The Twin Cities Rainbow Chaser

moving across the country…to discover what God has in store

Boredom…unacceptable

I have discovered the word that describes my feelings towards student teaching.  Yes, success shall surely be mine.  My hold on the English language has tightened so that my noose is wound around her neck…around that delicate muscle called…

BOREDOM.

Ahh!  Yes, there.  I said it.  I am bored.  I hate myself for admitting that.  I hate myself, even more, for falling into this pit of terror.  Argh.  Yes, that is a sound of pure frustration…with self.

Saint-Malo, France

About a month ago, I was sitting in a coffee shop with a friend of mine.  We do that quite often, actually…sit in coffee shops…and talk…for hours.  At our most recent rendez-vous, we discussed boredom.  Our conclusion was that boredom is a state of being in which one chooses to dwell.  For example, you discover that there is nothing good on television on a Friday night.  You say that you’re bored…and yet, sitting on your bed is The Complete Sherlock Holmes.  You choose to dwell in that state of boredom…but there are other options.

Swans

Now, I’m going to take this a step further.  God put us on this Earth with one task: glorify Him.  How in the world, in this mind-blowing, ever renewing, stunning piece of creation (I incorporated photos into this post to remind you of this fact) could we become bored?  And although we have only one task, that task can be completed in a new way, a new place everyday.  We choose to become bored with Christianity because we refuse to look beyond the simple screens (yeah, that was a reference to TV) in front of our eyes.

Tadpoles Playing Hide & Seek

There is a huge world out there that has the potential to drop us to our knees in wonder and lead us to a deeper sense of worship.  Don’t you want that?  Sure, my knees might get a bit beat up (not that it’s a big deal–it happens everytime I go climbing)…but in the long run, I will be stronger and surer of the power that pushes me forward (yeah–totally made some corny climbing references).

Are you ready to stop being bored?  Well then…get ready to fall, my friends.

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Existence

So, I’m sitting at my computer…trying to think of something to write.  It has been quite a while and I have a nice little chunk of time before I need to start chopping up some fruit.  And, if I’m typing, then I will stop stuffing chocolate chips in my mouth.  Yes, semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Unfortunately my mind is blank.  I can’t think of anything deep or complex or even just slightly amusing to share.  My life is surprisingly mellow right now.  I don’t have any big exams or assignments in the next few days.  I didn’t work this morning…I don’t work again until Saturday.

So, instead of just leaving my computer to read or do something productive, I start browsing the internet…trying desperately to find something to spark an idea for words.  I’m wandering…wandering…whoa!  Steve Jobs died.  That’s pretty big news.  The next big news items, right below that headline, deals with Amanda Knox’s recent release.

I realize that these two news items are a pretty big deal but…why?  Why are we, as humans, so obsessed with the lives of people who have no direct relation to us?  I have never met Amanda Knox.  Nothing that happens to her actually affects me.  Now, the same can’t really be said for Jobs (I am currently typing on a snazzy MacBook Pro and, tucked into my backpack, there is an iPod touch…and iPhone is on my Christmas list).  But, is his death really newsworthy enough for the whole nation?  Okay, sure.  Make the argument that his death will drop Apple stock value.  But in the long run, what is his significance?

What is anyone’s significance?

When you stop and think about this great space we live in called “the world”, can you really find any true purpose for your presence here?  Are you doing anything to help anyone?  Will your actions prove to be beneficial in the long run?

If I was to answer these questions about myself…just off the top of my head…NO.  Right now, I am a college student with no career plans to speak of and only vague post-graduation plans (that happens in May…too soon).  My focus is on getting good grades and keeping my apartment clean while my roommate scurries around freaking out about her anatomy test and physics assignment.  Nothing that I do now is impacting the world on a broader, deeper level.  My existence is, when you boil it down, purposeless.  But, then again, that is just from my perspective.

