Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bueller? Bueller?

I don't know what I expected when I opened this page. Maybe I thought clicking the "post new blog" button was like magic. "Abracadabra! Now you have thoughts and wise ones, at that; things the blogosphere needs to know.

In reality, signing back in to this account is like climbing up into an old, dingy attic. I pull the string to the light, but it only breaks in two, eroded after what seems like eons of neglect. I try again, but the bulb was burnt out any way. So I look around at the inhabitants, my eyes slowly adjusting to the darkest, helped a little by a sliver of light streaming through a cracked window. There are cobwebs in the corners, inches of dust blanket the sheet-covered mounds of relics and trinkets; boxes filled with treasures, some worth millions, some worth more but only to a certain person's heart. They loom in the diminutive room like ghosts of old, squatters of a time gone by.

I'm not sure what this all means. I'm not sure if I should dig in and explore, or if it's all too much work. Maybe I should let the attic be. Maybe I should let the past stay in the past. But maybe, just maybe, something from the past can help the future. Maybe there's more reasons than I know to keep all of these things packed away for so long. Maybe I ought to explore them, drinking in each beautifully intricate detail.

I don't know the answers to this yet. I can't promise I'll stay. I can't promise I'll dig in. But I can tell you that, for the moment at least, I am here.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I'm so tired, I can't sleep

Those who have read my previous writings, or know me to any degree at all, shouldn't be surprised at the difficulty I found in getting out of bed Tuesday. As a matter of fact, I was so incapacitated that I called into work sick and stayed in bed until about two in the afternoon. Then I spent the rest of the day loafing around the apartment, setting foot outside only to retrieve the mail or put out the garbage. What might surprise you, however, is that I found the whole day quite annoying.

You see, there are several things in life at which I excel: resting is not one of them. (and yes, you are probably thinking right now that humility isn't too high on the list, either...) Even though sleeping is one of my favorite activities in the world, as funny as it sounds, resting is not. In fact, "resting" actually represents the absence of activity, wherein we will find my annoyance.

I have always been a rather active person. I schedule out my life to a fault (as several roommates have pointed out to me over the years). Growing up I participated in several after-school activities. Heck, I even signed up for intramural activities during the summers, ranging from voice lessons and theatre workshops to diving clubs and softball leagues-- most of which required riding my bike to and from until I turned 16 and got my license since both of my parents worked.

In college my schedule hardly loosened up. Juggling class, homework, a job and extra-curriculars came second-hand to me by then. Sometimes, this even meant getting up to be at the gym by six a.m. I know, it's sick.

The summer before my senior year of college, some friends and I planned a random mission trip to the Dominican Republic. Latino cultures are much more laid back than Americans and the best advice I received before I left was to use my waiting time wisely. Boy did I ever.

Those seventeen days were some of the longest, hardest and most blessed days I have ever experienced in my life since becoming a Christian. Most of the trip was plagued with the "hurry up and wait" mentality, which, as a scheduling-type person, tried my nerves more than once. Remembering the advice to use my waiting time wisely, however, I spent a lot of time journaling and praying.

My journals from that trip drip with homesickness and frustration, but also a fear of returning home to situations left undone. They also reflect my time in the Word and what God was teaching me through it all. One passage stands out among them all. "Be still and know that I am God."

In the Old Testament, God gives His people many commands. However, there are two specific commands He declares more frequently than any: "Rise up and to" and "be still." Both carry a great significance and we need both in our lives. Unfortunately, I am much better at one than the other.

This past weekend I heard two consecutive sermons about resting in the Lord. Both speakers stressed the importance of rest, especially a rest that says, "I can't do this, God, but you can. I give it all to You." It's a rest that says, "I can be still because I know that YOU are God, not me."

The significance was not lost on me. Sunday afternoon I said, "ok God, I get it, I need to rest. I will schedule some time to rest." Apparently this wasn't good enough for God. Instead, He took away the temptation to "do" with an incapacitating exhaustion. Sure, we could blame poor air quality and the hazards of adult asthma in hundred degree heat... but something tells me there's more to it all.

Perhaps Ill just have to "rest and see."

Friday, April 21, 2006

hmmm... I nearly forgot my password. Guess it *has* been a while, huh?

To be honest, I'm not even sure what to write here any more. I could write that the air is humid and the humidity makes it harder for me to breathe, which in turn makes me more sleepy than ever. But you probably don't care about that.

I could write about how I love driving during that time of day where you need to have both your headlights and your sunglasses on. It's just such an interesting time of day to me. The sun has sunken far enough toward the horizon that long shadows cast across the terra, requiring the use of headlights here and there. And yet, that same sun, not yet breaching the horizon, is so large and real and close that you have to put on your sunglasses and lower your visor lest your retinas char. I imagine it's a funny picture, headlights and sunglasses.

I like when things seem somewhat out of place like that. It's like seeing the moon in the middle of sky in the middle of the day. It doesn't make sense and yet it does. It's out of place, like a beggar clad in silk and pearls. Diamonds in the rough. Thorns on roses. Sunglasses and headlights. It's these sorts of things, these interesting juxtapositions, that really catch my eyes and make me think. I appreciate that.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Long time no write...

So, it's been a while. I haven't written much here, but it's not due to an absence of whirled and mottled thoughts in my head. I've just begun to view this space as a medium for thoughts of a certain vein and those thoughts have either found another forum in which to unwind or have yet to find a form through which they might be expressed here.

All that to say, I am alive and kicking and my mind is still ticking, I'm just not necessarily in the mood for whimsy or debate.

Friday, January 27, 2006

I was asked recently to share a piece of my own personal writing on the topic of redemption. When asked if I had pieces on redemption, I asked for time to comb through my writings and find something that could work. Therefore, I came here to look through my past and see what stood out.

In the end, however, what stood out were themes of trial and suffering, themes of confusion and despair, themes of love and mercy, grace and kindness. It made me question my thinking. Do I focus too much on the here and now? Of course, and I've known that for a while. Do I take the fact that I am redeemed for granted? Yes, yes I do and it's a shame. Is the aspect of redemption lost to my writing? No, not at all.

You see, even though my memory scan comes up short on the focus of redemption, redemption does not come up short in my thoughts. Redemption, my friends, permeates every cell of this flesh, every pulse of my aura, every wave of my thoughts. Redemption flows from my being into everything I do and say and write because I AM redeemed.

This isn't to say that I am sin-free or rise above falling short of the Glory of God. After all, if I don't fall short of His Glory, why do I need redemption, at all? That is also not to say that I am here to take His Grace for granted or use the knowledge of His Mercy to run amok, though I may have at one point or another in my life done such things.

What I am saying, however, is that I am human. I live my life in the every day ups and downs just like everyone else. Yet, when I have those ups and downs, though I walk in the shoes my humanity and mortality, I am cloaked in the robes of redemption. I am bathed in the Living Water. My head has been anointed with oil and my cup is, and always will be, full.

My triumphs are the triumphs of the redeemed. My failures are the failures of the redeemed. My every breath in and my every breath out count the rhythm of the life of the redeemed.

Though I may not write specifically of redemption often, every sentiment I pump, every word I spin, every letter I mold is a piece of clay salvaged from the fire, remade for another use, redeemed from destruction. For that is everything that I am.

I am Redeemed.