Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"No man is an island..."

I giggle a little bit in my head as I begin to type this, because I can't shake the mental image of John Donne's statue in St. Paul's Cathedral... that's him, rolled in a sheet like a fancy little literary burrito.

There you go. Giggle a little bit at it before we get into the serious stuff.
Which is this: "No man is an island, entire of itself."
Wise words from Mr. Sheet Burrito, straight out of his poem No Man Is An Island.
If you've never heard this phrase or had the poem explained to you, "lemme splain". We, as humans, are not a bunch of little islands separated by chasms of water and free from affecting each other with our choices. No, we are a part of the main land, a bunch of little clods of dirt and rock and sand smushed together to form what is Humanity. Every action and reaction causes the reactions and affects the actions of the other little clods of dirt around us, in turn rippling out to the rest of humanity.
It's a scary but beautiful thought, that the actions I choose today will affect my friends & family today, and for generations, really.
In my psych class the other day we had several guest speakers talking about their family members who have varying exceptionalities, and how it sometimes makes life more complicated, but overall it's richer and more beautiful and worth the struggle.

and how dare we pity them or attempt to express sympathy for those whose lives are "worse" than ours? I believe empathy is necessary. I believe sympathy is sometimes unnecessary and easily faked.
Wouldn't you rather positively impact the clods of dirt around you than sit there stagnantly, faking your way through?
Live your life! Take advantage of the beauty that surrounds you and fills each day. Choose actions and thoughts that are good, right, true, noble, pure, just, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy! (Phil. 4:8)
Let the pieces of land that are washed away from you affect you. "Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind," he says. Shouldn't the inverse, then, be true as well? Any man's life augments [grows, benefits, supplements, improves] me, because I am involved in mankind! Any man coming to Christ and living abundantly and learning to take the struggles with the easy stuff and appreciate life's lushness because of it makes me a better person because their ripples bounce around in my heart and make me want to do the same thing and live the same way.

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; 
It tolls for thee. 

It's a frightening prospect: that the choices I call tiny are sending out ripples and affecting all those around me. I am not an island, all by my lonesome. I am a small clod of dirt in the kingdom of God.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

and the over-analyzation continues...

It's well nigh time that I post again, yet I have very little to say. I am, yet again, inundated with school things, practicing, attempting to still be a good friend (and failing daily), attempting to maintain some semblance of a deep relationship with my God (and also failing daily... but thankful that He continues pursuing), and basic day-to-day time-wasting via the internet.
and through it all, somehow, one thing continues to push itself to the forefront of my mind.
not God, sadly... because there's something about Him that asks you to push Him to priority position yourself. so I'm working on that.
but the thing is this: boys.
You'd think after living 20 blessed, wonderful years of life as a female that I'd be so much better at handling the weirdness. I'm not.
You'd think that being a slightly more intelligent/cultured/wise girl than the majority of girls my age (and I do mean SLIGHTLY) I'd be so much better at being able to think about other things and dwell on deep philosophical or theological thoughts. Which I am, sometimes. But lately?... nada.
Here's the scoop: close friends of mine are getting ENGAGED and MARRIED and GIVING BIRTH. At least once a week now, I find out about another engagement or there's another wedding or another pregnancy announcement. I've gotten past the weird aspect of it, for the most part, and am now to the point where I'm getting impatient. MAY I REMIND YOU I AM ONLY 20. I shouldn't be impatient. Yet with all the romance and twitterpation in the air, and the fact that I stand in often unromantic solidarity, with no change on the visible horizon... Well, you can probably see what I mean.
I start pondering if I should say something to someone. If I should be more forward and flirty. If I should go on that date with that guy my friend wants to set me up with. If I should do something differently about the way I live my life, because guys obviously aren't flocking to me.
And I feel so lame for admitting that. Because now, I see it. OF COURSE I shouldn't do more or change something or whatever! OF COURSE I should keep living my life the way I do and dying to Christ and striving to make Him the definition of me. OF COURSE I should be glad guys aren't flocking to me... If they were, I'm pretty sure I'd be doing this Jesus stuff wrong (unless I were really pretty. Cause there are some really pretty girls who do the Jesus stuff right and guys flock to them. so there's one exception).
I do the typical self-evaluation: (Me to myself)

What is wrong with me? Is my laugh too loud? It's probably annoying. I could stand to lose a few pounds. My acne sometimes flares up. And my eyes are the grossest color. And maybe he doesn't like girls that don't make the first move? Should I say or do something? Or continue waiting? What about the fact that I have basically zero history with guys? That's gotta make me even more awkward and socially unfit. I talk too much. I don't say enough. I sing too much. I like using big words, that's gotta be weird to guys. And I have no life so I'm always lamely hanging out with the same people, or living in the practice room. And I'm in KT so that automatically brands me as a weirdy a little bit...

It continues, many times, for much too long.
This summer has certainly shown me how often I think about myself.
It's also a circle of self-centeredness that is so very hard for me to escape. I certainly have not gotten the hang of 'thinking of myself less' as opposed to 'thinking less of myself' yet. Dear God, please help me remedy that one soon.
Anyway, all this just reminds me that God obviously has bigger plans for me right now than a relationship. God is obviously still working on my heart being tied solely to Him before it becomes tied to someone else too.
All of this seems cliche, as I re-read it, and sounds lame all typed out and blatantly narcissistic.
I apologize for that, and pray that you'll still be my friend.

welcome to midnight.

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