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Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Speck in the Universe

It's late, I've running on a rather minimal amount of sleep, and I must be up with the sun to trot around the loop with our new class. Yet, as is often the case when it really isn't the time to be writing, I feel the need to do so. People asked me today what my hobbies are. I quickly threw out the usual, reading & writing & eating out. I added, "and ethnic foods" just to make me sound a little more interesting. Reality is, though, that writing is what drives my soul.

So tonight I look at my blank screen, watching the words form as my fingers reach for the necessary keys to create the meaning, and I wonder why I feel the need to write. I know, but I'm not sure I'm brave enough to say so.

I read an article today that someone else posted a link to on FB. It was a controversial article on a site known for its controversial stance. The author seemed to be struggling between asking to be understood and an ego trip in their new-found freedom to leave organized religion. Or so it seemed. People's comments were flying back and forth on my friend's posted link, discussing the author's intent and purpose in writing such an article.

I said a few words, still carefully edited as I have not yet found that I can share freely on spiritual matters without fearing that there will be repercussions. Perhaps the environment I grew up in, that I still exist in at times, created the barrier and forced me to limit my searching to a small circle of trusted friends who are on a similar journey. I understood, though. Oh how I understood.

The author was blunt, too blunt at times perhaps. They were trying to reconcile the sanitized, part of the 144,000, following the blueprint, converting the world in the end-times picture of the perfect Adventist with the reality of life. The examples they gave made me cry. They wanted to know why the foster mom with the $500 diamond ring was kept out of church office while the pompous lawyer who drove a $50,000 BMW chaired the nominating committee.

I sat on the nominating committee at my home church once. They were asking for names for elders. I carefully read the description of elders in my little red NIV Bible, then asked, what about Bob? (not his real name) Everyone sort of bemusedly pushed my suggestion aside and went on to nominate the CEOs, the lawyers, and other acceptable people. Bob had the biggest heart of anyone I'd ever known, he loved his kids, he was genuine in his love for God. But he never went past grade school and he was divorced. I sat there, watching as the nominating committee played the politics game, placing the chess pieces strategically on the board, protecting the queen, while leaving the pawns defenseless. And I cried inside.

My heart breaks for the searching. It breaks for the earnest who sincerely want to do the right thing in the best way they know how. I know we are each on our individual journey and we cannot prescribe to one what they must do, but I long to see more of a seeking to understand each other's experiences in ways that we can encourage rather than destroy fragile hearts.

I too have been where I desperately wanted to fit in and be accepted, but no matter how hard I tried I never felt like I quite measured up. There seemed to be something wrong, and it always seemed to be me. I tried to account it to my sinfulness, as I heard many times that there was nothing good in me. It took me years to re-translate that thought into: God has created me and I am a beautiful creation. It took me years to realize that the wrongs were with the system and faulty reasoning.

I still haven't arrived at a perfect understanding of Who God is and how I fit into this world. Some days though, it is enough just to accept that God is God. And Love.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Stepping Forward

I hate change. To the point that I will postpone it as long as possible. For example, I bought a new toothbrush. I actually purchased it about two months ago, but it took me a month to take it out of the box. I really wasn't convinced that I needed it, even though my current one loses its charge after 3 brushes and is cracking down the side. Plus I got the new one for a really good price.

I've finally managed to plug it in but now it sits, waiting for me to use it. You're probably laughing at me, wondering why it's so difficult to switch toothbrushes. Such a simple thing! My life would be easier; the new one even comes with a 2-minute timer! Yet I find myself hesitant to move forward.

It's kind of interesting that the change symbolized in my toothbrush is also reflected in my life. I find myself facing a major change and I'm rather hesitant about taking that first uncertain step into it. Starting master's studies is serious. I know this time I have to commit and finish it, regardless of how difficult it makes my life. I sort of feel like I'm facing a rather scary dragon and it's not backing down. One of us has to move forward and the first one to do so wins the challenge. It has to be me.

Change also comes in relationships. That perhaps is the hardest of all to realize. It is easy to stay in status quo, whether life is more painful or not. Yet sometimes you have to take a moment, reevaluate, and realize that it's time to take that step forward. In doing so you may lose what you thought you had but perhaps you'll find an understanding that was missing. You won't know, though, until you embrace the uncertainty, relinquish the hopefulness, and reach for change. This time maybe it will be beautiful.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Schizo Stalker

I have a stalker. It's nothing to worry about, the guy sent me a rather friendly hello on FB, called me gorgeous, said he wanted to get to know me more if I didn't mind. It wasn't creepy or anything. I wouldn't have even noticed it if I hadn't seen a message in a filter in my inbox. After reading the message I decided to turn the tables on the guy. I stalked him.

Did you know that there is a handy way to search for a person using a picture? If you go to Google Images, instead of the regular Google Search, there is an icon of a camera in the search bar where you can click and upload the picture you want to search for. Google will then match it to any identical pictures on the web and you can quickly and easily get information on the person you're tracking.

I was lucky, there was only one link that popped up, but it was for a guy with a completely different name. I clicked on the link which took me to a social networking site similar to LinkedIn. Here my friendly stalker had all his bio information, so I searched for the university where he teaches at. Found his bio, read his CV, then looked for him on FB using his real name. Sure enough, up he popped. Along with photos of his wife and 4 kids. I will give him the benefit of the doubt, as he is likely divorced, from the trend of the photos.

It was rather an amusing afternoon, using technology to avoid and avert what could have easily been a case of mistaken identity, or rather cloaked identity. I felt quite proud of myself for sleuthing it out!