It's been an educational year. Most of which I've gone into. But I'm a couple of weeks into the summer semester. I'm taking three classes to clear out some more of the general education requirements. And while I miss the interactions offered by a physical classroom setting, the online classes offer a lot of freedom to work ahead. And I like being able to do classwork whenever I want.
I had another good weekend (and change) in Raleigh. Got Amaris and Nicole moved out and in with relative easy and lack of headache. But that was what I was going for. Strong like ox, smart like cart. Moving is much more enjoyable when you turn your brain off. I had a couple of moments, though, that further emphasized the fact that Raleigh is really where I ought to be. Not everything there is comfortable. And that's something I need, I think. It's too easy to be complacent in the comfortable (and bad) habits I developed here in Salisbury. This is not the fault of where I grew up, far from it. But this room, this place carries the shades of my past mistakes.
I'm still not 100% sure how I feel about Vintage21. It's the church Jerod and Daniela attend, along with several new friends I've made. It's a very...contemporary service. Some things I like, some things I don't. But God doesn't fail to speak to me, regardless. Every time I've gone there's been one song that spoke to my current mindset, stirred me. I don't raise my hands to heaven in praise very often. And yet...
I miss stained glass. I miss the feeling of Sanctuary that I feel in old churches. Some of those old chapels are painted with the flavor and security of decades and generations of praise and devotion to God. That's something Vintage hasn't had the chance to develop. But perhaps I've spent too much time in that safety. I think there are things I can do there to help bring that feeling to generations to come. Even if they are very much Baptist flavored. I'm kidding! Christians are Christians, denominations are just different flavors of the same body of Christ.
I had more than one "Ah-ha. So that's what's going on." moments while I was up there. Rarely are such moments pleasant, but they always teach. Hints, observations, intimations primarily. I've had no chance to verify, but ultimately, I don't need to. Normally, I hate not knowing for sure. I'd rather face pain for the surety of knowledge than live in a sort of Schrodinger's social situation, being and not being what it appears to be, both at the same time.
But this time, I'm stepping back from the situation. It's not my usual preference or tactic. I'd much rather, these days, confront the situation, face it. Too much energy was wasted in the past few years in avoiding confrontations. But I'm trying to relearn patience. Patience with others, sure, but more importantly, patience with myself. I know that I have the potential for great patience and understanding, but not always when I'm waiting for something to start. There are some things I don't comprehend why I have to wait in many circumstances. I am advised to wait, yes, but no one can provide any real logical reasons. It's something I struggle with. I can understand how the martyrs in Revelations feel when they are told "It is not your time." I want it to be my time.
I want to do so much more self-improvement this summer. I'm looking forward to the fall, especially the next season of CRF. I keep saying that this year or that year will be my breakout season. This one likely won't be "break out" but it'll be vastly different from last year. I'm far stronger than I was before.
Another "Ah-ha." was related to how much I eat. My hosts eat a lot less than I do. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Steve, Jerod, Daniela, these are smaller people. I imagine with enough time, I could eventually get used to the, for me, drastically reduced caloric intake. But I did feel hungry much of my trip. However, it did make me re-examine how much I eat when I'm at home. I eat waaaaay too much. Not that I didn't know my tendency to overeat, but the comparison was a little stark. The range of comparison went from just a smidge shy of enough in Raleigh to almost twice what I need here. So I've been consciously shifting the amount I eat. And plugging as much leafy/fresh veggies and such in my diet as I can. I was told it looked like I was losing weight last night at a friend's party. I can really only attribute that to eating as little as I did while I was out of town. I need to keep up that trend.
I wish I knew some of what lay ahead of me. I know that God has good things planned for me in Raleigh. What those good things will turn out to be, I don't know. In some ways I don't want to know, at least not entirely. But some of the general ideas would be nice. I like to be prepared. That Boy Scout training doesn't die easy. I try not to think too much. Jonah thought too much. He knew the dangers that lay ahead for him. He was afraid. The potential to be called to martyrdom exists for any of us who follow Christ. And that's a scary fucking thought. It's not that I think I wouldn't be able to face it. I have strength. I have it because God gave it to me. But, seriously, who wants to be a martyr? Who wants to face that trial? Fanatics, zealots, madmen. I digress, though. I don't believe for a second that's what's ahead of me in Raleigh. But it's a measure of how much too much I think. My God given intellect is often at odds with Faith. My mind, curious, powerful, analyzing, logical, and creative as it can be is hard to quiet in the face of the unknown. I want to learn, discover, analyze and break down the unknown until it is known. But data is withheld. So I must await whatever will come.
So I try to find peace in the emptiness of the unknown. There's a lot of quiet in the lack of data. I will try to find the means of making the uncomfortable my own. It is a skin that is a size too small. I must shed the excesses of myself to fit it.
It should be an interesting summer.
not a sunrise, but a galaxy-rise