Friday, December 27, 2013

Curious Brainpower

What does it mean to be tired?

Pulse slowing, eyelids lowering. 
Unfocused dreams...
Weak and unable to face
What one cannot ignore. 
What does it mean to be lost?

If not all who wander are lost, then where is the line between "found" and "lost"? To what do we look for direction? I found a sign, it pointed me here. But that doesn't mean I'm where I'm supposed to be. 

What does it mean when one person can't stand to be around other people?

Thoughts trigger emotions. Smiles and words exchanged and then suddenly...the connection becomes something undesirable. A shift in air pressure and we feel the need to be alone.

I'm starting to see a pattern here. Everything is in my mind. What happens around me is background noise. The thing that really matters is my reaction - and that stems from my perception of the world. 

You've seen it before. Someone looks at the sky and sees darkness. Another sees a million stars. A person craves chocolate, another wouldn't eat a candy bar if you shoved it down their throat. 

That's what's so cool about meeting new people. You get to figure out what they revolve around, what makes them tick, what they are trying to achieve. It's a mystery. A puzzle. People are amazing.
That difference in people is something I call perspective. The eyes, windows of the soul, see the world and judge it constantly. Our brains are constantly processes and labeling the information we take in around us. 

And I've realized that sometimes where I see a wall, someone else sees a challenge. Where I see a nasty ditch, someone else sees possibility. And the crazy thing is, that ditch or that wall could be both: a challenge and a dead-end, a bad fall and a close call. 

Just because I think something is impossible, doesn't mean that it really is. 

My brain has the power to make me think and feel that it is impossible. 

Which means that I control what I think. Let me say that again: I control what I think. An interesting power to have, isn't it? 

What's a wall that you've hit recently? What's something that has broken you down? What's something that you just can't see a way around? 

Saturday, December 14, 2013


There's a lot of meanings broiling inside that word. Some good, some not so good. We claim thirst as a need. We humans have our "natural instincts" tucked away out of sight, but they are still there. And that means that we are thirsty all the time - thirsty not just for one thing, but for everything. Except that we can't have everything.

That means that we come up empty a lot. 

It starts to feel like something is wrong with life, like there's an off-kilter part of earth, and that's the part that you're standing on. It took me a minute to see past this and realize that (duh) it's simply because I'm not drinking the right thing.

I like to taste a little bit of everything, you know. A little spicy dish here, something sweet there, a sip of someone's wine. A moment in the choking heat and overwhelming happiness of Thailand. A stroll down the music-saturated world of Nashville. A gasp of fresh Colorado mountain air. 

It's easy to just keep going. To meet someone and make a memory...and then move on. What's harder is sticking around. Staying at a job that's starting to get static. Sticking with a group of friends even though you think you know everything about them already.

But if I treat life like a buffet, I feel like I can do it all and just not stop.

Sometimes what's needed is for me to remember my thirst. To realize that I'm hungry even when I thought I was eating. Especially here at Copper, when literally everything seems designed to drain moisture right out of me. In the beginning I was doing so well! As I started getting deeper into the culture and higher into the mountains, however, I forgot to drink the water more often.

As long as I keep busy and push forward in my momentum, I don't even notice that I'm dehydrated.

But as soon as I stop and stare at these four walls, I collapse. I notice my strained muscles, my dry throat, my empty stomach, my exhaustion. That's when it hits me:


Physically speaking, I mean. And also...spiritually. My soul gets dry faster than my mouth. But this dryness, this ache - it's good.

Ever notice how our "primal" needs (those for food, water, rest...yes, we have to go over Maslow's hierarchy of needs as part of our ski school training..) seem to be the strongest? How that need for lunch shuts down every other voice in your head? Yeah. That.

When you start to feel that draw, that need, for God, then you know it's as it should be. Even if it means that I haven't been drinking enough of Him in, it means that I need Him. Crave Him.

So I'm taking this moment to pause and feel my thirst. Then I'll take a huge drink, guzzling it down with abandon.

Isn't that a great word?

it speaks of a heart let loose upon the world. of a soul set free from chains. of a bird soaring through a tunnel and into sunshine. of a free-fall into an unknown. 

This is what it means to be with God. This is what it means to "wait upon the Lord" to "walk in the light" and to follow Him. 

Abandon who you are. Abandon what you want. Abandon every tie to this world and fall into grace. 

That's exactly where He'll find you. 

God, You know me. You know me. Come and show me the meaning of these things. Psalm 139.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


There are days when I just want to stand under the hot water of the shower for hours, hiding on the other side of the crappy yellow shower curtain, not speaking to anyone all day.

There are nights when I can't fall asleep because I am too full of thoughts...and whispered voices that draw me in. That moment where reality and fantasy no longer have boundaries and they fuse together snowflakes melting on my breath.

I don't know why. I don't have an explanation for the moments when I just want to burst into tears. I don't have an answer for the questions I ask myself.

Ah, but here is the tricky thing: I know the answers.

But sometimes I don't believe them.

Darkness falls and stars shine brightly for all to see. Everything closes in on me and I become someone - something - else. I can be anyone...and I can be nothing.

Do you ever just want to sit and stare at the world for a while? Does it ever cross your mind that maybe you've been moving to much, and it's time you stopped? Do you ever wish you could step out of your own skin for just a moment and wander in the world doing nothing but seeing and breathing?

Remember. That's a big word for me lately.

Remember who God is. Remember that the best is yet to come. Remember that this, too, shall pass.

Remember that I don't have to know that answers to survive.

God is good. 
Therefore, it is well with my soul.