Thursday, April 30, 2015

Why I try to be small

I'm a little person. If you know me, you know I'm not the tiniest person in the bunch, but I'm always on the shorter end. Lately, it seems like kids are even taller than me. Let's just say I can't reach the top shelf of anything without climbing on something, or otherwise getting a really tall person to help. (...And for your information, my definition of a really tall person is "anyone who can reach the top shelf. If that's you, congratulations- I am in awe of your body's ability to stretch itself.

Perhaps I shouldn't be writing this when I'm tired. If there are excess amounts of sarcasm in my writing, just take it for exhaustion. I just finished finals week in my 2nd year of undergrad (which makes me, officially, a senior. Praise the Lord!), and I have so much to do. Number one on that list is sleep. But something popped into my mind and I just can't get it out. Thus, here I am, spilling out my mind and heart to a lovely blank space.

*Ahem* (Again, tired...)... First off, I suppose I should clear up some things about my title. I frequently wish I were taller. My apparent sarcasm was really truth. Sometimes I have to fight jealousy over all the tall people in the world. People tell me I have it better; apparently all the guys like shorter girls, etc. But really, it seems like all you tall people have it better. The only thing small people seem to do well is hide-and-go-seek. Seriously, unless you are five years old and under 4feet, I will probably beat you, every time, at hide-and-go-seek. Otherwise, being short isn't all that great. I get people asking me if I am 16, if I need help, telling me how cute I am, thinking I can't do something....So I find myself always trying to be taller. I climb trees, I climb shelves (tall people are always conveniently absent when you need them), I wear heels.... but it just doesn't work.

My mind has gradually been changing on the concept of smallness. Don't get me wrong, I still love all my tall people friends, I love the feeling of tallness when you climb or wear heels... But I'm learning to be content with my littleness. Even more, I have learned something about being little.

When you are small, you always look up to people. If you treat that opportunity right, you start to learn things. You get a chance to listen, and perhaps to begin that process of understanding the world around you. Kind of like being a kid, when there was someone older and wiser than you, and you had a moment where you could just sit and listen and learn from them. When I had those experiences, I usually walked away feeling motivated to do something.
Do you remember how you used to dream in those moments?

I do, because I've been having them a lot lately.

Maybe you're starting to see my point. I hope so. I mean, I'm not writing a thriller here.

For those of you visual learners or mathematicians, I made a formula. (LOL). Here it is:

Kids dream. Small people dream. Being small sometimes has nothing to do with height. Smallness comes when you realize that you are not quite big enough to fill the room, and you recognize those people that take up more space than you. I mean really, have you ever seen a really tiny person confront a really big person? It always seems to me that the "wow" factor is more on the smaller person's side.

Smallness is not putting yourself down or saying you are not enough, except perhaps to notice that your body is not quite big yet. So you recognize those that are, and watch to see how they got there. Unfortunately, this no longer works for me as far as height goes, but when we talk dreams...

I guess what I'm getting at is that we (I) should try to listen better. I think there is a reason that Jesus asked us to have faith like children, and also to sit at the back of the table rather than the seat of honor. In those places you can still grow, and when you are moved forward it is even sweeter. Plus, children have this amazing tenacity that leads to "impossible" dreams and "too-large for life" motivations. I have this feeling that if we could get our kids to NOT lose their dream-big mentality, and if we could find it ourselves, the world would potentially explode with the amazing things that would happen.

OK ok. My tired self is going nuts. Obviously the world would not explode. Metaphors people!
Anyway, I could go on and on about this. However, in the interest of grammar and word errors that will certainly appear any moment now (wait for it), I am off to do that wonderful thing called sleep. You all should try it sometime. And you should consider dreaming, but not just the sleep-kinds.

One last thing before I go. Another "if you know me" moment, but my tagline is very obviously that "life is an adventure." This isn't by accident. My view on life as adventure comes from a firm belief that God is on the throne, and that He is my friend. My dream, if you care to know, is to see Jesus glorified. And out of this dream comes a whole adventure that I call life. YES, I can't wait for heaven. But I'm also pretty thrilled with right now. I'm with Jesus, and no matter what happens...This is not an idealist statement, but a "look, I have had those moments of total crap in my life. I understand and still think this" moment. So I'm off to bed. And in the morning, when I wake up with joy (because God is SO good, all the time), I'll spend my day trying to be small. Because small people learn a lot, and small people dream big dreams. I want to be a small person who sees God, because I know those people will do big things with Him.

I hope it goes without saying, but obviously you can too, regardless of stature.
'Night friends.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

What is an Adventure?

Perhaps I have written about this...

But I don't suppose it can be spoken of enough, and definitely not too much.

So I'm guessing you've all noticed my blog's title (I know, call me Captain Obvious).
It's there for a reason, and definitely not because I am trying to join some hipster movement.

I like adventures, and I go nuts over fantasy stories.
My reasoning is simple, really.
The protagonists and all their struggles look like me, and the heroes in all their grandeur remind me of Jesus.

