Dreams: The Antidote to Anxiety

Over the past few weeks, I have been going along an intentional self-discovery journey. I have been attempting to not constantly plan my future–which has caused some rather fun panic attacks–but to live in the now. By doing this, I have had the overwhelming urge to dream.

What if I was a Bible major?

What if I was a sociology and gender studies major?

What if I was a business/non-profit major?

What if picked the easiest undergrad major just to get on to grad school?

What if I could do x and y in order to get z?

It was incredibly liberating to dream without feeling the urgency of making a commitment to a practical one by a certain deadline.

I am a full believer in God changing the desires of your heart in order to point you in a different direction; however, I am guilty of having way too many passions to make the easy decision of what path to go down. My fleeting passions make me question my choices even more. Lately I have been focusing a lot on certain social and theological issues that plague our churches and society, which makes me question yet again.

Is my passion just reflecting what “hot” in the blogs I read?

Am I forcing my story to fit into the molded path the ends with me “fixing” these problems?

I am just kidding myself when I say that this is for God’s glory rather than my own?

I have always been one of those people that over thinks everything. It’s why I don’t do well on standardized tests and why I analyze myself and my choices over and over till I have some sort of crisis that either averts my attention or blows the situation out of proportion enough to force me into making a decision (why or not it was the right one.)

When I feel burdened with all this over-analyzing, I often turn to journalling. As I have been dreaming without the weight of realism, my mind has been wandering all over the place…again, I felt the need to turn to journalling. (If you have never journaled, I highly recommend it! It is amazingly cathartic.) After many pages of scribbled notes–and a sore hand–I ended my latest entry with the following statement:

I have very strong opinions and convictions. It’s time that my actions met them.

God uses people all the time in the funniest ways to speak to His beloved children, and today He totally used my hand to speak to me. What an amazing god! Granted, I have no idea what to do with this little tidbit of wisdom, but I can’t wait to mull over it as the days come to pass. I can’t wait to see what path it takes me down.

PathBlog

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Barista

For a while I have been pondering on the idea of doing a post or two every week to thank, celebrate, or write a note to a person that crossed my path in some way during my week. My most recent piece Celebrate was kind of a trial run that turned into a rant. I have been rather appalled with the negativity on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. as of late, so I figured, “If I want to see change, shouldn’t I start doing it myself?”

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To the barista at Chester’s:

You always make the most wonderful drinks! As you’ve probably noticed, I like to have a little bit of conversation with the person who makes my drinks, so thanks for always being so open with me! I don’t know your name, but I know that you sacrifice lunch every Tuesday to work there.

And you do it with a smile.

That’s amazing! You are amazing for how you love people through cappuccinos and iced lattes. It may not seem like a big deal, but our 3 minute encounter was rather lovely. Many people would look at that crazy long line and say, “this is awful. I hate my life. I hate my job. Blah blah I like to complain about stupid things.” You didn’t. You resisted the temptation to be an unpleasant cynic on this cold, wintery day.

Thanks for making my day a little brighter–and a little yummier!

 

Celebrate!

Guys, I’m so thankful for my sister.

First of all, if you haven’t met Debbie, you totally should. Second of all, when you meet her, she may be a little shy, but she will become one of your favorite people once you get to know her!

Since moving to Wenham I have gotten a chance to know my sister better than I ever have before. A huge contributor to that has been my growing interest in expanding and understanding my own personal theology. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to have hour-long discussions about certain topics over the phone–especially when one of the parties is known for not being a fan of communicating in that way. I am currently taking two Bible classes and I love them. Not only do they challenge me in regards to the text we study in class, but they make me reexamine how and what I’ve read in the Bible throughout my entire life. Another contributor has been reading blogs that focus on hard theological questions in a modern context. Deb and I read most of the same blogs (and many do not agree with each other, which prompts some very interesting dialogue.)

Last night I was able to talk to my sister about some of the toughest theological questions since the beginning of time–what happens when we die? The whole study of eschatology is something I am extremely new to, but even dipping my toe into the pool of possibilities has opened my eyes to a whole new perspective on not only death but God himself.

Our conversation transitioned into the topic of blasphemy, heresy, and doubt. We both articulated the vast differences between blasphemy and doubt, but it isn’t taught that way in the church. We both got the impression that doubting and questioning walked a very fine line of committing terrible sin. Yes, Jesus said to not doubt many times throughout his mission, but I don’t think my doubt is that of the disciples’. Their hearts were hardened to Jesus’ Messiahship. I fully believe that Jesus is the Christ and Son of God. My doubt is in the theology that is taught in the evangelical church.

So often we forget that intellectual sloth is a sin, just like gluttony, lust and greed, but you rarely see a fellow brother or sister in Christ be chastised for such a thing–especially because so many churches now structure themselves around such an idea. Pastors are spoon-feeding their congregations with their own personal interpretation without providing the original context, commentators’ opposing views, or any hermeneutical background to help people come to their own theological conclusions. And the congregations doesn’t think twice about it because they aren’t going to church on Sunday morning to be theologically and spiritually challenged but to get their spiritual “fix.”

This is not okay.

If people are willing to focus their lives on a belief system set out by a book and this one guy (who has happens to be three), shouldn’t they invest their time and efforts into actually understanding what the book and this guy really mean?! When we did hand over our souls to the guy at the pulpit instead of at the cross? We shouldn’t just take a pastor at his word because God’s word is what ultimately matters. I’m not saying that all pastors are wrong, but it is not okay for congregations to not think for themselves. These things–preaching and thinking–should not be at odds! In fact, I think many of the issues in the modern church would go away if people actually tried to understand through personal investigation what they were reading in the Bible.

Needless to say, Debbie and I talked for many hours about all these things. We came out of the conversation not necessarily agreeing on everything, but it was so refreshing to be able to talk about it without feeling like I have to constantly be looking over my should in fear of someone yelling, “BLASPHEMY!!!” at me. News flash: blasphemy is an ultimate rejection of God. I question and doubt in order to pursue understanding of my creator and abba.

Yes, I believe in God by faith, but I do not believe in God by blind faith.

So thanks Deb for talking with me about this stuff! It’s really cool that a) we are besties for life and that b) we can talk theology to all hours of the night. That’s pretty cool. Yeah, we fight and argue all the time, but you are the only person on this earth that I can talk about everything to. I’m so happy that you are my sister.

Deb