When my roommate got home from a study session last night, we sat (actually, I sat and she stood) in the kitchen talking for a while.  We do things like that often (I like to plop down in our hallway…or a floor anywhere, really).  She came to the conclusion that she is most fulfilled and driven by relationships.  Having a great career is important to her, but it will not be fulfilling in and of itself.  She wants to have someone with whom she can share that success.  I, on the other hand, am terrified of sharing my success/life/house/kitchen/thoughts/fears/loves/desires/bed/etc.  So when I reflect on my purpose, I don’t really look at the people close to me.  I look further out–how do I matter in the world?

Maybe, just maybe though, I should consider my purpose in this apartment and in my family.  I could make the argument that certain members of my extended family couldn’t care less about my existence…but we won’t go there.  I’ll think about my parents and my nana and one of my cousins…I matter to them.  They miss me when I am gone.  And, when my roommate left a little while ago, we bid adieu for 24+ hours due to our hectic/conflicting schedules (I’ll go to bed before she gets home….and leave before she gets up…and get home around 5 pm tomorrow when she leaves to study again…).  That was sad for both of us.  We enjoy one another’s company (most of the time…I don’t always like sharing, remember?).  If I hadn’t been around the past couple of nights, she would have had cereal for dinner.

As I said last night, I am not a relationship-oriented person.  I have to work to make relationships matter to me.  But in the end, once I figure all of that out, relationships are what will give me a purpose.  They are where I will find fulfillment and joy…maybe.

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An Affair To Remember

Last Sunday (as in–not yesterday), I heard a sermon about love (how great is it that someone was willing to by-pass the typical 9/11 spiel to talk about something as beautiful and pure as love?!).  But, it wasn’t exactly about loving others when they do bad things.  It was about developing a loving, passionate relationship between me and God.

Relationships are not my forte.  To be blunt, I suck at relationships.  I prefer to be independent and self-centered…especially independent.  I don’t like thinking about how I am incapable of controlling my own life or developing a path to success for myself.  In reality, success should not be my ultimate goal…unless success is defined as: falling in love with God over and over and over again.  And, I am far from qualified to control my own life.  I have no experience in control (unless you count the attempts I have made over the past 21 years).

This blog is rambling on and on…this, I know.  I should get to the point…a point!  I want to fall hopelessly and eternally in love with God.  But, that is terrifying because when you FALL, by definition, you have no control over what is happening or where you are headed.

I’m slightly a control freak…Type A…perfectionist…OCD…there are plenty of labels that work and they have all been used to refer to moi.  Now, I have something to be proud of–I’m not as control freak-ish as I was three years ago when I started college (most people get more organized/controlled/etc…I did the opposite).  Nevertheless, I am still terrified of letting go of EVERYTHING…signing over all the control to God (He’s the one who actually has it…right?)…and falling.

Love affairs are typically spontaneous.  They break the rules.  They inspire new feelings and new discoveries.  Let’s hope my love affair goes so “well”.

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Telling Doubt to “Shut Up!”

Would you like to hear something very sad?  The pastor of the church I am currently attending is sick…well, recovering from an oober infection.  So, he has not been in church for the past several weeks.  This means that various members of the church have been presenting the “sermon” over the past several weeks.  Last week, the lead guy in the worship team presented a “sermon”/lesson/devotion…yeah.  He shared story of Jesus walking on water from Matthew 14.  He shared this story and then moved on to a few points.  But, there is one that kind of stuck with me.

When we let doubt slip into our mind, we have a tendency to start sinking.  I completely understand this concept.  I started classes last week…and I’ve still been putting in 20-30 hours at work per week…and I started working on the school paper…and I’m on leadership for this other organization…and…good grief, it never ends.  This would all be fine and dandy if everything could remain calm and organized.  Does anything ever stay calm and organized?

ABSOLUTELY NOT.  It defies the laws of nature…like Murphy’s…or something like that (if anything can go wrong, it will…right?).  Anyways, enough science mumbo jumbo (I love how, after one sentence, I’m just done with it…I tried to help my roommate with her physics homework tonight…it was better than my econ homework).  So…parentheses killed my train of thought.

