Saturday, March 26, 2005

Mental Exercise

Well, This break has been a restful one, but my mind has definitely not taken a break, which was a good thing. It's been a good time sharpening my beliefs and working out my faith with fear and trembling. Had me some tasty Southern California food too. I'll post some thoughts I've been working through about postmodernism later, but I gotta peace out.

I'm leaving for a week in Mexico tommorow, so I'll be out for a few days. I'm looking forward to God blowing my mind. Being a Christian is awesome. See you soon.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Out To Dry

Taking this long car ride down to southern California has really taught me to appreciate a good stretch. I really enjoyed the trip, but after 9 hours, I can't even tell you how nice it was for me to get out and have a good, loud stretch. I get the "loud" part from my dad - I'm not sure why, but a good stretch is not complete without some yawning and animal noises.

I really take a lot of pleasure in driving, but when I'm cooped up in any vehicle for too long, I start to go "funny." Staring off into space, random thoughts, irritable demeanor: there is just a point where I need to pull over and stir my stumps, get some fresh air, and of course, have a nice, raucous stretch.

In my mind, I feel the same need for a good stretch, except 10 times more. Romans 12:2 calls me to be "transformed by the renewing of my mind," but there are times where the thoughts that bounce in my noggin spin around faster and faster until I feel like my head is about to explode. I think I feel like this way when I am sick: numb all over, disoriented, ineffectual, cold. I feel like I think a lot of things in my mind, but when it comes to translating them into action, nothing ever seems to work out right, like I'm numb and disconnected. A puppet without a puppeteer.

Sounds dark and introspective, doesn't it? This is where the good stretch comes in; I can't describe to you how good it feels to let my thoughts out, whether it be through vunerable conversations with good friends, prayers, or journaling. It makes me feel like I have turned on a light in my head and found that no monsters lurk in the shadows of my mind; I'm not crazy. Other people do have struggles. It's not all about me. In letting out those thoughts that are so quick to fester, mutate, and decieve, I stay grounded in the reality of honest community and authentic relationships. I calm the roaring wind so that I can hear the whisper of God. I feel alive and real. I feel loved.

I am called by God to be transformed by the renewing of my mind; now that's a good stretch.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

A Secret Faith

I've had this thought running through my head for days now that my faith is like a gallon of milk. If you're still reading this after that last statement, allow me to elaborate on my obscure metaphor. I've been in conversation with several close friends about how I relate with other people, and how other people percieve who I am. I have taken time to consider what these people have told me because they are people who I respect and love as brothers in Christ, and that means a lot.

These thoughts have mostly centered around me being "reserved" and "aloof." To me, these terms sound like the antithesis of "relevant" and "engaging." This brought me to a crisis of belief in regards to my faith and how it is manifest outwardly through my relationships and conversations, which brings me to the milk.

Whenever I go to the store to get me a gallon of milk, I come right home and put that puppy right in the refridgerator; don't you? It would be silly of me to spend $3.89 on a gallon of milk only to come home and leave it out on the kitchen table; it would last for awhile, but after a few days it would be neither refreshing, thirst-quenching, or fresh. But if I keep it in the freezer, when a friend needs a drink, I can pull out it out of the fridge and we can both be renewed. The milk needs to spend time in the refrigerator to stay fresh; if it's left out all the time, it goes sour before too long.

I believe there is some truth to validating an inverted personality by equating said "fridge time" to intimate relationship with God, but I think that it's easy for me sometimes to take this idea and validate my aloof manner instead of engaging people in relationships. I know that I must find a balance between intimate, personal time in the presence of Christ and pulling my faith out of the fridge and letting the overflow of my cup bless others, but I just love that stinkin' fridge time so much that it's hard for me to not be intoxicated with the idea of spending time broken before the throne of Christ. Somehow, I have a feeling this will work itself out. See you soon.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

On My Mind...

I've started and forgotten several forays into the world of blogging, but I've been encouraged and compelled to spend some time in front of a glowing screen, pouring out my thoughts and sharing my life with the everyone in the world.

For me, that feels like I'm sharing with no one, but my hope is that if someone reads this and then comes to me and says, "Hey Max, what are you thinking?," I hope that the stuff that I write here is what I would say. I do my best to engage my mind with my faith, and speaking the truth in love is something that is of the utmost importance to me. I don't want this space to be domain of some alter-ego within me that never sees the light of day, but rather a record of the thoughts and beliefs that flow through me and are refined, winnowed, and tempered by the divine and holy wisdom of the GOD most high.

This probably seems like a sort of "overshare" kind of deal, but for a guy who doesn't fit the description of "talkative," I want to define myself in the electronic world so that there is no dichotomy between who I am in Christ and who I am in bits and bytes. See you soon.