Monday, May 10, 2010


I love books.  They represent people.  Sometimes I imagine who wrote them.  Some old man who exudes pipe tobacco or some very introverted scholar who spent a good deal of life on that book.  Books are like old friends that wait with quiet wisdom for you to approach them.  Sometimes, like old friends, they collect a bit of dust.  Maybe their pages start to yellow or fade.  The binding weakens a bit.  The smell of dust seeps so far into the pages that it never leaves and the covers get grayer.  And like old friends, it's hard when you lose one.  I like libraries.  I love used book stores (especially English ones where the books are just a little older).  I love walking in and having the comforting security of seeing the same books hugging you from all around like a knitted sweater.  I have three bookshelves in my room, all filled with books my 24 years have collected.  I have always lived in houses with lots and lots of books.  Books in the bedroom, books in the kitchen, books in the living room, books upstairs (we do actually have a library in our house), books in the guestroom.  My parents, like myself, also like books.  They like reading them.  They like curling up with them.  They like being changed by them.  So do I.  The CIU family lost many old friends this weekend.  It hurt a little to watch them shoveled into smoldering piles on the ground.  So sad.  I will miss my cozy corner in the library.  I will miss seeing the Bible translations as I walk in.  Goodbye friends.  Goodbye books.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Despite years of "having a plan", I find myself going back to the drawing board over and over.  I shall explain:

Wandering: My life has been chopped into two-four year segments. At the outset of life, these segments seemed to go by at a slow, monotonous pace, allowing me to dwell in relationships and soak in any details. As life continues, this pace accelerates faster than I can handle. So life then becomes characterized not as much by the segments but the in-between times; "transition" time. Someone I know recently commented that life seemed like nothing but a series of transitions. It would seem that as one deals with more and more of these transitions, they might get easier to handle. However, I have found the reverse to be true. They get bumpier and bumpier as the desire to finally settle becomes stronger and as the frustration of transitory relationships becomes exhausting. After I graduated from college I found myself in a jobless time of transition (way to graduate right as the economy plummets). I decided to go to seminary. Two rapid years later, I find myself at another time of transition. I must now decide what the next segment looks like. The temptation here is to bury my head in the sand and refuse to make a decision. I would like to work at my job for a while. But as people get used to the fact that I am a wandering single twenty-something, they always ask, "So what are your plans?" or "What's next?"  Next?  Does there always have to be a next?  The truth is, I had a plan.  The plan didn't work.  So I created another plan, and that one didn't work either.  So I stopped planning.  My worship pastor once said, "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans." I find it funny that sometimes people who throw themselves on the mercy of God by faith have no idea what's happening next.  God told Abraham to go to the land that He will (future) show him.  A map did not descend from Heaven that said, "Abe, call me when you get there for further instructions."  Sometimes the sovereignty of God is a little push here, a quiet pull there, step by step, faith to faith.  It is exhausting.  Faith is exhausting.  Sometimes I tell God, "If you could just tell me what's coming next I could handle it better."  I think the response is usually, "But then you wouldn't trust Me in the process."  Abraham was a wanderer.  Does that mean it's OK for me to be one too?