it's 10:56pm and I can't sleep. I tried to go to sleep at
9:00 tonight for the first time, it worked too until about
10:20 when a few of the guys awake on the wing decided everyone
else needed to be awake to.
since I'm awake, it's time to write an essay I've really
been wanting to write for awhile. I meant to write it the
day that it was conceived. But now I can leave my desk and
relive the beauty of that morning.
head is lifted from my pillow and I listen - to the sound
of nothing. I reach over and turn off the phone alarm that
would have wakened me in two minutes. Quietly slipping the
sheets of my bed back I sit up, set my feet on the floor
and continue to softly listen to sounds not yet begun. Then
with care I tiptoe across the wood floor, trying not to squeak
the boards and waken my brother.
across the wooden floor I am safe on the soundless linoleum
tiles of the bathroom as I wash my face with warm water and
quietly put on light tan pants a lightweight green shirt,
and my comfortable running shoes. I then once more attempt
a soft journey across the floor back to my bed. The soft
warm mattress and pillow that would invite me back most mornings
now is resigned to rest peacefully till dawn without my presence.
I lay the covers back over my pillow without a sound.
deeper stillness fills the room as I turn to the chair by
my bed. The only sound is that of the fabric of my vest as
I lift it from it's resting place upon the chair and carefully
fit each arm through its hole. The zipper makes a light but
soft grating sound as I close the vest around me. I check
each pocket. One holds a soft brush and cloths and another
paper and a map. There is a reflector in one pocket and memory
cards inside the zippered portion of one of two large pockets
at the bottom of the vest. Inside the those pockets are my
lenses and flash. Anticipation grows in me as I inspect each
lens before carefully returning it with cap to its pocket.
with a strange lack of ceremony my hand gently grasps the
camera that sets patiently on the table at the head of my
bed. I place it in my hands and remember its familiar weight.
My finger touches the on switch but I do not turn it on and
a stronger anticipation fills me suddenly. I slip the strap
over my head and slowly stand up straight with a determined
will now fully active.
cross the floor for the last time pre-dawn still softly but
with a determined resolve in each step. This determination
is unobserved, alone and seen by no one - only felt by me.
It feeds off my resolve and strength but increases them with
each step. There is a reason for this determination I know
as I leave the warm and comforting quiet of the apartment
behind and exit into the warm and exposed stillness of the
remainder of the night. Determination is necessary as I take
that step, but there is a greater competitor than the amiable
though often illusory night who has consented to challenge
hands work quickly to fasten my helmet on and I step up onto
my bike giving the first strong push of the pedals. The stop
sign immediately before me that marks the main intersection
of town is quiet and empty as I roll through with a look
toward the cemetery on one side of main street and the tall,
red brick Lutheran church on the other. There is no one living
present at either and the church's bells have not yet begun
camera is slung behind my back and my legs work as pistons
propelling my bike along this quiet country road. All around
is a light mist. In each meadow that dips below the terrain
which surrounds it the mist has settled; the pine trees therein
are surrounded by mist as buoys in a transparent sea and
the tops of maples and their hardwood cousins rise up like
reefs, their slender trunks hardly noticed in the thickness
of fog. Anywhere the terrain dips the mist has settled and
slowly circles itself in a peaceful and slow manner.
move with speed however, for above the forested hills on
the horizon golden strands are permeating the silver linen
in which they are clothed.
turn right at a stop sign far from town, and then stop. Far
from the road to the left is a house but to the right there
is a meadow with a pond. My eyes slowly wander across the
water, where the mist has settled like a blanket, to the
site of a lone tree. The forest surrounding the meadow sleeps
but here by the pond a single tree stands. Though it stands
alone it never crosses my mind to think it lonely - rather
I see in it a picture of rugged determination. It alone stands
there by the pond watching the moving blanket of mist and
enjoying the ever moistness of its roots. It is not only
of extra beauty for its solitary placement but it shares
this beauty with the entire meadow. Because of its determined
uniqueness the scene is filled with an unscripted completeness
that makes me long to merely sit for a lifetime and observe
this serene meadow as it willingly travels through each season.
hopes of capturing but the essence of this place which cannot
be described - even with a thousand words - I involuntarily
take my camera in hand. There is little light about the immediate
world still and so I must hold my camera steady to prevent
the picture from blurring. The ISO is set at sixteen hundred
yet the shutter speed is still slow; this assures me that
I still have time to observe the scenery that is presented
because I race the sun.
mist is slowly dispersing as it rises from the surface of
the pond and is a gentle reminder that the sun has not stopped
to rest as I have. If I am to reach my destination before
the sun I must continue on with speed.
once more slung behind my back I race onward with an intense
focused speed, yet the world around is slowly growing more
visible. The dawn is that short time when the sun illuminates
the solitary and individual world of the night before subjecting
the world to its gentle rule and awakening all to participate
in community together. Thus the ending of the night is seen
through the light of the day. But the mist is a veil and
though I may witness this transition its beauty is only magnified
by the secrecy that surrounds it.
is not long before I come to another road and turn left.
