Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Confessions of an optimistic melancholic

I worry sometimes about the nature of my posts, and how it must seem that there is always "something". I'm coming to terms with the fact that I am a melancholic person, and that the darkness will never be far away. The twist though is that I'm what you might call an optimisitic melancholic; as a child of God, the darkness may be close by, but my eyes are being opened to see how the love of God is present in and transforms even the darkest place.

I laugh at myself sometimes because of how I seem to make everything more complicated than it needs to be, or at least more complicated than it seems to be for others. I guess I just like to dig, and explore, and I have endless questions to ask. Most often I come back to the simple answers, with a new understanding that what at first seemed trite has a depth and richness that I can barely fathom.

This morning I was exploring the stirrings of something that has been scarce lately. "What is that feeling? I know that one..." It's joy. Instead of trying not to look at my fears and anxieties, my eyes are looking to Jesus. Looking at Him, the joy returns, I rest in His peace, and suddenly I can enjoy today's blessings that were simply the source of anxiety when I looked directly at them.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Some days I would like to just echo what I've written in another post.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Weaned Child

I was looking through archives of a newsletter we send out to our members, and found an article Donnie wrote a while back. He quoted Psalm 131:

"My heart is not proud, O LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me."

Good words for me to remember in this "control" issue.

"A child who is not weaned grapples for their mother's breast, almost fighting to ensure they get the desired food. A weaned child is simply satisfied with their mother's presence. This, says David, is normative for those of us who humble ourselves before God. We find rest for our souls and joy simply being in His presence."

I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me...

Letting go. :)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I usually think of myself as being pretty easy-going, but I'm starting to recognize how selective I am about it. I'm easy-going about things that don't involve personal or emotional risk: I don't care if my roommate didn't unload the dishwasher, or get stressed about plans I make with friends. It's easy to see that people are more important than always having my way in those details.

BUT, when I'm insecure, I am a control freak. Over and over again through the past years God has pushed me to recklessly trust in Him. The only problem is that when I do that in a fallen world, I often get hurt. We all do. Sometimes I have the perspective that the heights are worth the depths, but then at other times it feels like the depths are all I see, and I lose sight of Him.

At times like that I find myself so ridiculously cautious. I try to build a perfectly safe place for myself, and put up safeguards to keep out people who could hurt me. And then I find myself lonely in that carefully contructed existence because ultimately no one is safe. I'm frustrated when I realize that I'm not a safe person, and find myself inadvertently hurting others.

I analyze and over-analyze and look for formulas to show me the right way of doing things and in the end it always makes less sense than before.

So, I might as well give up trying to figure out all the answers, and just be. I might as well just live and love and give recklessly, knowing that I will get hurt sometimes... but that if I don't risk, I'll miss all the good things too. I may as well give up trying to do it all right because:

a.) I mess it up all the time as it is, and
b.) God creates ex nihilo (from nothing) and my screw-ups don't ruin His plans anyway

This isn't exactly rocket science, and I've learned it all before, but here I am again having to lay down my safeguards and controls. It's frightening, but also a relief, to once again, give up control, or at least the illusion of it. I never had it in the first place.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Why dreams must die

I wanted to share a good article I read on the BBC world news site. It's what I think is a pretty balanced treatment of a polarizing subject.

You can read it here.

I'd write more, because like many, I feel very strongly about this subject, but in the end, all I want to point out is that on both sides of this hotly debated issue are real people. On both sides are brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as many who don't know Him. All, loved by God.

If we as the church would recognize that, we would see the only hope for peace in the Middle East is found in Christ; through us, He offers His love, grace, and reconciliation to hurting people.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A great visit

My parents left this morning. They'd been visiting since Saturday, and I have to say, it's been a great week. I have great parents. It was fun showing them around London, and introducing them to new people and new experiences. I kept them pretty busy. I made them try Middle Eastern food (Falafel, Shawarma, Hummus), Bubble tea, and Indian food (Butter chicken, Chicken Tikka, Beef Curry, Onion Bhajis, Nan bread, Mango Lassis, etc). We went on a double-decker bus tour of London (yes, they have those here :) ) and they joined in on wing night, weighing in with their opinions in the weekly judging. Dad got to fit in a round of golf, and came with me to the gym to work out. They enjoyed meeting the great friends and co-workers that I have, and it reminded me of how blessed I am to have such great people around me. It was a full week, and I enjoyed it.

Oh yeah, and happy anniversary mom & dad! 27 years!