Begin Anew

bbded326e408fd0f26cce1054a5acf1bIt may amuse you to know that up until now I have not been a very avid blogger, finding myself often procrastinating when it comes to posting on my sundry, brief blogs (which are mostly all obliterated, now). I never felt really compelled to share my writing and thoughts and wonderings. I tend to feel a bit more open with my art, though I am insecure about that as well. You might know what I mean.

You might understand when I say that I follow bunches of other people in the blogging sphere and never dare to really social-network myself. But now I feel a bit bolder,  more adventurous than days of yore . . . “those dear old days gone by”. It is 2014. ‘Tis closer than ever to my graduation, and then the advance upon the University, or college. Where God will lead me, I have no idea. It used to seem a great deal clearer when I was about thirteen. Suddenly, as high-school draws nearer to a close, my mind scatters in all directions, tugging me to and fro. While I once considered it a settled matter that I would pursue something strictly literary, my mind now embraces the possibilities of studying Studio Art, illustration, history, psychology . . . and oh, the list runs on through journalism and numbers of avenues which branch off of Art. I am nonplussed!4ef282e67e60af779c8504c4c68a6cab

Wherefore do these thoughts come? Wherefore just now, with the future looming high and strange before me? While it is exciting to consider what I might do someday, career-wise, It’s really frightening.

And that comes to the thing I’d like to discuss: Fear. Fear has been with me for a long time now. It has been with all of us, I think. It is that little Gollum-esque creature, that whispers at us from the shadows, amusing itself at our expense whenever we worry and tremble over the unknown. Maybe the Unknown isn’t so bad after all. Maybe it holds tribulations and joys we can’t even imagine right now. If you’re just a young person like me, just on the brink of adulthood, of moving away from home and Mom and Dad, then maybe you’ll hear me when I say . . . it’s coming on so-o-o fast. Too fast. And throttling along with the oncoming future is Fear itself. But as Mr. Franklin Roosevelt so wisely said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Fear stems from darkness, and darkness is the absence of Light. Light is Goodness, and Goodness is Christ.

That thought can be comforting in itself. I remind myself of my Lord’s abiding presence in my life and in the lives of those around me. Yet, sometimes it is severely difficult to believe and to understand. Understand what, you ask? Well, understanding is an incredibly broad word. af616848dd7b401c43bee23233f0abaeUnderstanding could be equated with explaining. “How do you explain that? Explain why, or how, please!” Humans yearn for understanding. We all have a question to ask. Thus we seek wisdom. Wisdom is empty without Truth. For “one can gain the world but lose the soul”. Honestly, we can’t know everything. We can’t understand and explain Divine Providence, or miracles. We can’t explain the power of Love, or Mercy, or Forgiveness usually, in plainspoken words. We can’t ever glimpse the future and its kaleidoscope of meaning for our lives on earth. Corrie Ten Boom, the survivor of a Nazi concentration camp, speaks comforting and hopeful words on Life’s unknowns:

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

I know there is a God. It has taken me a while to come to that knowledge, but it is not empty, hollow knowledge which uplifts me even when I doubt and question (which I have been doing considerably, these last few years). It is harder to lean on Him and trust His understanding, not your own, when you are frustrated by His mystery and majestic power, which no human can ever fully understand. It is terribly, terribly frustrating. You ask a trusted, respected somebody in your life, grinding your teeth over the fact that “you just don’t get God, how He loves, how He has everything in control.” And this “wise” friend who you know reads the Bible and is much farther along than you under your cloud of doubt, tells you that “some things about God can’t be explained”.

What does all of this have to do with “Beginning Anew”, as in the title of this post? I challenge myself, and You, to begin anew this year, this January 2014. Strive to grow in your Knowledge of Him, learn to trust when faith seems overrated or unsatisfactory. In the long run, do you think that believing in Someone who has created the Universe (His Creation surrounds us) far exceeds the mere human surrender to mortality, to material focuses? I challenge you to stop fearing, and start trusting in the Father who sent His Son for you. You might not understand how great His love for us is, how majestic in nature and power He is, but isn’t it more uplifting to believe in a Loving Creator than Nothing at all? Across the centuries His artistry manifests itself, recorded and remembered, however much Fallen Man would like to forget. Begin Anew, and open your Bible that you usually shunt to the back of your shelf, behind your favorite novel or series. Read the works of the great theologians, who like you and I sought to understand the Divine wonders of the Creator, and came to inspiring and compelling conclusions which lead us further along Heavenward, into the Kingdom of God.

Bleak Midwinter

“In the Bleak Midwinter” by Gustav Holst and Harold Edwin Darke3de7d2eadb692436f686a76db3a61e65

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk,
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air –
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man
I would do my part;
Yet what I can, I give Him –
Give my heart.