Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Blogging Ruins Everything

The title is a bit of a joke, but in a way, it's kind of true. I started this blog with grand (perhaps a tinge prideful) ideas of sharing my thoughts to people who would read and be inspired. But I still haven't quite gotten over what it means to write something and put my heart into it and then release it to the endless worldwide web. Even in my own person journals, somehow writing about something taints it. It's no longer truly private and beautiful, no longer my own. Maybe there is a bright, deep, weighty idea that I'm processing and growing in. When I write it down, I feel like I lose part of it. By casting into ink what that idea means, I take from it the power to grow and transform into something else even more powerful and weighty. It's this tricky little paradox in which I don't want to write because I want to hold something entirely in my heart for processing, and yet I do want to write so that I can better process and remember the journey I'm on.

And in terms of this blog, maybe that wouldn't be a problem if it didn't deal so much with my heart. I don't write about things that aren't important to me. If I did, we would both be bored out of our minds. And this isn't to say I'm done writing. I find I go in seasons with this. But I don't want to be pouring myself over into a blog at the expense of what God is doing in me. Because I am a vessel, a simple jar of clay through which Christ will pour His Spirit. The unspoken part of that statement is that I cannot fill myself up nor pour myself out of my own accord. And when I try to, it will fall flat. As I seek what it means for God to pour through me, and for me to let myself be a vessel, be a fool, be a simple undecorated jar for His sake, that just may not include much blogging. Who am I to argue with that? I want to step into the light and the ministry that my God has for me, however new and unfamiliar that seems to me, and however counter-intuitive.

All that to say, I am taking a step back from this great blogging endeavor. For now and who knows how long. I'll still write as I'm inspired to, but I suspect there is a fair amount of refining and beautiful deep work God must do in me before I can return to such an endeavor in earnest. Some lessons come and go quickly, while others stretch over long periods of time. He is holy and perfect! My God is the God of life. I am a little exhilarated to explore with Him the narrow mountain trails He has for me, apart perhaps from what I know and am familiar with. Thanks for sharing in this journey so far. God bless.


....Ten bucks says I will have the best blog idea the second I hit "Publish"  :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Pepper Pots

Hi. Meet my pepper plant. Actually there are three of them, and two different species of chili pepper represented. I keep them at my university desk because it's the only real place I have with good sunlight. I haven't been to that desk much in these last couple weeks of finishing summer school and starting at Ventana, so I was surprised and relieved to discover that they had grown so much since I saw them last. I actually felt like a neglectful parent, as if I had missed part of my child's life. In fact, call me silly, but after watering them and taking care of them, I felt like I needed to take a moment to enjoy their progress before leaving.

As I sat and reflected on the plants, it crossed my mind once again that these were pepper plants, which means that some day, they will hopefully yield delicious spicy chili peppers for me to enjoy and cook with. But as I looked at them in their fragile youth of planthood, I thought about how I don't need peppers a minute too soon. I'm just happy to be part of these little plants' growth. They will give me peppers when they are ready to. Shoot, I don't even know what kind of season these guys have. I could be waiting years!

But because I love metaphors so much (and indeed I cannot escape them), I began reflecting once again on God's measure of things. I like that word lately, measure. I have found myself in a thousand small life situations thinking about God's sovereignty, and how he has designed things as he saw fit. For instance, God has given me the measure of intellectualism that he saw fit - and to others more and to still others less. God has given me the measure of beauty that he saw fit, or designed my family as he saw fit, or put me in Tucson as he saw fit... Nothing is accidental, and I like that, even if I don't "like" it at times. If I trust him, then he will lead me down good paths. Good paths don't always mean the paths I "want" to take, or things that will necessarily make me "happy", but they will be good and God's will in them will be sovereign. And that is joy.

So as I think about my pepper plants, and how they will yield their fruit whenever they are ready to, I think about all the other things in life that I'm "waiting" for. I'm ready to let God do with my life what he sees fit. I have been praying open-handedly about the things I want, and have been blessed to be able to say, "as you see fit, God, not me." I came to the conclusion that if I pursue God's heart in something, and surrender my own will, God will lift up my head in that situation. He just will. I can no longer doubt that. And again, that doesn't mean it's going to shine and sparkle and be just what I always dreamed of (sarcasm). In fact, the reality of a situation might still be really hard, in a sense. And God absolutely can't be manipulated by false piety. But when I truly lay those things at his feet, I can joyfully trust that it will be to the measure God has designed it. And it will be good.

 Here's a good verse:
"Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'"
(Isaiah 30: 18-21)

*I actually wrote this entry a number of weeks ago, but just found it and decided to post it after all. Hope you enjoyed it!