Saturday, May 24, 2014

Rich Mullins...and Arizona....

I know your whole life story. I know every skeleton in your closet.  I know every moment of sin and shame, dishonesty and degraded love that has darkened your past.  Right now, I know your shallow faith, your feeble prayer life, your inconsistent discipleship, and my word to you is this: I dare you to trust that I love you.  Just as you are.  Not as you should be.  Because none of us are as we should be. - Brennan Manning (on what Jesus would say)

Rich Mullins.  A singer/songwriter who I loved for as long as I can remember.  He talks about a Home that we have, and how the struggles here on earth are hard, and life....  He died in September, 1997. I remember I was living in a little apartment in LaCrosse, WI,  and I had a newspaper subscription.  And front page on that day was Princess Di's death.  But in a little paragraph, several pages back (maybe not even in the first section), was a story that singer/songwriter Rich Mullins had died in a car crash.  The week before he died, he went into a small country church, and with just a piano and a tape recorder, recorded the music for what would be his last album: The Jesus Record.  I have always admired not only his music, but also his life.  At the height of his career, he gave most of what he was making away, living on a standard salary ($24,000/yr) and going to work on a Navajo reservation. A lot of his songs echo a Native American background, and the music is amazing.  The last time I was in Texas before this, I had seen an ad on a church bulletin board for a movie called, Ragamuffin, based on his life, and was sad to see that it was not playing anywhere that I would be, and the one that was playing locally, I had missed by one day.  I was in Wal-Mart 2 days ago, and they had the movie.  So, I've been watching it.  And there was so much more to his story than I knew: drinking, drugs, depression, and finding his hope in God in the middle of all that.  And, realizing that we are not perfect, and that is not what is expected of us, and we are still loved.

What does all this have to do with me?  I think I'm going to find out soon.  I have always  lived what is mostly a very simplified life.  I don't keep many possessions, and I tend to be more adventuresome than most, but still less than some.  I feel like I'm headed in the direction of even more simplicity, and giving it "all" up to do something different, something lifechanging, something that really means something, and makes a real difference.  Typing that out, it sounds big, it sounds crazy, it sounds impossible and silly at the same time.  And, it may be that I'm being called to something totally opposite, but that's what this year is partially for. To take time, to figure the beginning out.  I never worry about figuring the whole thing out, because, trust me, it will never come out like you imagine anyways, and you wasted all that time for nothing.  

So, that's what's going through my head right now, but as for what is going on in my world....Yesterday, we woke up ridiculously early (2am anyone?) and headed out for Arizona, our first stop on the way to Colorado.  We arrived early afternoon at my uncle's house, where the RV was parked.  Now,  I love it when my uncles get together.  You never know what they are going to discuss, but it's always interesting.  Yesterday, it was theology.  And, what's funny is, I think they were both on the same general path, but their ways of looking at it were different, and so it didn't really get anywhere in the long run.  But my uncle we are staying with and I were talking later, and we were talking a little more on the subject (the big picture God, who may or may not have actual "thoughts", this uncle's view being that to have thoughts would be below him, that he's so much bigger than any of that), and my theory was, we all get little glimpses.  We see a beautiful sunset, or towering mountains, or flowing rivers, or an amazing animal (these are my things), and you get a glimpse of why we were created, and the beauty and majesty not just of earth, but also of Heaven.  And as we go along, these glimpses (whether in "real" life or from studying the Bible/interacting with God) change how we think of God and what we know of him.  And what we think we know and at least somewhat understand today, might year, next month, or even tomorrow.  Because, we will find ourselves somewhere different, and catch another piece of the puzzle.  But in the end, it will all be bigger and more infinite and more amazing than we can ever imagine....including whether or not God has "people-type" thoughts.  

Okay, done with my sermon for the day.  But, on a somewhat similar note, what had started the whole conversation between my uncles, was a discussion on trees communicating with each other.  How, say, a maple, will protect other maples, and help nourish saplings, and take care of each other.  There is more scientific research than the article I just gave, but this gives you a basic/quick overview of the type of thing they are finding.  It reminded me of when I went whale watching in San Diego, and we followed these 2 whales who were sleeping.  Now, whales have to swim, and come up to breathe while sleeping, so what they will sometimes do, is pair up with another whale (dolphins also do this), and they "shut down" half of their brain, and one eye, so that the other side gets a rest, and then they alternate which side they are swimming on, and turn off the other side of their brain.  Pretty amazing stuff.

Oh, and as a PSA, did you know about Secondary Drowning?  Even as a nurse, I had not heard of this, and I think it's important information for parents to know.  It has a very low incidence, but there are certain things parents should watch out for.

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