conventional wisdom

I don’t have any real statistics on who reads this blog. I don’t really know what kind of traffic I get, and I don’t really know how many people are subscribed to this blog’s RSS feed. So I don’t have any clue who reads this blog. But if I were to venture a guess, I’d say maybe half the people who read this blog are Christian and the other half are not.

I used to have (and actually still do have) two separate blogs on this domain, one catered towards Christians (DT.dahhh.com) and this one (MT.dahhh.com). Those two abbreviations DT and MT used to mean something, I suppose DT stood for devotional thoughts and MT was miscellaneous thoughts or Mike’s thoughts. Anyways I try to write about once per week here on MT, but DT rarely gets written to, so I’ve decided to shut it down soon. Because I don’t log into DT that often, it doesn’t receive software updates, which makes it kind of a security liability. And I realized that just because half the people who read this aren’t Christian, it doesn’t mean I should shy away from writing about my faith. It is who I am, whether I appear that way outwardly or not.

So anyways, I would’ve written this on DT, except that I’ve decided to shut that blog down. So here it is on MT. I’ve created a new category of posts called “faith” of which this is the first post. And so it begins with the story of my day which I shared during bible study tonight.

But first, some background information. The small group I’ve been going to in Sacramento has been going through the book of Acts. This week we were studying chapter 23. For many people the book of Acts is the story of Paul’s missionary journey, and it’s the chronicles of the beginnings of the Christian church. But the more I study it, the more it seems to me that it’s a record of God’s providence in leading Paul into becoming the Christian evangelist, and it’s a chronicle of God’s providence in providing the perfect conditions for the spread of the Christian faith in the Roman empire. It sounds like a subtle difference, but it’s significant in a faith filled life, because it means that you believe in God’s providence not only in history but in your own life.

So anyways, back to my stupid little story.

Earlier in the week I agreed to lead bible study this Wednesday night. When I agreed, I didn’t realize that I was going to be at a conference all day. It’s a conference I had been looking forward to for a while, the Government Mobility 2012 conference. I had been excited for this conference because I’d be sitting in labs learning how to develop Android and Windows Phone applications. (Which is weird for me, I don’t think I’ve ever been excited to go to a class before…) But anyways, even though I was excited to go to the conference, I had forgotten about it until the last minute. To prepare for the conference I had to install the Android SDK (software development kit) and review Java programming since the last time I had done any Java programming was in college, which ate up a lot of time this week.

My home internet had been flaky because I had been transitioning it over to a wireless bridge, and I didn’t really get around to fixing it until Tuesday night. And by the time it was fixed, I didn’t really feel like prepping for the bible study. So I didn’t really work on the study until the last minute, until after the conference was over. But in the way my day worked out, I see God’s providence. To the atheist I guess it’s all just chance, to the theist it’s God’s providence, but that is a discussion for another day.

My day was pretty long. I woke up at 6am to get to work by 7am so I could carpool to the conference with my coworkers. I didn’t think I’d have the energy to still lead bible study more than 12 hours later, but thankfully there was free espresso, muffins and cookies available all day. So at the end of the day I was still pretty wired from the caffeine, and hopefully still somewhat coherent during the study. And of course at every conference there’s free pens, which came in handy later during the study.

The labs were interesting to me. Twenty minutes into the Android lab we were already running a simple “Hello World” app on the phone emulator, and by the end of the three hour session the speaker was talking about user interface design. In the afternoon I went to a Windows Phone development lab. That one wasn’t really hands on, but I came away pretty impressed with the Windows Phone platform and development tools.

One thing that caught my attention about the speakers was their titles. They are called “technology evangelists.” In the morning I listened to the Motorola (which is now owned by Google) Android Evangelists. In the afternoon I listened to the Senior Windows Phone Evangelist. Both were super enthusiastic about sharing the merits of their particular platform.

That got me thinking, what kind of evangelist am I? Well, I guess it’s somewhat apparent from this blog. I guess I’m kind of a food evangelist, because I’m always recommending and wanting to try different restaurants. I’m also sort of a biking evangelist, because I’m always trying to get people to ride. I used to be sort of a photography evangelist, I even got friends to buy expensive SLRs and lenses, although nowadays I don’t bring my SLR out as much. I guess I’m also sort of an outdoors and traveling evangelist. But I guess I’m not all that great of a Christian evangelist, so I should probably work on that. (Hence the merging of DT and MT.)

My afternoon labs ended early. The people I carpooled with were in different workshop sessions, but luckily or providently they finished early too. So we carpooled back to work. Everybody else left work immediately after the conference, which meant I had the whole office to myself to prep for bible study in quiet. When I finished prepping I went to the coffee shop where we were planning to meet. Most of the tables were taken, but the couches were empty (with just about the perfect amount of seating for small group), so I plopped myself down and thought about my day.

Then I realized it’s sometimes in the small little things that you see providence. Of course, often times it’s in big life changing things where people see the hand of God. But sometimes it’s in little things like free coffee or free pens or job titles or carpools. I guess that is what I learned from my day at the convention, which I guess defies conventional wisdom.

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