Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Walk in the Meadow

I decided to go think and take pictures this afternoon in the meadow by my house. It strikes me that this much beauty cannot come from randomly arranged particles. There's got to be some genius behind this masterpiece.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

All Things Work for Good...

It's about 3:30 in the morning, and I am finding myself awake and in deep thought for the second or third night in a row. Earlier this week, I was thinking about the verse in Romans that talks about how all things work for the good of those who love God, and who are in his purpose. I felt especially impressed by this after some difficult discussions with a friend at home, and a rough transition from dropping one class and picking up another, that there were some redemptive process that pulled me through. In the end, things turned out better than I expected.

Yet I was mistaken to proudly accept this turn of events as an act of God's sovereignty without looking at my own reactions. Now I see that this redemptive process was God's grace, and that I, lacking enough humility to see that, attributed it instead to a reward for my trust in Him. I don't think this is how it works. As I look at this passage again, I think that more importance is placed on the purpose.

My sister took this picture when we were hiking on the cliffs of Dover, which overlook the English Channel. To me, it sort of represents an ideal picture of the type of man that I want to be. I seem adventurous, standing tall and firm, in front of the sparkling sea. And yet, I know I am not that man. Maybe a part of it lives within me. It is probably the same part that enjoys the walks (when I force myself to get up early enough) in the meadow by my house. When I feel free to have conversations with the Creator of the meadow, as if He is walking beside me . Maybe Jessie sees that potential, and God has that version of me within His purposes.

There is a scene in Braveheart where young Willam Wallace's father turns to him and says "Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it." Deep down, that's what I want to do. My family has been so supportive in cheering me on, and telling me that they're proud of me and that they love me. Jessie sends me devotional emails about how she danced like David did, unabashed and wholeheartedly in worship. Right now, Dad and Jessie are on a plane to Thailand, pursuing their dreams. What will it take to pursue my dreams? What will it take to pursue His purpose? Do I have the courage to do so?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Finding My Place, Day by Day

On Tuesday I had my first tutorial in Social Anthropology. I had turned in my paper on the Thursday before, so I wasn't thinking that hard about Social Anthro when I showed up to meet with my professor. That was my first mistake. The second came from that fact that I didn't put as much effort and time into my Anthro paper that I have been puting into my Philosophy and Film paper. Big mistake. My tutor, as kindly and as Englishly as possible, tore me apart.

Wednesday, I was feeling really hurt, because I felt as if I was a fish out of water in the field of Social Anthropology, floundering for a basic understanding. By Thursday, I was feeling better about it, with the help of some encouraging my from amazing family and friends. I realized that it's better to start small, and work toward improvement than to start really strong and regress instead of progress. I also spent the majority of Thursday thinking about the direction that my life was headed, and researching and writing a paper on the role of television in contemporary society.

Friday, I was starting to get a sense that this semester will be a time of reaffirmation for me, and a focusing of those dreams and aspirations into actual thoughts about, and action toward, what I will do in the future. I also had my tutorial in Philosophy and Film, and came away with an even greater excitement for studying Theology within media. I spent friday evening laughing around this brazier at one of my favorite pubs, the turf tavern. Then we watched a great movie called Children of Men, and had a good discussion about some of the concepts of the film.

Today, walking back from a great game of Ultimate (Frisbee), I came to a beautiful realization. If I am looking for it, I can find God's hand in everything I do. Every day of this week has had some new element of Truth for me. Whether it's the challenging task of learning a completely new subject, the rewarding feeling I have after leaving a great class, or even the things that I do in my free time, God is there, and He's teaching me how to become of man of integrity. The only thing is, this isn't just for me. If I set my mind and my heart on building the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth, on gaining more knowledge that I can share with others, and on loving my friends sacrificially and unconditionally, I honestly believe that I am making a difference in the world. That's what I want to do with my life. It's an ambituous place to search for, but I search nonetheless.