Wednesday, August 26, 2009

water please. no ice.

i haven't really done this yet, i don't think--use my blog to shamelessly promote something that i think deserves promotion. here we go:

1 in 6 people in our world don't have access to clean drinking water.

1 in 6. think of 6 people you love and imagine one of them having to drink out of the nearest puddle for their whole life, which, incidentally, would be quite short.

go to this site and see what you can do to help -- charity: water is doing absolutely amazing things to solve this problem. amazing. so amazing you will want to take part and they've made it embarrassingly easy. go to the site, watch the video. be inspired. that's one of life's beauties, right? finding things that inspire.

you're welcome and pass it on.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

but seriously

a theology professor once explained learning about God this way - sometimes we can draw a box of definition around God using only what we know God is not. finding what God is can sometimes be more of a challenge.

i know that God is not a God who has intended for me to live my whole life by emotion, chance and my own interpretation of events that may or may not be natural. i say this because i have seen christians live this way. i have seen some people very close to me live in agony and fear because the only way they know by which to make good decisions is to wait for a consuming conviction-to wait and see what God reveals to them through fleeting sentiments, billboards, or the good old fashioned 'open and point' scripture-reading. don't misunderstand me. i have heard several stories of God speaking through these very things, but as a general rule, i don't think that my relationship with my Creator should hinge on feelings and divinations.

i believe, rather, that i have been divinely equipped for this life, in a way that allows me to walk in humble gratitude and confidence in a life that is guided by principles of righteousness and love, when it is, in fact, guided by principles of righteousness and love. i do not always need to wait for a feeling to tell me 'yes' or to tell me 'no.' i do not need to live in guilt and uncertainty. guilt is not of God. once again, do not misunderstand me. it is important, it is vital to be ever-sensitive to the leading and the presence of the Holy Spirit. one would be a fool to disregard such a priceless gift. once again, i think i am just trying to find truth by naming non-truth. if i get caught up in over-spiritualizing every thing in my life (for instance - i saw a purple finch sitting on a lilac bush and so clearly, God wants me to move back to nh. no, that's silly), i believe that i will dilute what it is that i love most about God - the beauty and grace right in the midst of human depravity.

my real question in all of this is the role of God in my life. i think i that i understand, or at least know how to pursue further, how the existence and character of God changes the way i live my life. what i don't understand is where to draw the lines between attributions: for what am i responsible? for what are you responsible? for what is God responsible? for what is no one responsible? i'm not sure.

i started thinking about this a couple of years ago in the context of babies. my friend was getting married and having a hard time deciding what kind of contraception to use, or whether she should use it at all. i had heard before that the bible calls children a blessing, and so who are we to try and dictate when or how God chooses to bless us. this made sense to me at the time. then again, it didn't matter too much to me - marriage and babies being so far away.

then, my friend and i had a conversation with our pastor and his wife, who had decided to have no more children. they told us not to over-spiritualize the situation. they said that when a woman mis-carries, it's not necessarily because God took the baby away, but because God designed our bodies to work a certain way. this made me think about conception. i know that the bible says that i was knit together in my mothers womb, and that's a beautiful thought, but i wonder if we've interpreted it in a slightly over-literal sense. for instance, every day there are babies born in africa to impoverished women with AIDS and they do not survive through their miserable first year of life. is that the will of God, or is that just a consequence of humans refusing to care for one another?

since that time, i have struggled with this whole idea of attribution. i still don't really understand, but i guess if i understood everything, i wouldn't need a God. i have resolved to the philosophy that i should do all that i can do because that is all that i can do. whatever is out of my control may or may not be orchestrated by God, but i do know that whatever happens, God will help me to find the good and encourage it to grow.

dollah dollah billz

i'm in a weird place.

not physically. i'm just in my room, but my place in life is weird. i'm still buying a house, but this process is so long and just keeps getting longer. by the end of it, i believe i will have spent the same length of time as an entire semester (allow me to revert to student-timing), just trying to buy a house. it's mentally frustrating, trying to prepare for a big transition that refuses to come.

it's not at all that i want to leave the commune. i really do love it here. i know that i will miss spending time with the people who live here with me because i know that i wont possibly see them as much. i already see them remarkably less than one would think, considering our proximity to one another. but, like i've said before, i believe it's a good step for everyone.

i recently purchased a set of furniture for my new home, should i ever actually live there. one piece is a chaise, which i plan to put in my room, and faint on from time to time, just for fun. last sunday, i went to my house with alisha and steven and laid on the floor of each empty room, imagining furniture and colors. it was great fun, though, i think, technically trespassing.

last night after work, i ran to thy gym, and the spent two hours in classes (body pump and yoga). i hadn't been in a couple of weeks, so it was a nice way to spend the evening. after i got home, i watched as episode of 'intervention' with my parents (love it) and then refused to start a movie with them at 10:00 because i couldn't stay up that late. i went to my room, changed into pjs and checked my voicemail. i had one from the cool kids at carmine's, and they were all going to bailey's to celebrate our dear noah's last night.

some people might think - it's already past 10:00, i have to be at work at 9:00, i really should go to sleep instead of driving 10 minutes away to hang out at a bar. some people also don't have a severe distaste for missing things. i got dressed and went, and didn't return until around 2:30. it was a whole lot of fun and i don't regret it, but when my alarm went off at 8:00 this morning, i did not feel well. i was tired from having not slept enough or well, i was hungry from not having eaten a real meal since 1:00 yesterday afternoon, i was so very sore from my gym craziness, and i was dehydrated from no water and some buffalo wings.

so, i've taken a sick day. that is why i am able to blog right now. i don't have much time these days. i worked about 70 hours last week - between the 9-5 and the restaurant gig. i can't complain too much. i have two jobs that i enjoy. it does make me tired, though. by this past sunday, i kind of felt like i was committing a slow sort of suicide. this week, i was scheduled for one less shift at the restaurant, and i found someone to cover another one - so that's a step in the right direction.

alisha (my roommate) is in ethiopia doing something very awesome, but it is still sad that she is gone for a whole two weeks more.

while writing this blog, i thought about writing, again, that i want to go to the divinity school at duke. and then i thought to myself: 'self, why don't you actually take a step in that direction, instead of just talking about it.' and so i did. i sent an email to the admissions dept, asking to set up an appointment. the only issue i take with the div school plan is that it very well may cost a lot of dollah dollah billz that i don't have. hopefully an admissions counselor will reveal all sorts of lovely opportunities that will make this be not so, but i guess we'll see.

i realize that this is a collection of random thoughts, but if i keep writing nothing at all, i will, well, keep writing nothing at all.