Sunday, March 29, 2009

Confessions of an Insomniac.

I am awake.

The night is at its darkest; just before the morning is recognizable as morning. I leave and tiptoe outside. I sit in the field and notice that the stars are still softly glowing, allowing heaven to peek through onto Earth. The clouds are heavy with rain, which occasionally drip on my bare skin, reminding me that I am human and alive.

When you can't sleep, you can't be awake either. I can't keep my mind occupied with one thought, but neither can I clear it enough to sleep. I feel the air thicken with moisture and wind. The breeze is fast and cold, moving through my bones and mind. The air smells sweet as the flowers slowly begin to stir. The night becomes morning as the light at the horizon remembers that it is soon needed. I, like the leaves and grass, begin to stir as the light touches me. I remember all that needs to be done today, the Sabbath, the day before my hectic week begins, the day where I will call home; the day of seemingly very busy 'rest'. And yet, none of that seems as important as existing with creation right now.

The pale, soft light of the morning reminds me of my close friends. Those who I am a part of and those who form a part of me. I remember the fun things we have done recently. I remember the fun things we have done in the past. I remember how many rules I broke and how many moral lines I blurred. I remember my own faith witness and wonder how I have tarnished the Lord's name. I stop. I have forgotten to breathe.

I inhale the good feelings. I exhale the bad memories. I center myself and remember grace. I breathe as though it is all my exhaustion will allow me to do. A whippoorwill cries somewhere near by. I am taken back to the very day my insomnia began; I remember sitting next to a pond with bullfrogs, coyotes and whippoorwills calling out to me all night and all the next morning. I breathe in again, remembering the sweet smell of the morning air beside Sycamore Pond. I breathe out, remembering the pain in my heart that began this journey of sleeplessness.

I look around. I see the grasses beginning to perk up, one by one; as an army of thousands moves as one. I look closer and see small midge flies beginning to rub the dew from their wings as I rub the sleep from my eyes. I look into the air and see the early birds rise into the clouds as though to greet the sun as soon as he arrives. I think to palm branches and wonder on the majesty of Christ's creation.

I look to my right hand and see the ring that has not left my body in three years. I remember all that it is and how it haunts me. I remove it and set it amongst the army of grass. I notice tones and hues of yellow among the white gold that I have never seen before. I look to the sky and see that the yellow is reminding me that I, too, am a part of nature. I, too, am a created being. I, too, am renewed every morning. The rainbows from the diamond are scattered across my ankle. The reds that is the passion of my Lord. The green that is the army that now carries my ring. The blue that is the night sky. The yellow that is the sun's renewal and the Son's renewal.

I recognize my oneness with nature. I feel the warmth of the sun as it rises, alongside the grass and whippoorwill. I am in the space between night and day, light and dark, old and new. Together, we step into the future.

Silence, stillness, peace. The sun cracks over the horizon. It illuminates my view; the church to my right, the orchard to my left, my house behind me, the creation around me. The sun seems to pierce through the darkness like a camera flash in a blackout. It pierces through my dark thoughts. It reminds me to breathe again. I shut my eyes and feel the light. I sense the reds and oranges triumphing over the blues and greens.

If the world was how it should be, maybe I could get some sleep. My mind is sent rocketing towards my future as though my past was a springboard. I feel the triumph of my future. I hear my whippoorwill again. This time, he raises a chorus of others. I hear a cardinal respond surely. I hear the army of grass respond by shaking off their slumber and rising to greet the day. I, too, rise. I take my ring from the ground. I look at it; it is no longer a bad memory, but a reminder that I am new. I wipe my cold feet on the wet grass; we are so similar, the grass and I. I glance towards the heavy rain clouds that are now obscuring my view of the sun. I remember that they are temporary, but that the sun will rise every morning. I feel the drips on my skin and hair; I remember that rain will bring green grass and flowers soon. I breathe in the sweet morning air once more. I tell myself that tomorrow has enough stress of its own. I don't need to add to it. I remind myself that I have already been taken care of and my plans are useless anyways.

