Thursday, September 30, 2004

Dez shared this song with me, I love the lyrics... so I'm sharing it with you.

Artist: Blindside
Album: Silence
Song: Cute Boring Love

She said what I was supposed to think
Thank God for freedom
Thank God for liberation
(She said) Now we are allowed to think
Now we are allowed to feel lust without cute boring love

But don't you ever just like me
Long for purity
Don't you ever
Get sick of our territories

What are you so scared of sister
What made you so afraid to feel
To chose a stone cold liberation
The one thing I hate most about me
Is the one thing you want to make your trademark
To feel lust without cute boring love

But don't you ever just like me
Long for purity
Don't you ever
Get sick of our territories
Don't you ever feel like glass
Fragile, hurting, letting it pass
Don't you think it's time to trespass

But when the fire is gone
Who are you?
What are you so scared of sister?
I'm just as scared as you

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

To die, to sleep--
No more -- and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. 'Tis a cosummation
Devoutly to be wished
To die, to sleep--
To sleep -- perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
(For those Shakespear readers... don't be concerned, I'm not contemplating suicide)

Dreams are strange things, some of us dream in colour, some in black and white. Some dream lovely dreams they wish not to wake from, some have night terrors, and then there are those bizarre dreams that not quite unlike something from the twilight zone; the latter is usually the form in which my dreams come.

I have found myself too often opening my eyes to a dream where I am surrounded by familiar surroundings and familiar people, where I can recognize everything, I can taste, see, smell and feel. In these dreams within a world that seems so completely real I sometimes become merely a spectator in my own body, watching myself do things, and be a person that seems so contradictory to my character. Sometimes I wake into the dream as I would wake into reality, having found myself having already committed something that goes against my personality to do. Or I find myself, though I am physically the same, being seen differently in the eyes of others; as if I have awoken as the alternate reality jo, instead of the one I know I am.

In any of these cases the feeling that accompanies me when I actually awake is much the same. A sense of dread paired up with a queasy sort of knot in my stomach, shaking my head and telling myself, no, no, that couldn't have possibly been real, that couldn't have possibly been real, I couldn't ever have done that, or been that person, no... Often it takes a awhile to shake the feeling, sometimes half the day.

About 6 weeks ago I was violently shaken awake from one of these dreams. In my dream there was a conflict, a battle of sorts between two sides of the same heart. Through various circumstances I saw foolishness override the character that God tries to deeply install in me, I saw myself act in ways that seemed so contrary to the wiser disposition I could see within me. That wiser disposition instead was hiding within my heart whispering this isn't quite right, pleading for that foolishness to back off and leave me alone. The conflict swayed from one side to the other, foolishness pushing back wisdom with wisdom shaking it's head in remorse, wisdom would then gently attempt to tame foolishness, much like trying to catch Icarus as he began to fall from the sky.

The war raged on, and foolishness was gaining ground much to the wise dispositions dismay, but then a circumstance came along where both sides surprisingly agreed. While foolishness was conviently distracted the wise disposition had the chance to approach the circumstance carefully, analyzing with a discerning eye. But by this point in the war between the two wisdom had lost sight of exactly how much ground foolishness had taken within me, than again maybe foolishness had always had a great deal of conrol... Though wisdom saw something good, it was not nearly discerning enough and most certainly not strong enough to gaurd what it had found, and foolishness quickly overran it's territory.

The dream degraded until the point where the wiser disposition was barely audible, and had thrown up its white flag of defeat. And as usually happens when foolishness reigns, all comes tumbling down to a disasterous ruin. It was the exact moment when everything began to desperately fall apart, the point when my head was left spinning in confusion and bewilderment, in which I was shaken awake and I am still left at this moment saying to myself no, no, that couldn't have possibly been real. The queasy knot has begun to loose its hold, but I am still shaking my head, because it has no consolation... Despite its similarities to the dreams I've experienced in past times of sleep, I am fully aware that this dream truly happened. I was caught in the control of my own foolishness and it was God's hand that roused me from my troubled slumber, now all that is left is the wiser disposition of my heart feeling grieved at it's association with it's other half. And although it knows that foolishness has been beaten down by the mercy of God, it is too wise to think that foolishness will not attempt to make a come back.

I'm not a person to regret, I am most certainly grieved by the retarded things that I have done, but I fully know I would just make some other mistake even if I had the chance to go back and fix the ones I'm aware of... We're never going to be perfect, but if we can do our best to rely on God, He'll always be faithful to give us a wakeup call when we need it...

