Asking Questions

"By then I wasn't just asking questions; I was being changed by them. I was being changed by my prayers, which dwindled down nearer and nearer to silence, which weren't confrontations with God but with the difficulty - in my own mind, or in the human lot - of knowing what or how to pray. Lying awake at night, I could feel myself being chagned - into what I had no idea. It was worse that wondering if I had received the call. I wasn't just a student or going-to-be preacher anymore. I was a lost traveler wandering in the woods, needing to be on my way somewhere but not knowing where."
- Jayber Crow pg. 52

Familiar thoughts for anyone? Similar experience?
Can you or have you ever been able to relate?

Personally, I'm probably too afraid to post on here which parts of this have resonated, or do resonate with me. I think its enough to say that some of it has and does. This expert is a little out of context, but I'd have to include 6 pages of text to put it in its proper place. Why are we afraid to ask these questions in a public forum? Why do we, as Christian leaders, feel the pressure to always have all of the answers? Why do we feel the need to always have a response? I remember thinking that one day I would have all the answers. In fact, I thought I actually did have most of them when I was 18... but that doesn't even make sense with something named "faith". In faith, I believe in God, and that faith is as firm as it could be. But faith can not be proven... because it is faith. No matter how hard we try. It still takes a leap of faith in the end.

Faith is the fabric that bridges the gap between truth and the inadequacy of our human minds to answer supernatural questions.

My faith in God is firm.
But so are my questions about some of the details.
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Hey Extroverts!

Do you ever have a day when the food of an extrovert (people) turns rotten? Totally unexpectedly you find yourself sitting there being drained by the existence of humans. You realize that no one can understand what you feel, because you are extrovert and it would be too diffcult for them to perceive you outside of that box. Nope? Me either...or maybe it happened today.

I didn't see it coming. It just snuck up on me. I was working in the Welcome Center around lots of people throughout the afternoon and slowly, but surely the energy ebbed away. Before I knew it the place was mostly empty and so was I. I was frozen in that chair and in that room. I knew I needed to go home, but I couldn't. I called Kelly, but she didn't answer, and I was somewhat relieved because I knew I could squeeze a little bit more "quiet time" in before heading home. I continued to sit there... frozen. I wanted to drive somewhere, walk through the woods, sit by a lake... or sit in front of the computer... anything alone.

It was sudden.
It was wierd.

Finally, I went home. Very, very late.

And there were the kids. And there was Kelly. And they gave me life. They filled me right back up. I wished I would have been able to move myself sooner, but maybe I need the extra hour plus. I really hope this doesn't become a trend. It could really hamper my people filled lifestyle.

What if half way through life your mind just changed... it's mind. What if it decided to flip your needs/wants and you become the opposite of what you had always been (introver to extrover or vice versa). Sometimes the body/mind scares me, because it can really do whatever it wants.

I'm still an extrovert.
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I Wore My Grandpa's Tie Today

I really did.

The tag on the back says "Envoy", which to my knowledge no longer exists. It is a slanted stripe tie with 70s brown serving as the primary color, and stripes of other browns, khakis, white and a little red mixed in. When I look at it in my closet I know it is dated and it makes me happy, because I know why it is dated.

My college roommate lost his first grandparent last week, which is much different from my experience. My mom's dad (Brooks) died when I was a junior in high school, so I had plenty of memories with him by that time, but hadn't reached an age where I realized I needed to glean knowledge from him.

My dad's mom (Geraldine) died my sophomore year of college, after leaving a VERY strong imprint on my life. We lived with her for almost a year and lived down the road from her from 6th-12th grade. She was the type of woman who made things happen... especially for her family and probably bequeathed to me my ability to confront people. She had a powerful presence, but loving and the loss of her was very difficult for me.

The loss of my mom's mom (Juanita Ruth)was a devastating blow in my life. I think I blogged on this back in the day. Grandma Clouse was one of my favorite people in the world. I am not sure if this was just because of who she was, or also had something to do with the fact that I was literally one of the most important people in here life... and she reminded me of this every time I saw her or talked to her. She believed in me so much. She was one of the funniest people I have ever known and most of my friends who knew her share that sentiment. If I picked on her she would get in a wrestling match with me to defend herself well into my teens years. I could write a book about what she means to be still today, and her loss just before Halle's birth put me in a haze that was only broken by Halle's birth. I still think of her weekly, and the images I see of her reflected in the faces of Halle and Judah brings me to tears at times. I miss her and I miss being her favorite boy.

My college roommate's grandpa was a "pillar of the church" as they say and an incredible influence on many. My Grandpa Smith was the same... but I never knew it. The tie I wore today belonged to him, my dad's dad (Charles "Art"thur). He passed away just before we lost our first son Elijah. He was a man of God... even more than I knew. We went to church together and lived down the street from one another from the time I was 10. I saw him all the time. I talked to him all the time. I got rides from him all the time. I always took him for granted... not in the negative way where I would take advantage of him. I just lived in the assumption that he would ALWAYS be there. My father was such a strong believer that I never "needed" to ask spiritual questions to grandpa, so I didn't. I think I assume that because my dad was an ordained elder he knew more than grandpa. In the final year's of grandpa's life I began to see my misperception. Grandpa Smith had more knowledge about life and Jesus and how you combine those two things that I ever had known. I just didn't notice how strong his faith was, because he was so quiet about it, so humble. He was that consistent, gentle giant of the faith. When he died the new pastor of my church said to me, "Your grandpa was one of the greatest prayer warriors I knew. He was a pillar of our church." That outside perspective opened my eyes even wider as he explained to me the Christ-like, gentle, humble influence of my grandfather on that church. I returned to my grandpa's house after the funeral looking for something to remember him by. Something small that could remind me of who he was and who I want to be... I found his ties... and I wear them... and I remember that great man.
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