Upon a hill on a lot by the road there is a house being constructed.
I do not stop to look at my family's house however but instead
turn onto the trail that will bring me to my destination.
The forest is ahead of me and before I enter its created
dawn that will last throughout the day I stop to admire God's
golden painting growing stronger on the horizon. The now
visible white clouds seem portions of this canvas that have
yet to be painted.
behind the stretching meadow of flowers from which I observed
the fanfare of the heralds of the sun, and dropping my bike
onto the ground, I enter into the forest. All around is moist
and green and the anticipation of the sunrise grows even
stronger. In here, though surrounded by beauty there is no
measure by which to discover if the sun has risen. Not till
I exit the forest will I be able to see the sunrise, or the
have been walking briskly but now I begin to run. I run lightly
and alert to all around so that it does not diminish the
beauty of all around, but it is a run that recognizes a goal.
I am running because I am racing the sun. Though the sunrise
will provide light to photograph with all day long, and though
all around me is beauty springing from its rising I will
not allow myself to lose focus. I continue to run for I wish
to see the source of these beautiful distractions.
forest opens into a meadow and there I see across the sparkling
grass crystallized in dew the sun beginning to rise.
was the first day of Discovery Club at Grace. This morning
Keith and Krystine Getty participated in the leading of worship
in Big Church. (sunday school lingo sticks with you, even when
your in college.) The music at Grace is so wonderful, and being
able to listen John MacArthur preach live sure beats a cd.
The truth is I was somewhat torn between being a "Leader" in
Discovery Club and being able to sit in "Big Church".
I was reminded of just how much I love helping and working
with kids. I was also reminded of just how squirrly third grade
boys are. Actually, you really have to describe the energy
of third grade boys with several combined adjectives in wild
hopes that somehow you will be able to express the massive
sum of their energy. This energy is somehow generated at such
a rapid rate that it's containment for more than half a minute
is apparently impossible.
about 45 seconds it appears that it becomes necessary for the
various third grade boys you are attempting to "control" during
the 20 minute message (which has been reduced to 15 minutes
for most due to suddenly desperately needed bathroom breaks.
Although this need does not become evident until they have
passed the restrooms and are seated - and, recognizing the
seeming permanancy of their situation and being enlightened
to their plight they request, en masse, to be escorted from
the room. The escort of one resulting in an avalance like effect
which I imagine could effectively empty a small audience of
learners, although it in most cases only results in aproximately
half of the section you are seated in leaving.) And... since
those parenthesis are so long, I'd better back up.
about 45 seconds it becomes necessary for the third grader
to release this build up in energy. This generally results
in mostly a quick shuffling on the chair and then a whisper
to the friend next to them, although in more dire situations
one may witness a complete kneel and spin around on the chair
upon which your charge is seated.
having a whopping attention span of thirty seconds eight and
nine year old boys are so much fun to talk and play with. There's
no hesitation to explain how you should be doing something
if it is percieved that you're somewhat new to your resonsibilities.
(I was informed by one of my young buddies that my duties include
the bringing of generous quantities of candy.) Games are always
exciting no matter how simple they are, as long as they entail
generous amounts of movement and energy release. This becomes
understandable when one recognizes that random flailing of
the arms and sporadic leaps into the air are generally prefered
to sitting, especially if one must sit while someone talks.
this seemingly short attention span is really a great gift.
It acts somewhat like a reset button in that every thirty seconds
or so what's on your young charges heart shows up on their
face. Your buddies can't help but be honest and sincere with
you. You can easilly tell if they're happy, disapointed, joking
or attempting to fib. There's rarely attempts at the hiding
of thoughts, rather they are simply blurted out. There's no
hiding of emotion or need, as these are simply expressed in
the face on the spot. What a great age to be able to shepherd
- the age at which the heart is simply revealed.
My buds were actually extremely well-behaved as well as very
bright and excited. They quickly endeared themselves to me.
