There is scuffling noise on the rooftop

So, I think that raccoons life either in the tree next to my window, on the roof above me, or in the attic. They make scuffling noises and scamper about. I wish I had the motivation to poison them. Only when I’m tired though. Mostly I guess I think about them as obnoxious housemates. They make a racket, they run around, they stare creepily at me from the tree outside my window….Okay, so not as much as I would like to assume.

I have been running on not enough sleep for several days at this point and it is starting to catch up to me. Today was the first time that I told the animals on the roof/attic/tree to “shut the hell up.” I think that when you start assuming even in part that animals can really hear and understand you…it’s time for bed. Also, if they were really housemates I would have been much more polite. Really though. I hope they’re not offended.

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Behold the boldness of my silly mistakes.

2 things you should know. 

1) I got lost on the Seattle Metro Bus system today. I planned on riding the number 17 to James Street Downtown, but missed it when the bus lady mumbled james street and then wound up waiting very patiently for the bus to turn around. So patiently and unsuspectingly I might add, that when the bus finally stopped and I realized the extent of the fool I had been…I was in White Center. I then got off the bus chatted with a man from Honduras, took a different bus back to downtown. I was inwardly fuming for a large part of the afternoon. I spent about 2 hours in a bus and it was a hellish and irritating experience. I was late for my appointment (it actually didn’t even happen), I was frustrated, and what’s more …it was completely my fault. Damn.

Incidentally, I did a few things that may have redeemed my time. I called my sister. That was cool. I also talked to the man there in White Center. He was nice. It’s fun to speak spanish with strangers. On my way back to town I got a text message from my friend Curran remarking on the course of my day that it was “full of Jesus”. I suppose that’s true. Even when I was on a bus hating life Jesus was there. Sometimes you get these little memos at the end of a long day and you don’t know quite how to apply it. Nonetheless, it was a day full of Jesus. Aren’t they all?

2) I accidentally poked myself in the eye the other day while I was drying off with a towel. It hurt. 

I hope that the profundity of the dumbness that I experienced within the past 4 days taught you something about humanity. It might not have. What it says to me though is that Jesus is at work even in the midst of stupid decisions, misplaced patience, and pointless bus rides. 

In fact those little things are just the things that are stupid and negative. We often tend to characterize our days (at least I do) by the bad things. What about the good things? I had dinner with great friends. I had a great conversation with my friend Lindsey. I talked to my sister. I got exercise. I wrote a clever essay (mostly there was this one paragraph that I was way into). I went to class and had fun dialogue about the philosophical weakness of the argument behind classical liberalism (i.e. Adam Smith and Wealth of Nations) as well as the role of corporate responsibility. These were fun things.

I even took a power nap. Kudos goes out to Ed smyth.

When does the car slow down? Graduation? Wait…

So lately I have been feeling like I am in a whirlwind of doing stuff. I get up I go to class and then I do other things. Some of them are very good things. However, I am beat at the end of the day. Maybe today was not the best representation of how tired I will be every day. Especially considering that I went running with Ben Troop today. Whatever the case may be, I am getting worn out.

I would write more, but I am in a grumpy mood. Tired I guess. I doubt y’all want to read grumpy Chauncey ramblings and I don’t really want to write them. I just wanted to make sure that I keep the habit of doing this blog. I realized lately that the things I want in life involve me making little choices everyday. If I want to have a better relationship with Jesus the things I do to move towards that happen in the moments of each day I have. If I want to be better at Spanish I need to make sure I have time each day to practice keeping my ear up by listening to news. You get the idea. 

Thus the blog. I want to be able to keep writing. It may not always be fun to read, but I really enjoy it. So, that coupled with this idea of little choices being the foundation of bigger things means that I am telling you all this despite the fact that I want to go to bed. I guess I’ll go to bed now.

I had these other posts to put up…but, naaah.

I had been pondering on a few things lately, namely things like the nature of salvation and the fact that Dr.Spina called me “Mr.Protestant” in class the other day. Nonetheless, at the end of the day I decided that I was in way too far over my head discussing the nature of salvation and telling you that Dr.Spina called me “Mr.Protestant” only took a few seconds. So, I decided to forgo the writing of two separate blogs and just do an impromptu sesh (session).

