February 22nd, 2004

Black

In the dark

Woke up some time ago, wide awake. Hoping to settle and sleep a bit more, so I write as a companion to thought and prayer. Refraining from reading for the moment because, honestly, I want to neither put more thoughts in my head nor bury those already running through it.

Being with a young family like my sister's casts my own life and character in a different light. Marriage and family introduce the needs and wants of others into the entirety of our lives, and that's something I have a great deal of choice about as a single man. When I see it make her tired, or when it makes me tired, my fears and insecurities come out. Could I do this anymore? What if I am too old, too self-centered, too set on having my way and my freedom?

Becky and Steve assure me I'm great with the kids, and that helps, because left to my own devices, I just wouldn't know how I'm doing. "Left to my own devices" is the key phrase to getting out from under my fear-- the truth is, I'm not. I'm not the last word on what I'm capable of. I'm not the last word on my character. I'm not the last word on who I am, just as I wasn't the first word on it. I'm not an orphan. I'm a son. And my Abba is very fond of me.

These journeys of soul can be treacherous travels. Writing my observations from the road seems a safe thing, but it's not. It's intimate, and intimacy is wild, risky, dangerous. Sometimes I'm not cautious enough, I think. Lots to pray about and a fair helping of humility to digest.
  • Current Mood
    intimidated intimidated
Victrola

Perseverance

Perseverance is more than endurance. It is endurance combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen. Perseverance means more than just hanging on, which may be only exposing our fear of letting go and falling. Perseverance is our supreme effort of refusing to believe that our hero is going to be conquered. Our greatest fear is not that we will be damned, but that somehow Jesus Christ will be defeated. Also, our fear is that the very things our Lord stood for—love, justice, forgiveness, and kindness among men—will not win out in the end and will represent an unattainable goal for us. Then there is the call to spiritual perseverance. A call not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately, knowing with certainty that God will never be defeated.

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (22 February, "The Discipline of Spiritual Perseverance")


Sleep after my last entry was good but full of dreams born of anxiety and insecurity. They're things I can bring to God now that I'm awake, and that's a blessing. Every Bogeyman I can evict from the closet or under the bed is a step closer to being authentically myself with Him and with others.

Opted not to go to worship services this morning; it's so extremely rare that I have the freedom to be quiet rather than working on Sunday morning (it's probably been nearly two years, as far as I can recall). Sipping a cup of the Fats Waller blend I brought here from my dear Victrola. Feels like a bit of home, and I am missing my beloved city more and more.

Today is my nephews's bona fide third birthday, although he celebrated yesterday with an open house for neighborhood kids. Going to miss him and the girls when I go tomorrow, which makes me more resolved to pursue this as an annual tradition.

As Lent grows ever closer (of this I am deeply aware), I'm leaning toward having a fixed bedtime throughout the season. This may be my primary sacrifice, though I'm also interested in working on a more comprehensive plan for physical health. The latter seems best viewed as larger than this season. I've reengaged Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline as a framework for building my spiritual discipline.

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

—Romans 5:3-5
  • Current Mood
    refreshed refreshed
Logo

Who's naughty?

Things my nephew is teaching me: The Naughty NooNoo allegedly took the TubbyToast from TinkyWinky. This is, apparently, very naughty.
  • Current Mood
    naughty naughty