Thursday, June 28, 2012

midnight musings on monotony...cause alliteration is fun thats why

i don't like this part of the day.  i'm so tired, and i get so anxious and depressed.  and i don't want to go to bed because i know it will mean having to wake up again and face all the things i don't feel up to handling.  most nights its like this. and i have to put so much effort into ridding myself of it now because it has the potential to carry over into the morning, and i hate waking up how i went to sleep. the biggest mistake is surrendering to the lurking notion that there is no end to this, and no hope of change.  two of the biggest comforts in my life is that it is both natural for it to end and to change.  we are never stuck forever.  no matter how bad it can get there is always a way out, either through natural change, or through death.  that might be morbid or seem pessimistic to you but i mean it whole heartedly.  as i've send before, ends are inevitable but really its beginnings that require a choice. 

i thought earlier for some reason that i wished my life were more like the after picture, rather than the before picture.  you know the one i'm talking about, the one where the person is happier and thinner and for some reason has whiter teeth.  then i thought that its possible that i'd be the before picture for the rest of my life.  then it occured to me that that just might be how its meant to be.  we are all in our before pictures, and God is working in us to create the after picture which we will never see in this lifetime. 

it would be easy to say that in heaven we'll all look like super models and live in pinterest decorated mansions, and always be on time, and never get humiliated again, and no one will ever feel alone or forgotten or like they have to compete with the rest of the world.  but i think this cheapens paradise.  even what is considered perfection on earth has to be extremely flawed when compared to eternity with the creator.

but i digress from the topic of how i feel right now, and that is like there is no end, just monotonous mornings and evenings. 

life takes crazy turns we don't expect, and i may not get the life i want, but i won't believe for a second that its going to be a life i'm unhappy with .  that is for certain.

how i feel right now is not reality, or it is if you consider reality to be whatever meaning we ascribe to the physical realm.  so i guess it is if this is the meaning i ascribe to it.  however my meanings are my choice in that matter.  therefore i choose that this is not the meaning. 

i really just need to go to bed.

Monday, June 18, 2012


I remember being at a youth conference in high school, and the speaker of the evening Jason French had all of us in the room stand.  I believe this was in Adrian, Michigan.  Now when I say all of us, I mean there were at least six hundred students in that room, plus youth leaders and ministers.  This was a large amount of people.

He was talking about faith, and I don't remember his exact point at the time, but i remember distinctly this example.  He had us sit back down, section by section, until only a quarter of us were standing still.  Then he told us in all earnestness that this was the amount of us who would statistically still be believers after college... 4...

Three out of four students leave their faith in college.  The numbers may vary by region, or be skewed by school.  But for the most part I believe these numbers are accurate.  Of the first four student leaders in my youth group I was the only one that didn't leave the church at some point.

It's very lonley being in that situation, following a faith when your peers fall away, combatting the attitude that living in the world and doing all the things that everyone else does is "not a big deal" yet still important enough that it should be pursued. 

The  theory I've heard most often as to why we lose so many at this age is because we aren't properly equipping them as teens or children to stay grounded in the faith.  We aren't teaching them the right verses, or the right answers to give when someone asks them or something.  We take it as a personal failure onto ourselves.

Then others say that college age people are for the first time "thinking for themselves," and therefore are experimenting and cultivating different avenues of thought and that is what takes them away. 

However I have another idea in my mind as to what it is, and its not dissimilar from these notions, but is slightly different in that it isn't a "college aged" problem, its a people problem.

It's not about freedom, or preparedness.  It's about control.

What caused me to think this is something else I was thinking about in my own life. I'm feeling frustrated at the moment.  I feel like I'm not serving adequately or enough or something.  When looking over my life and asking "what is it that has made living about me more than about others?" I figured out that before when I was in high school I was completely reliant upon my parents and therefore didn't have to worry about myself, how i ate, or how i got what i needed.  Trusting my entire existence to my parents was natural and easy, and since I didn't have to worry about the things that I needed, I could put my attentions onto what others' needed.

When you get to college age, you're suddenly responsible for yourself in ways you haven't been before.  Obviously some moreso than others, but the every day needs you always had which were pushed to the back of your mind are pulled back into the front of your mind and you realize "I can't do this for soandso, I've got things to do."

I genuinly don't think its the freedom thing or the equipping thing.  Its the responsibility thing.

And ultimately, this in itself is a failure in faith, because we should be trusting our entire existence upon Gods provision.  It is in doing this that we free our hands to do his work.  Obviously this is easier said than done, but that is just another trick of the world when you think about it.  We're tricked into believing that it is a selfish thing to not take care of our own needs, when really this is the very thing that God instructs us to do, meanwhile also instructing us to take care of each other.

The one thing I've noticed in common with anyone who has walked away from the church is that they made choices indicating they were living for themselves and no one else, and the world was justifying that choice. 

It's not just the big things like food and clothing and service its the little things too.  Things like being slow to anger, (which his actually a big one to me) asking others how they're doing and meaning it, or planning your life around your ministry, not your ministry around your life. 

I think college kids forget that there is someone taking care of them.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

God's timing...

So yesterday was very hot...

It was three thirty in the afternoon.  I had just spent a long hot day at the European market in Chesterton, and after packing everything into the van I had finally left.  Having only one dollar left in my wallet, my brother being the dear sibling he is offered to buy me a cold bottle of water which I needed badly.

Then I dropped him off and was on my way back to the store to unpack the van.  But on my way I spotted a homeless man, trudging on the sidewalk, clutching a paper cup which I could only assume was water on such a hot day.  But I could not assume the water was cold, or was enough.

