Saturday, October 27, 2007
Today I rediscovered my love for a good story. I watched the first two Lord of the RIng movies. It took literally all afternoon to do it, but it was really worth it. I realized how much those stories draw me in. I see the characters living so courageously and fearlessly, and I guess that just resonates with a desire deep down inside me, tucked away and reachable only by the avenue of story. I want to be that courageous, standing up for what I really believe and not just saying it. I want to be that loyal to those I love, ready to sacrifice and lay down my pride at the altar of humility. I want to see the world in terms of love, commitment, honesty, and TRUTH, not just selfishly detached in my own little existence.
And that's the power of the story, the power of a story like Lord of the Rings. It rings a bell somewhere deep inside me, drawing me in and not letting me go.
And I didn't even watch the final movie.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
This morning started out about the same as most days here in London. With my tiny little watch producing enough sound to wake me up. Not the gentle waking up that's preferred, but I guess it's just doing its job. After convincing myself, as I do everyday, that I must actually get out of bed to get something accomplished for the day, I geared up for the long walk down the stairs to the kitchen, and ultimately, breakfast.
And I mean gear up. Wow, it gets cold in this creaky, aged house. There are so many cracks in this house its almost as if the cool, damp air whispers at you to get up in the mornings. So i stuffed on my house shoes, which fit perfectly, like a sock but yet so much more comfortable. And the key in this whole gearing up is the sweatshirt. You must have the sweatshirt.
So I ambled down the stairs, taking note of the grey-sky backdrop from the window as I passed by, giving me another reminder that yes I am living in England and not Alabama. There was a chilly desolateness in the sky this morning, and the trees seemed so locked in slumber that even the wind could not wake them up with enough strong gusts.
Breakfast was good as usual, a nice start to a new day. Fills the stomach and gets me going. I feel like I am rediscovering breakfast this semester, because it's been a long time since I've been in a routine of eating breakfast every morning. I really like it. I realized how much I miss when I stay up too late and can't be awake in the mornings. There's a certain quietness in the mornings that you just don't get at any other time of day.
After breakfast it was almost time for class, which was pretty interesting today, a whole 2 hours on modernism as it relates to literature. I found myself coming in and out of the conversation, sort of like a having the news on and paying attention to only the highlights. I mean it was interesting, but i just couldn't quite focus on all the tiny detals or else I would get lost and not find my way to the bigger themes. I think that's what usually happens when I listen to people. I have to train myself to listen to the general theme, because I get caught up in lines and wordings that particularly interest me, and before long the speaker has left but I am still behind inspecting what has been left behind. I guess I'm like that kid in class who can't keep up with the group on field trips.
Once class finished I came back to my room, the tiny piece of property that I can call my own for these few short months. And it really is a wonderful thing to have this tiny spice. I can put on whatever music I am particualy keen to (right now it's lots of Rich Mullins and Andrew Peterson) and just be. Sometimes I like to open the curtains a little wider than I normally allow them to be and prop my feet up and read. Other times I'll just listen to the music, browsing websites that I enjoy reading. It's just a good space to be comfortable in.
And that's about everything in my day so far, as it is almost lunchtime and my stomach is rumbling like only it does for a 21 year old hungry, growing student. Maybe next time I write I'll pause a little longer on the influence of Rich Mullins and Andrew Peterson on my growing and evolving faith.
But I've got a life to live today, and tasks to be completed.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Okay, so this time I'm actually going to share with you how I'm doing and not just leave an ambiguous poem. By the way, the poem was kind of symbollic of me wanting to get to know God in a deepr way. or something along those lines. oh well. It's time, though, to share a little bit of what I'm learning.
Or maybe I should start in a better, but more difficult place, with what I'm unlearning. Being around people all the time this semester has shown me plenty of things about myself, and more than anything I've come to the realization that I am just a selfish person. Plain and simple. It's easier to mask at school because I have more control over when I see people and stuff like that, but I'm being exposed for the selfish person I am over here...
But you know what that's doing? It's driving me closer to Jesus.
I have never so much in my life felt the blessed detachment from people as I have for the past several weeks. Let me explain. You know when you find that drink at the coffee shop that you really like, how you just look forward to getting it whenever you can. At first you just get it every once in a while, and it's something that just brings you incredible joy (or at least it does to me), But then when you start drinking it more frequently it loses its novelty and you then drink it out of necessity.
I think that's a good picture of what I tend to do with people, and what God is helping me unlearn. God is helping me desire Him more than anything, to spend more time with Him than I do other people, to spend more time quietly alone. And through that, I can appreciate people more, like the coffee thing. But when I substitute people for God, I get like a coffee drinker who is addicted to coffee and no longer drinks it for enjoyment but drinks it for necessity. I start being around people and using relationships to GET things out of the interactions.
So I'm at this point where I feel wonderfully detached of people, but yet at the same time more able to see the beauty in relationships. I am finding that I want to spend more time alone quietly with God. I am learning to come closer to Him and let Him take care of all those other things in life.
and it is a BLESSING. I'm still, of course, making the same mistakes everyday of treating people with less compassion and respect than they deserve, but God is working in my heart. in other words, i'm
You know you are alive when you can feel the strings in your heart being tugged to the point of breaking, and you realize that it is just God making more room in your heart for Him and for other people. He's making your heart bigger. It hurts, but only through that pain will your heart grow to hold all the love that God has. And get ready, because God will only keep enlargening your heart because His love is such that we have no way to describe it and no way to measure it. It just keeps coming. so Lord, please keep me