However, in the honor of accurcy, their attention spans were
as described. The most focused point during a lesson appears
to be when one is raising their hand in hopes of being able
funny how often stuff tonight brought to mind memories from
when I was in third grade. I think by fourth or fifth grade
I was already volunteering in sunday school classes though...
I remember it seemed to me at the time I was so grown up.
of makes me wonder what I'll look back at myself as a twenty
year old like?
I heard a loud voice from heaven saying,
the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them,
and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them
and be their God.
God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall
be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no
more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
to school network downtime the following is being posted late)
and I submitted our applications for membership with Grace
Community Church today. It makes me pause a minute to think
about it. This marks our first membership in a local church
body apart without it being through out parents.
don't have the time to write a long entry - but I'm not really
ready to yet. Transitions are always at least somewhat strenuos
emotionally but I can truly say, though I do fear them at times,
I love not just change but the trials God places in my life.
Trials are not pleasant experiences but the peace and assurance
that comes through Christ in them cannot be expressed in words.
of my friends, Elizabeth
Howel, expressed with eloquence the same sentiment in her
August 22nd post that I'd like to express now. When I read
it I realized, that's the where I'm at right now. I'm sure
this sentiment is shared by many my age when it comes to communicating
what's on our hearts. It seems that I haven't written much
of depth for a while, not because there's nothing of depth
I've wanted to write about but rather because their are so
many thoughts developing right now that just aren't ready to
be expressed. I would devolop this thought further, but...
course, there's still alot of great stories from moving I need
to tell too (don't carry a couch on your back and forget that
there's stuff that extends downward from the ceiling) - but
I think I'll write D Clarinet tranpositions instead.
yes, but first - here's a couple photos from Minnesota. Once
stuff settles down here I'm looking forward to taking some
time creating a gallery of my photos on the new 200 GB hard
drive my dad bought for me this summer. My photography website
is somewhat lacking right now and I'd really like to be able
to share my favorite photos.
a few photos from Lake Superior - mostly because I wanted to
look back at some pictures and remember it. I love the beauty
of the Colorado Rockies and the Rugged Coastline of Northern
California. The Sequoias and Redwoods awe you into respect
with their ancient trunks graced by ferns and when you paddle
out past clear twelve foot face waves on the Southern Coast
of California and are invited into a pod of dolphins your mind
forgets for to short that time that time exists. But something
in the constant breeze of Lake Superior - whether you're sitting
by the lighthouses watching ships from around the world enter
Duluth's harbor, or hiking through the mixed pine and hardwood
forest along the coast - something in that easygoing wind rustling
the tall sparse grass loitering amonst the offwhite shoreline
sand whispers, "welcome back home" - and yet this
is the first time you've ever set foot in its domain.
really looking forward to getting my bird photos up from Minnesota.
Actually, I'm looking forward to getting my bird photos from
the past few years up. God's blessings are so immense and there
are so many blessings He's given us, none of which we deserve.
But I'd just like to say, in a very simple way, I'm really
thankful He made birds.
“ For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall
not be remembered or come to mind."
not the kind of person who tends to feel overwhelmed easily.
But these first few days of school have been intense both physically
and emotionally. The classes and social engagments aren't the
reason - they are merely the cage that prevents one from running
into the cool stream of rest. When every day becomes packed with
responsibilities, tasks to be completed and mandatory destinations
you begin to realize the importance of rest, and I mean on a
deeper level than mere physical sleep. Only through a strength
not my own I am not overwhelmed.
amazing that I cannot take credit for even the smallest perseverance
through the most trivial of circumunstances. Is it not in the
smallest misfortunes that I am often tempted to respond with
the fix my flesh desires? Be it selfish complaining, laziness,
unrightous indignation or other. How wonderful that in 1 Peter
5:7 the Holy Spirit tells us that we are to practically humble
ourselves by casting all our cares upon God.
4:6-7 says, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by
prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests
be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all
understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ
I just need a reminder that even the trivial problems are for
God to solve. I'll bet this is why I can lose my keys and pursue
a solution to the problem with all the calmness of a scuba diver
out of oxygen and yet when it seems the whole world is falling
apart I can stand strong with a peace that surpasses all understanding.
May I be filled with the same trust over the small issues of
life as the the Holy Spirit gives during the big. After all,
what I'm really doing is not solving my problem but worshiping
Christ through my humble admittance that no problem, no matter
how great or small may be solved on my own.
I actually did not lose my keys. Not today at least...