Redefining my life, one day at a time

Today we finished up Vacation Bible School. I was so impressed with the wonderful job that the others on the VBS committee had done.

One man adapted High School Musical to become Bible School Musical and all the kids learned cheers and some basketball tricks as well as  songs by heart. They also learned a dance routine and performed the whole thing for us tonight. Each night they tied their theme to a bible passage, like the Parable of the Sower, and environmental sustainability. They did an activity related to the theme, like planting ivy to prevent erosion.The lady in charge of Children’s Discipleship collected donated basketballs for the classes and then tonight announced they would be donating them to the boys and girls club. Pretty cool.

Some of the other things they did were making walking meals for people who come to the church seeking assistance so we can at least give them a snack before referring them. Each bag was decorated by the kids and has water, tuna or chicken in a can, some raisins and other treats. They also made cards for the kids at the Ronald McDonald house.

The adults came up with eight suggestions for the church after reflecting on what we learned throughout the week. I was very pleased by the support and appreciation of the participants. I love all the people at my church. They are so warm and giving.

To be completely honest, though it was hard work to produce VBS, it just made me want to do more. It sharpened my appetite for outreach.

The hardest thing I’ve had to do at St.John’s has been the Tuesday Morning Outreach where St.John’s distributes gap funding to prevent evictions and utility loss. It is so difficult because I have too much empathy and I wanted to help every single one. The program is tightly run and we are only allowed to give out small amounts to stay on budget. We give around 20k a year but I wish we could do more. These are regular people, some with handicaps that are teetering on homelessness. They are so earnest and anxious that it hurts me inside.

When I was younger I had a Near Death Experience or NDE. While dead for all intents and purposes from drowning, I could see that we are all connected by invisible energy, an energy from God that is a part of Him , the source of all. Heaven is a return there, to be made whole, to go home. Everything you do here to assuage the loss of that presence, that unbelievable safety and happiness, is a pale shadow of what you will get when you pass on. We look for it in other people, in our jobs, in entertainment. We look in bad places but also in good ones…like when we create or give or experience communion and the joy we feel echoes what we have lost.

So it hurts when I can’t give, serve, create, worship. Right now I feel so much longing to do and be more for God. I know He loves me and made me as I am, but I wish to be better, more, worthy of his unstinting grace.

I feel as if I don’t know enough to do what I was made for and I still have almost 2 years before seminary. There will be learning along the way…but I wish I could figure things out now. For example, I want to help grow Tuesday Outreach, but how? I wish every parishioner sat in on a Tuesday. I wish I could organize a tour of the rescue mission for church attendees.

I WILL organize one for students at Hollins. Whether it is through the Spiritual and Religious Life Association or The Canterbury Society, it can only do good things to involve students.

On another topic altogether, I really want to see the Dark Knight again. I feel like I want to etch Heath Ledger’s final performance into my mind so I will be able to recall specific scenes. When I think of the difference between the character Ennis, he played in Brokeback Mountain (another phenomenal performance) and the Joker, it’s astonishing. Oh, what more might he have done?

August is fast approaching. I have to start weight training a little and work hard on cardio and lunges so I will be fit for fencing by the last week in August. Can’t wait to bout again.

I am looking forward to my classes. Especially drawing and video production. I am sure I will enjoy advanced creative writing too. I’ve always wanted to improve my skills as a poet.

My mom is thinking about a new job in Richmond. If she gets it I am not sure what I will do. I will need to either transfer to a different school, like Virginia Wesleyan or University of Alabama, or live on campus after all. Time will tell.

I love that about life. I can’t wait to turn the page on my story every day. Sometimes I think that my life is half over and I may not even have met all the main characters. Pretty cool to think about.

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