Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall: Summer's Glorious Death March

The Auxano crew at Fall Teen Retreat (with a couple of last year's Auxano students thrown in for good measure.)

A lot of this blog post feels like old news. Time goes by so quickly out in the bush (Lake Cowichan) and at the same time there is no time or else there is not enough of it and you start going crazy and asking questions like "What is time?" and "If God created time does that mean he could create time travel?" and "If time is based on the rotation of the sun does that mean there is no time in outer space?" Really important questions that we're studying up here at Auxano. Just kidding. We don't have time to study such deep theological things. We are too busy studying Jesus (the default answer for every question in Sunday School), who is only the most important person of all time, the Son of God who existed before time began. He's kind of a big deal. Anyway I went for a walk around camp the other day and appreciated the plethora of multi-colored trees and took some pictures, a couple of which I included for your viewing pleasure. They are terrible pictures taken by my cell phone but beggars can't be choosers. Plethora is one of those words you want to use as sparingly as possible so that when you do use it it makes everyone happy. So Fall finally decided to show up, huh. Tardiness is so unacceptable. I know because I am always tardy and it is always unacceptable. I'm hoping some day that will change (that tardiness would become acceptable, what did you think I meant?) I gave Summer a talking to in spite of how much I love her because I felt she was getting a little carried away. I said as gently as possible, "Get over yourself already." So she did and then we nearly drowned at Fall Teen Retreat when it rained pigs and chickens (if it can rain cats and dogs, then it can rain pigs and chickens). It was wonderful. I wore blue polka-dot gum boots. 

Before Fall Teen Retreat Chris got me to fix up the cardboard maze that we have in the dry shed as part of the carnival we put on for the retreat. He basically gave me a drill, some zip locks, a staple-gun and a roll of tape and told me to crawl around in a confined, dark maze with the purpose of making it even darker by fixing up the holes. It was quite entertaining dragging around these tools, on my hands and knees by myself in the dry shed. I felt a lot like a Neanderthal fixing up his cave. Funny thing happened: no one knew where I was so they left without me to get their stuff back at the house. When they asked, "Where's Faith?" they should have known I was in the cardboard maze with a drill and staple gun. I mean really, what else would I be doing. Fall Teen Retreat - what great fun. Singing and dancing and playing games and whatnot. I can't remember. I was really tired. I had Restless Leg Syndrome the second night and decided to get up in the middle of the night during Hurricane Imadene (AKA it was very, very windy). I put on my gum boots and rain jacket and went to the camp kitchen to read because I couldn't handle feeling like I was going to pass out from being so tired but not being able to sleep because of my legs. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture in times of war you know. I then found a box of Tim Horton's donuts in the kitchen and proceeded to eat an apple fritter and have some tea and read my Bible. It was pretty fantastic despite how tired and annoyed I was and the feeling of satisfaction overwhelmed any shame I was feeling for stealing a donut that was probably for a kitchen staff member. In the morning I was telling people at my table about my late night adventure (because I don't know how to not tell things I should keep to myself) and the speaker John was like, "Wait, the box of donuts in the kitchen? I bought those for the kitchen staff!" Supes totes aux ("super, totally awkward.") It's a good thing John has a good sense of humor or he could have stood up in front of everyone during chapel and used me as an example of a wolf in sheep's clothing or something like that.

I had a good conversation with my parents the other day where I realized that I am not up here to make friends. No, I am up here to be an advisor, someone the students can look up to, a leader, to show God's love in an extraordinary way. I have no idea if I'm doing this. I hope I am, but remember when I said attention-seeking Faith would have to take a seat on the back burner? She keeps coming out! I think I need to drug her and ship her to a foreign country. It's the only way. You see, like most people, I want to fit in, to be like one of the "cool" kids (well, no, we all know that is never going to happen). I have this fear of being left out which means I'm not spending enough time on my own. For some people that's not a big deal. For me, I can't survive without it. If I don't take the time to recharge then how can I be there for these amazing young people? The dilemma is that I miss out on a lot already because I have to go to bed early like the old woman that I am, but that is who I am! Not the old lady part, but the person who has to go to bed early. I can't change it and in many ways I don't want to! It's always been important to me to take care of myself and having these limitations has made me the person I am: thankful for what health I do have and so aware of the health struggles of others. Nothing in this life is easy. If it is, it probably means you are not living properly. Otherwise I'm doing really well and studying this amazing book called Radical by David Platt which makes all of us want to sell everything we have and actually listen to Jesus when He tells us to make disciples of all nations. Imagine, listening to Jesus.

Finally children are not swimming in the freezing cold lake just because it happens to be sunny in October.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mind Blown, Soul Satisfied

This is a short blog post. So much has happened since my last one. My birthday. I turned 25 and I had planned this amazing party to celebrate being a quarter of a century before I spontaneously quit my job and ran away to Lake Cowichan. Things change, and thank God for it. All the students make me feel really old, something I thought I would never feel at 25. I just made a comment about remembering something when I was young and before I could say what it was they said, "You remember being young???" Thanks guys. Thanks. Speaking of thanks, I went home for Thanksgiving and spent a really nice weekend with my family - so much to be be thankful for! And last week for Auxano we finished our classes with the amazing Francois Blouin creator of the The Sword Ministries. Francois teaches the Gospels from a Jewish perspective using "A Harmony of the Gospels" which looks at all the events in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John side by side. IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND. You wouldn't think so because it sounds like the most obvious thing in the entire world to teach the Bible in the actual context it was written in. You know. Like if you read a historical account about a different culture and a different religion than yours you might want to know what it is talking about when it refers to that culture and religion. And, odd, isn't it, to think you would miss things if you didn't. Yes, I too am feeling the sarcasm is a little thick. Kind of sickening. I am going to go throw up now. But I am so thankful I am learning it now, before I am an old lady who is stuck in her ridiculous notions about the Bible and far too stubborn to change her mind no matter how unfounded the belief. Especially since I have already decided that when I am old I am going to refuse to believe anything that is contrary to what I already believe just because I can (because I am old) and it will drive everyone crazy and I will laugh in my wheelchair, old and senile and happy.

Francois is a miracle who came out of French-Canada (like Canada but French) and loves Jesus so much he decided to find out what the crazy things Jesus was talking about actually meant. Fascinating. No really. It is so fascinating I came out of the class every day with a permanent smile on my face because I was blown away by how good God is and how much He is in control. I came out of that class having so many ambiguous things explained and feeling like I can trust my Bible more than I ever knew possible. That I can trust that God knew and knows exactly what He is doing down to the very "tittle" (that's a new word we learned in class meaning the small part of a letter in the Jewish alphabet. We may or may not have giggled during class. You see, Steph taught us an affectionate name for someone that the girls think is sooooo adorable but for some reason it makes the boys cringe. Instead of saying kitten we say, "titten!" It is the cutest thing ever and boys love cute things like cute little baby clothes and pictures of puppies with hearts and cartoon animals with big eyes so I don't see why they wouldn't love the word titten. You're making a frowny face aren't you. I will pray for you so that the next time you hear someone say "Awww, titten!" your insides are filled with love and joy and rainbows.) Oh cutest thing ever: I phoned home today finally (it's only been a week since the last time but it felt like a lot longer) and when I ended the conversation with my parents my mom said, "I love you to pieces" and my dad said, "And I love you back together again!" If that doesn't fill your heart with love and joy and rainbows I don't know what will. There is no hope for you.

I'm going to be writing another blog post very soon as it's been quite a while. For some reason I am finding it very hard to take time on my own when living with eleven other wonderful people. I have no idea why...
Francois and his wife Ana Alicia with Auxano!