My thoughts as of late.

So today was a longish day. I wrote an 11 page paper today in 5.5 hours. I sat at my computer and wrote until that paper was done. It was ugly, it was not fun, but now I am done with one of my classes instead of having to write a massive paper this weekend when I’ll want to be studying for finals and having a good time.

The end of the quarter is likely going to try and kill me. There are so many things to keep track of, it’d be easier if the day was longer or if I just slept less. Neither of those seem like good things to hope for…sleep is key. I have to check out residents, do paperwork, and get all my crap together in time for me to be able to check out of Emerson on Monday morning and get to West Seattle to start a medical interpreter course. Did I tell you? I passed the test. That’s right. I didn’t think it went well, but I suppose that in reality it actually went well enough for me to pass. Anyhow, I get to take that. It’s 40 hours of class. But it also means an extra week in Seattle being able to see people at night and spend time with them.

We “welcomed” all the new young ones today. By that I mean the new Peer Advisors. We passed down things and spent time with the people who are destined to become our replacements. It was very very strange. I was in their place almost exactly a year ago. It was a bit surreal. I tried to make sense of it all. We prayed to commission them in this great adventure that they’re starting and I really felt like it was us passing the torch onto them. We are fading out of leadership as we speak with less and less time to spend with our residents while they are just starting to see how that can look. In some ways I envy them. I remember what it felt like to be ready for something new and scary…it was terrifying and fun at the same time. These days I find myself a bit more melancholy than usual as things come to an end. I’ll get to that.

We threw a surprise party for JJ Kissinger and Susie Becker tonight. They’re leaving at the end of this year. JJ to Seminary and Susie to new opportunities. We went out to a late burger run with them beforehand after “welcoming” and told funny stories about first impressions. I didn’t think that I’d get along well with my staff at first, but then I did. Things like that. We then took them back to Emerson and met them in the SUB where they were duped into thinking that some shenanegins were going down. SURPRISE! There were no drunk rascals! There were cupcakes!…and punch, and fun people, and a photo slideshow…and michael Jackson music. It was really neat. I had a blast celebrating the impact of people I love with other people that I love. Good things.

FYI. If you don’t know who JJ and Susie are, then I’ll tell you. They’re the Residence Life Coordinators in Emerson Hall. Essentially they are my bosses.

JJ Kissinger is one of the most insightful men I know. He shoots it straight. He has an incredible amount of wisdom that is coupled with an incredible sense of humor. These two things allow him to be simultaneously wise and hilarious. A gift I tell you. I have had few opportunities to spend as much time with someone as awesome as he is and I swear it has been one of the best things about this year. He is a blessing. I have benefitted time and time again from his presence in my life. I got to pretend to be JJ at a staff meeting this year…it was really fun. Needless to say, he will be missed.

Susie Becker is wonderful. She is incredibly gifted at making people feel comfortable enough to share about their lives.She really cares about people, you know? I went to Indiana with her this year. We went to this thing called NCMSLC (National christian multicultural student leadership convention)…anyhow, it wasn’t quite as great as I’d hoped…but Susie was wicked tight. Her sense of humor is always impressive and I think each of us secretly hope for the staff meeting where Susie is really silly. We don’t get as much done, but we have a massive amount of fun.  She’ll be missed too.

All this to say, I find myself on the brink of new things in life. Waterfront director at camp. Costa Rica. Then 2 quarters as a student and then real life? Hmmm. Anyhow, I find myself in a place where I am starting to be wistful. I have loved this year. I especially have loved the people. The residents I have are frikkin’ sweet. My bosses as you may know by now are beyond any description of cool I could give them. My staff is a constant source of support. My friends have been there for me.

Now, at the end of this year I find so many of these things changing. My bosses are both likely to leave the state (for sure JJ), my staff is going to be less of a staff and more of a few friendships that remain after the fact, my residents and I won’t live on the same floor anymore, and many of my friends are graduating and going to places that make it likely for me to never see them again.

