Not a bad way to end a Sunday. The ice is for my very swollen knee. Guess it’s bad to step from a 3 foot ledge through a folding chair. #productionlife. It’s kinda funny, this whole situation. Instead of spending this weekend hiking and visiting I played to many video games and got really behind. I had a sharp realization that I need to really stick to my plan…then I took a chair to the knee. I was sorely reminded that I do need to have my responsibilities and that freedom is really not what I need. We all want freedom to a certain extent. I did an exercise with some guys that had us list our number one trait that we valued. Independence was quite a few of them. Why do we value freedom and independence? Why is it that those who want to be defined by a system are seen as freaks or at least weird? I remember reading that before the Fall we solely relied on God to define us. Therefore now we are still looking for that freedom in being completely found in something. We are at home being defined but something that isn’t us. Yet we believe false freedoms and things that we can’t find fulfillment in. Fulfillment comes from knowing Yahweh and rejoicing in this being found. Soon may our joy just be from knowing we are his, nothing more is needed. (at Castle Rock)
So I’m laying in my room after my first day of school, listening to Of Monsters and Men on the floor because I’m way more tired that I thought I was and this is my view. A lovely water stain with a light with only one working bulb. It brings me back to what my Econ teacher said today. He asked us if we had everything we ever wanted. No hands went up, including his own. “So what I am to understand is that everyone will always be disappointed?” That sucking sound was the desire to give the answer but we knew it was to sad to admit. Yes, we will spend all of this life disappointed. We can’t have everything we want at no cost. Even love comes at a price and the high cost of grace makes it maybe the most valuable scarce good on earth. My room is thoroughly decorated. It wasn’t intentional but the decorations distract from the giant crack and stain. Do I let it sit there and hope when it rains it won’t poor in my room. But I can fix it. We all can fix it. I have access to the means to repair this hole. Once the call is made I trust it is done, finished. No need to linger on it. (at Castle Rock)
Day 11: Passion
This is the final day of summer and soon the heat will leave us and cold will come to take it’s’ place. No more lazy days of playing video games and just relaxing. Now what I want to accomplish will be even harder with the demands of school. There is a lot I will be starting. New campus ministry, new club sport team, new roommates. I am surprised at my lack of excitement for this time. Have I become so accustomed to this transition to not revel in it’s journey? Or am I too caught up in my own mind that whatever exist outside of it is of less importance. Hmmmm…complex this life can be. To have such passions fight inside, as if two tidal waves are continuously crashing into each other, both seeking a shore to finally rest upon it’s demise. Do we love life like this? Do I? Where does this ship stand on these swelling waves, breaking over ourselves because we rush into destruction. Take us and make us a stream, softly going by, falling only closer to the ocean of your kindness and compassion. A warm embrace for this cold river heart. Send us to water the lives of so many other so that the flower, though passing away, may shine ever brightly as to remind the land what it lives for. (at Castle Rock)
Day 9: Comfort…again
I have just been really struck by the comfort post I have done. See I’m comfortable but only with certain things. I used to think hummus was gross. Now I can’t stop eating it. Earlier today I tried sparkling strawberry water. Not that great. I guess I’m afraid to try something and hate it. Yet the more I try the more I realize there is little that I hate and even that aftertaste won’t last. I guess it ca relate to any kind of failing. I’m afraid to fail because of the feeling of failing. So I never try anything that I’m not comfortable with. Soon you are doing the same things, over and over. We never gain new life experiences and our scope to help is limited. I need to be reminded that the feeling of failure is not that bad and it won’t last if it is. This isn’t the case. Some failures need more help to get over. This isn’t for that. This is for the little things that can grow to bury us. Don’t let the little things grow and create a fear of failing. You may never try something great. Like hummus! (at Castle Rock)
Day 8: Comfort
