As I sit here watching tv shows on my tivo I started to think about passion. I know it seems rather ironic that i would think about passion during a passionless activity. Well I will explain my thought process. I was thinking about shows that people go nuts over. Stuff like the Superbowl, or your favorite tv show. Granted I am prone to be a little over enthusiastic about some of my favorite shows. I then started to think about what else people get so worked up over… I was only able to think of a few things: Politics, sports, and family. Of course those were the only things i could think of and could be more or even less. But as i thought about it I was surprised about how much i have noticed that people are just apathetic in life. That people are devoid of passion. It is really a shame. I have noticed the more i talk to people my own age and some of my students that they are all apathetic. They don’t really know what to do with their lives, and honestly don’t really care all that much. I have found something in my life that i love doing. I love working with people. I love helping people find that passion for life and that passion in life. There has been a verse that has been bouncing around in my head for a while now. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 I have been thinking a lot about this passage. I have been wondering what Jesus meant by being the gate and the shepherd. I have been wondering what that has to do with having life and living it to the fullest. The thing that keeps coming back to me is the Nooma video “dust”. One of the biggest themes of that video is that Jesus believes in his disciples and in us. That Jesus chose us to follow him and that Jesus believes in us that we can be like Him. That is something that I am passionate about. I am passionate about this God who loves us so much that this God can not help but to meet us where we are at. The God of the universe that like a parent loves us so much that God believes that we can be anyone we want to be. God the creator of all things believes in us. That God made us in His/Her own image. We tend to think we don’t have enough creativity to come up with something. Now that just isn’t true we just come up with these things to put roadblocks in our way so that we can’t achieve our dreams. My mother has gone back to school to do finish her degree. She did this because she always wanted to finish. She put those dreams on hold because she needed to take care of us her children. It is amazing what she sacrificed for us. So i am surprised at people who say that they are too old, or too young, or too whatever it is. Why do we do this to ourselves? I think as Christians especially we should pursue our dreams. Pursue them because the God of the universe believes in us. I really think that is what Jesus meant by that statement. That Jesus came to free us. Free us from all of the roadblocks we put in our own way. Free us from ourselves. Free us by showing us that the God of the Universe has made peace with us and believes that we can be whatever we dream. My grandmother Esperanza’s favorite verse was Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I think that verse says it all. Through Christ you can do anything you dream you can be. So let me encourage you don’t let apathy stop you, Don’t get in your way, God has freed you to be whatever you dream to be.
This has been a heavy emotional week for me. I really don’t want it to be. I don’t want to miss her anymore. I don’t want to love her anymore. I know its something that i just need to get over it. I know i just need to let go. It’s just so hard for me to do so because i don’t know if she is hurting like this. I mean in my mind she is doing really well and she is good and doesn’t care about me anymore. It just really sucks. I don’t know why this week has been so bad i think its probably because it was her birthday this week. Anyway I think i just feel extra alone… its hard to feel accepted even though i know that i am here. I know people love me and care about me, but that is as a staff member. It is as a person who will help them, but it seems to me that people don’t really care about the personal mental health of those who help them… So today i am trying to get back into the right frame of mind to “help”. I feel that is the purpose of a Sabbath is for you and God to get in touch and talk, meditate, and work toward getting you back to the place where you can be with each other as a community. That is really besides the point though. So anyway today I felt like i just probably needed a good cry to get the feelings out of me. So I watched “Titanic” I have seen that movie maybe 10 to 20 times. I remember when it first came out. I went to see it about 4 times in the theatre. I went with my sister. I went with my friends. then i went on a double date with my friend John and the Steele sisters. We really liked the Steele sisters (funny cause they are both married now, so is john… I am the only one still single). So as i was watching the movie I realized you can’t really love someone enough with only a day of knowing the person, but also as i was watching i started to think about what it would take for rose to get back on the ship to be with Jack. If you were to