Monday, September 20, 2004

The long awaited for post is finally here...
I'm back at Briercrest, a whole new year has begun, and many new changes accompany the fresh start of another semester. Many of you knew that I was making the big switch from dorms to the trailer life, which I'm enjoying thouroughly, but I'm also working in the cafeteria. Along with those changes in my own personal life, things are changing around me as well, dorms and restaurants closing, new things being established. Anyhow to mark the beginning of a whole new set of adventures I will tell you what working in the cafeteria is like on a really bad week...
so... I work in the dish pit of the cafeteria at Briercrest College (it isn't exactly a "Call me Ishmael" beginning, but I promise to get better). The dish pit, as you can guess, is where all of utilities used in the dinner process (dishes, silverware, pots, pans, etc, everything!) go through once they've been utterly soiled. The dishpit crew must stay there until
all the dishes are cleaned and put away and the dish pit is cleaned... on a usual basis I work in the dish pit for six shifts between monday to thursday. I came into sweep the floors Monday night, and my supervisor from the dish pit came out and asked me to help in the dish pit because the kids back there were all newbies and I apparantly looked like I knew what I was doing. I worked there 45 minutes longer than I was booked. No biggie, but the week gets better... as I was working in the pit the next afternoon, it is discovered and announced to the community that someone broke into the water reservoire and the water is now considered contaminated. Because the water is contaminated it has to be heated to a certain degree in order for it to be usable, at lunch that meant we ran somethings through more than once (such as the cups). Not too big of a deal, only maybe 15-30 min extra on that shift...
I came into work my shift a few hours later, and when I arrived discovered that we were not allowed to use the dishwasher because it wasn't heating up enough (not being able to use the dishwasher slows things down greatly). And then, the catering company decided we could wash their dishese as well as our own... it turned out that we could use the dishwasher to wash the dishes, but not sanitize. So we sanitized them by hand. Luckily the student populous was eating with disposable dishes and silverware, so we just had pots and trays and the like. This was beginning to suck. I was there an extra hour. While I was there doing extra time, my boss (like my supervisors boss) and somehow talked me into working the drink shift the next morning...
The next day... at lunch... the dish washer was fixed! Just kidding... well we thought it was fixed, we washed the dishes as usual, but I was still there for an extra 45 min. Things were looking up though, since I thought the dishwasher was fixed.
So Thursday comes along, I'm working the lunch shift, and the dishwasher is most definately not working, in fact they predicted it wouldn't be working for several hours. And the student populous was not eating on disposable dishes. At lunch there are usually 2 other people working there besides myself, along with our supervisor. At lunch on Thursday, my supervisor had to run out on an errand, and there was no one else there with me. My goal was to find places to put all of the dinner utilities that were going to come through, because there was no way they were going to get washed through the dish washer. The lunch rush out of the cafeteria hit just before noon. I was still all by myself and quickly ran out of immediate space to put the incoming dinner utilities... sigh. My door friend (she sits at the door and swipes cards), Manda, came to my rescue though, she fetched some help, which was greatly appreciated. This really sucked. But I got out of there on schedule (seeing as there was nothing I could do with the dishes) .
The fun doesn't end... oh no it only gets better... so for my last fated dishpit shift of the week, Thursday night, I came in to find the dishwasher still not fixed, all of the dinner utilities stacked to high heaven and more to come. Although the student populous was back to eating on disposable plates and such, it looked as though we were going to have to scrub the pots and pans, that were needed immediately, by hand. (shudder) Fortunately, they fixed the dishwasher halfway through the meal. So thanks to the morning crew (who graciously agreed to wash the floors and dish washer for us) all we did were dishes until 8:45... nothing else, just got those dishes done, and stayed and extra hour and 15 minutes. This really sucked, but luckily it's suckiness I get paid for. So yesterday I sat down with my boss and got rid of two shifts, after this week I'll be working 5.5 hours less a week. This will make a little more time for God, and maybe I'll get around to making perogies too...

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Strengthing Integrity

I'm dreadfully sorry that I haven't written a post about my adventures of returning to school, I promise I'll give you a little update about my escapades of working in the dishpit in the cafeteria here at Briercrest and quite a bit more happened over the summer than I have related in my posts. But for now I have a thought that I'd like to share with you, which is something that haven't done in a quite awhile, share some of my ponderings... I guess my brain was taking a break over the summer break. I'm also trying a new blogskin... I found that the textbox and font was rather tiny, though I loved the design.

I was pondering what it means to be a person of integrity, thinking of how many of us thirst after this moral soundness, and strive as followers of Christ to uphold a life lived upon convictions; to always do the right thing according to our beliefs. And what I'm wondering is what kind of message does a person of integrity display to the world if that person lacks courage and strength? What kind of testimony would it be to the world around us is all Christians were 'nice' people of good standards, but who quiver in the face of trials and run away from the challenges that face them?
It seems to me (that's my preventative clause indicating that I may very well be wrong...) that being a person of integrity doesn't mean that one needs to (metaphorically... I hope) castrate ones self. In fact it could be quite probable that a person who lacks strength and courage puts a damper on the image of integrity. That having high standards in the name of God, but not having the strength to present that integrity in the face of something that hurts or in a situation that intimidates you, doesn't represent the one we worship very well.

I want to back track a little and go back to strength and courage. I want to clarify what exactly strength and courage is. There is often some incorrect thinking that strength is only found in people who seem impervious to pain and sorrow and that courage is only found in people who know not the meaning of fear. That is not what strength and courage is, nor will you find anyone of that description. Strength, rather, is found in those who in the midst of pain manage to continue on, not as if nothing has happened, but view it as an experience to learn from. Courage is found in those who when faced with challenges that intimidate or scare them, press foward anyhow. A person who displays strength and courage is a person who can face challenges with a determination to perservere through the trial as if there is no other available option.
Right, so back to the main thought...

Now imagine a person, (I'm sorry if you feel offended by my terminology, but it effectively communicates my point in a way that most people can understand) who has integrity, but also balls of titanium to boot... so to speak. A person who lives to high standards but will hold to high standards in everything that they face. And I mean in every sort of challenge, from the smallest inconvience to the largest battle, they face with a strength and courage that can only be attributed back to the God that they serve. Now that is an example of a follower of Christ that we should all yearn to be. That is a person who will speak to the hearts of everyone around them, Christian and non-Christian alike. Others will be drawn to that person because it is clear that they are not acting on any human strength but instead point to the Almighty God.