These are the things I have on my mind right now.
This year Tammy, Laura and I have been going through a Bible Study by Beth Moore called "Breaking Free." I've never done any of her studies before, and I've been finding it quite interesting and thought provoking. I must confess that there are times when her languages smacks of cheeziness, and I have to suck it up and just take it. Then I was struck by the thought that, in a lot of ways, she's sort of like Denise Austin. I just smile and get motivated when Denise tells me things like "Train like an athlete, you are one!" "You'll look GREAT in a bathing suit!" or my all time favorite "If you don't squeeze it, no one else will!" Ah the double entendre. (Now I'm fully convinced that this spell check is faulty, because Google agreed that I spelled entendre correctly! Learn a little French spell checker!)
Wow, got a little off topic. I was actually going somewhere with all of this. In our study last night Beth made the point that peace like a river is not a lifeless sort of analogy. A lot of times, when we think of being at peace, we think of life being all calm and maybe even a bit on the boring side. She pointed out that life as a river is nothing like that. River's are full of rapids, rocks, and waterfalls.
I got to thinking of the idea of a waterfall. I've long had an interesting view of God in the light of water. I find water beautiful, mysterious, and ultimately frightening. It is such a powerful force, with the ability both to sustain and take life. So it worked nicely with my world view to take the idea of peace like a river and apply it to my view of God and his plans for my life.
A waterfall is such a masterpiece of this balance between beauty and fear. I've oft been transfixed by the powerful rush of water as it plummets over vast cliffs into deep pools below. Millions of tiny droplets, flailing desperately in the mad plunge. Just think of how so many of those myriad drops seem to vanish into oblivion in their headlong rush. They're broken off by jutting rocks, or they turn into a fine mist that seems to evaporate almost immediately when they reach the bottom.
Water is such a massive whole, and yet so easily broken into minuscule particles. Imagine being a part of that rushing water. Suddenly the ground falls out from under you. You're hurled into nothingness. And as you turn all weightless, your torn asunder into pieces so small you can no longer even begin to search for them all. You feel the pain of separation as parts of you are removed and many vanish. You are helpless, falling, out of control. Then you hit the bottom. For a moment you still feel an intense pounding movement, then slowly you disperse into all that surrounds you. You can never reclaim all that you once were, but you're in a totally different place now, and life begins to slip along slowly once again.
When I put myself into this line of thinking it is rather terrifying. Especially knowing that waterfalls often come in groupings. Just when you think you're back in the swing of things, you might be forced to take another, possibly more serious, tumble. But somewhere, in the midst of all this insanity, God offers peace. The kind of peace that flows in and through all these moments of uncertainty and terror. And when you stand back and watch, think how glorious it all appears, and how soothing to enter into such a majestic scene.
It just got me to thinking.
These photos are quite old and are from my trip to Wyoming with Jessie back in 05.
And now, to totally change topics, the other thing I'm thinking of is a fat squishy baby! Tomorrow is the end of the term, and, therefore, a holiday. To take advantage of this extra free day, I've worked things out to go and visit my friend Cari in Ceske Budejovice. Cari and her husband Steve moved to Czech at the beginning of December to do church planting here. I haven't seen Cari since the summer after we graduated from college, so it's been a while. Cari and Steve now have 4 children, and I can't wait to meet them. I'm particularly excited about their fat squishy baby Gavin. He's seven months old, and absolutely adorable and smiley! According to Cari,he also likes being held. It's definitely time for my kid fix. I've really missed having kids on the team this year, and this is going to help out my general state of mind a lot.
I'm also really excited to see Cari. She and I went to Hong Kong together in 99 and had an amazing experience there. Even then, her favorite baby was a fat squishy one, so it's quite perfect that she is now the mother of one.
Okay, enough gushing. I'll be sure to post some pictures from my trip next week :)