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Monday, September 27, 2010

Random Rantings

I have a lot on my mind today.  I'm tired so I'm unfocused and I'm very contemplative.  I'm slightly crabby, pessimistic, and have no motivation to do my job today.

I need to figure out if youth ministry is really something I'm called to do.  I'm great at the relationship part... the youth love me.  I really suck at everything else--which is weird because I did stuff like this all through college.  I just never seem to do things right.  Perhaps what it is, is that, when confronted with the real word, I am forced to realize that I can't make everyone happy, and there will be people who just plain don't like me.  There are always going to be people who disagree with the way I do things, who doubt my ability, who would rather take control themselves, and who just don't like my personality.  There will always be people who are overcritical, oversensitive, overemotional, overly stupid, apathetic, and sinful.  There will always be humans.  I will always be human.  Perhaps I am cut out for this, and just need to have confidence in myself.  I dislike it here though, and I'm not happy, which probably means its time to move on.

Another thing that bugs me is the lack of commitment amongst families.  It's nearly impossible to plan an event because no one will commit to coming--so you don't know how much pizza and pop to get, can't tell what sort of games you'll need to play, how many chaperones you'll need, etc.   People don't respect deadlines and when asked if they'll they reply with a "maybe".  The fact is that they want to wait and see if something better, something more fun will come along.  Our society is so used to having instant gratification, so set in their ways, that the word commitment has come to mean "I'll do it if I feel like it when the time comes", and unfortunately, in my experience, they don't feel like Church.

Really I think, and I could just be pointing fingers, but I think the parents are mainly to blame.  The family is the foundational unit of the Church, and parents are supposed to be the primary educators of their children.  Ideally, families should be living strong, Christ centered lives.  But in reality that's not the case.  To most families school, sports, and status are the most important things.  Sports aren't bad, but when they make you so busy or shortsighted that you don't have time for God, then the parents aren't doing their job.  But that's the world we live in.

OK, enough ranting for now.

Friday, September 24, 2010

On Sleep and Sabbath

Often I ponder the concept of sleep.  We spend nearly a third of our life in a state in which we're not really living at all--we're not making decisions, we're not building relationships, we're not praising God, and we're not working.  What's the point?  Why did God create us in a way that we, in a sense, waste a significant portion of our lives?

Humans tend to have a love-hate relationship throughout their lives.  Most children hate to go to bed, probably because they realize that there really is "nothing to do".  In a way, its pretty boring.  I still sometimes feel this way, as I just want to stay up one more hour so I can read more, talk to my friends, watch that one last tv show or movie, or party just a bit longer.  Sometimes I even say, "OK God, help me fall asleep quickly so I can just wake up seemingly quickly and just get to my next day!".  This I believe is not uncommon.  However, I also love to sleep!  I have trouble getting out of bed because my blanket just feels soooo good!  After a long day of work doesn't everyone just look forward to a good night's sleep.  Most people would agree that being tired sucks the joy out of life.

And it is this fact (that we hate being tired) I think, that reveals to us an insight into what it means to sleep. Perhaps sleep is our daily mini-reminder of what it means to remember the Sabbath.  This may seem like a stretch I know, but let me explain.  I'll admit, my theology on the Sabbath is basic at best, but I know the Sabbath is primarily about remembering to worship God.  To do this we are called to refrain from any unneeded work, rest as "God did", and in a sense "re-create" ourselves to be more like God.  While not necessarily praising God while we sleep, we are acknowledging how God made us--we are finite beings, we sin, and we are all slowly dying.  Sleep allows us rejuvenate ourselves by dying to our constant need to be busy, putting our sins behind us, and rising as a new creation each and every day.  Is that not what the Sabbath is about--Resurrection?!  God wants us to know that being busy doesn't equal living the fullness of life--in fact, it often hinders it.  Whether or not you agree with me that sleep is a mini-sabbath, I challenge you to consider what it means to live out the Sabbath not only once a week (which is important), but daily.  How can we daily take time to worship God, die to our sins, and arise each day as a new creation?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Perhaps a New Direction

I am notoriously bad with executing follow through.  Motivation is not my strong point.  But perhaps that shall change, at least for the time being.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about what I want out of my future.  The reason for this: I'm not happy in my current situation, at least, not as happy as I could be. Yes, I have an amazing girlfriend whom I love very much, and whom I'm in a great relationship with.  Yes, I'm living on my own, independent, and financially secure.  And yes, I'm doing meaningful work.  Unfortunately I don't think its the work I'm supposed to be doing.

I love my youth, and many of my volunteers but I think after this year, it will be time for me to move on.  I don't know if I'm meant to do youth ministry as a full time job.  I will always be involved in it in some way... it's part of who I am... but the politics, the busy work, the staring at a computer, the appeasement of parents... not for me.  I'd be much better adept at being a volunteer.

So when I think about what I want to do for the rest of my life, I think about what I am passionate about.  First of all, I know I am called to raise a family.  I want to marry a beautiful Catholic woman and raise beautiful Catholic babies... whomever that woman may be ;) .  But I also think about what God is calling me to do for a career, and the nearly overwhelming desires I've had lately.  I want to be a writer.  It's in my blood.  The reason I've started blogging again is because of my irresistible urge to release all that I have inside me onto paper (or screen).  I've continued to work more frequently on my novel, although this is still quite the feat for me as a combination of lack of confidence and experience tend to hinder the actual execution of my burning motivation.  I also know that I have a deep and intrinsic thirst to learn.  I want to go to Grad-school... it's beckoning me.  I can't put it off much longer.  Eventually, I want to teach at a University and give the knowledge I've accumulated to future generations.  There's a lot of things I want.  Right now, I don't know specifically where God is calling me, but more and more each day I'm becoming certain its not here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Please Follow Me

I have not been good at keeping this blog up to date, i'll be the first to admit that. Perhaps someday I shall return. For now, if you so desire, please join me in my offshoot blog as I journey through the writings of C.S. Lewis and aim to reflect on them.