I really dislike saying goodbye (as I’ve mentioned before) and I still don’t like it. I wish I had more time to spend with these amazing people I know. I am blessed to know so many. I guess that I just wish I had more of an opportunity to share life with them. Sometimes I get so caught up in living that I forget the blessing that other people are. Each person you meet makes your life different. Each one is a blessing, even if they piss you off. Then all of a sudden, they’re on the brink of saying goodbye to you and you realize how much you value them. How much they matter to you, and how much more empty your life will seem without them in years to come.

I suppose I may be a tad melodramatic right now, but really. For some of these graduating types…I have known them every year of college. They have been here. They are some of my most trusted and appreciated friends. You don’t just get to replace people like these. You just have to let go and in many cases give the “see you in the next life” line. That’s so unsatisfying though. Eternity seems so far away to a 21 year old. Maybe it seems closer the older you get. I’m going to bed now. Last night I dreamed about arguing with someone to not drop an atom bomb on Nagasaki again…Maybe tonight I can dream about something a touch nicer.

The things I did…Just in case you were wondering.

Well. It’s been a might long week. I think the last time I wrote stuff was on Wednesday. So I’ll shoot you straight for what’s been going on in the past.

Tuesday:I forgot to tell you that I spent a long time (2.5 hours) allowing new residents into upper Gwinn so they could sign up for housing. I got to spend time with Aaron Bollinger and some other PA folk. Seriously. These people make me glad to be alive. I said the words “binding legal document” a whole lot. See the authority I wield? Just like Slyvester Stallone playing Judge Dredd I am the law.

Thursday: No class, but I did spend some great time with Bob Zurinsky. He was nice enough to buy me lunch. Those sandwiches from Noah’s are tasty. We talked about “Kingdom of God” theology. Essentially that means a theology that is focused in the future (grounded in hope) given that the future is when the things that God desires to occur will occur. I thought that it was a good thing to think about. I think that it’s very important for Christians to think about the biblical metanarrative (the overarching story of God’s people). Although I would say that at the same time it’s important to remember the present as well. As humans the only thing we can influence is the present. The only time we are guaranteed is now. So, while we hope for the future I don’t see that hope as a reason to be fatalistic about the present crappy state of affairs and not work for their change. I’m not saying that Kingdom of God theology encourages that, but simply that sometimes we are given great perspectives from different places about how we ought to think about God. It’s easy to take one perspective and run with it. The worthy challenge is operating within a wide spectrum of perspectives (like the 4 gospels for example).

So after time with Bob I had an open sort of afternoon, which I made the most of by doing homework and ironing things. I know. It wasn’t exciting. I’m sorry. Not all of life is.

Then on Thursday night I went to Leadership Celebration. This is the event in which all the leadership from all over campus come and eat food and hang out for about 3 hours. It was nice. Not as fantastic as last year, but in its defense last year I was there as the “photography club engineer” (i.e. not a real leadership role)…and I felt like I was into way more of the girls in the room. In any case this was pretty fun. Emerson hall rocked the slide show. I dunno if that was because we were the ones who sent in the most pictures or because our pictures were the best. I think both.

It was great to relive the memories from the year via a slide show. I loved seeing old pictures of Ben Troop with short hair and the rest of my staff and I looking younger and less like the people we are today. At the same time, I finally started to realize that in about 2 weeks this is all going to end. I am going to stop being a Peer Advisor, I am going to pack up my crap, and I am going to leave this wonderful city that I love for a good 6 months to return in January (after Costa Rica). That’s a lot to process. I have loved this job, living in this room, hanging out with my residents, and overall most of the things about this year. I’ve made great friendships and very lasting sorts of memories. Honesty, if I had the option to go back in time and decide to do it all over again…I probably would. Still, I’m really going to miss this wonderful staff, my awesome floor with guys who I appreciate, and in general this whole community of people. Sigh. I could probably cry if I let myself. I think I’ll just hold it in until I have to check my guys out…Then I’ll probably cry…and then when they’re all gone…and then when I remember how great this year was. Not necessarily tears of pain and sorrow. I guess the sort that come from mourning the change that happens to all things, even the things you love (not Jesus though).

