Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Back at School

A friend told me today that she missed my postings, and thought that I'd quit, seeing as I've hardly posted lately. Well, mostly it was just a combination of being busy and having mental fatigue (yes, I know, it doesn't take much). Luckily, I've been thinking about some things lately, and we all know what that means! That's right, the college guy equivalent of narcissistic teenage girl poetry, with a lot of the use of "I" posting!

I got back to Tech on Saturday, went to house church on Sunday, and have been helping a friend build his house yesterday and today. This afternoon, my friend RM (not to be confused with the former RMc, who is now RR), having a break from duties setting up as a resident advisor, also came and helped out, which was very, well, helpful. Tomorrow we start band camp, which lasts through Sunday. For the first time in about ten years, we've got more people auditioning for the horn section than we have open spots, which means that we're going to have to cut people. The three Rank Captains and I are a little uneasy about this, but I suppose it was inevitable that this would happen one day. Everyone, whether a new Freshman or a Super-Senior (except the three Rank Captains and me as Section Leader), is going to be fair game, and so there should be a lot more effort this year than in previous ones.

One thing that's bothered me in the past is that I don't feel as though I got a proper chance to be, well, "bad" before becoming a Christian. I don't know how common a complaint this is, but I looked at people who did all sorts of wild and irresponsible things and then converted with almost a little bit of envy. I mean, people like St. Paul and St. Augustine were powerful or wildly irresponsible for a time, and then settled down and became fathers of the Church. Of course, I know that this thinking is foolish, as everyone I've met who's lived that kind of life has talked about how much they regretted what they'd done. They regretted not waiting until they were married to have sex, they regretted doing drugs, they regretted wasting years on petty things rather than what really matters, and so on. There are things which I've done, such as the way I've treated people in the past, which I regret and wish I could go back and fix. In any case, I bring this up because last night, I was really thinking about all this, and went to bed slightly cross with God over the whole thing. I wasn't actually angry, as I know that one day I'll look back and consider myself to have been a fool for wasting time on a pity party, but I was more miffed that the things which I wanted for myself and which I thought were the sort of things that one could ask of God and expect to receive hadn't yet been, well, received. The odd thing was that I had a dream last night, and as it was the last one before I woke up, I still remember vague bits of it. All sorts of the blessings I'd been wanting had been given to me. I don't remember many of the details, but I do remember that there was a very pretty, Christian girl more-or-less hanging on my arm (no, not literally!). In the few instants before I woke up, I had a "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads moment: " This is not my beautiful house! This is not my beautiful wife! Well, how did I get here?" The girl, while very nice and obviously attractive, wasn't someone with whom I'd want to spend the rest of my life. The "house" was full of things which I didn't really need, and certainly wasn't prepared to own. The things in my dream, while seeming to be the things I most wanted, were worth nothing when I realized that they hadn't been "earned." By "earned," I mean that I wasn't in a fit state to receive them and use them properly to glorify God and to do His will. As much as I thought that having these things would have satisfied my desires, they only made me realize how wrong I'd been to want those things which weren't meant for me.

I've had plenty of blessings in my life, and what can probably be easily viewed by an observer as more than my share. I truly do feel as though God has been protecting me from harm, by removing obstacles in my path and providing escapes from spiritually (and sometimes even physically) perilous situations. Somewhere in Luke, it says that the person who has been given much will have a lot expected of him, which frightens me a little, as I know I've been given a lot. What I need to do, though, is remain steadfast in the knowledge that whatever I need will be given to me, and that anything which stands in my path to God's purpose for me will be dealt with.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention this, but I didn't feel like putting it in a new post. I also decided that it would be nice, for just a few weeks, not to think about Girls (capitalized). Once I've settled into the semester, I'm sure I can manage to get back to being distracted again, but for at least a week or two, I don't even want to think about whether I'm interested in anyone or anyone is interested in me (yes, I know I'm flattering myself with the second part of that sentence, but stranger things have happened).

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