An introduction

My name is Kyle and I write about golf and I’m interested in interesting things. I started this site after reading this from John Piper:

I have never heard anyone say, “The deepest and rarest and most satisfying joys of my life have come in times of extended ease and earthly comfort.” Nobody says that. It isn’t true. What’s true is what Samuel Rutherford said when he was put in the cellars of affliction: “The Great King keeps his wine there”—not in the courtyard where the sun shines. What’s true is what Charles Spurgeon said: “They who dive in the sea of affliction bring up rare pearls.”

More acutely I started this as a landing spot for the collection of things that stir my heart for the Lord and His glory.

The words and the ideas and the framed periods of time that make my soul groan for things to come. It’s mostly a blog for me — but I’m happy to share it with you.

The King’s Wine

This has become one of my favorite quotes of 2014:

“What’s true is what Samuel Rutherford said when he was put in the cellars of affliction: “The Great King keeps his wine there” — not in the courtyard where the sun shines.”

So much so that I have started a blog called The King’s Wine as a collecting spot for my favorite things about the Lord and His wonder.

You can see that here.

Monetizing charisma

I know he said this with his tongue so far in his cheek that he was probably ripping out a tooth but there’s so much truth in the sarcasm.

What is modern media if not trying to monetize your charisma?

The gap between good taste and good work

There’s a pretty popular Ira Glass quote going around that goes like this:

But your taste — the thing that got you into the game — your taste is still killer, and your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you’re making is kind of a disappointment to you, you know what I mean?

He’s talking about the difference between the work you’re creating and what you want that work to actually be. The Taste Gap, he calls it.

Adam Phillips takes it a step further.

You can’t write differently, even if you want to. You just have to be able to notice when you are boring yourself.

This is a very difficult thing. Your voice is your voice and that’s sort of what it is, Phillips argues. But to cross the Taste Gap you have to be honest with the work you’re making.

That’s not always easy.

Money

I’M reading a book right now entitled The Sisters Brothers. It’s really good and really clever and really fun.

This might be my favorite line from the book thus far. It’s by one of the brothers after delivering a red bear pelt to a pelt trader in the early 20th century:

He handed me two coins and I took them. I decided I would spend the money even more carelessly than usual. What would the world be, I thought, without money hung around our necks, hung around our very souls?

-Eli Sisters

Filter failure

Clay Shirky argues here that it’s not information overload that does us in, necessarily, but rather filter failure.

“The past always looks like a walk in the park and the future always looks like a cliff face.”

There’s an immense amount of front-end work that goes into filter success (I presume this is the opposite of filter failure) but as someone who condenses large subjects like “golf” into readable tidbits on a blog, I can tell you that all of that work is worth it.

Any time you might spend on the front end following the right people and news outlets and setting up the correct Google alerts and RSS reader filters you get back tenfold on the back end.

Always.

 

Maybe I don’t actually understand opportunity cost

Maybe I just have a poor understanding of the economics surrounding what people refer to as an opportunity cost, but something struck me this week that doesn’t make much sense.

I was reading a book called About Time by a guy named Paul Davies and he noted the following three things about Albert Einstein:

1. His average mark (in school) was a creditable but not sensational 5 out of 6.

2. He was formally expelled from the Gymnasium on the grounds that he was disruptive in class and disrespectful of the teachers.

3. His uncle Jakob was able to fire the young boy’s imagination with conversation and books about science and math.

Based on a little deductive reasoning I think it’s safe to say Einstein was an above average student who starred in a specific thing.

I understand why kids need to learn how to read and write and add four and six but beyond that why, specifically in high school and college are we lauded for being good in a variety of subjects instead of nudged towards being elite at one thing?

And pardon me for thinking “having a major” doesn’t equate to “being elite at one thing.”

Being the best in the world at a thing — whether it’s making leather knapsacks or writing a blog on hummingbirds or selling refurbished Furbies — is irreplaceable. That is, you can sell that skill or, if you work for a corporation, they cannot let you go without making their company worse.

If you become the best in the world at something, we can work with that, you can make a living out of that — one you actually enjoy. It’s a ticket to success in life.

That’s where opportunity cost comes in — Jon Acuff wrote a version of this post a while back, essentially saying that the cost of him cutting his lawn wasn’t worth the money he could make by not cutting his lawn and doing something else (in his case, writing).

God created us all to be different at different things so don’t fret if you’re bad at cutting grass or catching pop flies. Somebody else is good at it but bad at the thing you’re good at it.

That’s why opportunity cost exists.

But instead school encourages us to essentially erase our elite skills — or at least encourages us to slow down in developing them — for what reason exactly?

Again, maybe I just don’t understand opportunity cost.

Make a Good Shoe

This story is fairly representative of what I desire in an ideology.

Martin Luther was once approached by a man who enthusiastically announced that he’d recently become a Christian. Wanting desperately to serve the Lord, he asked Luther, “What should I do now?” As if to say, should he become a minister or perhaps a traveling evangelist. A monk, perhaps.

Luther asked him, “What is your work now?”

“I’m a shoe maker.”

Much to the cobbler’s surprise, Luther replied, “Then make a good shoe, and sell it at a fair price.”

It’s so…simple.

And yet I always find myself making a poor shoe or selling it for too high a price. Or sometimes even a perfect shoe and selling it for too low a price.

Nope, just a good shoe and a fair price.

Don’t discount that idea.