I’ve never been great at dealing with change. I wish good things could last forever. I want infinite time to develop relationships and do sweet things with people I love. Sadly I don’t have this time. I get frustrated that for some of the people I’ve gotten to know it will be one of those “see you in the next life” sort of things. I suppose that this is better than “goodbye forever”. Still though, why do I always find myself so unready to say goodbye? I hate it more than a lot of things.

Is it ever really goodbye though? I think that in many ways the people we have been blessed to know leave small bits of them in us that are the result of countless tiny interactions. So maybe we never really have to say goodbye because pieces of other people live in us. All the same. I still hate saying goodbye. No matter how I justify it to myself.

Friday: Class. Presentations in my business class made my groups project seem somewhat less glamorous…definately less glamorous. Real good one on one with Aaron. Running after class. Then hung out with the boys on the floor all night.

Saturday (Today): Woke up at noon after evil migraine. 4:30AM. I awake with pain in my head. 4:30-4:45AM. I try to sleep the pain away. 5AM. No luck on sleeping the pain away. Borrow 2 advil from suitemates. 5-5:30AM Try to sleep in a variety of positions. Sitting on couch. Sitting in bed. Sitting in chair. Lying on couch. Lying in bed. Everything hurts. 5:30AM. Borrow 3rd Advil. 5:45ish…fall asleep. 6:30ish. Wake up get into bed. Real sleep happens till noon.

Then a trip to Alki with the boys on the floor. The Puge was not quite as cold this week. I swam around a bit more. A friend of mine brought his brother with us…his brother whined alot. However, neither of them were wearing shorts or sandals…they wore jeans…in 75 degree weather…at the beach. I guess in the end I didn’t feel bad for my friend’s brother. He made his choice. He didn’t come to the beach to play in the water. The rest of us did. We also looked for crabs so we could “battle” them. It was not really sucessful, but it was really fun. I felt like I was five again.

Then dinner happened at Gwinn. Then we (guys from the floor and sister floor) went to Coldstone creamery (I bought coffee icecream with gummy bears. 2 of my favorite things become one superduper cool thing.) where my friend Ben Creelman met us. I love this guy. He’s really impressive. My roommate and I agreed freshman year that he’s the most eligible bachelor that we know. Girls should date him. He does card tricks. They’re confusingly awesome. In any case he and I talked about life as we hadn’t had a chance to catch up in awhile. While we were talking he mentioned how something in his life was left a bit more confusing and I said, “Well, Jesus does really well with question marks.” I think that’s true. He really does. When we try and make things all clear and have a close-fisted grip on what we think things will be I think it impedes our ability to respond to the Holy Spirit. We aren’t meant to have a map to where we’re going, we are meant to follow. Here this verse is neat. It’s okay to not have stuff figured out and to be weak:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

 

thoughts after class

We talked in class today about how the catholic church says that “protection” in married sexual relationships is a sin. That seems to even apply to Brazil where people can have 18 kids (like the example in class) and then the guy’s wife can’t safely have any more…Should she keep having kids even though it might kill her?

The issue (apparently) lies in the view that God created sex for procreation…makin’ babies. So if we stop that it’s sinning. I don’t think that this is a very great way to look at it. I think it’s somewhat over simplifying the issue. Yes, sex makes babies. I think that’s mostly why it’s there, but I think at the same time we have to think about what having babies means. Hopefully when people have babies they would be ready to have them. That means in a position in life where having children is a good idea. (not in a place where your children aren’t going to get enough food because you have too many children already). What we learned is that catholics (and I think everyone should) think that babies are a gift from God and that more than one baby is more than one gift from God…although…it occurs to me that telling people to not use protection may be essentially dooming a child to death in some cases. It’s like telling people not to wear seatbelts because it’s God’s will whether or not they die in a car crash. It’s a bit fatalistic. “If God wills it” has been used to justify too much crap. Maybe God wills good decisions based on rational thought too…

Plus, even if you disagree the result in Brazil without approved birth control was a drastic rise in abortions. In their minds, you can be forgiven by a priest for an abortion…but living in sin (using condoms) results in you getting banned from communion. Apparently what the women in Brazil say is that “if the Pope was a woman we would have birth control.” Hmmm…

Other thoughts I have:

I’m getting wicked tired of class. I want to be done for the summer so I can celebrate the end of another year with a summer marked by almost every afternoon spent by the lake…As waterfront director at camp. I’m getting more exctied for this by the moment.