Little things start to go wrong…either I forget to do a homework question, or I miss a quiz question, or I don’t get an e-mail that I’m waiting for.  Those little things have no right to mess up my life.  Unfortunately, those little things weasel their way into my brain and begin to eat away at my self-confidence, but more importantly, at my reliance on God.  I like to think that I am strong and independent.  But without God, I am nothing.

I must never doubt that, no matter what kinds of weasels are living in my brain, God IS in control.  I have to tell doubt to “shut up” and get out of my brain…no weasels for me.  I’m more of a cat person.

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Employment

I have found employment, after looking since April.  And, the application that resulted in this current position…yes, it was submitted in April.  On the 25th to be exact and I was hired on June 30th.  Yeah.

So, this job.  I am working at a group home where eight ladies with developmental disabilities dwell.  I cook meals.  I clean.  I give showers.  I wipe tushies.  Yep.  True story…every day that I go to work I wipe at least one tushie and change at least one adult diaper.  It happens (I was just incredibly tempted to make an inappropriate comment).  The job itself isn’t so bad.  I randomly have down time when there’s no laundry to fold, no meal to prepare, and no one who needs changing.  And the ladies who live there aren’t difficult to deal with…as a general rule.

But…as always, there’s a “but” (either grammatically or, well, to wipe)…my coworkers are frustrating.  They’re always in a tiff with someone else, talking about someone else behind their back, nit-picking…grr.  So, what did I do?  I decided that I needed something new on my mirror.  I started looking at a verse about doing everything for God’s glory…which I truly need to think about.  But, I moved on towards focusing on love and such…here’s what I found:

Therefore, we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

When I was in high school, I tried this thing for a while where I memorized Bible verses…or, chunks at a time, I guess.  I memorized these verses as part of one of those chunks.  So, when I came across these verses in my randomized searches, I grabbed ahold of them.  Like I said last time though, my mirror is kind-of small and I like to write big.  Obviously, this chunk won’t fit.  My “mirror words” are going to be: “Inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”  I like it, don’t you?

Once I started working, my life got CRAZY.  I’m taking classes–which takes time to go to class and a ton of time to do homework.  Plus, while I started working I was also starting a ton of training classes.  Last week, I worked 38 hours and was in training for 10…or something outrageous like that.  Oh, and I still have to manage to keep my home looking decent, food in my fridge (that’s actually getting a little low now), and my body in decent shape (that’s a total fail–I went and got ice cream tonight).

So, after this past week, I was wiped out.  I really wanted a day to zone out, time to find inner peace and quiet.  That was supposed to be today…but I ended up working…at 6 am.  But, ya know what?  I decided that the 6 am shift is my favorite.  And, then I found this verse.  I don’t need to sleep in late to find renewal.  True renewal comes from somewhere beyond my power.  Renewal comes from God.

Let me be renewed as deeply as the sun sets around the earth.

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Make a Mark

So…oober oober delayed.  My failing.  Please forgive me, now…moving on…a Bible Study.

Before you continue reading, I want you to stop and think of a time when God used you in a surprising way.  (Pause for thinking!!!)

A lot of times, we tend to look at particular aspects of our lives and think that they are pointless, not good enough, or insignificant.  Lucky for us though, God can take insignificant things and make them significant.  To get an idea of this in the real-world, check out Peter Reynolds’ book The Dot (yes, I am an elementary education major).  No matter what we think that we can or can’t do, God can find a way to use us.

1 Peter 4:8-11 says  (and I’m putting this in my own words) that we should live loving, showing hospitality, and serving.  These three things can come out in various ways throughout our lives.  We might hold the door, help someone carry their bags, or just take the time to listen to a friend.  God can use our little bit of time, our smile, and even our ability to cook to bring glory to his name.

We have to let go of the grumbling reluctance and the fear of being used so that the smallest things in our daily lives will become the significant things in his plan.

 

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