Well, I finally hit that point in the semester where it feels like every spare moment must be devoted to school in order to get everything done. And then I realized that doing school work in every spare moment is no way to live. So I'm in a paradox. One thing I've done is to limit my internet use to right before bedtime. This is not only to increase my homework time but also to decrease idolatry in my life. I realized that I'm a compulsive e-mail checker, especially when I'm supposed to be doing homework. And then when I check my e-mail and there's nothing there, I still feel like I deserve a pick-me-up, so I go to Facebook or Flickr or Youtube and waste time trying to lift my spirits. It wasn't until a week ago that I realized that if I didn't check my e-mail in the first place, my spirits wouldn't have to be lifted, and I would stop treating the internet as a drug. So I'm on an internet Ramadan of sorts, and it's really changing my life. I still get internet cravings, but I haven't been giving in. And I'm focusing a lot better, and feeling less guilty. It's a good thing. Now my only distraction is Danice. But she's a much much better distraction, and I would never limit her. And sometimes we actually get work done when we're in the same room.
I've had a couple of great weeks. Don Sparrow was in town, and we hung out at Regent for a while, and enjoyed the fall weather together. Tonight, I got to see Lisa and Terice, who was also visiting from Saskatoon - we had a great supper at the Olde Spaghetti Factory. It's ironic that Saskatoon people are coming to Vancouver, because I'm heading back to Saskatoon in a week! Yep, I'm going back during my reading week, from Nov. 17th to 23rd. I'll be doing dress fittings and bridal showering for Christine's wedding, and I'll be attending my brother Daniel's musical, Les Miserables, in which he will be starring as Jean Valjean. I am so stoked to see him in a musical, because I've missed all his previous ones. Here he is in a picture with one of the Twagalemena girls, from a family of refugees who our church sponsored, who I'm also excited to meet - a picture taken by my cousin Kallie:
Unfortunately, I'm missing Danice's birthday while I'm gone, and I don't think she's going to forgive me anytime soon. So as a peace offering, I dedicate this next part of the blog to her. It is an excerpt from my journal from last year, when I was taking Exegesis class (exegesis is about finding out what the Bible meant in the context of the people it was originally written for). Since Danice is taking Exegesis right now, it may apply:
"I was thinking about how exegesis is changing the way I read the Bible. I will be much less likely to treat it as a bank of verses on various topics from which I can select at will some that please me and support what I happen to be trying to say. It's cool to trace the author's line of thought and see what context he spoke in - it puts the words back in his mouth. I was also thinking how I need an exegesis of my life. I know God is the author, and he's carefully crafting it, inserting common themes here and there, meaningful experiences, perhaps chiasms and purposeful repetition, building to some unknown climax. The problem is that I'm stuck in a verse. If my life were a book, I would be stuck on the page, looking out, trying to see the words behind me and squinting at the ones ahead. I need someone, or many people, to look at me and exegete me, to trace my historical context, to draw a diagrammatic outline of what God's up to in me, to point out how the parts fit into the whole - to tell me who I am! Because when I try, I feel like I'm picking from the verse bank again, just picking out details that seem to support what I feel like supporting in my life on any given day, that make me into the person I happen to feel like being. Exegete me!"
Anyway, Danice has helped to exegete me (as many of you who are reading have helped me). I thank you for the way you've shown me more of who I am, and although I feel freaked out about the idea of being a pastor (especially considering taking 'Preaching and Worship' class next semester... yikes), I'm feeling a little more settled into my skin this year than I did when I wrote this journal entry. And I hope I can return the favor and let you know what I see God doing 'big-picture' in you, too.