Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Kill Your iPod, Find Your Walden

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For those of you who are not aware, I am a section editor for Relevant Magazine's online edition. The latest article in my section was written by my friend Joe, and I think it is quote worthy of being noted. If you so desire, you can find it here.

In a culture saturated and overflowing with media and distraction, it is so pivotal to "find our Walden" and get down to the nitty gritty with God (read in a Nacho Libre voice, if you will.) Yes. I know. I'm not that funny. And that's okay with me.

All that aside, please. Go and read this. Post a comment (here or on the site). Feedback is what makes the world go 'round.

*Rachel

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Focus

A stack of papers stares back at me as I glance at the corner of my table in the corner of this cozy little coffee shop. A couple sits across from me and chats somewhat awkardly. Why do some people's voices and laughs annoy me so much? I'm sure they're nice people, though. People give me a hard time for giving the benefit of the doubt to others, but what they don't realize is that inside, I am intuitively assessing everything and everyone. It's in my nature. It's in my spirit. I'm not always right. That's okay with me.

This week has been filled with an overwhelming volume of the things. The reason I am writing is not to pass time (trust me, I don't have time to waste) but to clear my head. So if you're along for the ride, I apologize in advance.

Monday. Oh Monday. It's never what I expect. It unassumingly approaches, but then pounces as soon as my alarm goes off. I fell prey, a helpless victim with a bad case of the Mondays. Fatigue set in. But I was still smiling.

Tuesday. Her voice is so odd. Reminds me of a small child. They're leaving. Relief. It was my 22nd birthday Tuesday. The day was filled with celebration and reflection and phone calls from all over the states (and even one from a friend in Pakistan). I felt loved. The day ended with a missions meeting that lasted until around curfew. I slept well that night.

Wednesday. Woke up late. Made it to Chapel just in time. Classes were good. Pretty normal day, minus everyone on my Student Newspaper staff seeming to have problems simultaneously. Go figure. Deadlines suck when they aren't met. I stayed up late studying world maps for a geography exam the next day. Now I know where Bhutan and Cambodia and Sierra Leone and the United Arab Emirates are located. How exciting.

Thursday. More fires to put out. Ads and stories were pulled from the paper at the last minute. It all came together, as always. My best friend left for Rhode Island to visit her boyfriend. Things seemed strange without her. I think we aced the geography exam. I tossed and turned all night because of the grande chai I drank while editing papers.

Friday. Sweet Friday. Life got easier, even though I was tired and feeling a little sick. Paced my way through classes. Got ready for Homecoming banquet. Had a splendid time. Called it a night early. Intense conversations followed. Left me feeling troubled and a little hurt, but hopeful all at the same time. Then I giggled on the phone with a friend until 2 a.m. Fell asleep fast.

Saturday. Today. Yes. Slept in. Ate some partially disgusting chicken. Met some friends and a professor at a coffee shop. Chatted with random alumni in town for Homecoming. Started editing the large pile of papers in front me for a group project. Wrote this rather incoherent (but chronological) blog. Read it over. Finished typing this sentence.

I feel better now. I think. Back to editing.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Remembrance [part 2]

Everyone was together, smiling and laughing and carrying on. He sat to the edge of the room, watching quietly. He didn't seem himself that day. She knew why. It was Christmas day, and for the first time…there would be no phone call from Portland, no passing around the phone to wish him a happy holiday, no quirky conversations. The phone was silent that night. She sat next him after a while and listened to him talk about how he believed the dead still communicated with the living. She wanted so badly to believe. She knew it was enough for him to keep on living.

They sat and talked over pancakes of loss and hardship and difficult relationships. She listened as they struggled to make heads or tails of the spiritual significance of it all. Her heart broke as she listened. Tears welled up in her eyes when they mentioned how close they had come to losing her mother, as well. She didn't want to revisit that memory, but she was pulled in before she could resist. Her mother caught her eye from across the table as if to say, I know. It's okay. And the question resounded in her mind, again and again…why this, God? Why now? And she knew…there was still enough grace to keep on living.

They lit a candle for him that day. One year had passed, but not much had changed. She laid awake that night, thinking of them. She wondered if they slept that night. The miles between them may well have been galaxies. She felt helpless to stop the ebbing pain and emptiness that threatened to overtake them. He told her they were just living through it. But she believed there was something more…more than just to keep on living. How could she tell them that?

She couldn't see the world the same.