I think that sometimes we really wonder if we can know if we’re saved or not. Some people say no. Other people say yes. I think that saying “no.” isn’t being really realistic with the very scripture we have. I think that there are definately places where the Apostle Paul is sure that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.

At the same time though, let’s be honest, while we don’t save ourselves we are to participate in our salvation. I heard this described by a local pastor recently. He described a relationship with God as a marriage. In a marriage not every day is smashingly awesome. There are some days where you’re at each others’ throats, but nonetheless you wake up the next day and bring what you’ve got to the table. You keep doing this. For your entire life. It’s somewhat like that with God. We are in relationship with God, it takes effort. Every day. The fact that we put out effort in participating is what I think Jesus meant when He said to “abide” in Him. We aren’t perfect, and in fact our walk on this side of the resurrection will not be that way. Fact. 

However, to assume that we aren’t saved because our relationship with Jesus is messy and has ups and downs involving us being unfaithful does not mean that we need to worry about not being able to be in relationship with God. When you love someone, do you hold their mistakes against them? Or do you forgive them? See? I think God is the same way. 

The scripture present us with a tension. Example: the book of John tells us that Jesus chose us, but we’re also supposed to abide in Him. In Matthew we have a strong memo that people who do great miracles have the possibility of not even being known by God and that people who don’t show compassion to the “least of these” have issues come the judgement day. I think that the whole of the canon seems to reflect this too. I didn’t quote the verses, so maybe you don’t believe me, but I assure you it’s there.

It seems like the Scripture assumes that our relationship with the Lord will spill over into our lives and interactions with other people, which is a good assumption for it to make. However, we can’t be perfect, nor can we feed every hungry person, and God forgives us for our mistakes (in fact He already has). Yet, if every person is someone for whom Christ died can we use this as an excuse not to love them in a very this-world sense? Isn’t it already assumed that as Christians this is something we at the very least take seriously? When I write things like this it convicts me. I guess that helps me see things and be honest with you, and possibly lets us into this notion of “abiding” it seems like our abiding in Christ is shown through our actions and our heart. 

K. So other things now. I went to portland Oregon this weekend and saw my freshman year PA. I got to see the sights. I went to Cannon Beach and made a fire. I went to the biggest bookstore in the world and bought 30$ worth of spanish literature. I hung out with my friend brent and his girlfriend mami (who is japanese…from Japan). I learned how to say my name is Chauncey and I am from Seattle. Cool huh? Yeah. I thought so. I had a great weekend and I got lots of HW done on the train. Now it’s time for some more of it.

One last thing, I talked with my friend Ryan on the phone for about an hour and a half. His perspectives on life were really great. Honestly, it is so very helpful to talk with someone who had just graduated a few years ago about life in the Senior year. I know that the end of college is coming. I wore a shirt and shorts without a jacket tonight and wasn’t cold…Spring is here, and therein…graduation. Add a wistful/nostalgic feeling here for effect. Ryan helped me to see something though. I think that in the end, it will be okay. In fact I think it will be really good to graduate.

God willing, if you miss me next year you can just come visit me wherever I am. Have a good day.

Another day. Another day of too much time in the Library

I spent 5 hours in the library today. Lots of those hours were spent writing a paper for Dr.Spina. I wanted it to be good, but maybe it will suck. It seemed good, but by the end of 5 hours I had no idea if it was good or not.

I played out in the sun before the library. I went on a run to gasworks park, played catch in the sun, and chatted (shout out to Lindsey Goff) with friends. It was a full day.

I know this person who I am trying to become on at least “I like seeing you.” basis with. This person has a philosophy of friendship that states that friendship is complicated and needs time to develop. I appreciate and respect that…but gosh, it makes me feel like a chump whose actions are constantly being evaluated on a scale of friendship-worthiness. I was in a contrary mood today like I am a lot of times and I looked at myself from without and realized that I just sounded like an asshole. Hopefully it doesn’t seem that way all the time…Either way, I don’t do well with first impressions. Hopefully this person gives me time. It quite honestly bewilders me a bit when people look at me with strangely skeptical eyes. I really do my best to be myself as much as I can. Sometimes who I am is a rude, oafish lout who doesn’t appreciate people enough…Sigh.

I’m really tired. I’m going to bed.

