submission is the key to success

one night in late january, i was laying in bed frustrated with the status of my job search. i was racking my brain trying to think of every possible place i could send resumes that would lead to getting my foot in the door somewhere in the realm of politics. i was thinking so much, as i often tend to do, that i couldn't clear my mind.. and thus, couldn't get to sleep. finally, i said enough with it, i'm going to sleep.. and then it hit me...

what does it matter if i pursue a career in politics? where will that lead me? even if, by some rare chance, it lead to a lofty position of elected office, once that was over and my life neared its end.. what did it all matter? what did i do with the time God gave me? i don't want to work at some meaningless job all my life and have a half-hearted devotion to the work that God calls us to do.. why not devote my life to God's work, to what He calls believers to do (glorify Him and further His kingdom), and start now what I will be doing for eternity.. praising God. just as Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes.. life is meaningless. so why chase after even more meaningless tangibles.. why not chase after God. glorifying Him, rather than myself, in all aspects of my life, including my job.

i prayed about it long and hard to be certain that this was God's calling on my life and not just a futile search for something positive.. soon after, we went to a collegiate conference in alexandria and God confirmed the calling while i was there. i knew it was what i needed to do and as soon as i got home i was going to talk to my parents about it and start down the path to applying to seminary.

then, the week we got home from the conference, i was offered an extremely lucrative position for a political consultant based out of chicago working on high-profile political campaigns. i couldn't pass it up. my eagerness got the best of me and i put all my eggs into that basket, chasing that position. obviously, it didn't work out (i never heard back from the guy actually), but that was enough of a distraction to steer me on the wrong path, again pursuing a political job and allowing that struggle to distract me from where i needed to be for a little over 2 months.

i had an interview with the clerk of the louisiana house of representatives a few weeks ago and after that interview, the culmination of all the failed attempts to find a job were weighing on me very heavily and i met my dad for lunch. during our conversation, he asked me if there was a calling on my life that i was ignoring (i had never actually spoke with him about what had happened before)..  and i was stunned.. how did he know? God.. what are you trying to say to me? but ultimately i blew it off and decided the best course of action was to start applying to grad schools for a masters in political science. other things happened that week that kept trying to get my attention to refocus on what God had in store for me, but it all came to fruition that friday. i dropped off my transcripts at the post office for my first batch of grad applications and on my way home, i got a call from the seminary asking how everything was going.. how much clearer can you get?

so i said all that to say this: i finally directed my attention back to God's will for my life and away from my own. i have applied to seminary in New Orleans and hope to start in the fall. i'm pursuing a Masters of Divinity in Christian Apologetics (if you don't know what it means, ask me.. i'll be happy to explain). one of the main questions everyone asks me is what ministry do you want to get involved in once you graduate? the best answer that i can give is that.. i don't want to restrict myself to one area, because it's ultimately in God's hands.. not mine.

so all that being said, i would greatly appreciate your prayers and support, over the next couple months before school starts with all of the logistics, and after that, with the course loads and just an overall support group helping to hold me up and keep me focused.

i'd love to talk with y'all one on one about it in more depth but i figured this would serve as a general announcement and to proceed from there.. if y'all have any questions, comments, prayer requests of your own, please let me know.. either on here, facebook, myspace, or just send me a text/phone call.. hehe it felt weird typing that.. who actually calls anyone anymore.. weird..

much love. trent.


life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

i had an interview on monday for a temporary position within the louisiana house of representatives. it felt pretty cool going to the state capitol for a reason.. not just as a tourist. the interviewer kept focusing on my lack of qualifications for a full-time position because they "haven't hired someone with just a bachelors in over 25 years".. thanks for that tidbit of trivia sir, but i'm pretty certain i went in there seeking temporary employment. which is why i started off by saying i was looking to get my foot in the door, make connections, and improve my experience. when i apply for a job in august, me in august would be a heck of a lot more marketable than me right now, if i were to get a legislative position of any kind.

as i walked down the hall leaving his office in the underbelly of the state capitol, my emotions overwhelmed me - not to the point of tears, but of some level of grief. i thought to myself, why am i getting emotional.. i soon realized these emotions weren't the product of one not-so-successful interview.. it was a culmination of over 3 months of continued rejection. that sort of crap starts to weigh on you after a while. and, i'm not going to lie.. it sucks. i hate not being good enough in practically every employers eyes.

i met my dad for lunch after and we had a good long talk that i really needed, to be honest. he told me some stories i hadn't ever heard of his and mom's life just outside of college graduation. it helped encourage me to keep my chin up and not allow the constant rejection to weigh on me. the rejection does suck, but i'm bigger than that. and frankly, what they think doesn't matter anymore because they aren't my boss. and it helped me also remember that i need to do what i enjoy. i want to enjoy whatever my life is and what it will become. i'd rather make $2 dollars a year doing something i absolutely love than $200,000 a year and hate my life. i am passionate about analyzing and debating government policy.

today, the u.s. house approved obama's 3.55 trillion budget for 2010. as i've now listened to floor debates for numerous massive spending bills (including ones during the end of the bush administration) i've always come back to one thing: sure these plans sound lofty and admirable, but is it the federal government's place to do these things? and the resounding answer is HECK NO! aside from bailing out banks and homeowners, those are obvious no's.. we get into things like ramping up emission standards on cars, throwing billions of dollars at an endless war on drugs, paying for volcano monitoring, bike paths, atv trails, raising taxes and mandates on cigarettes, reinstilling the death tax (not only are you taxed all your life, now you're taxed when you die!)... i could go on and on. 

the increasingly intrusive government has taken away more of your freedoms and more of your hard earned money over America's lifetime. we have abandoned what this great nation was established for - individual freedom and liberty. to make decisions for yourself. thoreau said it best in his essay "civil disobedience" when he said "that government is best which governs least." i had jury duty one day a while back and had the opportunity to read this essay during my free time. many people in today's society attribute it to the abolition of slavery, but i propose those are the people who have never actually read it. i too thought it was going to be all about the abolition, however, the subject only arose in one paragraph. i suggest everyone read this essay. its as applicable now as it was then.

this post turned out to be much more political than i originally intended, but i hope it encourages independent thought. i'll leave you with some more quotes to chew on.. (note: these are all founding fathers)

"the liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them."  - patrick henry

"the natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on Earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only to have the law of nature for his rule."  - samuel adams

"in all our associations, in all our agreements, let us never lose sight of this fundamental maxim - that all power was originally lodged in, and consequently is derived from, the people."  - george mason

and finally..

"when the people fear their government, there is tyranny. when the government fears the people, there is liberty."  - thomas jefferson