My shampoo bottle has said “Hello good-lookin” to me every morning this quarter. It’s written on the bottle. I think that if I ever get married I hope my wife says that to me in the morning…maybe in the shower…Anyhow, I would like to take this moment to thank Pert-Plus for the wonderful compliment I recieve every time I shower. 

Sometimes I look at my room and am glad it’s messy. It makes me feel better to have a part of my life messy. Sometimes it reminds me of how real life is usually messy. If I live in real life I should have a messy room…as a symbol of the reality that we all experience…or I’m just lazy and don’t care about my room being clean.

Sometimes I go to Ballard Market and buy Leninade. It’s named after the soviet dicator…but it tastes good. My friend Alexa and I went last night. She thought it was good. See? You should too.

Lots of Christian people dislike communism. I think they’ve got room to do so, I mean honestly Marx does call God “the supreme Illuision”. That’s somewhat offensive. But in general we, as Christians, might want to think a bit more leniently. I learned in class (Classical Sociological theory) that essentially Marx “Cribbed the Christians’ notes”. Really he did. When you read Marx his goals are essentially the New Jerusalem, but without God. So what he wants is what we want (the Kingdom of God), but he leaves out the significant part of the equation. In other words he leaves out what makes it all work and be worthwhile at the same time. Maybe instead of hating him as a “commi” we should pity him as a man who misdiagnosed the problems of society and the means of changing it. I believe that the problem we face as the human race is a problem of the human heart (brokenness) as opposed to a problem with the material development of society. I think Mr.Marx saw the symptom and called it the disease. Us American Christians really dislike Karl Marx for people misinterpreting what he meant (communism comes out of the collapse of capitalism…not by itself), but we give Christopher Columbus a special day for going the wrong way to “India” and causing the extinction of an entire group of people…Let’s maybe rethink a few things. Maybe we could read the things that are “bad” to learn and see how these things are or are not affected through the context of our relationship with Christ…

I watched Donnie Darko last night. I’ve heard people rave about it for YEARS at this point. I’ve heard them say time and time again “Man, that is such a great movie!”…At this point I say to all you people who have told me that it’s so good: I disagree. Your movie was a dark, depressing waste of my time. Really, I don’t care if I’m in a “tangent universe”. I have way better things to think about and spend my time thinking about. As I’m sure you do. Tell me about better movies next time.

Big sunny funtastic weekend time.

Yo. It was sunny this weekend. I loved it. I got lots of good experiences to talk about. Let’s break it down.

Saturday: Up at 7AM to go running with Dostertron (Stephanie Dost) and my buddy stephen at Green Lake before breakfast with Ben Troop. It was his 730AM surprise breakfast. Why it needed to be so blasted early? I don’t know. Anyhow, we surprised him. I think. We got there late…and didn’t buy any food. My parents were coming in to take us out to breakfast. They came at 9:30. I didn’t go back to sleep.

We went to breakfast at Queen Anne Cafe (by we I mean stephen and myself and my folks). I ordered the veggie omelet. Lately I’ve realized that I might as well order the veggie omelet to help balance my diet. I really don’t need more meat in an omelet that’s made out of eggs to begin with…then again, I always order it with ham too. Sometimes you just want the ham.

I also ordered coffee. My parents told me not to order it. I did anyway. After I put about a cup of sugar in it my dad said that I didn’t actually like coffee. I sure like coffee icecream, but maybe he’s right.

After breakfast my folks and I went to walk about at Discovery park. We got to the lighthouse. My parents really were not dressed for the weather and my dad got somewhat crabby about having to go on the beach. “I’m not real hung up on the beach.” were his words. It’s code for “That’s not what I want to do.” My mom and I wanted to walk on the beach…so we outvoted him.

