Sunday, October 18, 2009

We interrupt this silence to bring you a brief blog post...

I've found time to steal away from school and work to kick back and do a late-night blog post! And there was great rejoicing! (yaaaayyy...)

Many thoughts have been running through my head as of late. Chief of these are about God, love, life, and meaning. I could do a million posts about each of those subjects, and if I were to tweet those posts and get a dollar for ever tweet, I'd have enough money to pay off our national debt! See how I snuck a political statement into that? Yeah, it just happened.

Anyways, an interesting story that sticks out to me actually happened today at dinner. Normally I eat with my family at the dinner table (my mom is an amazing cook so that also normally works out to my benefit.) Today, however, my parents were out at a thank-you dinner event. I was stuck at home due to homework, but at about 6:00 my stomach told me homework could wait- it was time for food.
So where does a 17 year old guy go to eat dinner alone? Apparently Panda Express. After getting my three entree plate of Kung Pao Chicken, Orange Chicken, (both are staples of Panda for me) the new Sweet Fire Chicken Breast, as well as a Dr. Pepper to compliment, I grabbed a seat in Panda's roomy yet post-dinner-rush-empty front dining room. And I ate.
It's been some time since I've eaten alone. In fact, after thinking about it, I can probably count all the alone-eating I've done in my life on one hand. As I sat there eating, I actually got bored. I entertained myself by people watching, but this too grew old over the course of my meal. So I turned inside myself and pondered this new development: eating alone. I realized it was talking I was missing; the stimulant of a good conversation at dinner. I missed my dad's dinner jokes and my mom's deep questions. The food began turning to ash in my mouth. Don't get me wrong, I love Panda, but Panda without company is like eating cookie dough made with salmonella infested eggs and rotten milk.
This eating alone made me feel so so so sorry for singles everywhere who get stuck alone at their dinner table with a bag or raman and their cats every night.

What on earth am I getting at? My little lonely-eating venture showed me one important thing: human beings are creatures of community. Even the most introverted of us need the council of a friend and the arm of a brother to help us when we slip. Loneliness in the world creeps out of the crevices that form between friends that haven't talked or hung out. The lack of love between people produces depression and the isolation of even the most hard prisoners drives them to the brink of insanity, then gives a light push. Human beings desire more then to simply cluster, collect honey, and protect their queen. We desire to be in relationship with each other; to love and to be loved.

That's where the Great Romance comes in, isn't it? It's the greatest way we can conceptualize Papa's love for us. It's one of the only ways we can put it into words. To simply say God loves me isn't enough, is it? To just say Jesus died on the cross for my sins is such an understatement, don't you think? It's as if this world craves love, but understates the Source of that Love to the point of making religion instead of relationship.

What would it look like to bask in the love of Papa? What would it look like to walk in peace and assurance? What would it look like to experience the Great Romance in my day-to-day life? What would it be like to never eat alone again?


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