Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sleep comes slowly...

It's late, and I'm tired. But for some reason... sleep just does not want to come tonight.

As I sit here in the quiet stillness of my room, the faint notes of Death Cab for Cutie playing in the background, I am caught up in nostalgic introspection. These past nine months have been a complete whirlwind of activity. This inexorably leads to the need to write, to organize my thoughts in words, a skill that G-d has gifted me with.

There's so much that has happened, so much that I have done, so much that I have learned.

At moments like this, I cannot help but be caught up in the inexplicable revelation that every step that I have taken has been part of the wonderful tapestry that G-d has woven me into. It is a wondrous idea, an honor, and yet... incredibly humbling.

I was given an unparalleled joy as I spent four and a half months roaming the countrysides of England, Ireland, Scotland, and France. I learned many things that are easy to put into words: the simple beauty of the Scottish Highlands is breathtaking, the City of Lights is captivating, and I love playing volleyball.

The other life lessons are not so simple. Some concepts and lessons will always exist without adequate words to express them fully. I've always known but now have felt that faith cannot and should not exist in a vacuum, which was one of my strongest motivations in how I spent the next semester.

The almost fortnight that I had between arriving at home and starting the next semester was far from enough time to readjust to being back in the states and get organized for returning to another challenging semester at school--my fifth eighteen credit hour semester. The truth is that I always adjust to the different textures and characteristics of other cultures quite well, but I always struggle at readjusting to my own.

This last semester has been... wonderful, crazy, ridiculous, busy, and exhausting all at once. I know that I spread myself much more thin than I should have, but I thirsted for so much activity, perhaps attempting to balance the social void that I had felt the semester before.

I was lead to pledge to Kappa Chi, a coed Christian service fraternity, a step that I still probably would not have taken if I had not been allowed to pledge after the official pledge date. The joy of participating in this group required my Sunday and Monday evenings.

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays I spent my time discussing, learning, and praising G-d through two fantastic Bible studies. The first one, I attended with many old friends and was able to use this time as one part of many moments that helped me ease back into my amazing group of friends. I had missed them.

I also started attending Intervarsity steadily for the first time this past semester, and I'll admit that going to watch and hear Courtney play her cello (also known as Elgar) was part of the attraction. But it was also a great experience getting to praise the Lord and becoming more familiar with some people that I had barely known.

And on Fridays, of course, I kept on attending and assisting with the running of SCF's Focus--the main meeting that I have been attending every single Friday that I have been in town. I had missed that fellowship, I had missed delving into that wonderful group.

This last semester has been full of wonderful surprises--even if one in particular sticks out--as well as some disappointments. I miss having the now Amanda (Bechtinator) Nally around at school. Words cannot express how dearly I treasure her friendship, and I've missed being able to see her, even if I am extremely happy for the season of life with which G-d has blessed her. I've also had to bid farewell to so many people that I care about and will miss. Graduation is tough.

At the same time, I've gained a great new group of friends, some that had always been floating around on campus and some that had only just arrived this past school year. I've also been blessed with a wonderful girlfriend. Although no especial event or story really marks the beginning of our relationship, I feel as if something should have. I was captivated by Courtney the moment I met her on my first day back at campus; there was just something about this girl that I could not ignore, something about her that.... drew me, attracted me. It has been a wonderful difficulty adjusting to having a girlfriend around on a daily basis, but a simple joy at the same time.

Even though I could turn this novella into a complete novel, given the time, the soft covers of my bed are calling me. However, the end conclusion of this entire school year is rather simple: a G-d created tapestry, an ordained plan.

I cannot wait to see what comes next--an anticipation that is surprising and exhilarating.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


What does it mean to live?

Such a simple question for such an overwhelmingly cosmic answer, an answer that every member of humanity is searching for every day. So, I found myself asking G-d, once more....

What does it mean to live?

Living means never listening to fear.

It means knowing when to say yes, when to say no, and when to wait with patience.
It also means accepting that I'll always eventually make the wrong choice.

It means diving into the unknown.
It also means appreciating the scrapes, bruises, and cuts I get when I do dive.

It means letting go of even the most simple plans the moment that G-d changes them.
It also means loving Him and praising Him every time this happens.

It is a dynamic, challenging, changing cacophony of music and silence, emotion and logic, need and desire.
It is as steady as the quiet, constant movement of a tectonic plate.

It is held within the most simple of glances, encapsulated by wordless communication.
It is held within a quiet whisper and vanishes the moment I attempt to grasp it.

Friday, January 2, 2009

another new year

As usual, I've tried gathering my thoughts and found their coherence lacking.

What effect has this past year had upon my life? What lessons have a learned, what trials have made me stronger? Which ones made me weaker? With how quickly the last six months of that year passed, even three weeks have been too little time to process everywhere I have been, all the people I have met, and all the lessons I have learned.

Out of it all, only one lesson truly rises above the murky surface of my musings. I've spent too much of this past year being swayed by fears, by the faint whisperings of the possible detrimental effects. It's not to say that my attention to these whispers has always or even often resulted in decisions different than those which I would have made, but they have been unofficial guides that I refuse to recognize any more. G-d is my Anchor, my Saviour, my Source. Only in Him do I ever truly live, and without Him, I slowly wither away.

My resolution for the new year? I don't have one. I could spend hours trying to make a list and fail to even write down one thing. I just want.... G-d. I want to be directed by Him, healed by Him, and sustained by Him.

And I know He will. I look at this past year... I gained another best friend, more patience than I thought I could contain, and learned more about what it means to be myself. I've been shaped by world travels, sharpened by so many amazing people, pulled closer to my Lord and Saviour. Life never stops changing, never stops challenging, never stops pulling me away from what I am comfortable with, but it never stops being...

and utterly,


Asking for time to decipher the signs...

What is there to know? I'm just another guy trying to figure out what it means to truly love, to truly live, to embrace life to the fullest. If I ever get some answers, I'll let you know. "So live on, / Breathing in every sigh / Hurt and joy / Truly living life to its fullness / Leaving no dream unturned / Or unfulfilled / Live on / Life awaits" -excerpt from "Nostalgia" by me.