I had the impulse to buy the man a cold bottle of water, and I took it, knowing that if I thought it through too much I would rabbit out and then feel guilty later.  I couldn't give this guy a home, or new clothes, or even food.  I didn't have any of those things.  All I had was my dollar, and some change, that I hoped I would be able to buy a bottle of water with.

So I turned on my signal to go left into the 7-Eleven, and of course was stopped by a stream of oncoming traffick.  At first I was annoyed at this, but the thought suddenly entered into my brain "God's timing."  I realized that the man was walking, and going much slower than I had been going in my van.   It was very likely that I would be able to buy the water, and turn back down the road to give it to him before he passed where I was.

So I just kept saying it to myself.  "Gods timing, God's timing, God's timing..." over and over, and letting myself take the time the task needed, and not getting rushed and flustered.  I was able to buy a bottle of water, and go back, but I could not find the man at all. 

This was confusing to me.

Let's backpedal a bit.  The reason why I followed this impulse is because I felt that it had come from God.  Never have I followed an impulse like this and regretted it.  When God puts these ideas into my head and I follow through with them I very often see that I did exactly what I was supposed to.  I've also been on the receiving end of these impulses.  There have been times in my life when someone I barely knew at all or even a complete stranger looked me straight in the eye and told me God was with me when I was going through a rough time, and giving me insight incredibly pertinent to whatever it was I was going through at the time.  These aren't normal impulses like bursting into song or buying ice cream.  These are calls to move.

So when I bought the water it was confusing to me as to why its intended was no where to be found.  But I still had to work, and chose not to dwell too much on it.  I had stopped repeating "God's timing" to myself.

I brought the bottle into the store with me, as I didn't want it to get warm in my van outside.  It sat on my desk for a time, and then having decided that even though I had already had a bottle of water, and was then at a location where I had running water at my disposal, I would go ahead and drink the bottle I had just bought for the homeless man in the heat.  I was still dehydrated after all, and I hadn't been able to find him, so it made sense.

Then I got off work, and went to Aldi to pick up some snacks with my brothers card for the gaming session I was having with my friends that night.  Rushing out of the parking lot I once again spotted the homeless man.  But this time I had no water, and no more dollar.  Only my brother's credit card, and no permission to buy a bottle of water with it. 

It didn't make sense that I saw the man there.  When I had seen him before, he had been walking Westward towards downtown.  He was now on the East side of town, literally in the opposite direction I had seen him going. 

The thing is though, I had been so keen before to stay patient and trust in God's timing.  I truly believed when buying the water that I would be able to get the water to that man, and I didn't have to worry about traffick or check out lines impeding me, because this was a Spirit impulse. 

But this act of Jesus for some reason still had ramifications for me.  Even though I was "trusting" in God's timing, I expected to give the water at a certain place, at a certain time.  And when that time and place passed I gave up.  I drank the water myself, even though I had already had water, and had access to clean cold water for free where I was. 

I don't think God sacrificed this man's need for my lesson.  He had a cup already, I have no doubt God was providing this man with water.  But God was still reminding me of his timing. 

I/We do this in life all the time.  We see a need in our lives and say we trust that God will provide, then get discouraged when God doesn't fulfill the need at the exact time, and in the exact way that we think he should.  The best example I can think of is how my family has been wanting to move out of the Demotte area for the last four years.  The problem is that we're stuck here.  We can't afford the cost of a move, and can barely afford the place we live in now.  My mother keeps saying "When God provides a way we'll move."  But I've been getting frustrated with this, with God, and chomping at the bit.  "No!" I think, "We need to move now!" 

But moving, just like many things in life, is like a bottle of water you buy for a homeless man.  All He asked me to do was buy the water, then go about my business.  God was choosing the when and the where,  and he in his superior knowledge would have his reasons.  Just like conditional love isn't actually love, conditional faith isn't acutally faith either.  If we believe in God's provision, then we believe in His timing as well. 

So hold on to your bottle of water for as long as it takes, because God will let you share it when its time.

Monday, June 4, 2012

plans A-Z

its the stress!
you offer cigarettes
just how is sucking poison supposed to make me feel better?
first its smoking
then its choking
and then its rigour which is the tensest kind of tense.

and the drinks
they make me tired
which makes me want to stay awake
because as soon as i lie down
the shorter it will take
for me to wake up
and have to face the world again.

but sleep is what i need
more than anyone or anything
because if there's one place i can forget
its where my head meets my bed

but if i forget then i'll have to remember
because the spark will remain, the memories ember.
and when i've hit the last snooze and my eyes open
i'll have to find a conscious method of coping

and so my neck will feel this pain
my mind will buzz
motivation will wane
i will eat more
and over sleep
i'll snap, i'll grump, i'll sigh, i'll weep

but i will still get up
and brush my teeth
i'll pick out clothes that make me look thinner
wash my face, pack my dinner
and another day will be gotten through

so there is just one thing left to do.

"Oh God I can't make it without you.
You know I need this confidence boost.
I'm sorry I've doubted your truth
that love and compassion will always pull through.
I'm sorry I listen to the standards of the world
please turn me into a better girl.
Stand by my side, don't leave my mind
whisper in my ear that it will be alright.
Because you are God and you are good'
though i don't always do as I should
inspire me today
let this tension melt away
give me that bit of release
give my mind peace."

why smoke, drink, sleep, or eat, when you can pray...