Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Arrangements of Shape and Space

    Some things that I have found out recently:

     Yesterday, I found out that if you 1) try to fill your cup with water from the filter like this...

and 2) walk away while the water is pouring, 3) it may end up like this...

Yes, it may seem obvious, but I can assure you that to me it was not. At least it wasn't before I heard the sound of a "kaploosh."  To make matters worse,  after cleaning it up I refilled the cup with water and began to tell Hazel about it, all the while ignorant of the fact that the cup had broken and water was pouring out of the bottom and onto the newly dried floor.

     I also found out at 7:00 a.m. on the dot this morning that if you leave that same cup filled with water on the table beside the bed, Aberforth (the cat) is sure to knock it over.  The funny thing about this morning was that at the moment that he knocked it over I was dreaming that I was very thirsty.  Coincidence?  Probably.  My next thought after opening my eyes was, "My God, the Lord of the Rings is lying on the floor beside the bed!"  
You can see where my priorities lie (on the floor beside my bed near the spilled water).  As you can imagine, after the rush to clean the water before it got to Frodo and his journey to destroy the Ring I found it just a little bit hard to fall back to sleep on what should have been a rainy, sleep filled Saturday morning.  Sleeping in was just not in the cards. It seems like sleeping in general is less and less in the cards recently.  Here is a moment of complete honesty:  For the last 3 weeks I have consistently been plagued with nightmares.  They  have been happening on a nightly basis. I have found myself waking up so tense and anxious because of the thoughts of teaching the next day that I have literally felt like vomiting.  So when I made my way to the living room on Saturday, it was a rather defeated Mr. Strange and one who wanted sleep who began instead, to read his Bible.  
  I don't know how you are about Bible reading, but I do know how I am.  I get up, make breakfast, do my Bible study, skim the verses/chapters, move on, watch the news. I do this everyday before heading to work.  If I had a newspaper and a cane I would fit in wonderfully at any local early morning dining establishment.  But this Saturday, I really read.  I sat down on the floor and read from the Psalms for three full hours, and it broke my heart. 

     I read verses like Psalm 3:5 which says, "I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me." and thought, who am I to be stressed out while I sleep?  Seriously, if David found enough comfort in the Lord to sleep well at night, who am I not to? Who am I to attempt anything on my own strength? I also read verse upon verse contrasting David and his archenemies - the scoffers.  David had a pure heart; his enemies had hardened theirs.  David believed in the Lord;  the enemies believed in their  hearts that there is no God.  Suddenly, it hit me that long ago I ceased to be a David and began to be a scoffer.  I wrote in the blog  the other day that I had realized how important it is that our faith be followed by action. This is very true.  The church can no longer be effective if this is forgotten.  Our faith should not be followed with action, it must be.  On Saturday, all of that was flipped around on me.  Seriously, turned upside down to show me how important it is that our action follows from faith. I remember, my first year working at Camp Hope (heavy weights reference) my room mate and I were constantly called into the director's office.  What did we do that resulted in us being called in and scolded so often?  Nothing.  We did everything that he asked of us and more. The problem was that our attitudes and our hearts were wrong.  While our actions were right, our hearts were not.  It was not until we both changed our attitudes and our hearts that the three of us were able to work in unity and accomplish great things. Our actions were not enough.  A few years ago, I turned from God.  You may not have seen it.  I know that I didn't.  It was not a case of action against God (more a case of inaction), it was a change of beliefs. I decided that all that matters is here and now and that it is up to me to accomplish as much as possible while I am  here.  To some extent that may be true, but  I had been in despair for the last couple of years because my focus had centered in completely on this life, here and now.  I was  told that there was virtue in selfishness, but all that selfishness is, is self worship. My faith requires action? Yes, but my action must come from a pure heart.
Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.-Psalm 17:3