Turning the Pages
Here we go. A brand new blog. I have hesitated doing this for some time now. There is so much anxiety and so many questions that come with a new blog. Like:
What am I going to call it?
What am I going to talk about?
Do people even care enough to take time out of their busy, busy lives to hear about mine and how I view the world?
Well, here you are and you are reading my sloppy, scattered words on a page; and for that, I thank you.
Now, let’s get down to business. There has been a growing restlessness inside of me for quite sometime now. I am not sure when it really began, but it has been growing since my world travels I have ventured out on*. In those travels, there I got to see and experience so many different wonderful people, backgrounds, cultures, adventures (some of which were terrifying), and gain so many memories that I will treasure for the rest of my life. However, with all of those wonderful memories, there has been an anxiety inside of me and the only way I can really explain it is through something that happened to me in high school.
For those of you that know me, you know that I was a HUGE theatre nerd. For those of you who don’t know me, you now know I was a HUGE theatre nerd. My senior year was the peak of my career, although some would argue it was my 7th grade role as Aladdin, but I digress. I landed the part of the scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz”. Kaitlyn Thames was my director, and she was fabulous (and if she is reading this, I want to give a big shout out to little Jonas Thames, their new baby boy! Congrats!) She helped me conquer so many trials that came in my acting career. She helped me learn how to conquer my fears and become, what I considered myself to be, a decent actor. And I remember as I was waiting to go out on stage for my last performance ever as a student at this school and there was knot the size of a softball working it’s way up my stomach and into my throat. It was like I knew what was coming next and I couldn’t bring myself to accept the inevitable ending to this journey and path that I had paved for myself. I was about to give my last performance and it wasn’t nervousness, it wasn’t butterflies, it was that I was about to have to start something brand new by graduating high school and I didn’t know how on earth I was going to accomplish it. Now here I am four years later and I feel the same way.
College has come and gone. Here I am world. I’m an adult and (I think) I am ready to conquer whatever comes my way (I think). And this same knot that I had at the end of high school is even more prevalent now than it was before and it’s like there has been this weight on my shoulders that I just can’t get rid of, but I couldn’t get rid of it because I wasn’t able to; I just didn’t want to.
Do you see where I am getting at? So let’s talk about weights. Weights are good for some things. My CrossFit friends will swear by them, I would much rather go run but they even have weights for your ankles. . yeah, I know right? Weights make you stronger. They help you grow, and flex, and stretch, and thrive, and conquer, and push yourself further than you ever thought was possible. . at least, that’s what they do for some people. The rest of us, they, well, they “weigh” us down (genius, right?) They weigh us down. Sometimes, when we feel that weight, we just sit down and tap out and say we’re done. But, in doing that, we don’t take the weight off, we still keep it on and it stops us from moving anywhere. So, instead of ridding ourselves of the weight by struggling through and conquering the task, we simply let ourselves stay in the same area being tied down and, in retrospect, that is far worse than what the initial task puts us through. So here we have a weight that has us tied down, not letting us move, and we would rather sit down and tap out than take it off after the finish line. What can we do?
These weights can be anything. They can be truly traumatic personal conflicts, they can be family issues, problems with a significant other,
I have been reading through the Old Testament recently and I came across a passage in Genesis 28 that I have read a billion times but never actually let it into my head because this is me every single day and I am just now realizing it.
16Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of Heaven.”
– Genesis 28:16-17
Let’s tackle v. 16 first. How often do you look at something in retrospect and say “Man, God was really there for me in that instance.” That’s usually how I look at circumstances from my past. I can shrug them off and say “Well, God really helped me in that time and that is how I managed to get through it.” That is so belittling to God — not what you thought I was going to say, was it? God was there for me in THAT instance? What about the other instances? What about the good times? What about the times when things were just kind of there and nothing was bad but nothing was great? Was God not there? Jacob woke up from this really bizarre dream while on a journey trying to find a wife (sounds exhausting). He used a rock for a pillow and then passed out. Basically, it is God saying how blessed Jacob will be, similar to how God talks to Abram earlier in Genesis. And Jacob, I imagine, wakes up in this cold sweat like “Whoa. . what was that?” Jacob had a serious “Ah-ha” moment. Like, beyond the church camp “Ah-ha”. It was the whole shabang.
So what do we take from this? Well, I am glad you asked.
God isn’t small.
“Well duh, Austin..?”
God is so big, but we try to fit him into different parts of our lives when he is, honestly, in every part of our lives whether we like it or not. That’s a good thing. We all know who God is and we all acknowledge his presence, sometimes, primarily the bad times where we tend to blame him for how we might be feeling, for whatever just happened to us, we throw the stone at God and ask why He has forsaken us? How many times do we look back and question God and his whereabouts after the situation has passed? What if instead we stopped and acknowledged God is there? I can’t help but think these difficult times on earth would not be so difficult.