Growing Apologist

Becoming a Defender of Truth

What Keeps You Awake Tonight?

I know what keeps me awake tonight.

Taking pictures, caffeinated coffee, the desire to relax before falling asleep, the horror of 7 plus hours of lectures watched at 1.5x speed, a test only 40% done after working on it for 15 hours in two days, the frustrations of wanting to know but having no clue.  There are other things too, added on top of the test nightmares of this weekend… like the physical state of my house, the financial standing of my family, the desire to be involved in a million things but having to limit myself only to the essentials.

But how do I figure out what the essential things are?  This has been the long-standing question of my life.  Even in middle school, my interests and passions were so wide in variety, and there was never enough time in the day.

I have come to the realization that there are a lot of things in my life that I just need to make time for and then everything else will fall into place.  I remember a presentation at my protestant church years back, where the women’s ministry leader demonstrated how to fit God into a person’s life.  She had this huge jar that she dumped little marbles into it (these represented the everyday things, like responsibilities and entertainment) and then tried to add larger marbles to the jar (these represented time with God).  The large marbles wouldn’t fit.  Instead, she reversed the order, first dropping God into the jar, and then the everyday things.  The little marbles filled in the gaps between the large marbles, and everything fit into the jar.

It’s just like this post I read the other day at the blog called Let’s Go Then, You and I… titled It’s All In The Start.  The author described how she would love to start the day, on her knees spending time with God, but the difficulty of getting out of the warm bed prevented her.  She goes on to describe the difficulty of the day, how everything just becomes so overwhelming, and she came to the conclusion that it is all in how she starts off her day, in idleness or in worship.

Perhaps those things that keep me awake tonight would not be so big if I re-arranged my life a little to be centered first on Christ.  Perhaps if I got up a little earlier, started my day with God, and then moved onto the everyday things, then maybe the stress of life would not be so overwhelming.  Maybe then the peace of God would settle into my soul, and I would have the courage to face whatever life throws at me.

How about you?  What keeps you awake at night?

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Keep Your Fork!

I used to love to write. I would write about mages, wizards, dragons, swords and chivalry. I would create stories about young rising prophets learning to master their ability and queens from humble origins thrown into their position of authority by necessity. I would weave tales of vampires falling in love with humans, and slayers who discover that maybe vampires were not a thing of evil. I would write about dragons trying to save their own kind from wrongful accusations and about a great society of underground elves who just want to find their way back to the surface.

Only once did I write about real life. It was shortly after my great grandmother’s death. My story on the surface was about her funeral and standing in the cold, but underneath it told the tale of how troubled I was. My grandmother had been an amazing woman, or at least that was what I had always been told. Hunting and camping and full of life. To me, she had always been a quiet old lady who couldn’t see or hear but was patient and smiled easy. Even at the time of her death, it had been unclear whether she had been a Christian. The pastor went on with his beautiful, solemn homily, and we listened to those words, and watched as the cold earth embraced her coffin.  The quiet words of the pastor speaking about ‘walking in the shadow of death but fearing no evil’ echoed in my mind as I tried to stomp my frozen toes back to life.

My story of her funeral was not a happy one. As I pondered on her death, I also pondered on the kindness of God to people like my grandmother–those good, kind people who may or may not believe in God. I questioned the existence of heaven and the likelihood of people making it to the pearly gates. That story marked the beginning of my quest for truth.

I remember my story being selected in English class to be read to the community at the local art museum. Schools all through the valley selected one or two kids to read piece of their work. My story was the last one to be read. I remember standing up on the stage, listening to my voice crack in the microphone as I tried to remain composed while reading to the community my questions of God’s grace. Then afterwards the coordinator came up to me with congratulations. “I always put the piece I think is the best last,” she told me.

That was the last piece I wrote. Life was full of turmoil after that as I tried so desperately to find myself. There was pain and suffering in growing up.  A lot of hard lessons learned.  But after I hit the bottom, God’s grace pulled me out.  He rebuilt me slowly after I was torn down by my own doing.  It has taken me some time, but I am slowly coming to terms with my past and what I’ve been through.  As I learn more and more about God and His grace and more importantly, Jesus’ great sacrifice as the Lamb of God, I have come to a better understanding of where I have come and where I am going.  But most importantly, I have learned to keep my fork, because there are better things to come.

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