March 30, 2009

Again and for the first time

Joy is discovering something that is utterly simple, and yet unshatteringly true. Depth is being able to look at the obvious, and realizing the delicious logical underpinnings behind it. Meaning is hearing something again and still gleaning a wealth of insight from it. In Truth, old is new.

March 25, 2009

I want to see miracles, see the world change

Heavenly Father,
Don’t you realize how heinously lame it feels? These deathly stops and false starts as I try to labor against hunger. The encouragement from others only falls flat on my failures. After all, why encourage someone who is terribly unproductive? Why keep on going when months of aching have yielded nothing?

There’s a way open, always a way I haven’t tried. But it’s so tiring, so exhausting- and it seems there’s no one to labor with me. I want to shake away my excuses, but even as I conquer them, more spring up, larger than ever before. "I can’t communicate with people so different." "Now is not the time." I despise that what was an excuse is now a legitimate reason for inaction.

God, why? Why is it so hard to do what you’ve called me to? Why do I have to keep failing? Being sidetracked, or my way being halted?

You’re timing is perfect, I know. I know. I know. But I don’t know why I have to tell others of my plans only to have them come crashing down. I don’t want to give up. But I’m ashamed to go on. Rather, ashamed to stop once again. I will never have to go through the pain of a closed door if I never take a step forward.

Why this contradiction? When you command, I try to obey, but I keep on falling down and I hate it. I hate feeling worthless and useless and terrible. I wish that my efforts would succeed. For once.

God, I’m not trying to doubt you. I’m trying to follow your will. And I don’t deny that, in a small way, my speaking out has been rewarded. Heh, I guess what I wish is that I could accomplish something bigger without my pride being crumpled in the process. Help me God. Work on me. Spirit, take me up in arms with You.

* * *

I request and greatly value your prayers for a matter that should be simple but is rather difficult for me, that is, organizing a 30 Hour Famine event with a youth group.

March 24, 2009

Thankful for work

Two words for this moment: disorganized and blissful.

I am typing up flows from the Alabama Open, and it made me think of how blessed I was to be able to compete.

I went to the forum and randomly reread the Thanksgiving thread. It made me think how delightful it is that I am allowed to waste time, and how many things there are to be thankful for.

I read Galatians today, and it was extremely pleasant. Again and again, Paul reminds us that we have freedom. We are not slaves to guilt or doubts or to the law.

I keep thinking of all the things I have to be thankful for, such as the fact that no one minds my lack of originality. Yet I'm also thinking: "to whom much is given, much is expected." And I'm pondering that being comfortable where I am is not the best thing. And I remember that I've got to use my many blessings to bless others. I am fed so I can feed others- and I mean that literally and metaphorically. I can't forget about speaking and teaching in the community! I can't shove aside my projects to fight starvation. I can't sink into the ease of home and forget to be a true servant to my family.

Work is real, it cannot be ignored. So, I have to remind myself: "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ."

March 16, 2009

monday is a nice day to meditate

New and old faces pass me by...I'm trying to connect with a few at least. I want to really love them. They are the humanity that I ought to love with all of myself.

Not to claim that I succeed. Still, is selflessness unnatural? No, it's how things should be. I'm trying to be normal.

I miss you all (except for Kaitlyn =P). Maybe it's just my region-sickness that makes me exaggerate the events of this tournament...but agape is alot different than phileo. Comfortable is different than strange. Yet the loneliness I feel in big crowds is largely the same. As is the reassurance I find in my Savior.

March 14, 2009

Raw. (thoughts on transparency)

Open up, let your heart be torn apart
Show the real you, be stared through by cruel eyes
Listen to them laugh
Try to shut your ears and eyes…
No! They must be open

Stop closing in fear
Be naïve
And foolish…
Love equally

Confuse yourself with finding truth
What is right?
Don’t be selfish
Give, give, give
Pour yourself out

And find yourself with nothing?
Only a broken heart
That’s trying to become calloused
Before you grow hard, run.

Look back in remorse
Wish you knew wisdom
Curl up in His embrace
Weep for your mistakes that weren’t mistakes at all

You’ll never know the answer,
And sadness washes over you
For love that was given selflessly

But not your love only!
For the injustice of His scars.

Be secure
His love.

March 13, 2009

Let me tell you what I really think

Transparency is graceful awkwardness.

It allows the ugly imperfections to be seen. It acknowledges dissatisfaction, inadequacy, and clumsiness.

Transparency requires boldness and honesty. Its vulnerable pursuit of truth is what makes it so admirable, so graceful, so lovely.

I love it.

(Yes, I'm saying things without the necessary qualifiers about needing to be in the right context, perhaps I'm ignoring all the discussions I've had about transparency within the last month, and probably the idea of 'graceful awkwardness' isn't as awesome as I fool myself it is. Oh, what's the right way to present an idea you feel partial to?)

March 10, 2009

sometimes I think so fast

that the thoughts slip away. I could have written many posts in the space of the last twenty-four hours. About the necessity of being a whole person, needing ideas, music, relationships, as well as actions and material things. About how I wonder if wisdom and truth are really any different.* About braintype-arranged marriages. About my obsession with Jon Foreman's music. About my feeling side being "all or nothing." About the troublesomeness of value clash.** About my depression that I feel old, and the difficulties of being an introvert.*** About my tendency to start too many sentences in succession with the same word.

