Thursday, February 25, 2010

"Don't tell me what to do!"

"Don't tell me what to do!" I can't tell you how many times I hear college students say this phrase, and I'm sick and tired of hearing it. There are people out there who are wiser than you in certain areas, or maybe they have something to speak into your life that is worth you hearing and listening to. Maybe you need to be called out on a behavior or a continual sin that you do not realize is still in your life until someone "tells you what to do". But people don't listen, do they? They always think they're right.
When I think back on the Bible, anyone who was considered "wise" had advisors who, in a way, told them what to do. David was constantly looking to Nathan for help. Solomon had his advisors. God sent numerous prophets to the people of Israel to tell them what to do. For heaven's sake, Jesus TOLD people how to live their lives! If you don't want people telling you what to do, might as well stop living your life by the Bible.
Without people "telling you what to do" you ARE going to stop growing, and it is the people who aren't growing that God won't use.
I am sick of the world's "Don't tell me what to do!" attitude.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Where is Home?

Tonight is my last night home before heading back to school, and never before have I felt reluctance in wanting to go back. Sure, I'm ready to go back, hug my friends, get back into the routine of things, and get learning once again, but there has been a question running through my mind lately that is not lost. I feel as if my life is split between two worlds. My world of school and my world of home. Which one do I belong in? As much as I love school, and sometimes slip up and call it home, it will never truly be home to me. And yet, when I think of home, it's not the same any more. The best way that I can put it is in a combination of two songs. The first is Copeland's song "The Day I Lost My Voice" and the chorus describes how I feel when I have to pack and leave one of my two "homes":

I've got my life in a suitcase
I'm ready to run, run, run away...
I've got no time cause
I'm always ready to run, run, run away...
Cause everyday it feels like it's only a game
I've got my life in a suitcase, a suitcase, a suitcase...

That line, "I've got my life in a suitcase," has become all to real to me. It's become so easy to pack up all those meaningless things that we validate as our lives into suitcases (or in my case a navy bag) and move on. Especially easy for a college student who really does not have all that much in the first place.
The second song that really has hit me kind of speaks for itself. Jon Foreman's "Southbound Train":

I'm headed home
Yeah, but I'm not so sure
That home is a place
That will ever be the same...

Being in college for almost six months now has changed me immensely, and one of the ways that I'm realizing more and more that it has changed me is in the way that I view home. School is not my home, and, in many ways, my parent's home does not feel completely like home any more. Some how I have grown to feel like I have no Earthly home and time and time again I am realizing that my only true home is in heaven with my Father God. And with this realization, bad or not, I feel as if I will never have a true home on this Earth again. I long for home, but not one here, and is that necessarily a bad thing?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Poetry Anthology?

My senior year in high school, I took a creative writing class. One of the big assignments of this class was that at the end of the year we would make a booklet of our favourite poems and short stories with pictures. Today, as I was milling through my room at home, I came across a copy of my poetry anthology, named after Copeland's song "Good Morning Fire Eater". I think my favourite pare about this book was the cover:

It's an old French circus poster! I thought this one was so cool and I thought it worked with the eccentric qualities of many of the poems that I had written. So, as I was reading through the book, I thought it might be fun to share some of my favourites with you over the next few days. Tonight's is one where we were given a picture to write the poem about and a line that we had to use. This is the poem I came up with:

Her world was a place of loneliness
Where the world would pass
By without a glance
She would stare into her coffee cup
And see the reflections of her soul
The black and cream would swirl together
Reminding her that she was alone
She would ponder life and love and happiness
None of which she had
The gathering darkness could be seen
Through the windows from where she sat
The bitterness that she felt
Was mimicked by the coffee
Burning her throat as it went down
The world passes by
Her world was a place of loneliness

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Fear of God

Lately I've been listening to the song "The Fear of God" by Showbread more and more. Every time it comes up on my iPod, I have to play it over again because of what it says. Every time that I hear the song, it completely wrecks me. It says:

Dear God, why should I think You're good in a world that's falling apart?
The flags and lies, picket signs raised high, the endless enveloping dark
Now here we sit, drifting further from You, two thousand years on their way out
Now here I am, as I've grown to know You, still haunted by my fears and my doubts
Just a man, just a vapor, just a waste of your space
All the good that I've done is in spite of myself
I'm not sure that I can look You in Your face when I finally set foot in Your kingdom
Dear God, what went wrong? We hate ourselves, we hate our brother
We so desperately want to find our way, and all You say is "love one another"
And little babies starve to death, emaciated, out of breath
Unfaithful wives make vows untrue, husbands beat them black and blue
Junkies vomit in the streets, writhing, twitching in their skin
Sell themselves to die some more, rotting from the outside in
Parents steal the innocence from their children, scared and shaking
Drink away the guilt at night, brings quiet to the endless aching
And evil men boast on TV, swimming in a sea of wealth
While misery beds honest men, and lonely people kill themselves
And everyone cries out Your name, as the world is raped by selfishness
And no one knows the way to heaven, we only know the emptiness
And the storm it rages in my heart, and the endless empty roars in my ears
My world is coming all apart, I've no strength left to dry my tears
And through it all I hear Your voice, breaking my heart, breaking my will
Calms the storm inside my soul as You whisper "peace, be still..."
You place Your hands around my heart, You quiet the emptiness in me
A king that kneels, a God made a servant, You set the captives free
You wait for me, a wretch of a man, no record of wrongs do You keep
You are comfort when I mourn, You are strength when I am weak
Jesus Christ, the king of kings
Though we ache, though we cry, never break, never die
We sing of His great love again and again
And His love reigns forever, and forevermore
Forever and ever, Amen

I feel as though this song is a wake up call. A call to come out of our comfort and our complacency and help those who are hurting around us. Those people that we never notice, never see, they need our help and this song reminds me of that. Sometimes we need something like this to remind us of what we're really here for.