The return of that bright shiny orb that hides behind the drab greyness of the sky.

Yep. The sun came back today. I went outside for several hours and noticed several things that I will tell you:

Thing 1) I enjoy reading books that have to do with philosophy and theology. I don’t get bored. The implications for my day seem to expand and let me tell you, when I read a good explication of sin (like I did today) boyhowdy am I pumped that God through Jesus is reconciling Himself to us. Anyhow, that could be the summary of my reading today. Lots of good things to think about.

Thing B) I don’t get much done when I read/study with friends who are girls. It’s just the way it is. When you go to read books with friend who is a dude, you typically read books. That’s why you told him you were going to read books/study beforehand. When there are girls you end up chatting and talking for a good while before and during the studying. No one seems to be flustered by this (I wasn’t). Friends appeared, I was in a park on a bench reading. Enjoying good company is far better than being all awkwardly distant from it on a bench by yourself. Sometimes sacrifices in the area of efficiency have to be made to enjoy life.

Thing C.5) My skin is really reactive to sunlight. I am significantly darker than I was this morning. I forgot that. I put that down as a “neato” for today. If I had a chart that graphed out the neato factor…it would be a useless venture in time-mismanagement.

The other day I (with the help of Sarah Schooley) discovered the 5th category of the word cute. Last year in a odd mood I decided to think about all the possible ways that girls use the word cute. They use it a lot. I came up with four: Cute baby/puppy, cute shoes, cute boy, sarcastic cute. If you think about all those you can tell in your head that there are subtle differences among them. They have to do with the emphasis they put on the words.

Sarcastic cute is the sort of cute with which you (being a girl) would mock your friend’s apparrel.

Cute puppy accompanies the high pitched “awww” that girls use to interact with fluffy animals and new born babies.

Cute shoes show girls that their friends approve of their clothes in that their wardrobe decisions in some sense expand on their attractiveness. Either by sheer ability to combine colors, or the way in which a particular article of clothing accentuates something. You find a similar thing with guys. Only we don’t say cute. we say “rad, tight, sick, smooth, bomb,” or a variety of other words that state our affirmation of the way in which another guy looks somehow tougher, more badass, or generally more ready to fight bears than he may have been before he decided to wear/use/carry whatever it may be.

Cute boy has its own completely tone. It generally provokes redness in the cheeks, unabashed agreement, or indignation in females.

Anyhow, the fifth category of cute is “old people cute”. Old people I discovered use cute in a way that is completely different than the aforementioned cutes. It is used as thought they are trying to express that something exists and is of vague interest. Whatever it is is liked, but just enough to merit a cute. It’s cute, they appreciate it, but they don’t go into further detail. All the other cutes seem to spill over into longer conversations or the haphazard assortment of pleased “oooh, Look at his paws!” that comes with cute puppy.

You may or may not be pumped about this discovery, but hopefully the exploration of it here helped you think a bit more about the mindblowing complexity of the human being. Especially the female sort.

In other news , let’s see here… I am coming to realize that I have issues with things just being what they are. For example: life is boring sometimes. Even the most fantastic situation can become humdrum. The irritating thing for me is when that happens with the Lord. I guess part of me feels like time with Jesus should be this whirlwind of adventure all the time. However, when I think about the disciples I remember something. They were with Jesus for 3 years. That’s over a thousand days. I wonder if all of those days were incredibly fun/exciting or if on some of those days they just walked to Jerusalem in a group and didn’t do much.

Maybe this is a problem of my societal upbringing, maybe it’s just me, but I guess I am always jonesing for the Holy Spirit to be so present that miracles happen all the time…but perhaps it might be better if I learned what it meant to let things be what they are.

My friend Stephen and I talked about this the other day in regard to marriage. It will probably be boring sometimes. Stephen and I realized that sometimes even hanging out with friends is boring. We ate lunch and then played video games, after which I took a nap while he was downstairs watching basketball, when I woke up we ate stew and then played more video games. It was good. Yet, it was not the most fun I have ever had. Maybe that’s a testament to my friendship with Stephen that we can be friends who don’t do much.

Perhaps I have the problem of making life with Jesus into something that I expect to be fun and mindblowing everyday. It seems that there are days in which you just get to be in your relationship with the Triune God. I guess that’s not a bad thing.