24 April, 2005

Time...Confirmation...Excellence...Why Is It Taking Me So Long to Get This Thing Down?

I'd like to share a paragraph or so from the much-read, little-quoted book "Blue Like Jazz" by Donald Miller...

"I believe that the greatest trick of the devil is not to get us into some sort of evil but rather have us wasting time. This is why the devil tries so hard to get Christians to be religious. If he can sink a man's mind into habit, he will prevent his heart from engaging God."

As I mentioned in passing in my last entry, I have felt very busy lately, and not quite certain what it is that has been filling my time so. Just this afternoon at lunch with some friends at Famous Anthony's (where else?) it really hit me, how many things I have committed to as of late. On my way back to my dorm I was thinking and praying about shaking a few things loose, so I can do the few other things with excellence, and give them the time they deserve. I do really hate saying "no" without having confirmation that I should do so, so who do I call?

My mom, of course.

I gave my mom the rundown pretty quick and she reasoned that it is the wisest thing, to prioritize and cut back a bit. Then I walked in my room, got online and read this:
http://www.johncarl.com/blog .

And then I read that Donald Miller quote...

And that was pretty much all the confirmation I needed for today. :)

A life filled with long to-do lists completed carelessly, is really a life of failure, compared to a life with a few things, done with excellence.

20 April, 2005

Regarding beauty..

I'll leave a real post soon but for now I'm crazy crunched for time. Have there ever been times in your life where you feel like your days are constantly filled, but you half-wonder what it is you're doing? Yeah...

So I was working on a paper I'm turning into my Advanced Expository Writing class regarding Christians and art. I'm tackling a number of issues regarding the thing, but mainly I am discussing how Christian artists should gauge their art: with excellence, humility and purpose. Anyway, when I was searching for good sources yesterday I came across a couple of soul-stirring quotes in "Walking On Water" a memoir by Madeleine L'Engle (also author of "A Wrinkle in Time."

Regarding worrying about the art you're producing:

"You must once and for all give up being worried about successes and failures. Don't let that concern you. It's your duty to go on working steadily day by day, quite quietly, to be prepared for mistakes, which are inevitable, and for failures." --Chekov

Regarding the beauty that blossoms from the pain:

"It is interesting to note how many artists have had physical problems to overcome, deformities, lameness, terrible loneliness…It is chastening to realize that those who have no physical flaw, who move through life in step with their peers, who are bright and beautiful, seldom become artists. The unending paradox is that we do learn through pain.

We are hurt; we are lonely; and we turn to music or words, and as compensation beyond all price we are given glimpses of the world on the other side of time and space."

So in essence, perhaps music and art are but a mere taste of Heaven...I like that...

05 April, 2005

Teens vs. Twenties...I'm Feeling So Young Right About Now

So today is my last day of being a “teenager”. 20’s sounds likes an adult. When do things shift from being fun and young to being…adult? Is it when you graduate college? Are involved in a serious relationship? Spend more time in your college town than your hometown? I’m not trying to over dramatize this turning 20 thing…its actually weird, I didn’t think I would really even notice…but being a teenager was always the thing that I wanted...before it happened…and now its almost over…not that my life will be any different tomorrow than it is today of course…but my overall experience with the teen years definitely comfirms my overwhelming suspicion that you think life is going to be a certain way…and most often, it’s just not. It may not be fabulously better or horribly worse, but the little idea that you have about the future, most often is wrong. So I guess all we can do is not make expectations. Live life one day at a time, and enjoy the blessings of the present. So today I’m gonna rock 19 hardcore…and tomorrow I’ll start to rock the 20’s…until then…I guess I should go sneak into a rated R movie or go hang out at the mall or something…