Friday, November 13, 2009

learning to let go.

It is 2:39 am and i am wide awake. So many thoughts rushing through my mind... Friendship,
companionship, love, stability, God, purpose.. It's all a blur to me at the moment. To be honest, i don't quite know where I will be in a few months...

At first I thought everything was perfectly planned, stable, and moving. I was focused and had a goal. Well actually, a very big goal, and many small goals surrounding it. I could see the puzzle coming together like clock work but as life does all the time it threw me for a loop..

Money.. such a necessary yet mind-clouding thing. It defines what we can buy, where we can go, what we can do, but it isn't who we are. I must remember that. But it's hard when money might take you away from where you want to be, when stability seems at a loss, and relationships look like they could end pre-mature. Honestly, I don't think of myself as a selfish person, but it intrigues me at how clingy i can be to what money can bring. I want my car, and my way of life, and my classes, and my style. But one good thing that money IS doing right now is teaching me how to let go of it and grow.

I've realized that the art of obtaining and using material things is not an ending point in itself but merely vehicle's to allow one's self to focus more on the actual value in life. True life is not found in what is obtained physically. Sure physical things are enjoyable and important. Things like money and cars and basic needs are ways of sustaining us and helping us survive, BUT only so that we can do what we were meant to do. To live! To grow, encourage, forgive, hope, honor, cherish, love... I DON'T need money to love someone. I don't have to be at a great college to learn. It is all relative.

I don't want to get so wrapped up in the things that are merely vehicles for my life that i forget where I am going. Even if i can't stay at this amazing college, I'm still alive aren't I? Even if i can't pursue relationships that i wish to, my heart is still beating isn't it? I'm willing to let go if I must, but I pray and hope that i can stay here, because the love and acceptance from many here make me feel at home more than high school ever could. Brotherhood...Family...Accountability.. such amazing things.. but I'm willing to give it up, if that's where my Lord leads me.

Do you love me enough to let go?

I do.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My Southbound Train..

Tonight was Halloween, till it hit midnight.. And it has been an adventure. From dressing up as a Jo-Bro, playing games and going on crazy tours, to adventuring tunnels etc... its been a crazy night..

I came home to my ipod shuffling to the song "southbound train" by Jon Foreman. It was interesting, because it wasn't quite what i was feeling tonight but yet completely surrounded what I've been feeling for the last week or so..

Fragile life, moving, shaping, and escaping us.. one day at a time.

I'm a college kid now, a freshman at APU. surrounded by a ratio of women that is 3:1 at the least, and given opportunities in the realm of study and music that most of the world will never have the chance to do. I am so thankful and so fortunate... yet I remember the days... The days when life was simple. The days when I could just love and be loved, when innocence was an expected attribute, when life in its simplicity was beautiful.

I want innocence. To see the light in all situations, to be a light. I'm tired of being forced to build walls.. im tired, of swagger, and egos, and shallow days. I want to go deeper. It's funny to me how some of my deepest moments in life have been when my life was the LEAST complicated, instead of busy doing everything. Simple days of childhood. Loving to be loved, games and toys, playing in the sun. Acceptance and satisfaction in being alive.

Why must I grow into a judging, foolish, hypocritical, "mature" being? Shouldn't I grow in my innocence and have it combat all the foolishness...yet all around me I see the opposite. No one wants to be the odd man out, the inexperienced, the exception. Is average really that interesting? Is wanting something bigger such a bad thing?

I'm NOT a stupid college kid.

I have potential, i have purpose. And so do you..who ever you are. I don't have to get drunk and out of control, I don't have to be addicted to pornography like many, many college guys today. I don't have to treat girls like pieces of meat. I don't have to be a tool for this world, another object that it can use to promote it's self-propelled selfishness. I don't need to be cool. I don't need to fit in. Cuzz how does that make ANY sense? To fit in.. blend.. and die? If I'm part of a grand tapestry I want to be a bright thread, shining as the sun's beams grace it, declaring the glory of life. Singing out the beauty of individuality and selflessness. I want to be real.

Where will I be in 4 years? God only knows, and that's the complete truth. Who I am will most likely be completely changed or at least revised and I'll look back on these years as I look on my years of childhood, and of high school. Another rhythm in my southbound train. Another step towards eternity. And wherever that is, I want to find love. I want to feel true love. Not just fun, or fleeting happiness. But love. Through pain, and suffering, i want it to grow. I want to understand people, and I want them to see that i really do care...that they matter to me. I want to get past the illusion that my reputation sets, whatever that reputation is. I just want to be recognized for the man that is John Robert Stratton. Nothing less, nothing more.

And in the end aren't we all very similar? Lonely people looking for a place to call home. Longing for acceptance and purpose... yes we've become very good at hiding that need, and filling our lives with "stuff" to escape it. But who wants stuff? I want life! I want life abundantly. It reminds me of the quote "Every man dies, but not every man lives." To exist is not equivalent to living. Life is an unaffected companion. It will pass us by, as we sit along the road and rest. It will run ahead of ahead into areas of darkness and the unknown. It will surround us and pressure us to admit it's existence, and then it will one day choose to leave us all... for some of us when we least expect it.

We all get one ride, one ride on our southbound train. How will you ride it? How will you hold your companion of life. I will hold mine close to my heart, and I pray you will do the same. I hear the whistle of the southbound train and from that call no man can runaway.