So I missed day 7 and almost missed today because of this very topic. What I want to do is hike, explore, write, take pictures for my life. However I am far too comfortable sitting on my butt playing video games and doing nothing. It’s true. Here is the real truth of it. Firstly, it is not wrong to like and enjoy these things. Secondly, it is also very good to pursue things that make our hearts and souls alive. Basically what it boils down to is accepting that we are human, a vibrant living image of Yahweh. This image cannot be made black and white. To often I buy into the lie that we are made static creatures. However the tension lies in the fact that I cannot behave like this. I believe this comes from our post-Eden brokenness. We desire to be defined, we were made to be ruled. Yet we let the world around us rule us. At least I do. I’m am always seeking a higher form of comfort. Not in things or emotions but in a person and how he orders things. How does that comfort align and order all the things in my life. Still figuring it out. Looks like the search for a true comfort isn’t all that comfortable. Yet Paul calls Yahweh the “God of all Comfort”. So whatever comfort I seek, I know that Yahweh rule over it. That is a comforting thought. (at Castle Rock)
Day 6: Truth in Life
Today was a wonderful day filled with people, new friends and old. It was mostly spent talking with a wonderful friend of mine for about 4 hours. Our discussion went from horses to her new baby to the things that make us “flip” to just about everything. A lot of our conversation was centered around Jesus, naturally. We both realized that as much as we wanted it, life didn’t seem to fit into a nice and neat box. It was messy is every sense of the word. I myself find it hard to see how Jesus is present in all of it. How does the truth come out of a life that has so many lies sewn into it? My common misconception is to believe that truth is a conception I or mankind established. Yet in Scripture it says that Jesus is the Truth, the Way and the Life. This is vastly deeper than I care to admit, and yet I do more freely than ever. I devoted most of my life before knowing Yahweh to knowing the truth. Knowing the right way. Geez, I still do it now. But Yahweh has organized my life in such a way that the cold, dead “truth” I had couldn’t keep me afloat in this mucky swamp of life. The life I lived was (and still is) vibrant and ever shifting to an ant like me. I needed a truth that was this also. Then I remember that the living and active Yahweh, God of the Universe, was also Truth. It wasn’t just his power, it was his character! So then I began to apply this to my life. Then this verse in the picture made more sense. I do know the Truth, and Truth has made me free. Free from the chains of the mess of life. Free to trust that Truth was working out this life for good. I don’t fight for Truth, Truth fights for me. (at Kinard Hall at Winthrop University)
Day 4: Community
Now this picture was taken yesterday but it’s my project and my rules. These beautiful people are just a part of a loving community of incredible people I spent almost 3 months with. “Community” is one of those words that get thrown around in the church and many don’t know what it means. I still forget. But times like this summer remind me. 30 college age kids, 1 house, totally worth it. We certainly weren’t the Brady Bunch. Our problems couldn’t be solved in 45 mins and some laughs. But we were united; not by our own doing but the work of Yahweh. One staffer, Edmond Camp, stated it perfectly. “I am thankful not just for the community God called here, but the one he built.” Yahweh build your kingdom here, in us, with us. Amen.
Day 3: Give Us Rest
Today is the first day of church back in Rock Hill. To be home is so wonderful. I picked this song but is gets me every time. The chorus is “Oh great love of God/Who takes away the sin of all of us, gone forever”. That right there is why we can truly rest on this Sabbath. All of our sin and failures are gone, forever taken by the Thief in the Night. I’m reminded how awesome this act was when I see the lives that have been made new at church. No you don’t need to go to church to be redeemed, but I don’t see why you wouldn’t. I mean Jesus shows up! (at Elevation Church - Rock Hill)
So I forgot to do yesterday because of moving and hanging out with this girl and her husband. Rhianna and Sam have been such a blessing to me an Insta pic does nothing of the credit to be given. These two are heading to Austin and I will miss them always. Spending last night with them was a joy and a half. I hope everyone can have friends like these. (at Sir Edmond Halley’s Restaurant & Freehouse)
This is the first day of my last year here at Winthrop. It is also the first day of a project. Each day I will take one picture of the day and post it here. This will be to pursue a passion for pictures and to force myself to share with people my life. Day 1: Moving in was HARD. We are just now calling it quits and we aren’t even done. And this is only 2 of the 5 roommates! But this has been a time for working together and recognizing rest. I’m excited for this year!