Archive for July, 2006

A Season of Change

Posted by on Thursday, 27 July, 2006

“I have some terrible, terrible news…”
“Oh no! Is it about the good times?”

It was quite an eventful weekend, as well as the past couple of days. There are many anecdotes that I could share. But there’s something else that I’ve been reflecting on for awhile now. It’s what I consider the “Golden Age” of 20 Somethings: the summer of 2004. To me anyway, that’s the point when it seemed to change from a casual meeting on Sunday nights to a real fellowship, and it seemed like stuff was happening three or more nights per week.

Maybe it’s just where I was at the time. I had been going to church for about a year, and it still had that newness and wonder. I was finished at RCC but had not yet begun at Cal Poly. And of course, there was that ever-so-intriguing girl… [even now, I still remember the first time I realized you were beautiful.] All in all, I had such hopes…

Good times come and good times go.
I only wish the good times would last a little longer.

People move on. Some people physically move away, others move in life priorities, some just drift slowly away until you’re not even really sure when they were last around.

Of all the people that I have seen come and go, last weekend was the first official 20 Somethings going away party that I can recall. Perhaps it was because four people were leaving at once. Perhaps it was because they work for a missionary organization with ties to our church. Maybe the leadership team was just hurting for ways to fill July. Regardless, the party was had, and the parting was made.

To me anyway, this truly feels like the end of an era. Perhaps that era has been fading away for a long, long time. After all, that “Golden Age” I mentioned was TWO YEARS AGO. But this just feels like the final close. No more Elves, always up for whatever people want to do, even if that happens to be somebody else throwing a party in their apartment. No more Nathan and his unique philosophical perspectives. No more Dave bringing the Oreos… some things in life you just count on. And I really can’t say that I foresee Tuesday lunches continuing much into the future.

It makes me sad. At the risk of stating the obvious, you seemed sad before… Well, what are you going to do. Every single day is a point of no return.


Posted by on Wednesday, 19 July, 2006

i spend so much time sleeping
trying to dream of a better world
but reality can be so persistent
and when i’m awake
my dreams are so much darker

Some various thoughts:
I have been wanting to write a piece about community for some time now. The church is my community. I’ve mentioned that before. It bothers me that my church group seems far more concerned with community that it is with God. I was seriously contemplating boycotting the 20 Somethings annual “July o’ Fun”… but it’s too late for that now. I also wanted to criticize my, ahem, “Bible Study” group, which I recently keep having to correct people on the fact that it now an “Activity Group.” I can’t help thinking about how the last time we actually did a study and were sharing prayer requests, every last one of those people said that they wanted to spend more time with God… yet they’ve decided to use the time specifically set aside for that to go to restaurants, plays, whatever. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

But what do I care anyway? I don’t even believe in God. I didn’t ask for prayer about spending more time with God that day- I had been looking for ways to fill all the time that I used to set aside for God. But I’ve had no trouble finding other things to do. No trouble at all…

So I’ve been boycotting that group, but why? You would think that I would want to go to the activities and ditch the study. Ah, but it’s the principle of the thing. I dare talk about principle, when I drive home every single weekend just to go to a church when I’m long past any hope of finding a God there? But I STILL have that unbroken streak, as if anybody ANYWHERE could care about that… I wanted to talk about that too, my reasons for going home every weekend, what I hoped to get out of it and how irrelevant it is now. (How long ago did I sell my dreams… and what was the price?) The first weekend after starting school again, I went back home on Friday for a movie night that did not happen, I wanted to hear a speaker on Sunday who wasn’t there, and there was no official 20 Somethings meeting that weekend, just a casual Pool Party/Ice Cream social… only there was no ice cream and I don’t swim. That all certainly made the trip worth while. Finally, this past weekend I spent what may have been my first Friday night ever in Pomona, despite technically living here for almost two years. I was planning on spending the whole weekend here, but that didn’t work out. Surprisingly, I attribute my final caving in on Saturday evening to hunger and the unusability of the kitchen here (yeah, don’t ask.) I say surprisingly, because, roughly calculated, I think I’m down to eating an average of five times for every three days… you wouldn’t think food would be a big issue. (Who am I kidding- it was probably the lack of internet.)

And then there’s that community. Because simply put, when I’m alone I wish I was dead. Sometimes people ask for prayer for a friend, asking that they be able to see their need for Jesus. I can see my need for Jesus. I see that very, very clearly. What I HAVEN’T seen is any compelling reason to believe that he actually exists. You really expect me to believe that a God who abandons countless generations to live in oppression and spiritual ignorance/deception actually cares about a “personal relationship” with me? I think not. So I perceive a need for which there is no fill. This is why I ransack my house. I don’t get road rage… I get “theology rage.” Yet, are not both ultimately a lashing out in helplessness? They are not so very different… (especially if I happen to be in the car at the time.) Anyway, how do you people not lie awake in the dark and rage against the utter futility of it all? God ain’t here… and he ain’t coming. Hell, at least the demons talk to me. Like I said, community is important. Exactly how long has that darkness been threatening to consume me? But has it yet? …So what’s the big problem?

So I find other things to do. Some constructive, some decidedly less so. It’s amazing how quickly perfectly innocent activities can lead to very dangerous paths. (Curious too, how it perfectly coincides with my ceasing to read the Bible.) But so what huh? If all paths lead nowhere, what possible difference can it make what road I take, and how fast? Who would even notice if I didn’t mention it here?

Still, not all paths are the same. Strange how so many signs (or shall I say, “influences”) from so many different angles all seem to point in the same direction. But the other signs all point exactly the other way. So make the choice… the path of pins or needles? So I walk, I sprint, away from God. But all things are connected. One thing leads to another and another which curiously relates to that other thing from way back there. Somehow I come right back around to where I was before. Convergence. I can’t tell part of the story without the whole. Once I had a story that, to quote The Life of Pi, “will make you believe in God.” At least, it made me believe in God. Once. I only see God when I’m not looking for him. I only see God when I’m very specifically NOT looking for him.

I happened to ask a simple question. I got an honest answer. But no… this can not be… it just can’t… you don’t understand…
So tell me then, where in the Bible does it ever describe God as doing the kind of mind-fuck he’s running on me?

A Wolf at the Door

Posted by on Sunday, 16 July, 2006

How can I have so much to tell, yet still nothing to say?