Sunday, May 23, 2010

Twin Swords & Life-Giving Words

It's amazing the feeling you get when you've struggled with something 
and then you kick it in the face. That's not to say you're not tempted 
to do it anymore, but every time it rears its ugly head what do you 
do? Why you bash it into the ground like a whack-a-mole, of course. =)

Thing is, though, we hardly ever kick the can alone. You ask Elohim to 
throw some help your way, forget about it, and maybe even go back to 
doing what you were doing before. Suddenly He tells you to do 
something CRAZY, just plain out there. You know those moments when 
God's plans don't quite line up with YOUR plans? "Your plans" . . . 
Haha! (That was a rhetorical question for those of you lacking in 
wit...look up rhetorical yourself!)

Ahem, anyway, you eventually come to your senses and do what he says. 
Completely nonsensical, but you "indulge" God anyway like you're 
actually helping him. Heh, silly humans. So you do it, all the while 
wondering how exactly you got conned into it, but somewhere along the 
way you meet people and you grow close . . . too close. So close that 
a little friction starts; next thing you know sparks are flying and 
the blade is meeting the grinding stone at a rapid pace. An ancient 
tome* says that the wounds of a friend are faithful, and iron sharpens 
iron. Through the process you're both made into blades of the purest 
metal (Mithril or Adamantium, if you will) that shine brighter than 
you ever could have alone. The impurities become that much more 
obvious against the "shininess", so what does that other person do? 
Attack the weak spots, naturally, but in a life-giving way.

After they've been "through the fire and flames", the blades 
become a pair. Twin Swords, yes? Alone they are fantastic in their own 
right, but together? Together they are legendary.

We've made a big deal out of the forging process, but let's not forget 
that without the author and executor of that process it's nothing. 
Elyon is the great Blacksmith, and he makes Muramasa's weapons look 
like Fisher-Price toys.

A fool, I am.

To think that the I, mere ore, could help the Blacksmith? 
Preposterous! My Father knows best (the divine one AND the earthly 
one, though I'm loath to admit it) and when HE speaks I should listen. 
He told me to jump into the fire because he knew what a brilliant 
piece of work I could be.

I asked to be fixed, and thinking that God forgot about my plea I went 
on my merry little way. He did NOT forget; he just had 
something way better in mind.

*The Bible

Oh, and as a sidenote: I'm working on a short story about . . . well, you'll see. It should be pretty loopy, so everyone should read it. Too-da-loo!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Waking up to Wonders, Wolves, and God.

Last night (May 4th . . . ) I got home, laid in my bed, and proceeded to pass out. After about an hour I was startled awake by a howl. Assuming it was a coyote, I rolled over and attempted to fall back asleep; the moment I began to drift away once more the coyote howled again, this time even closer. Annoyed and slightly curious, I rose from my bed to lookout the sliding glass doors. There at the edge of the woods was one of the largest coyotes that I've ever seen. I'm still not sure it was a coyote as it was black and humongous. Apparently some timber wolves were set loose in Alabama recently and have begun to breed, so perhaps it was actually a wolf.

Regardless, my curiosity grabbed me by the neck so I turned off the house alarm and made my way into the woods. Oh, and I put clothes and shoes on, too. Naturally, the wolf-creature retreated upon my opening of the door. I followed it into the woods for what I'm guessing was about a mile or so . . . yes, I'm aware of the fact that this probably wasn't the wisest idea. You can stop thinking about that and refocus on the story now! Err, back to it.

Wolfie (which is what we'll call him for the remainder of this tale) was moving rather quickly and thus I was hard pressed to keep up, but I had noticed that we seemed to be following the creek that winds its way through the woods/forest/trees. Now I've always had an infatuation and fascination with flowing bodies of water. As is wont to happen when I'm near a stream, I stopped to see what kind of aquatic life was lurking within the creek.

The moon has just begun to wane (it was gibbous for you celestially minded weirdos) and the trees are spread fairly thin so I was able to see quite well. Peering into the water, I spotted a flash of color. Intrigued, I leaned in for a closer look; to my surpise it was an orange-spotted sunfish! I know, not really that exciting, but I have been searching for it going on a decade. Oh, and they're definitely not nocturnal, either. Anyway, I watched it for some time.

As anyone would do, I assumed Wolfie was long gone, but not so. As it turns out, he was just sitting there some hundred yards away. Coming to my senses I resumed my pursuit. It didn't last long. We came to a part of the stream with a slight waterfall, and the width of the creek was nothing to be laughed at. Seeing as I was in my toms I decided to let Wolfie go on his merry lil' way as he crossed  the stream and slunk further into the woods. Slightly dismayed that I couldn't see my foolishness to fruition, I saw a faint splash of color in my peripheral vision. Naturally I thought it to be some woodland creature, but to my astonishment (just an example!) it was actually a moonbow. Yes, a lunar rainbow, right in front of my very eyes.

To some this may not seem like a big deal, but seeing a moonbow has been one of my goals for quite some time now. So I witnessed three wonders in the dead of night. God instilled a smidgen of color into the black and brown of the nighttime woods; and I saw a black coyote or wolf, both of which are exceedingly rare.

Why? Maybe because I needed to be reminded that my God does wonders all the time in the heat of life just like he did in the dead of night. His majesty is everywhere we look, but are we willing to wake up before two calls? Does the phone have to ring more than twice for you to pick up? Must the coyote cry its cry more than two times for you to roll out of bed? The Psalmist and so many others cry "God, have you fallen asleep?" out of desperation, but if only we would shut up and listen, we could hear him speak.

Psalm 121 says that He never slumbers, and to the question "Are your wonders known in the place of darkness . . . " . . . the answer is yes. After following Wolfie, finding the fish, and seeing a moonbow I began to make my way home, and on the way home I heard a tiny whisper in the wind. It said something that a friend told me a long time ago, something that the friend was just repeating.

"Be still . . . know that I am God."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Is it Selfish Ammunition or God-driven Commission?

I was recently given rap artist B.o.B.'s new album "The Adventures of Bobby Ray" (which I'm not allowed to listen to, yay!), and at the end of the album there is an interview with him. During the video he mentions that he originally started writing as a form of self-therapy and it kinda flowed. Listening to that reminded me of when I first started putting pen to paper.

It was just like that . . . a smooth, flawless conglomeration of nouns and verbs that I just threw together as a way to vent. Did I ever think it would turn out poetic or even comprehensible? The thought never crossed my mind; I was just practicing my hideous handwriting after a spout of frustration and anger.
Now I can't go a day without writing something, and I'm gonna keep writing until I can't write anymore.

No paper? Use a napkin. No napkin? Use my skin. No pen? I'll scratch it out, then.

I've heard that some great lyricists wrote as much as ten pages per day of prose and/or verse. Upon learning that my first thought was "Crap, that means I have to write fifteen to twenty". Once I discovered that I had the slightest gift for writing I made up my mind then and there to go after it. I read books every chance I get in the hope of being inspired. After all, the key to true creativity is to steal. Nothing I put to paper is actually new: it's all in the way one presents it.

I just need to take some salt from here, a little pepper from there, then throw it all together for a nice bit of flavor. Now that I've set a goal, I'm not going to let anything short of divine intervention stop me. I've found that too often people sway in the face of a challenge or the slightest bit of adversity. I strive to be different. Even if it means being labeled an idiot for pursuing what appears, for all intended purposes, foolish, then call me a fool.

I know my goals; they're written in stone (oh, and in a journal). I will always evaluate them and put them up against God's word (i.e. the Bible for those of you who are a wee bit slow), but should they stand in the face of that . . . I will see them completed.