Saturday, October 23, 2004

I started reading a book today by an author I really love. His books always make me think outside my box. I will recommend this book to you, but I can't right now, for reasons I can't discuss at this moment. I got about halfway through the book this morning, and as much as I just wanted to bulldoze my way through the rest of it, I had to put it down and think. Which is why I'm here. To help me think. One line that has been spinning around in my head...well I can't find it right now...but it basically said something to the effect of, "Life is more than a list of things that need to get done." Man, there is a lot of freedom in that statement for me. So much of my life becomes a "To Do" list too easy. I like being able to check things off. I like that feeling of productivity and acomplishment, but somethings should not be able to be checked off. "Spent time with Jesus...check. Quality time with friends...check. Weekly call to mom...check. Lead worship for youth group...check." I've gotten better. Believe it or not. Liene always bags me out for not being very flexible or spontaneous. It's because lists don't allow for flexibility. If you're flexible, things don't get checked off, and then I don't feel productive, and I get depressed and lost in a mire of worthlessness...

Sometimes I think I spend to much time with people. For some odd reason, since I've moved back to AZ, I hate to be alone. I keep waiting for it to wear off. Honestly, this morning is the first time that I've really been alone for this long in months. And it feels ok right now, but I'm having to fight really hard to not pick up my phone and tell liene I'm coming over, or ask rose if she wants to go for coffee. Surely I'm not turning into one of those ridiculous extraverts that don't even know how to spend time alone. I wonder though, if all my time spent with people takes away from time spent with God. I feel guilty about this alot actually. I beat myself up about it, because I feel like I'm not being spiritual enough. I don't feel like God is mad at me. I actually think I'm at a pretty good place with God. That sounds so stuck up. But you know what I mean. There are seasons. I think I'm in a fairly good season right now. I'd call it an up swing season. Which is amazing since it's October and all of the years' crap seems to always culminate in October. I'll get back to that thought in a bit. But I was thinking in the shower this morning (afternoon) about how I spend too much time with people and not enough time by myself with God. I just started talking to God about it, and how I feel guilty about it, and I realized that, with my close friends, the people I spend the majority of my time with, through my relationships with them, I am drawn closer to God. They challenge me, and encourage me, and confront me and I see and know God through them. Now, not to say that we can exchange time in the Word or prayer for talking with friends, but it lifted some kind of unnecessary weight off of my shoulders that said I shouldn't be spending so much time with people. God also reminded me that I'm in process, and that he has created everyone different. So often I think of the spiritual giants and want to be where they are now, even though they weren't where they are now when they were my age. Well some of them were. But even still, God's got me on my journey. That was their journey and I should try to compare the two because they are equally important and beautiful to God. It's frustrating though. I wish I could spend hours in prayer and meditation and bible study. But I can't. And I wonder how I will ever be successful in ministry. Or life for that matter. But I know God has plans. Good plans, and I know that even though my mind often decieves me that my heart yearns for him more than anything or anyone else. I'm going to try to stop wishing I was on another part of my journey, and just enjoy where I am now and soak up all that God is teaching and showing me now. And I'm thankful that I'm another mile down the road from where I was last year.

Back to October being the crappy month of the year. It really is. I know more than one person will testify to that. All the crap happens in October. And so far, this year is not an exception. I was thinking about that last night and wondering if it has anything to do with Halloween. I try not to get too "Jerry Falwell" about Halloween, but I don't doubt that the enemy uses it as a spiritual stronghold in america. Anyway, so I've actually been thinking about this for a while and then was reminded of it last night when my friend called late and said that she just found out that her other best friend that lives in FL found her 60 something mom dead in her bed. Died in her sleep. October sucks. A year ago Sunday my dad had his open heart surgery and I was on a flight from Sydney to Texas. Krys' grandpa died in October. October always seems to be one of my low seasons during the year. Hence the upswing I'm in now. The rest of the month was pretty shit. Before womens retreat I was honestly in a really bad place. I was thinking about about dying. And waking up some mornings disappointed that I hadn't. It would be so much easier. I'm glad I didn't die though, and I'm glad that God has grace and mercy in abundance for us during those seasons. I'm also glad that Jesus was a man and understands what it's like. This October has also been really challenging for some of my friendships. One in particular that has just gone weird in the past week because of a boy. Actually I don't think it's because of the boy, I think that's just kinda what tipped the scale maybe. I don't know. But I think it's dumb that it's caused weirdness. I think next year I'm going to skip October.

The thought that started all of the previous thoughts was one that I don't have often really, but it's definitely reoccuring. "I am not of this world". That is the thought. It is such a comforting thought. I don't remember where I first heard this idea, I know it wasn't purely my own, even though I've adopted it as such. It explains so much of why so many things feel unexplainably wrong. Why this war against terror feels wrong even though I don't know what would make it better, why there is something wrong about professional athletes making hundreds of millions of dollars for doing something every boy in America has done in his backyard for the hell of it, why Paris Hilton makes me cringe, and why the Real World is possibly the furthest thing from it. It explains why bad things happen to good people, and why injustice goes unpunished, it explains why October sucks and why sometimes I want to die, it explains why I was dissapointed in God when I had to leave Sydney, and why my heart honestly aches to go back some days. It also explains why over and over and over again I run back to God. On really bad days I crawl back. But I always return. Because He is the only thing that feels real, that feels true, that feels like love, and that feels right in this world. Because He is not of this world, and neither am I.

This blog was written to the soothing sounds of BS2. And that sentence was for K.Lo cause I don't think anyone else will understand or care. =)