Then I returned to campus and had lunch with my Ben Troop (my parents having headed home). I enjoy spending time with Ben Troop.

Then I went to Alki beach with Stephen and my friend Emily Raymond. It was quite nice. I recieved a good deal of redness that will hopefully turn into a tan soon. I also swam in the puuuge (the puget sound). It was balls cold. I couldn’t feel my legs after awhile. Multiple pictures were taken and placed on facebook that make me feel self-conscious…I really don’t know when pictures of myself don’t do that.

We came back and I got dinner with the boys and then I laid in the grass for a long time. I talked with Natalie Closner. It was nice because I never really see/talk to her these days. Then I went down to wallace field and sat on the grass with some friends and played Catchphrase. Fun. Then it was off to Ben Troop’s room to watch a silly British Comedy. When floor hours rolled around Ben and Emily and Stephen and I went to the Matador. I bought Ben some nachos. I bought myself some too. It was his big 21 birthday and he didn’t drink at all in a very integrity-filled fashion. Well done sir.

Then I went to bed. Stephen snores when his head is at an odd angle. I dunno if you read Friday’s post or not, but my friend Stephen from home is visiting. That’s why I keep mentioning him.

I awoke this morning to go the Mennonite Church in Bellevue. Good stuff. Round 3. I like the people there alot. My small group and I are the only college age kids who go, so we call ourselves “the college group”. The men’s division of college group is called “The Redwood Forest”. The umbrella college group name that we’re going with is called the Puuuge (the puget sound, but abbreviated).

After church it was time for homework. Not fun. Educational, but not fun.

Then I went to Beach Bash (a BBQ that 6th Hill does every year) and proceeded to eat free food and then play volleyball for a while. It was very fun. Zach Brenneman threw the volleyball at me and it made my glasses cut my nose. I bled for a bit. My friend Robb would say “So, it was a good day?” Yes Robb. It was a good day. I can’t say too much else. So I’ll end with this.

At church we do this thing called joys and concerns. When something is good it’s followed by “thanks be to God!” and when something is concerning it recieves a “Lord in your mercy, hear our prayers.”…This weekend would fall under the “Thanks be to God!” Category.

Here. Watch this. It’s funny. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92vV3QGagck

 

The world keeps moving and I blog accordingly…usually after it slows down.

So, it’s been a while. I’ve been wicked busy. Seriously. I didn’t really desire to stay up until 3AM when the next day was a swirling mass of destruction. Sigh…Okay let me summarize.

Monday: Staff meeting/SMC appreciation day. We made Aaron feel appreciated. it was good.

Tuesday: Kile Petersen, Tyrell Johnson and myself chased ducks at Magnuson Park. Kile almost caught one, but it scared him by getting too close. I also watched Back to the Future 3. It was good, but not as good as it could have been.

Wednesday: Free tickets to Prince Caspian. I saw it. It was great. Way better than the first film. Reepicheep is still probably my favorite character after Azlan. Then it’s Lucy. She’s frikkin’ tight. I will try not to spoil the film and tell you what I learned from it. Still, read with caution if you haven’t read the books. People get all pissy about this sort of thing. Really, I don’t care.

Essentially the movie takes place with the children going back to Narnia. They get there and find it in the poop and endeavor to free it. However, Azlan is nowhere to be found. Only Lucy wants to go find Him. Everyone else says things like, “He should already be here.” or “We’ve waited for Him far too long.” The other impatient people fight useless (but cool) battles in a manner that just gets people killed needlessly. Then when it’s all hitting the fan they send Lucy to go find Azlan. She finds Him, and He comes back and the battle is basically over. The narnians are practically down to the last man when Azlan comes in with Huge trees and the river spirit and owns the enemy army.

There’s this great scene where the leader of the evil army is riding across a bridge on a horse. Lucy Pevensie is standing at the other end of the bridge. She’s not very big, she’s a little girl. He’s a grown man on a horse with a sword and armor. However, she is in this case the representative of the power of Azlan (who is meant to represent God). The lion stands next to her and roars and a giant river creature crushes the guy on the horse and about half of his soldiers.

