get the next big thing. I struggle with this every single day. It frustrates me to think how much time I've wasted dreaming about "the next big thing" in my own life. Rarely am I content. Rarely am I satisfied. This drives me nuts.

It's amazing how quickly I allow myself to go into a funk because of this; it ruins the rest of the day. Then I get frustrated because it's so difficult to gain ground on this. What a cycle.

Well all have our own personal struggles, so some of you may not be able to relate to this. Somewhere along the line, I bought into the lie that I'd be happy with anything other than Jesus. The truth is, I've got EVERYTHING I need already, and then some! My problem comes when I begin to compare my life to those that have more. The reality is that less than 1% of the world's population probably has more than me, so I'm comparing my life to a HUGE minority. Regardless, comparing my life to that of others isn't much help anyways. Contentment is not found in stuff! It's amazing/disturbing how embedded this thought is in my mind. Daily, I need to pray against it and fight off the attacks.

JESUS is all I need. He's given me so much already. Yet, too many times, my head is so far up you know where that I don't realize what I've got. I'm not really sure where to go with this post at this point. Maybe it's just more of a release today; I needed to get this off my chest. I've been given so much in this life, and I'm ashamed at how ungrateful I've been for the majority of it. Forgive me Jesus. And, I ask forgiveness from the 99% of the world that has less than I do.

As a side note, check this out. Think my percentages are a stretch?
Check it out.