February 27, 2010

It's the Little Things

I like to eat chicken taquitos with ranch.

I just got a new little sister, named Caelyn, adopted from China, a little over a month ago.

I've been writing a novel for years, but have to keep restarting it.

I love poetry.

I like to have lighthearted arguments with people.

There's a lot of little things about me that you might, or might not, know. Just as there are for every other human being out there. And you know what? It's those same little things that mean you know someone, those little factoids, hidden away behind the eyes. And everyone has them. Every time you meet somebody new, you find out some of their "little things." You get to know them.

If you love someone, then it is the little things that you love (or sometimes hate) about them.

God loves all of us.

Behind every vacant face at the grocery store, in the mind of every guy who talks in the movie theater, buried in the heart of every celebrity, deep inside each member of the family at Sunday lunch, there are these facts that, when taken all together, make each of us unique. They set us apart, more so than the subtle differences in our features, or the varieties in body weights.

My point is, if you never get to know someone, you never find out those things. But that doesn't mean they don't exist. So often we treat others, we treat strangers, as if they're just there. Not as if they are complex human beings, with a soul and a perspective, but as if they are just another unknown face in this tumultuous world. But God knows all those little things, already, about each and every one of us. And He loves each of us all the more for (and sometimes, despite) them. He created each of us, with immaculate care. Yet we act, a lot of the time, as if we and the ones we know are the only ones created by Him. But that's just absolutely untrue.

I've heard people say they love science because, through it, they learn about God's creation. They get to understand and appreciate the depth and intricacy of His grand and perfect designs. But you know what? Every time we get to know someone new, or learn something new about someone we know, we are learning about God's creation, and it's no less deep or intricate than gravity. Even more so, I would say.

Isn't that weird? With that in mind, shouldn't I not only put up with meeting new people, but enjoy it? Appreciate it and them for what they are? Non-Christians were made by God, you know. Homosexuals were made by God. Even the rude person behind the fast-food counter was made by Him.

And think about the implications of this in the way we should witness, in our often misguided motivations for doing so...

Yet I don't act that way.

I am the hypocrite.

Forgive me, Abba Yahweh, and help me to see the glory of your creation in all of those around me.

February 16, 2010

Appeal & Concession

"My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning."

-Psalms 130:6

February 9, 2010

To Live Boldly

My prayers lately have had a common theme.

I've been coming to grips over the past few months with a simple, yet complex, truth. That our God has orchestrated the events of ours lives, ordaining everything through His sovereign and perfect will. If you think about it, this fact is, or should be, the most liberating realization of all time. It's a blessed paradox, for we are bound to His will, yet it is freeing beyond understanding, for He knows our minds and souls, our actions and thoughts, and has incorporated them all into His sovereign plan.

As a Christian, this should impact every single area of my life. It should lend me peace as I make my way through this age. It should be my comfort and reassurance even in the darkest times of my indecision. Yet, all too often, it is not. I continually fall into the trap of believing that I am on my own, that my deeds are independent of His scheme. But that just isn't true. It's a lie that I all too often live.

We are His children. His chosen ones. His people. No matter what we do, no matter what we believe, we are already accounted for by Him. We are free! We can do anything, follow any course of action, and it will follow His will to the letter. Every thought we have and every thing we do is a sentence in the chapter of our lives, and the book is already written. We are free from indecision, from hesitancy, from uncertainty, for anything we do will be used by God to glorify Him. And that is our chief end upon this earth. Not to graduate from college, not to have the perfect spouse or children, not to make money or "succeed" by the world's standards, but to live for Him. And we do just that, even if we don't realize it.

This isn't to say we should all just be fatalists. Through some beautiful mystery, we still have choice, and should live thusly. But our choices are already accounted for, our every thought already heard and acknowledged. Never have I known of a more liberating truth.

Yet so many, if not all, of us live just the opposite. We live, for the lack of a better term, fearfully, when we should be living fearlessly. We should live with the relieving certainty that God has designed our past and future, and incorporated all of reality into His will.

As awkward as it may seem at times, this truth should cause us to live.

And to live boldly.

February 7, 2010

Already Here

Parenting has got to be the hardest thing to do.

