I’ve been growing my hair out for about 3 months in the hopes of getting dreadlocks. People keep noticing that my hair is longer and ask if I have a plan of what I’m doing. Up to this point in my life I didn’t realize that one needed to have a plan when growing your hair out, but anyways. So each time I tell someone that I’m planning on getting dreads I cringe wondering which of the three responses I’ll get:
1) cool…that sounds awesome.
3) Awh gross those are nasty.
And then for responses 2 and 3 I end up explaining the fact that dreads are not dirty and that they can be very clean and neat and that they even have a Biblical history. As of right now, I’ve got about another month of growing ahead but have already found the place that I believe I’ll go to get my hair dreaded. For me the process of getting dreads is a journey to being okay with doing something that I want to do and understanding that it will not be accepted or condoned by everyone, even those that I care about. I’m hoping it will be freeing to know I can do it and be fine with who I am. I don’t think I’ve ever been obsessed with what people think about me, but I think this will just be another step in being able to live my life and not be controlled by other people. I’ve always believed that if someone can’t get past something about my appearance that they might not like, than they don’t really care about my insides. Now I’m not saying I don’t care about my appearance, anyone could tell you that I take pride in my appearance, but I hate to be judged by my appearance.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my future lately. It’s not been by choice, some people close to me have been really encouraging me to strive to live beyond the moment and learn to also think a little more about the future. Living in the moment and being where I am and really trying to enjoy it is something that I feel I’m actually kind of good at. The future isn’t something I fear or not ever think of, it’s just more of something that I feel like can be a distraction to doing what needs to be done here and now. So my thoughts for the future have started to include seminary. I know that could be surprising because I’ve always teased and called it cemetery because I’ve believed it was where people went to become mindless robots without passion for life. But at this point in life, I actually feel comfortable enough in my own skin to think that going there would be a challenge and offer some of the conversations that I’d really like to have. Now the challenge of figuring out how to get there, I don’t even have my bachelor’s degree. So I’m looking into getting my college transcripts and finding out what I need to do to make that happen and then to where I would like to go for this next step. I really enjoy education and look forward to it, but I’m not sure how I’ll do something like this with my current schedule. This should be interesting.
I have to be honest that I’ve only run twice in the new year. Today I’m blocking out time in my weekly schedule to run 3 times a week and work out 2-3. My great friend Randy was here for the past few days and we had a great time as usual. We took some pictures while we were hanging out and looking at them I totally realized that my lack of running is taking it toll on me. I really enjoy being in shape and I’m determined to get back to it. Found a great website called Run Keeper that works with my iPhone to track my progress as well.
I wanted to re-post an old note I wrote several months back. I’ve been noticing bumper stickers quite often lately and so it made me think of this post and just wanted to share it again. I also found out that Bono, the lead singer from U2, has used a similar coexist symbol in his efforts to promote peace between Muslim, Jews, and Christians, and spoke about it in his book On the Move. By the way, another cool bumper sticker…Jesus is for losers. Think about that one for a while, true or not? I love the shock value of that one. Here’s the re-post with a few additional thoughts…
I’ve noticed a bumper sticker on the back of people’s cars for a while now that has been really interesting to me. The bumper sticker says “coexist”, but it is spelled out using symbols of different faiths and beliefs. At first glance I didn’t find it very appealing. But over the course of a few months, it has become something that I really love. What changed my mind? I think it came while reading and listening to some people of faith lately. In both cases the people spoke about the way people treated people of other faiths. Specifically in John 4 when Jesus approaches the woman at the well. I see an amazing picture of how Jesus shows her respect even though she was a woman and of a different faith, both cultural reasons for a man like Jesus to not approach her at the time.
It really got me to thinking about how I treat people who don’t believe as I do. Do I begin to act pious and look down on them? Do I make jokes about their beliefs and get upset if they do the same to me? Do I distance myself so that I won’t have to interact with them? That’s not the way that Jesus did things. When looking at the interaction that he was with the woman, I believe I see someone who takes genuine interest in someone else’s story and offers his own story as well. The transforming message of the gospel is the power of love and acceptance that is not of this world, not the power of exclusion and disrespect.
It’s very interesting to me that coexistence is such a scary thought to many people. Even though I know I’m one that would have found it scary in the past, I have a hard time understanding why it is that many people find loving others that aren’t like them so scary. I guess I have come to believe that God is constantly reaching out to all of us and active in all our lives. With this in mind we must with humility and grace, continue the dialogue with others and pray that we continue to seek truth. I believe God will not fail us.
We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. – 1 John 4:19-21
There was a funeral for a 17 year old boy today. It was a shock to the community, and really caused me to sit and reflect some today. Funerals often do that to me. My friend Scott says that there are two things that you should never miss if possible, weddings and funerals. I think it has something to do with celebration of life. All this got me thinking about life and actually more about death. Another friend of mine speaking of tragic times used to say “I don’t know how people get through these times if they don’t believe in God”.
I found myself thinking, how my life might be different if I didn’t believe in God. What would be different about the way I live and experience things? I don’t know if I can answer that question honestly right now. C.S. Lewis asked how we might respond if as we died we heard God’s undeniable voice say something like ‘I can’t do anything for you, I die now’, would that be a time for switching sides? I believe what he was ask was if we found out that there was no heaven and no hell, and that we weren’t going to spend eternity with God, would that be a time for giving up on our faith. Would I really look back on my life and say ‘I missed out’? I think I’d still be happy with the way I’ve lived my life, because I believe that my faith has caused me to be a more reflective and caring person. It has caused me to listen to the wisdom of Socrates that the unexamined life is not worth living. When it would be easy to be all about myself, my faith has caused me to reach beyond myself and when I’d like to just be happy where I am, my faith has helped me to continue to grow and not never cease to search for faith, hope and love.
Usually when I write I have a purpose or point, I’m not sure I do tonight. I just wanted to get some thoughts out there. Life is precious and today I was reminded to make the most of it.
I have mixed feelings about New Years Resolutions. I remember the many times that I’ve made a resolution and forgotten it the next day and so I think they are useless. But there is a part of me that really loves reflection on life and then making some decisions to try to do something different. Life is a habit after all and we need to live like it. If we don’t like who we are or where we are headed, we need to make new habits to take us where we want to go. Maybe a little simplistic, but i still think there’s a lot of truth in there.
Last year i ran my first half marathon and found it very rewarding mentally, physically and spiritually. So this year I’m making a resolution to run, read, journal, and blog. I’m currently looking for a race to run in May or June, I’ve found a few books that I’m planning to read, received a new journal from a friend, and here I am starting my blog. So i think I’m ready to take on my resolution.
I just recently bought my first purchase using woot.com. It’s a heart monitor and watch monitor. I’m hoping that it will be a slight source of inspiration to kick start myself back into running. I’m also counting on the fact that if I’m journaling, like i do when I read, that I’ll have something of a source for inspiration for my blogging.
So here’s to a new year of attempting to live life with purpose and passion.