Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to School

Can you feel it? It's in the air. Mead notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, looseleaf paper, backpacks, lunchboxes. It's all begun again. If kids haven't started yet, they will soon. I always loved this time of the year. I guess it's the writer in me that just loves blank paper, notebooks, smooth writing pens, etc.
I'm not going back to school this year but I did just get the idea to set up my own writing course. I can plan out the curriculum and the due dates for the fall semester and by mid-December, maybe just maybe, I'll have a first draft written of a novel. Sounds like a plan to me.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Something to Ponder

(This is a picture of Earth. Yes. If you look very carefully and closely, you’d see it.
Just below the center line, on the right side, bathed in sunbeam. Yes, it’s that speck of dust.)

In a universe where the whole, entire earth is just a speck, who am I? Much smaller than a speck, I guess. Do I want to live for something smaller than a speck (self)? Or do I want to live for something bigger than everything (God)? When it is put that way, do I really have a choice?

Yet even though I am smaller than a speck, God cares for me. He visits me. And He cares for me. I will praise Him for His infinite kindness!

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. -- Psalm 8:3-5 (NKJV)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sky Hike

A few weeks ago, I tried a ropes course in Stone Mountain, Georgia. It was a cool experience but I didn't know what I was getting myself into before I got there. The idea is to challenge yourself by walking across various thin wooden boards and tightropes, some at twelve feet high and some at twenty-four feet high. You can see the ground below you the whole time so there is no forgetting that you are up that high. Also, you are in a harness and connected by a cable to the pulley system above you at all times. I learned some important lessons about life during the course.

The first area that gave me trouble was a thin balance beam. There was no railing to hold onto like the previous area so I was nervous. Two people that worked on the course came over to help me through. One walked in front of me and the other walked behind me. This gave me enough confidence to get through it. Lesson learned: When I need help there is usually someone there to encourage me to keep going. Just ask for help.

During most of the course, there were two options for each section - one being a balance beam option and another being a tightrope option. I usually chose the balance beam option. It seemed sturdier. But on one of the sections, the balance beam option was swinging boards to cross so I chose the tightrope option for the first time. It took quite awhile to get started. Lesson learned: The first step is usually the scariest and therefore the most important to break through.
Once I started to cross the tightrope though it got easier as I just took one step at a time. Lesson learned: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Toward the end of the course, there was a section where you had to cross stepping on swinging ropes. But there were other ropes hanging down for you to hold onto if you wanted. When I started that section I was taking my time but slowly getting there. Then I realized that my cable was getting tangled in the swinging ropes that I was stepping on. I was stuck. Another worker came over to tell me how to free myself. I had to step backwards a few times in order to untangle my ropes. Going forward is fearful enough without having to step backward. But I followed the instructions and then was able to walk through that section without tangling myself again. Lesson learned: Taking a few steps backward is okay as long it clears you to go forward again.
The biggest obstacle to break through was in my own mind. I couldn't have fallen because of the cable/pulley system I was harnessed to but my mind didn't quite understand that until I actually walked across each section. Lesson learned: In life, God is that cable/pulley system. He's got a hold of me so even if I do fall, He catches me quickly. So, I just need to keep stepping as best I can.
Also, my first thought on a lot of the sections was, "I can't do this one." But in the end, I did force myself to do them. Lesson learned: I can do more than I think I can.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Do It Now

Do Not Boast About Tomorrow
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. -- James 4:13-14 (NKJV)

One lesson I've been slowly learning is I should make the most of each day. If I know of something good to do, I should do it. Or at least do something that makes progress toward that goal. I'm not guaranteed the days that I think I may have.

I'm also learning that I don't have to be perfect at something before I try. I can learn as I go. I can take steps. And even if I fall...well...I can learn something. That's a cliche, but it's true that I learn more from actions I take rather than the thoughts I think. It's better to come trembling and try instead of analyzing my actions so much that I don't try.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Purpose of this Blog

I'm tired of just going through life as it tosses me along. I want to live my life on purpose, at least as much as it depends on me. I believe that God is sovereignly in control of all things. But I also believe that He won't force me to live with purpose. I feel that He wants me to choose to live with the purpose which He created me.

My number one goal is to seek to love God with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength. This can and will take a lifetime to achieve so I'd better get going.

My next goal is to love others as myself. This is another lifelong work-in-process.

Also, I need to remember that my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and I need to show it respect by eating and working out so that I will have vibrance and energy to accomplish the first two goals.

And, last but not least, I need to write everyday. I want this blog to serve as a way for me to develop the habit of writing every single day. I love the power of a story and would like to write many, many stories that serve God by encouraging people.