This is what I learned from this film. During the whole movie everyone was saying “where’s Azlan?” and whining about Him not being there. Then at the end of the movie He came and the battle was over very shortly. I wondered why they didn’t go get him earlier. If they had then everything would have been fine. It was shortly thereafter that I realized that I do this all the time. I don’t include God on things and I do them crappily and then wonder why they go awry. I wonder what He wants, but I never really ask enough. After seeing the film I realized that big things hang in the balance. Not battles with griffins on my side against huge evil armies, but big things of the Kingdom nonetheless. Shouldn’t I be including God in whatever possible?

My brother’s church did this at his wedding. At first I was like “they pray way too much, come on. Seriously.” But after a couple months of thinking about it I find myself really impressed with them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with involving the Lord in everything you/I do. I think I’ve heard the argument that it’s unreasonable to expect God to be a part of every decision we make.

Tangent: The song “Jesus take the wheel” comes to mind…Is it about Jesus literally taking the wheel? Because he’s not physically present…I guess maybe the song should have some kind of warning about not taking it literally. Otherwise “Jesus taking the wheel” probably becomes “crashing the car”…unless the Holy Spirit really wants to drive. Which it might…

Back on track: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having God be a part of every moment of my life. I think that this is something to be desired. If I have the choice of having God direct me or me directing myself, I will take the first one hands down. Does God care what I have for breakfast? Maybe He does. Maybe He was waiting for me to ask so He could remind me that oatmeal is tasty and nutritious. I think sometimes we put God in this stupid box of only caring about the big things, but God loves us. When you love someone you care about the little things, you want to be involved in whatever they’re doing…Why would it be any different with God?

After the movie we got nachos at the Matador. MMM. No black beans=no migraines+still delicious.

This is for Ben Troop. Happy birthday sunday ya satch: Plane ticket to Alaska: 500$. Club:15$ Boat rental to get to icefloe: 20$. Clubbing a baby seal: Priceless.

I said it was for Ben Troop. It’s an inside Joke. I’m sorry. Deal with it.

Thursday: Lots of things happened. I had an event for my business class. We got about 12 people to come, which for a 80 degree day…was an achievement. Plus when you’re raising awareness, 1 is enough. It’s hard to admit it, but it’s true.

I took a spanish competency test over the phone on Thursday. I felt like it didn’t go great. I think I answered most of the questions well, but the vocabulary was based on things I never really talk about “What food do you like at restaurants and why?” (in spanish: Que tipo de comida prefiere usted en los restuarantes y porque?) I ended up saying I liked hamburgers and mexican food (because it’s my heritage and the colors in it “shine”)…Frick. I don’t know. You tell me what you would have said. It felt very silly and serious at the same time. My cell phone did a crappy job with reception. I was not pleased.

I “read” outside in the sun…Oh, man was it sunny. So very good. I find that there are sometimes when I’m glad to have glasses. That way I can take them off and not see well. It’s like a superpower to encourage me to not be checking out girls…That’s honesty for you.

I also had my fun-on-fun with JJ Kissinger. He rocks. I don’t know if SPU knows what it has in JJ. But really he’s the man. During our one on one I came to the realization that everyone is not me. Sometimes I think as though they are and subconsciously say things to myself like “If i was them I would…” But other people aren’t me and I’m not them. It’s okay. They don’t have to be me. I can’t really expect them to be.

I had dinner at Kristen Schneidmiller’s house. We had waffles. She’s great. Her boyfriend gets cooler and seems like more of an awesome guy every time she talks about him.

Friday: That’s today! More sun! Oh man. It was gorgeous. As were the girls outside. Luckily for my ever-so-curious eyes…I conveniently forgot to put my glasses on this morning. Justice.

I had one class outside, the rest of them were over quickly, and I was blessed to have coffee with Dr. Keuss. The man is really a good person to talk with. We talked for about an hour. He’s got good things to say.

