Monday, May 26, 2014

Mind

All of us, by simply being alive, behold a miracle: our minds.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Endurance

 I've been here before.
 I will survive another month under gray skies.
 I'm holding on as a tight as I can. The monotony never seems to end. 
 Every day feels the same.
 Every day I think about the place I'd rather be than here.
 I've been here before.
 I will survive another month under these grey skies. 
 We've carried each other through and over the seas. 
 We live for nights like this. The ones we won't forget.
 I hope to open my eyes to see this picture. I'm throwing it all away.
 I hope to open my eyes to see this moment that I should treasure forever.

August Burns Red, "Spirit Breaker."

Thursday, May 8, 2014

My Friends

To my friends:

I’ve been thinking about the transition most of us are about to take as I lay the foundations for closing this chapter of my life. Most of us are graduating and the rest of us are still here for one or two more years. I’ve been thinking about how I can psychologically work through what in my mind seems from afar, as it approaches, to be a huge loss.

It also doesn’t make any sense to me that it seems so. I’m typically someone who tends to shrink away from change, hold onto existing relationships, and move “locations” as little as possible. But right now, though it has nothing to do with the quality of the place itself, I’m so ready to leave this college, I can barely contain it. I can’t wait to go make new friends, start a career (ok, for philosophy majors like me, start MORE school), and find out what I’m capable of doing in and for the world as an agent of God’s restoration of humanity. What that implies is that I literally can’t wait to be on my own and away from the people I call home. 

At the same time, I’ve been horrified. I’ve been avoiding thinking about it. I’ve been joining in the excited ‘grad’ hype talk with everyone else who confronts me saying, “So, you ready to graduate?”, but in my heart I’ve been thinking, “But I’m losing so many people who literally are my home. What do I do about that?” I know I’m not losing any of you, first of all, but in another sense I will be. I don’t get to see you every day. I don’t get to be reminded of our memories by the way we quote each other on the internet, or by seeing someone pasted in front of the others with something horrifically embarrassing without any context, or the way we talk about our past adventures (which were most likely bad decisions.) I don’t get to encourage any of you in your struggles in person as we go through life together on campus, nor will I get to receive constant face-to-face encouragement from any of you the way you’ve done so for me in times I’ve needed it. I’m going to feel that lack in my heart for a while. 

But, ‘in another, much truer sense’, I will always have you with me. I was having a conversation with Jodi a few days ago in which we both realized/ or, came to a consciousness of our consciousness that our friends live in our hearts, literally. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt each of you come out in me in the way I think, speak, feel, and respond to situations; for better or for worse. I’ve become who I truly am in my time at TFC and despite this being mostly an intense and tedious struggle between myself, God, and the Truth, each of you has laid a spiritual foundation that has given me footing to step out in faith and grab hold of levels of maturity I thought were insanely impossible for someone as messed up as I was my first few years of college. In light of this, I want to share something with you all. 
You know I like to keep lists and records of all of your antics— for that reason I have quotes (and pics, for that matter) from/of all of you crazy and numerous enough to blackmail you into another country. But I’ve also kept lists of all of your amazing qualities that I have learned the most from, and this I share in a similar manner to the way emperor Marcus Aurelius did in the beginning of his Confessions. One thing I love, and which is true of every single one of you, is that you all fight for something beyond yourselves. You all know that honoring the truth is what you want to do with this short life God’s given us, and you aim your lives towards this end. I’ve learned so much from you and I’m endlessly honored to have significant parts of your hearts living inside me. This list isn’t exhaustive— so if you’re not on here, don’t conclude I haven’t learned anything from you.

in no particular order…:

Jordan: To honor what is actually true by having reasons for my beliefs; to be self-critical; to endure confusion, always trusting that there is some explanation for states of affairs (maybe); that Metal music is the best music; to mean what I say; and to think. 

Gage: To always try to be joyful; to be a faithful friend; to ground my worship in thought, not emotion; that metal music is the best music; to trust God.

Becca: That there is always a solution to problems I face; to find adventure anywhere one goes and to take opportunities; to trust God; to endure trials with patience; to be a faithful friend. 

Jodi: To find pleasure in observing the most commonplace things; to see the Christian life in a mature way; patience; to do all that I do in a manner honoring to God; to be creative and find solutions to problems in my own creativity rather than my wallet; that the Christian life is not founded on emotions; to selflessly commit myself to a person no matter how hard it is. 

Bekah: To become one with Nature; to be crazy every once in a while; to do everything I do with all of my might and mental strength in excellence; to appreciate my family; to use my imagination. 

Kayla: To always mean what I say; to maintain a level of sincerity priorly incomprehensible to my weak and inconsistent mind; to persevere despite overwhelming setbacks. 

Kevin: To commit to a goal and waver from it for no reason; to work through intellectual difficulties one issue at a time; to be a faithful friend. 

Jeremiah: To do all I do with strength of thought and purpose; to have joy and confidence even in the worst of times; generosity; to see problems in life practically and intellectually instead of emotionally and with fear; to trust God. 


Though anyone who knows me knows I don’t budge in my beliefs unless you give me time to think about it on my own, in the past I’ve still had a hard time trusting my own conclusions until I saw other people living out truths I was still weak in following. It has been so wonderful to have a solid group of friends who are so strong in areas in which I was so weak. Together we have grown stronger, and even when we’re gone from one another and phone calls and visits will have to suffice, we know that God helped us grow through our love and support for one another. 

I love all of you guys

Evan