Monday, October 31, 2005

So church was good this morning. Well, I didn't pay attention to the entire sermon because I got caught up in journaling some thoughts that other parts inspired. But anyway, Matt talked about freedom this morning. And so I started thinking about my personal freedom. I'm not free. Well, at least not as free as I could be. And then last night I was reading some of the above book and it is so good. Okay, so the author, Don Miller ("Blue Like Jazz) when he was in his twenties, he and a friend left home (Houston, TX) one day and started driving to Oregon. And basically that journey is what this book is about. So, off of that, and off of this morning, I have some conjoined thoughts. And here they are...

I think all through high school and my first years in college I was in my own prison. My prison where I became comfortable in the fact that this was what I knew. I knew the four walls, the concrete floor, the stale bread. I knew that somewhere beyond the prison there was something better, but I think I lied to myself about what it was. Because, I didn't know what it was like out there. I didn't know what the air felt like, smelled like. What freedom was. And so I chose the known prison. Because you see, the door to my prison cell was unlocked the whole time. And I knew that. And I knew that at some point I wanted to walk out of the prison and into my freedom, but I was too afraid. Too afraid of the journey.

But I think this past year I did it. I got up, opened that door, and took a step outside. My first taste of freedom. But it's been a whole year and I'm still standing there, right outside the door. I haven't begun my journey yet! I feel like... I'm in the parking lot outside the prison, and there are all these cars out there, and I have the key. I just don't know which car to take, which road to travel, which destination to aim towards. The freedom is a bit overwhelming. So that's where I'm at in my journey right now. I so badly want to leave, go to some great place (spiritually, mentally, physically, and geographicaly), I just don't know where.

And so I leave you with these Don Miller thoughts, word for word the majoity of the Author's Note of his book. I know it's long, but it's so worth reading.

It is true some do not do well with conventional life. They think outside things and can't make sense of following a line. They see no walls, only doors from open space to open space, and from open space, supposedly, to the mind of God, or at least this is what we hope for them, and what they hope for themselves.

I remember the sweet sensation of leaving, years ago, some ten now, leaving Texas for who knows where. I could not have known about this beautiful place, the Oregon I have come to love, this city of great people, this smell of coffee and these evergreens reaching up into a mist of sky, these sunsets spilling over the west hills to slide a red glow downt he streets of my town.

And I could not have known then that if I had been born here, I would have left here, gone someplace south to deal with horses, to get on some open land where you can see tomorrow's storm brewing over a high desert. I could not have known then that everybody, every person, has to leave, has to change like seasons; they have to or they die. The seasons remind me that I must keep changing, and I want to change because it is God's way. All my life I have been changing.... everybody has to change, or they expire. Everybody has to leave their home and come back so they can love it again for all new reasons.

I want to keep my soul fertile for the changes, so things keep getting born in me, so thinkgs keep dying when it is time for things to die. I want to keep walking away from the person I was a moment ago, because a mind was made to figure things out, not to read the same page recurrently....

Everything we were is no more, and what we will become, will become what was....

I sometimes look into the endless heavens, the cosmos of which we can't find the edge, and ask God what it means. Did you really do all of this to dazzle us? Do you really keep it shifting, rolling round the pinions to stave off boredom? God forbid your glory would be our distraction. And God forbid we would ignore your glory....

No, life cannot be understood flat on a page. It has to be lived; a person has to get out of his head, has to fall in love, has to memorize poems, has to jump off bridges into rivers, has to stand in an empty desert and whisper sonnets under his breath: I'll tell you how the sun rose A ribbon a time...

And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children at play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you, about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning ot love others more than we do ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?

It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out.

I want to repeat one word for you:


Roll the word around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word, isn't it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don't worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.

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