Stories speak to something deep in our souls, something that Jesus' kids like to call that "eternal" call.
I know you know this story, sometimes I think we were born with it in our DNA. But bear with me as I tell it yet again, won't you? Won't you sit with me and listen (or read, I suppose) to the story that makes my blood sing, my heart rejoice, and my feet to dance?
It starts like this...

We were never called to be here, at least not like this. Life was made because the God of the Universe lacked one simple thing. In all His perfection He was (and is) love embodied, yet He had no one to love. So He created a beautiful world, the most impressive utopia ever imagined. He put all of the most wonderful things ever imagined into it, more than man could write about or even study in a few lifetimes. Like an overeager lover setting up an exciting first date, He set up the world for us. He wrote His zeal in the clouds, built it strong in the mountains' foundations, and weaved it into the core of the earth's very atoms.

Then all of creation eagerly waited, looking for that day when God breathed life into a creature unique from all the others -- a creature that looked like Him, thought like Him, and talked like Him.
Can you imagine the shock and the joy on that day? The most perfect Being ever had done it, He created A MAN, a mirror image of himself.

As if things could not get better, He proceeded to make another, just as unique yet just as mirrored to Himself as the first. The woman was different from the man, yet still she looked like God, talked and thought like Him. God recognized that they were made in His image, that like Him they needed an equal to love. So he gave them to one another, to love as He loved them.

For a little while everything was Perfect, untouched and unscarred. Can you imagine the joy that the creation felt each morning? Surely the air vibrated with it!

And then it was all gone in an instant. The simple choices of men and women, the stupid pride tore them away from God like flesh from bone. The rend was instant, and the earth screamed with it. The innocence of man was destroyed, how could humanity go on being like God now? Perfect love had been destroyed when trust was cast aside and disobedience was embraced.

....So man was separated from God, this we all know. I see you there, nodding your heads in frustration and sighing in boredom. Deal with it for a moment longer, and listen now. I am not a bard or a poet, but try to see where I am coming from, what my heart's cry is. Lifeblood will be found here, just wait and see....

Centuries, millennia passed. The world sighed time after time with exhaustion, for it could no longer bear the weight of the would-be-gods of man. Mankind had meant to be loved and be lovers (in the purest fashion, my friends. Don't let your minds stray now!), yet they had begun to stamp and push and shove, each fighting to Be the God that created them, rather than be His image and reflection. They did not understand the beauty of the 'simple' reflection of the Sun on the Moon in the evenings (that beautiful moon that brings so much light to the dark!), but instead strove to be the Sun.

Yet God cared not for men's futile attempts to be Him. He could have erased it all and started anew... But out of the same love that sparked the creation, He made it fresh instead. In His mercy God made the nightmare into a dream, for all who would see the Way that was made. Just as before, He Himself did it. In a moment He restored what in another moment had been destroyed. And in His way, He stretched out the firmament to make it permanent. What was made firm then was the love that will never end, a love that came and died for man, a love that longs to be in close connection.
An unending God declaring who He is -- Love.

...So maybe you liked my story, and maybe you did not. Stay a moment longer, won't you? Come see how it applies to you, to stories, to adventure (if you don't already)...
Here is where the adventure is: not in the horrors or temptations of life, not in the horrible valleys that seem to have no end of darkness, and certainly not in the struggles and griefs that each of us must face as men on earth. The adventure lies in the doing, If it is done with God. For Jesus Christ (surely you know His name?) did more than sacrifice Himself so that we would not die. He made a way so that we MIGHT LIVE.

Now then, like the greatest heroes of old that we tell our children about, and whose stories tug at our deepest beings, we too are on the greatest of adventures. If you choose to accept Jesus for who He said He was, that is... Then you will find the adventures that have magic and fairies to be nothing compared to those we will face as His followers, for He is our guide, our destination, our rear-guard, and our constant companion. You will find, if you follow Jesus, that like the heroes of old you will face valleys and rivers and mountains and battles and times when it doesn't seem like you can go on (at times you will even have to crawl)... You will find times when it seems all is lost, times when you wonder why you started the adventure at all, times when you find adventures aren't always that great, times when you cannot see if good or bad lies around the corner... at times you will be betrayed by those you held dear, at times you will be frustrated by your enemies, at times you may be captured... and some of you may even be killed on the course of the adventure.

But this is the Best kind of adventure, you see? Not because of the bad, but because you know that NO MATTER WHAT the hero faces, he/she will Always win, will always reach the finish line, will always defeat the enemy.

Our solution is assured. Jesus said so when He died, and said "It is finished." And as if we weren't sure, He came back again, in Glory to lead the charge. Our struggles are before us, yes -- for the world has still not completely accepted its King again. As long as it abstains from His love, creation will writhe with the tragedy of it. For man was not created to BE God, but to be Loved by God, and to love Him. We destroyed it, but guess what? Still He loves us.

Dare I go on? I fear my words are at an end... all adventurers need to rest, you know. And anyway, I can only speak of the adventure for so long. There comes a time when the adventure must be Lived. I hope to see you along the way, my dear friends. Join us, won't you?

Live this adventure with my Jesus and I, if you care or dare. There is plenty of room for more. ;)