Friday, August 10, 2007

"Planned Obsolecence"

I picked up a book today that we got as a wedding present. It is "The Mystery of Marriage: Meditations on the Miracle" by Mike Mason. (wow, that's a lot of "m's") Anyway, I think it's a great book, in that it captures the essence of the wonder I feel about marriage. The chapter I came to tonight is on Submission, and one part caught my attention especially. Here are bits and pieces that really struck me as I read:

From one point of view, the whole of life may be seen as a taking away, as one long and painful series of subtractions. We are forever being called upon to pull up stakes, to release our hold upon the things and places and people we have loved and even upon each precious second as it slips through our aging fingers. Our very bodies are like tents, says Paul (2 Cor 5:1), the most temporary of houses, and our whole existence under the sun bears the marks of exile and nomadism...
There is no escaping this fate, no circumventing our planned obsolecence in this world. There is no discipline that will appease it, no faith that will reverse it...Tragically, so large and real looms this specter of unrelenting decay that for many people it is the only side of life they ever see. How many go down to death in bitterness, resentment, and rage!...By waging so pitiful a struggle not to become obsolete, when in reality the whole natural flow of physical life is toward obsolesence, what people really do is to declare a preference for temporal values over eternal ones. What they do, in fact, is to reject the Kingdom of God and its gift of eternal life.
As it turns out, the only way not to reject eternal values is to submit willingly to the erosion of temporal ones.

I think the first reason this passage caught my attention was that it reminded me of Knox, in the author's mention of a "painful series of subtractions." And I thought about how precious our time with our loved ones is, that we can never get it back once it's gone.

But then as the author went on to talk about how people run from the inevitable, I was reminded of how our society fears and tries to avoid death and even the hint of aging. When people have no hope in an eternal life after this temporal one, I guess it makes sense to pursue immortality. But the conclusion drawn from this is chilling. In running after the pleasures of this life in an attempt to prolong it, they are really rejecting the only One who can give them what they truly desire - eternal life.

God, teach me to give up the things I cannot keep, in order to store up treasures that I cannot lose. Give me grace to hold loosely to the things of this earth, to fix my eyes on You and on eternity.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I've been Tagged!

If you read Hannah Ayers' blog, you know that a few days ago she "Tagged" me. So, after a little delay (just to heighten the anticipation) I'm responding to my tagging. Here goes...

4 jobs I have had:
I have definitely seen God working in my life in this area in the past three years. (1) My first job here in Texas was as a Research Assistant to one of the profs in the Architecture Department. I won't go into details. But I spent a lot of time in the Arcchitecture library picking out slides for his lectures. I got along well with the "boss" of the Slide Collection, so he hired me to work in the Slide Collection starting the summer before my second year of school. (Job 2) At the end of my second year of school, a prof I really liked asked if I would like to be his TA, and I accepted, quitting my job at the SC. However, over the summer, this projf left for another university, leaving me job-less. (3) I was assigned to be a TA for one of the structures profs, and I worked for her for a semester. This prof spoke very highly of me to her husband, who works for BRW, and here I am at Job #4!

4 Films I could watch over and over:
Sabrina (with Julia Ormond and Harrison Ford - too funny!), The Princess Bride, You've Got Mail, Maverick

4 Places I have lived:
Birmingham, AL; Atlanta, GA; Bristol, TN; Auburn, AL

4 Favorite TV shows:
Frasier, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Cosby Show, Jeopardy (which I never get to watch anymore b/c I'm at work :( )

4 Favorite Foods:
Chocolate, lasagna, Chili, Pizza

4 Websites I visit everyday (or almost):
Gmail, Work email (not very entertaining), Hannah's blog, Rachel's Knox memories

4 Places I would love to be:
Cuddled up with Brian :), Belize (it's warm and right now our office is very cold), hanging out with our usual lunch crowd, my G'mom's 95th b'day party (which would involve going back in time, 'cause it was last weekend)

4 Favorite colors:
Deep, dusky purples; navy blue, 1/4 Korean (yes, I'm still crazy in love), sunset orange

4 Names I love but would / could not use for my children:
Benjamin (think about it...); I really like the name Cai (rhymes with eye) for a boy, but Brian doesn't want to use a name if its pronunciation isn't obvious from the spelling; I don't know if I have anymore...we haven't had the honor of naming any children yet, so I can't say what we'll end up not using

Ok, I think that's it for me. Now it's my turn to tag ... Anna Kate, Juli, Theresa, Lindsey Newcomer. And just to keep it going, you need to do this...because as Jack A. would say, "I asked you nicely."

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Search for Hidden Treasure

As I read my Bible tonight, I came across verses in Proverbs that jumped out at me as if it was the first time I had ever seen them. I'm sure I've read them at least a half-dozen times before, but tonight I was really convicted. From the second chapter:

1 My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding,

3 and if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,

4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,

5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.

According to this passage, our time spent in the word is to be active. We are to be seeking out God's truths and His promises, diving deep into the Word. Too often I read passively, skimming over the words instead of searching through the Scriptures, calling out to God for wisdom, seeking to apply His word to my life. I prayed tonight that I would have a greater desire to seek Him in His Word, and that I would be more diligent to apply His Word to my life. Even as I prayed, I was certain of His answer. Verse 6 says: "For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding." Truly our God is an amazing God.