September 26, 2010
I have been in college for exactly one month. Though I'm tempted to go in-depth into the whole month, I feel like it would be a fruitless use of my time and resources and I'd get super verbose and no one would ever want to read my blogs again. I'll simply touch on how things are going at the moment, if it's all the same to you readers.
On the topic of why I decided to start a blog in the first place, all I have to say is this: having recently watched Julie and Julia, I became inspired to do one of two things, blog or cook. Possessing neither the resources nor the available time and talent to cook, I decided to start blogging. Also, in a one-on-one meeting, my Christian Discipling teacher told me he was impressed with my communication skills, both in speech and writing. It occurs to me perhaps writing might be one of my callings, a gift God wants me to develop and use for His glory. Any muscle will atrophy due to lack of use. Let's keep those good ol' communication muscles well-toned.
I'll touch on a variety of issues, menial and momentous, spiritual and secular, awe-inspiring and terrifying, as to appease the wide range of readership I'm certain to garner (I hope the sarcasm there isn't so subtle you don't get the joke). I'm also trying out some prosaic tricks in an attempt to expand my scribal skills, so I appreciate your tolerance of my ostentation. Here's what's going on in some different arenas of my life.
Social - I learned something incredible in the last week. I always thought I had trouble coping with new social situations, but I realize now that such unease stemmed from a flaw in my approach. When I used to eat meals alone, I figured it was because I was terrified of being confronted with intimidating social situations, which made me feel ashamed I couldn't be more social. At a spiritual life assistant (SLA) meeting, I learned a follower of Christ needs time in solitude, time in community, and time in ministry. This motivated me to focus more on the "solitude" part and start taking deliberate time every day to relax and just connect to God, just me and Him. Now the pressure's off, and eating meals alone isn't accidental, it's a welcome break, which enables me to enjoy all my other social interactions more effortlessly.
Entertainment - For the first time since I got into college, I got some substantial TV time in this week. And this was premiere week, which made it all the more satisfying. Premieres of the Big Bang Theory, the Office, and Saturday Night Live all proved to be highly satisfactory, and How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock, and Grey's Anatomy all show room for improvement. I'm addicted to Fringe and have spent seventy-five percent of my free time watching old episodes on the lap top. It's my new drug. I also dropped $700 on a 42 inch plasma, and if Sam and Dylan don't pay me back for their shares I'll simply have a panic attack and die. On the topic of music, I've been listening to the album Tonight by TobyMac, which is internally eclectic, musically masterful, and inspiring. The new Anberlin album is a bit lyrically shallow but the music is almost as good as Cities (they'll never top Cities, sorry), and I'm seeing them on the 12th with my new friend Joey, which is pretty choice (do people say that? is that a thing?). I also discovered a broadway show from last year called Next to Normal which is freaking transcendent.
Academics - School is going great. No exaggeration. Studying what you're passionate about is not a chore at all. I've read maybe four books already, written papers and done projects, but it's all so intellectually stimulating that I have absolutely no complaints. Read the Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. No questions, just do it. I'm kind of home sick. I don't know if this is an academic issue or a social one. Oh well, the social passage is already too long.
Political - I've been indulging my political side lately by allowing myself to read USA today during my lunch relaxation time. It occurs to me I have a new perspective on politics. For some time I didn't allow myself to talk about the issue, because I'd let it become so important to me during the last election I may have alienated people with whom I would have much rather talked about Jesus. But now I'm allowing myself to have opinions again, and though all in all I'd say I'm actually even more conservative than I was back in high school, I have gained the ability not to make an idol out of politics, and I'm considerably more open-minded. One thing I feel most passionately about at the moment is I wish people would stop equating God's will with a particular political party. Both parties are guilty, though one is admittedly more guilty than the other. If both Republicans and Democrats would stop trying to commandeer the Christian faith then maybe the ENTIRE body of Christ could unite under the common purpose of doing God's will. Politics have become a tool of the enemy to divide the church, and boy has it worked. Also, when the religious right claims the Republican party is the God party, it alienates secular conservatives, which is simply not necessary or beneficial to anyone, the Church or the party. There are good Christians who aren't Republican, and good Republicans who aren't Christian.
Spiritual - There's a bulletin board on my dorm floor where people are supposed to write what God is teaching them. Since I arrived I have been trying to think of something eloquent and inspirational to put on the board and have had absolutely nothing to say. The other day, I can't even remember what I was doing, I think I may even have been eating a McDouble, but my mind conceived a phrase I couldn't get out, and I got a little panicky. This is how I usually react when God tries to tell me something. Imagine the scene, it's kind of funny in retrospect. The notion I couldn't get over is "God is big so we don't have to be." I'm not even sure yet what it means, and it probably means more than I understand yet. What it means to me right now is I have a tendency to try to inflate myself socially, academically, and economically. I spend hours every day trying to be big. But I don't have to be big. God is plenty big enough for the both of us. I can be very very small and just rest in His bigness. This is a beautiful idea to me. The world says be big. God says it's ok to be small, because He's SO big. Just rest in Him. I'm getting teary eyed as I explain it, because I hadn't thought it through so thoroughly before I tried to write it. Maybe this is another reason I need to start writing. On another note, I think I got onto the worship team at Newberg Foursquare Church, which means I may have a new church home (for school time). And I've never been on a worship team before, even back home. I had to sing alone and then improvise some harmony for the audition, which was pretty freaky, but I'm super excited. God is just so good.
Brevity has never been my strong suit.
I'll try to blog at least once a week. Please follow it if you want to know how my college life is going. IT sure would make me feel good about the project. Thanks if you got this far!