Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Oh the bitter taste of nostalgia...
ok, a little back story.
corrine and i moved down the Heron Lake back after the summer of '07. we had both graduated from college the previous spring and worked at camp during the summer. well, when we moved out of bemidji, we had a full uhaul and truck of boxes that got moved into the house we live in now.
they sat in the back room from that time until just recently. we never felt good about unpacking them because we thought our time in the house was temporary as we were both looking for jobs that may take us out of the area. well, two years later, we both have jobs we love, are living in the same house, and have a room that looks like the warehouse from indiana jones (i actually do wonder if we have the ark stuffed in a box in there somewhere).
SO, since we don't have any plans to move anymore, it's time to brave the unknown and tackle "The Back Room" (((((scary echo))))).
last thursday we both devoted much of the night to pulling boxes out of the room and going through them. it's not an easy task going through boxes of stuff that you deemed important, but really want to just get rid of. there were a lot of memories in those boxes, a lot of memories since those boxes, and going through them brought back things that seemed like a lifetime ago. for instance, we both had a lot of high school stuff in those boxes as both our parents were ready to unload that stuff as soon as we got our own place in bemidji. so we were going through the boxes, deciding which memories were worth physical reminders, and which memories didn't make the "legend" list. i threw away a lot of pictures from high school, prom, my first couple years at college. mostly because they weren't of anything monumental enough, or trying to explain all the people/places/events that are in the picture would take way too much time and most people wouldn't care anyways. but what struck me while i was going through those boxes, looking at all those pictures, remembering everything that happened...i noticed something. of course i remembered the events, not every detail, but the memory was there. but then i started looking at the faces...mine in particular. now, i've known my face for a long time, i've looked at it many times (almost daily) over the course of my years. but looking back only 7-10 years i noticed that back in the day, i looked very very confident, happy, unwavering. and i think, well, back then i didn't have that much to worry about...no taxes, no deep relationships other than my family, no debt, didn't really worry about what was happening in the world...so of course i'll look untouchable. but then i got thinking further and wondered if this was God giving me a visual lesson of the "Do Not Worry" parable that Christ gives. a side by side comparison can clearly show that back in the day, when i didn't care about much at all, i looked like i was at peace. now i think of all the things i have to worry about with work, at home, with my family, with the youth, and i feel like i'm melting like Palpatine did in Episode 3 (i know, lame star wars comparison).
but then the question arises, which is worse, worrying about all these things, or allowing yourself to be ignorant and indifferent. aren't we supposed to care for our brothers and sisters? aren't we supposed to make our biggest concerns God and our neighbors? how do we approach life without worrying about it? especially now when you need a helping hand to really start your life after college/high school. i know corrine and i would be SOL if it weren't for close friends and family. but maybe that's where the faith comes in...faith that it will all work out. so when i read Matthew 6 i can't help but think to myself, "Dee Dee Dee!"
i know one thing, i am NOT who i was ten years ago, i am NOT indifferent, i refuse to be ignorant, and i am striving to refuse the crap of life it's strangle-hold on me...also i know this:
If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds. Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
Matthew 6: 25-34, The Message