Instead, I wrote just one.

*“Philosopher: A lover of wisdom, which is to say, Truth.” -Voltaire
**What exactly is an intrinsic value?
***I want to rejoice in my youth, and let my heart cheer me in the days of my youth. Instead, I find myself feeling exhausted. I yearn for breathless enthusiasm, boundless energy, and carefree joy! I want to either convince myself to be content with who I am, or turn into an extravert.

March 9, 2009

I am pretentious

When I originally became a blogger, I had the novel idea that what I wrote should be amazing, brilliant, thought-provoking, and possibly famous. I wanted formality and structure, organization and blog serieses. (What is the plural of that word? Serii?)

I think I'm coming to grips with the fact that I'm just another person with a blog. I'm trying to be honest and just write what I'm thinking about on here, instead of pretending I'm something else. Jim Elliot wrote: "Wherever you are, be there 100%," and I'm not quoting that because I think it makes me sound smart- I believe it is vastly overquoted already. But I'd rather write what I want to say (even if it only interests my friends and family), than try to write a formal essay to a non-existent audience.

In the same way, when I'm honest with myself, I realize how not-deep I am. Not that I think I'm shallow, it's just that I'm the most boring person I know. I never stare at myself, trying to guess what I'm thinking. I never spend a long time debating how to communicate effectively to myself. I know that my life is very normal, though I want to be extraordinary and original. I suppose that God uses ordinary people like me for his purposes. So I want to use a combination of honesty and pretension, because once I realize the earthliness of myself, I'll be inspired to imitate Christ. I'm copying Solomon's prayer: "Give your servant therefore an understanding mind... that I may discern between good and evil!"

March 7, 2009

I. Love. Blogging.

Well, well, well. Is it ever justifiable to say something for the mere purpose of saying it? Does the act of speaking have intrinsic value, or is it only useful to speak when it upholds something greater?

My debate brain aside, (though in Hayley's words: "There is more to debate than life!") the purpose of this post is to note that today is my blogoversary! That's right, it was exactly one year ago when I wrote the first post here. I think I have changed more than this blog has, but that's just peachy with me.

Writing a blog post about my blog seems a little...circular? Counterintuitive? I'm not sure of the right word. It's like giving a speech about giving a speech. Anyway, suffice it to say that I really appreciate having the privilege of the platform this blog has given me. I am glad that I can explain and ask, and you are willing to listen. Thank you.

March 4, 2009

I'm not so sure that opposites attract

You know the whole braintype thing? Okay, almost every one of my very best friends are intuitives. We connect; we ask questions; we ponder meaning and truth. And I love it! But, God made intuitives AND sensors. Obviously, both kinds of people have inestimable value in God's economy.

Yet, honestly, it's almost like I have a predjudice against sensors. Sensors are the ones who leave the dinner table when I start asking questions. Sensors are the ones who notice minute details that don't matter to me. Sensors are the ones who shrug off my musings. Not always, mind you, but that's the perception I have. I want to stop being so elitist and selfish. I know it's not right to scorn or even pity a sensor: but an internal argument rages.

On the one hand, I adore asking and answering questions. Great philosophical discussions make my life so rich. On the other hand, I have to accept that we're all different parts of the body of Christ. How can I change my attitude, and stop devaluing those I don't connect with as well? Oh, I desperately want to love as Christ loved. I just don't know how.

March 3, 2009

Truth Made Clear

Reading Hebrews 10:1-4 this evening made me amazingly happy. Just look at it!

For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities,

The law is only an extrapolation from the truest Truth, merely a copy of the form. We have other laws we formulate as well, other philosophies (emotion or reason, idealism or pragmatism, even ideas of human rights) that we use to make decisions. But they are only shadows, only weak attempts to make sense and order.

it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.

It's incomplete and imperfect, like everything else worldly. From our perspective on earth, we only occasionally catch glimpses of the light. We sense, in C.S. Lewis's words, "the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have not yet visited."

Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

As sinful creatures, we must continually be working towards perfection. Without the blood of Christ, forgiveness is only temporary. As long as we’re on earth, we going to be fighting against sin. We’re stuck on the street, peering through a foggy window, only barely discerning the reality that exists inside. But Christ’s blood provides us with the “true form.” The closer we are to Him, the more sense we can make of these confusing worldly systems of thought.

March 2, 2009

Feeling (not thinking) that I'm inadequate

I've read too few books this school year- my mom didn't assign any Literature this year, and I've been too busy to read much. I'm continually getting music, poetry, or book (or debate applications!) recommendations from others, and I feel so pitiful because I have nothing of my own to offer or share.

Reasoning about it makes me acknowledge that my inadequacy is not as extreme as I feel it is. Still, I've got to cling to the sufficiency of Christ. My ultimate goal is not the cultured life- it is the godly life. I need to gain God's approval first. But please, can't I have yours too?

The question this brings up is not whether or not I'm good enough. Rather, I wonder, is it beneficial to honestly tell that you feel something that you think is untrue? Why don't reason and emotion always align?