Archive for January, 2009

“cause everything else is irrelevant to the story so far…”

January 31, 2009

“Cause everything else is irrelevant to the story so far…”

Today I’ve been watching a show on the USA Network called “Burn Notice”; a cliff-noted version of the plot is that of a spy doing weekly good-guy deeds by going under the radar and skirting around the law for the greater good. I sometimes get annoyed when I think about the blocked and rigid structure that is our justice system; I hate hearing about the guilty going free or innocent people being released after being jailed for twenty plus years. The sad fact is however, that we have it as good as it gets. Our justice system is the bright shining example in an evil, hateful world.

I on occasion will see parallels where there really aren’t any to see. This semester I have classes concerning the overall picture of the Old Testament and the history of the early Church. From the OT to the NT, we see Jesus telling the Pharisees that their enslaving the people with the Law had done the exact opposite of what the Law was intended for. The Law was not made to burden the people or enslave, but to help and to show how impossible it is to earn salvation on our own. Jesus had to go outside the Law to save humanity, even though he himself fulfilled it.

I’m not very good at structured rigid systems, I’m not lawful good and I don’t do well with black and whites and absolutes. I’m so happy that neither my salvation nor the Almighty depend on me checking off a list of do’s and don’ts. Certainly there are things worth doing, but happily you get an “A” for effort, as long as the effort is sincere.

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“The tables have turned, cause me and them ways have parted…”

January 29, 2009

I’m pretty proud of myself in the fact that I was fairly proactive in almost completing writing a paper two days before it was due. I was asked to write a personal calling narrative; an overview of not only my personal calling from God, but what I feel it is for my life. My good friend Scott once told me that as he watched my life transpire, he could see the way God had worked in me and in my life for a long time, and that it was such a blessing to him. Tonight, as I finished my narrative, I got some measure of understanding as to what my dear friend meant when he told me that.

As I typed away, I sat and reminisced about things, people and places I had not thought about in sometime. For the most part, they were pleasant and brought a smile to my face, some on the other hand, seem to stir the cauldron of anger in me once again. But then again, such is life and all its ups and downs.

Scott has always been a source of what I like to call “sage-like advice”. He has been a steadfast example for me of upright Christian living and I cherish his friendship greatly. Scott has known me for a long time, since I was 16 to be specific, and he has seen not only the boy I once was, but he knows of the man I long to be. Scott is a couple years older than I am and he has seen me grow and change in not only my social habits, but my spiritual life as well.

Isn’t it funny how sometimes we feel like we are going nowhere fast, only to realize that someone was watching us go “nowhere” all along? I often feel like I’m just an ordinary guy whose life isn’t anything special, but this is yet another thing that I love about God, the fact that He uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

 

“I’ll never let this love fall in the middle…”

January 27, 2009

So tonight I read the first half of the book “In the Name of Jesus” by Henri J.M. Nouwen. Father Nouwen is a priest, presumably Catholic, and in his book he talks about what Christian leaders, other clergy and ministers, need to do to be both “successful” and relevant.

To start off with, “Success” is a relative term. The things in my life that I would consider a success are not necessarily what someone else may consider to be a success, and I think that being a member of the clergy is the same way. We all know that for the most part, being called to “shepherd the flock” isn’t often a lucrative profession, but for me, being able to say that I comforted a broken heart or gave help to the poor is more important than having a big house or a nice car. But before I chase the proverbial “white rabbit”, I should stick to talking about the book.

Father Nouwen talks about how we as Christian leaders often face feelings of inadequacy and loneliness, but yet when Jesus sends out the apostles, He sends them out 2 by 2. Our success in our spiritual life as leaders depends on our understanding that God is with us and loves us unconditionally. It sounds so trivial to hear, but don’t we often need to be reminded that we are not on our own, that God is with us? We have been sent out 2 by 2.

I’m very excited to finish the rest of this book as it seems like this older priest understands the same pains and trials that we as “ordinary believers” have, and thank God for that.

“It was the best feeling I have ever had, followed abruptly by the worst feeling I have ever had.”

January 20, 2009

To be honest and up front, the big thing that is weighing on my mind right now is relationships, and by that I mean specifically those of the romantic sort. I’ve been single now for about 6 months and I’m at that point now where I would like to start dating again; I have horribly mixed feelings about the entire idea. I hate the entire idea of “the game”, everything from dancing around straight forward statements to the stupid games people play with each other. It’s like some sort of strange documentary on the Discovery Channel and I don’t fancy it at all.
I have no qualms talking about how I dislike being a bachelor. I grew up with Mom and Dad being love birds and absolutely retarded for each other, and I have always wanted that same kind of love and devotion in my marriage. I want a wife, children and to grow old the same person, the only person that I have ever married. I pray about it and I think about it often, after all, it isn’t good that man be alone, right?
I remember though that in his letter’s, Paul talks about using our time as single people wisely, to do the things that married people are too busy for. So the question now becomes, why am I single? Is it because I haven’t learned a lesson that God wants me to learn yet or is it because I haven’t met the right girl yet? Yet still, maybe it isn’t any of those things, maybe it has nothing to do with me at all and has everything to do with the girl, whoever she may be.

Auld Lang Syne

January 16, 2009

So, it’s a new year and with it comes the tradition of making resolutions and settling back into the grind of college life. What do I resolve to do this year? Lose weight and work out more, but then again, don’t we all? I also resolve not to get out and meet more people, but instead be a better friend to the people that I already know. It’s personal commitments like this that myself and many millions of people make every year hoping to enrich not only their own lives but those of the ones around them, yet somehow in the middle of this idea of “second chances” and “fresh starts” I can’t help but think that 2009 is just a number and that all of our problems and our short comings don’t just go poof and vanish in a cloud of smoke simply because the calendar changes.

I know that we all wish it was this way though; if given the chance wouldn’t we all lock away the things that we don’t like about ourselves? I think that is one of my favorite things about God, the fact that He forgets about our short comings and frees us from ourselves. He meets us right where we are, no questions asked, but He loves us too much to leave us there. I am my own worst enemy, but praise God I don’t have to save myself, He takes care of that for me.

What else do I resolve to do this year? I want to be a stronger, wiser man than I was last year. I want to get control of my mouth and my thoughts. I want to grow in my spiritual walk, but above all, I want to leave the past right where it deserves to be, locked away in the memories of last year.

“Last year’s wishes are this year’s apologies…”