You're just going along with your life, enjoying being married, and BOOM- here comes a baby. It's never happened to me, but I can imagine. I can imagine the scared feeling that creeps into the pit of your stomach as you drive your newborn child home, realizing, for the first time, that he or she is your's, and you're now responsible for his or her life. It's got to be overwhelming, the sense of confusion as you come to grips with the fact that you can read all the books on it that you want, but this baby isn't like the others. It's unique, and, even more scary, it's your's. It isn't an abstract concept in some Dummy's Guide book anymore. It's real, and it's here to stay...

It seems terrifying.

But, at the same time, no parent I've ever talked to regrets the changes they were forced to make. It seems that, along with this abject horror, there comes a beautiful and complex purpose, wrapped up in the past, present, and future of this thing, this child, this person. So maybe parenting isn't the worst thing that can happen to you. Maybe it's the best thing. I guess it depends on your perspective.

Many people can't, or don't, see the beauty, though. People, like myself, who just haven't experienced it for themselves. Everything we think on the matter is nothing but speculative opinion.

I've heard people say, quite seriously, that they don't want to have children, not because of how scary it is, but because of the world that surrounds us. Because of the tumultuous chaos that is our modernity. "Who would want to subject a child to this?" They ask. And, you know what? I'm inclined to agree with them. This world is a hard, cruel place, full of pain, anger, and suffering. I certainly wouldn't wish that on my child.

But, then again, would I wish it on someone else's?

That's what I can't understand. Why those same people don't look around them and realize that there are millions of children who are already here. Who wouldn't think that they could make some poor orphan's future brighter by providing some kind of home? No matter what, it's better than none at all, right?

So yeah, I wouldn't wish this world upon any of my future children. And maybe I'm being overly-optimistic, filled with the idealism of someone who has yet to grapple with the reality of parenthood. But I would like to think that I would be open to taking in one or two children who are already here.

February 4, 2010

A Simple Question

Who are we to question The Creator?

And yet we do. Every single one of us.

In every way.

Oh Abba Yahweh, forgive us.

We know not what we do.

February 1, 2010

A Moment of Epiphany

I was riding along the road tonight and had an epiphany.

I've always wondered what an "epiphany" is supposed to feel like. What that word means, really. But I think I was afforded a rare glimpse today. I was riding in the back of my friend's truck, driving along at a frank pace, being jostled to and fro by the erratic suspension, when I looked out the window, and was struck by a moment of such clarity, such peace, found directly in the beaming face of eternity.

I can't really describe it well. It was a moment of time where I felt completely... at ease. With myself, with my friends, with the crisp caress of the cool night air, with every thing, all despite the rough rub of Rhino paint. We were passing a a track field, specifically. I looked at the parking lot, with one streetlamp casting its ring of light to the asphalt, and was struck by an immediate and inexplicable sense of relief and tranquility. I realized, I think, in the rare, complete sense that we so infrequently experience, that I am God's beloved. And, even more precious than that, I felt it. It filled me to 'flowing, tincturing the world around me in a light that surpassed my surroundings, that illuminated past the physical barriers around me and cast my reality in the sparkling luster of revelation as well as blissful and complete acceptance. I continued to stare out the window for the next mile or so, just watching the world pass me by, and was awestruck.

How unbelievable is it that I am not just liked, but loved, by the God of all of this? The God of sunrises and sunsets, of the canyons and the mountains, of the cities and the plains, of the electrons that we can't see in light and the molecules that make up all of reality. How inconceivable is it that He adores me? That He would do anything, anything at all, to bring me out of the oil slick, of the unfathomable pit that I have afflicted myself with?

Who am I?

Who am I?

Who am I to receive this gift, this so-often unbelievable truth? Beneath my thick layer of sin, beneath all of my lies, my self-deception, behind the pupils of my eyes, the mass of flesh that is my brain, what is there? I realized, in this moment, that I am a soul. I am a unique, individual spirit, held down by bars of skin and flesh. All of these things around me? These trappings? These physical objects and even time itself? They will all end. They will burn out, break down, die and fade. Even the skin encasing my body wears out with time. Then again, even Time itself will fall through! It's a human perception, sense of existence. It will someday simply... cease to exist... whatever that means. And that fact didn't seem ominous to me. It simply was, and would be. And I felt at peace with it. But I was also at peace with the fact that I, who (and what) I truly am, will never end.


That wasn't labeled as unusual to my mind at the time. It only blew me away afterward. In that moment, though, it was commonplace. It was understood in my mind. It was earth-shatteringly peaceful.

This moment, I can't do justice. I usually can put words to my experiences in a pretty lucid fashion. But this? I can't think of one.

Except, maybe, just maybe, "epiphany."