do that… If you were to knowingly face your own death, because you couldn’t stand the thought of being apart from that one person. That Is what i feel love is like. The God of the universe loved us that much. God loves us so much that God couldn’t stand being apart from us. God had to get down here and knowingly face God’s own death just to have a relationship with us. God loves us so much that God would have jumped back on a sinking ship just to be with us. There is nothing we can do to make God love us any less! Anyway as i was sitting here thinking about that i was wondering if in the future some girl will love me enough to jump back aboard a sinking ship because she can’t stand the thought of being without me. I pray that God will bring that woman into my life. I pray that God will send me someone who will pursue me like God has pursued us. I feel tired i guess. I feel tired of pursuing… I pursued her more than i should have i guess. Anyway I want a love like that… Maybe im just a hopeless romantic. Maybe i just am way too influenced by romantic movies…
So on Sunday afternoon I attended a college friend’s wedding. It was amazing! I had never been to an Orthodox wedding. I think it was one of the coolest weddings I had been to because the service was not about the family and focus was not solely on the married couple, but more so God’s blessing and God’s union of the two. It was incredible. I really liked the fact that almost all the prayers and the entire liturgy was done in song. It did get a little old at the end but it was still a very wonderful look at the way weddings have been done for over a millennium in the church.
I think the most amazing thing though was not the service, was not the reception, was not the outpouring of family, was not the large group of people, It was the love between the bride and groom. I had never been that close to a love that pure. I mean I have been to weddings before, including my best friend’s; but I have never been to one where I could just feel and observe the love that radiated from the bride and groom so powerfully. I was reminded while standing there watching the ceremony (yes, standing it is in an orthodox church, the pews are rarely used) that we are Christ’s bride. The Messiah is our bridegroom. Putting that together with the love that can only be more powerful than what i observed its uncanny! That God loves us so so so so so so so so so much I am sure God looks at us like we are the best thing that has ever happened. That no matter what we did to screw up that God will still love us. Anyway, I am not an overly emotional sentimental guy, but this wedding almost made me cry.
This was a wonderful reminder for me. This had been a weekend that I really needed a reminder that God loved, loves, and will love me like this. I had spent the day on Saturday unpacking all of my boxes which was good to have things finally out and where I can find things once again, but I did something stupid. 5 months ago when I packed all of my boxes I was still together with Sherri. A girl I was quite positive I was going to spend the rest of my life with. So being the semi- emotional sentimental sappy guy that I am I packed every single one of my boxes with something to remind me of her or a picture of her… Yeah it was a rather painful thing for me to do to myself. What was great is that at the bottom of the box with the most “sherri” stuff in it there was a postcard from a friend that has been very encouraging to me during this time. That made my day. It made me smile from ear to ear to find that. Not only that I have been adjusting to my new environment. I like it very much, but its been hard to sleep recently. I don’t know why I can’t sleep, I just can’t. It has been making me rather irritable and that just isn’t a good thing. So after a weekend of no sleep and an emotionally painful day, Sunday was a resurrection of my spirit.
Sunday spending it with my new church family and getting to see people who so openly welcome me in and greet me with such warmth is a wonderful thing. I have never been a church where I felt so welcome and wanted. It has been rather cathartic just to attend services and to run into people around town who say welcome and are so happy I am here. Then an afternoon talking to my sister’s husband on the phone (he found the bolts to my futon…), and an amazing wedding. God just really uses small things to bless us and remind us that God loves us no matter what. I am so thankful for where I am and for what God has done for me. Anyway I just wanted to share that all…
This has been a very odd year for me. A lot has happened yet it seems that the year has just flown by. Back in College my friends and I would have an end of the year get together where we would look at slideshows we put together from pictures of the entire school year. I miss those times I guess now living in the same city as one of my college friends has made me rather nostalgic. I ran into her in Target yesterday. That was really very cool! I haven’t run into someone I knew in a store since college. It made me feel like I was supposed to be here again. It was awesome. Anyway due to that I put together a slide show of my year and all the photos that represent 2008 for me….