Then I had my one-on-one/hang outy time with Aaron. It was great. We just sat in the loop and chatted. I don’t thin either of us really know how to effectively start the process of saying goodbye to the amazing people who have lived on the Broho (3W Emerson) this year. It’s been such a great year and there’s so very little time left…I feel as though it will be over so fast and I might miss it. Sigh. I’ve really loved it.

I then went running with Rick Gagliano. We have great conversation while we run. He’s a good guy. Then we went to dinner. Then I played settlers of Catan and won! In your face Aaron.

My friend Stephen Haynes is in town. He came and then we went to “Ashton Ballternative” which is the bonfire my friends up in Ashton were having at goldengardens to protest 30$ tickets to Ashton Ball. I think this girl I know may have tried to kiss me. I sure as hell dodged that bullet. You learn things in life. One of the things I’ve learned is: Don’t kiss girls you’re not officially dating. Especially if you’re not even interested in them. Lesson learned and applied. After the fire we came back to the dorm and watched “austin powers” It’s been a long time. All sorts of middle school memories came back to me in the process. That was when I saw it first. My friend Eden was obsessed with the soundtrack. I remembered feeling not popular enough with friends who were drifting away, feeling chubby, and generally hating being caught in social situations that I didn’t know what to do with. I hated middle school. But it’s okay. I’m never going back. I won that game. Sigh. Sorry to be a downer there.

Last thing. These are the things I notice on days when I don’t wear glasses:

1) I notice the wind in the trees. It’s beautiful.

2) I notice what people say, not so much how they look.

3) for some reason girls are more into me or for some reason they find me easier to flatter. At dinner, after my run a girl actually told me that “You look like a greek god”…Well, I felt complimented. She really said that. That was after an awkward series of questions about my chest hair. No, if you’re all wondering, I don’t shave it. It grows naturally.

It was like I was superman all day long and then I might put on my glasses next week and be Clark Kent again…although, not a chumpy Clark like in Smallville. But, I guess I don’t watch myself too closely. I could be a chump. In any case, I am beginning to wonder if contacts are a good option. I don’t care that much though. Jesus still loves me either way.

Another day in the office.

Sigh. It’s another one of those days where I blog from my computer. I haven’t been sleeping very well lately. I have trouble falling asleep. I think if I go work out I can fix that (I sleep well when I’m tired), but at the same time working out makes me want to be a slave to the gym and get “built” so that I will feel better about myself…old habits die hard. Like Bruce Willis when he drove a car into a helicopter…except different.

I’ve been doing all sorts of learning about Latin American history and I continually grow more and more frustrated with US foreign policy. To be honest I’m not surprised that people hate us there (unless they’re part of the select few rich people that make money when we use Neoliberal policy). I’m beginning to become far more skeptical than I ever was before. We’re pretty shady as a nation. I’d go into detail, but you should just ask me later. There’s a lot. That Monroe Doctrine sucks. If you’re interested in seeing an example of Latin American poverty you should come to Demaray 261 tomorrow night at 8PM. A group I’m a part of is showing the film called “City of God” about Rio de Janeiro in Brazil…It’s pretty intense. Good film though.

I went to hear the gospel concert last night. It was pretty neat. I spent some sweet time with the Lord and my friend Matt. The only thing is that I got really sweaty. I dunno why. Go figure.

I’ve been thinking about what it means to “become like a child”. (Matthew 18:3 “And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”) I wonder what exactly it is that makes the faith of a child something that the Lord wants us to have. My friend Katie Foreman just came in from student teaching. She said that her first graders and her planted grass seeds. Apparently the children were uber-pumped about planting grass seeds. Katie said, “I wish I could get that excited about tiny things these days.” I thought that this might be one of the reasons their faith gets them into the kingdom. Little kids love the small things. I think it might be because they really haven’t seen that much, however, there is something to be said about screaming in joy because the sun is out or because you found a crab under a rock. To those with childlike faith, maybe everything is a miracle. Maybe you can learn to see Jesus everywhere. That’d be pretty bomb.