I walk inside and go to sleep.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

If the World Was How it Should Be Maybe I Could Get Some Sleep.

To describe my night tonight, I would sound as though I was beginning a "Jew walks into a bar" joke...
What happens when a male, Dutch, Christian engineer; an Indian, male, Muslim engineer; a native, female, Buddhist philosopher; a male, Dutch, Christian philosopher and a Spanish, female, Christian psychologist gather at a University for 5 hours?
Fun shenanigans!
Seriously though, for a group of near-strangers, we all had an amazing time tonight. After making a single-serving friend at the computer across from me, I felt wholly fulfilled. I had no idea I would make two more! We met up at Mac, where I had been doing research in the Library with Dan. Dan's best friend from home, Jon, was there, along with a friend from his program, Mohammad, and his friend, Danielle. We met up at Bridges, the Vegetarian restaurant on campus, where we talked about everything from nymphomania, to how randomness can never truly exist. After the restaurant closed, we moved to the campus commons building (for those who haven't been to Mac, Redeemer's closest equivalent would be if you mixed Williams, the quad, and the Rec Center) and continued to discuss things like God, sex, music, structural integrity of buildings, conspiracy theories, rapists, serial killers, and infomercials... to name a few topics. Granted, I have a midterm tomorrow and five papers due in three days next week, so I shouldn't have spent my time as such... But in the end, I believe it was worth it for the uplifting (and extremely comical) conversation.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I'm No Superman.

Things that disturb me:
-Bad grammar
-Men wearing v-necks
-Carrying toilet paper in public
-Sweat marks
-Old Spice
-Recycling or compost in the garbage

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Some may run and some know fear.

15 Reasons Why Most Redeemer-ites Want Me Dead:

15. I have [many] body piercings.

14. I believe that if we are truly Christians we will be out there in the world doing whatever we can and that those who make excuses not to do anything must not have God's love and compassion in them.

13. I believe that knowing God leads to a living and active faith and knowing about God leads to a dead, debate and rule-filled religion.

12. I have no problem speaking my mind.

11. I don't believe in 'one holy catholic church' because I don't believe that we are holy... yet.

10. I believe that the charismatic churches are doing more for the Kingdom's cause than the reformed churches.

9. I believe that emotion is an important part of worship.

8. I believe that the "Christian" music industry is ruining any chance we ever had of sharing our message. **

7. I believe accountability is important.

6. I believe that music of any style can be made by Christians (That's right; I believe Underoath is both an awesome band and a Christian band).

5. I believe reading the Bible is infinitely more important than reading books written by Christians. (This includes Calvin's writings!)

4. I believe we should have friends who are not Christian.

3. I believe that the gifts of the Spirit are a sign of the Holy Spirit in you. (Including praying in tongues).

2. I believe our faiths should change us.

1. I think Redeemer needs to be confronted by God and changed.

** I know this one can get confusing: Too many bands make it in the Christian music industry who are not musically excellent because we are not competitive enough; often, making it in the Christian music scene is a cop-out of the true competition in the secular industry. Because of this, the Christian music industry is seen as a joke. If a Christian band is good enough, they could make it into the real music scene. And the influence of having God's message on the iPods of non-Christians does so much more than have mediocre music pumping God's message into the ears of Christians who already know it. I don't know if that explains it or not, if you want to ask me in person, go for it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Thoughts on Faith.

For God commanded angels to watch over you
That they shall protect you in all your living keep you
For their hands will uphold and guide you
Lets you dash your foot against a stone, stumbling
For they shall protect you
In all your living keep you
For they shall, shall protect you
They shall protect you, protect and keep you

"From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it." Matthew 11:12.

"Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling" Philippians 2:12b.

I like to imagine what a pure faith would look like.  Not a religion full of useless rules or something stupid like that... but a real faith that somehow made our world better or managed to actually exemplify love.