I’ve been feeling a lot more positive lately. It’s nice. Some of that comes from the fact that I’m going to be waterfront director at camp Firwood this summer. I tell the lifeguards what to do, drive boats, and hang out in the sun with kids at the lake. It’s gonna be straight up money. I’m telling you. I’m worried in some ways because I don’t have a specific goal. Maybe I’ll just learn to love people and Jesus better. I think that’s what I’ll do. My friend Wayne responded to my question of “What am I going to be there for?” with “You’ll probably find out.” He’s right. I think I will.

It’s time for staff dinner now. I’ve gotta go!

 

A good day.

Today was Saturday. It was quite smashing. I woke up at noon after having slept for a solid 9 hours straight. I was out. It’s what happens when you get up at 4:30 to initiate new PAs.

I spoke to my new sister-in-law on the phone after breakfast. She is very nice. I was in a somewhat negative mood at the time, so I wonder if she thinks that I’m a frustrated, brooding individual…I dunno. I could be, but I don’t think I am all the time.

Ben Troop and Devin Goddard and I went to Goodwill (the best place to buy clothes) and bought silly dress-up crap for Emerson Prom. Emerson Prom was 80’s themed. I went in a 100% red polyester shirt with sleeves cut off, some cut-off white pants, and my chacos with big socks. In essence I looked absolutely absurd. That being said, I had a blast. I am one of the few males I know who actually enjoys dancing. It’s a guilt-free opportunity to be as ridiculous as possible without people judging you. People actually told me that “you’ve got some moves out there.” Now, that might be going a tad far, but I do have a great time. This was no different. It was great to see some people on my floor break out of their shells a bit and actually dance. Well done gents.

Seriously though. I really enjoyed it. I’m not quite sure what else to say. I think I may have scandalized a few people, but whatever. I remain confident that my dancing is not for other people. I actually found myself thinking about the verse that says “whatever you do…do it as though it was for God and not for men.” A rough paraphrase to be sure. But I think I might have actually done some worship through dancing this evening. Fun stuff.

Before the dance a few of us went to visit a friend of mine. She’s out of the hospital now. We went to her house and read her children’s books and generally had a great time talking to her for a few hours. She seems a lot better. It was good to see her.

I think that I’m going to work at camp again this summer. I’d never really planned on it for this summer, but it seems like the door is as wide open as any door that I have had…so I suppose I’ll take the job. I will probably be waterfront director. That means that I tell the lifeguards what to do and drive boats. Hmmm…at the lake. With people I love. Serving the Lord. In the sunshine. With a flexible schedule…It sounds really great.

I was thinking today about how our government uses fear to motivate public support for things like wars. We’re scared of the terrorists after 9-11 so we try to kill the other ones that are left. I understand. Terrorists are scary. They kill people…but so do we. I think that might make us just as scary (if not more…we have more money, people, and guns than they do). I wonder about Christians who sign on to this sort of violence to stop terrorist action against us. There’s a verse (Matthew 10:28 ) where Christ says quite clearly “Do not be afraid of those who can kill the body, but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both body and soul in hell.” There you have it, we are not to fear those who can kill us. Yes, undeserved death is a tragedy, but killing other people to prevent that doesn’t seem much better (even if they are “guilty” didn’t Christ die for us all to remove our guilt?). Furthermore I submit to you that as a Christian you really shouldn’t view life solely in terms of now for the kingdom of heaven is both now and not yet. We await something more than what we experience in this life. So any end of a story of a life here isn’t the end. There’s more. People keep living.

It seems to me that what Christ is saying in that passage is that we ought to fear God (be obedient, realize that He’s the One who created the universe and is bigger than our understanding, etc…) way more than any other thing. In sort, our relationship with God is more important than our claim to life. I think what this is saying is that if you’re offered the choice between death and nothing holding back your relationship with the Father or life with obstacles in your walk placed by you to keep yourself alive…you ought to pick death. Harsh words perhaps. But really what are your priorities? What are mine? Are we after Christ and eternal life or what seems like a great life here? We’ve got some questions to answer either way…