Saturday, January 26, 2008

Unbrief Life Brief

It's been a while, it seems, since I've taken the time to reflect much on my own life. I've been busy: with school, ministry, and work. Yet, without taking time to reflect, my ability to contribute well in those areas will fall measurably over time.

Let me sum up. No. That will take too little. Let me explain. (First one to catch the reference and how it's been modified gets 4 Krycho points.)

I've been back at OU for fully three weeks now, and it's been good to be back. This semester is going to be a good one - though, like all, it will have its challenges. I don't know what those challenges will be, yet, of course, but I'm excited to see what God does this semester. Whatever He allows will be for my good and His glory. There are many things that have me excited for this semester.

Perhaps first and foremost among those things are the wonderful ministry opportunities God has laid before me. On Monday nights I'll be coleading a small group with Beth Powell - going through The Truth Project with some of the people from the BSU. We're both immensely excited about all God has in store there. (Which reminds me of some prep work we need to do tomorrow for our first meeting on Monday!) Tuesday nights, I still have Ministry Team, and I'm excited beyond description about all that we will be learning this semester as we study some of the minor prophets and examine how God spoke to His people throughout history. (Chris Goree will confirm that I nearly shouted with excitement when he first told me about this study.) On Wednesday nights, I'm attending a systematic theology class with PJ and Katie King (huzzah!), and on Thursday nights I have Paradigm - our large group worship and message with the BSU - and am on the Glorieta planning team, which has thus far been an incredible blessing and opportunity to serve. I also am getting to meet with Chris Goree, who never ceases to encourage me and bring God's word in a way that helps me press on towards Christ and away from sin (and to smile, as well!). Last but certainly not least, I get to continue meeting with the guys I'm discipling, and all of them are, in very different ways, incredible encouragement to me: to see all that God is working in their lives, and to get to be some part of it, is an honor beyond compare.

My classes this semester are also shaping up well: I am taking only 12 hours (though that really comes closer to 15 when one takes into account that I have another 0-hour class and a lab in the mix), all of which I believe I will enjoy. Though there will be a good deal of work, my schedule is such that, so long as I am faithful and diligent with my time, I will have relatively free weekends in which the majority of my work will consist of reading and composing: tasks in which I delight, and which I generally find relaxing and refreshing rather than tiring. My physics classes are work, but enjoyable by and large, and I believe will be more so as I move from the "busywork" stage of the lab into the actual labwork. (The one downside with the lab is my meeting time: at 9 pm on Monday nights - after The Truth Project and an RA staff meeting and a full day of classes. It will nonetheless be largely enjoyable, I think.) Composition lessons remain enjoyable. I just finished a rather lovely (if I do say so myself) setting of Psalm 142, which I will attempt to post at my website sometime soon, and I'm about to begin work on a choral piece, probably setting another Psalm (though this time, probably a praise-oriented Psalm, to contrast with the work I just finished on what is essentially a lament and plea). My Honors Colloquium is also looking very nice, with interesting material and topics.

I'm working out every morning with my friend Britt Clay, which has been enjoyable (in a painful sort of way) and also helped me have more energy throughout the day. It helps that we are getting up at 6 am to work out, since I'm a morning person that requires motivation to get up early (since I also very much enjoy the late hours of the night). The discipline and focus of getting up early has been a great help already this semester, not least in that I find myself far less tired and more able to concentrate throughout the day. Playing Ultimate on Fridays is further exercise and enjoyment, and working towards fitness has been pleasant in every way (save the pain in my muscles).

That's a lot. But it's not too much: to the contrary, I find I am more excited about this semester and all that it holds than I have been about many previous semesters with less work on my plate. I have long been aware that having many free hours does little to fulfill me; nor does merely having hours filled. Rather, having hours well filled with tasks of worth (as I do this semester) delights and encourages me. This is the desire of my heart: to live a life fully, to leave no task undone that is mine to accomplish, to be a true and faithful friend: all that God might be more greatly glorified!

Relationally, this semester (as all before it) looks very different than I might have expected. Different friendships are emphasized than before, and old friendships have in some cases been renewed, in some cases continued to fade away. My best friend is married now; and two of my good friends here are newly married as well. In the midst of all the changes, the constants here and there have been pleasant. It has been good, too, to slowly be growing closer to family. (I need to call all of them tomorrow; I miss them.) To my great amusement and joy (yes, at the same time), some of my great fellowship has included friends I've never met in "real life" - only in the internet... funny how the world works these days, and amazing how God orchestrates things to His purposes.

To sum up, I suppose I should conclude that I am content in all these things, and delighting in learning daily to follow Christ more and more: to dwell more deeply in His word, to spend more time in prayer, to engage more productively in fellowship. I am learning to walk with God. It is as though before I was moving in spurts, followed by troubled staggers, then great spurts again, and so on in a great cycle. Now, for the first time, I feel as though I am finally learning to walk: steadily and surely pressing on after Christ's example, striving for the upward call of God, pressing on though I have yet to attain. His glory is ever more pressing in my mind, and the urgency of the gospel and its great efficacy compel me to pursue those around me with a greater fire, even as my thoughts are kindled with praise to the Holy One, the Lamb of God.

May the grace and peace of our God and Father keep you through the power of Christ Jesus as the Holy Spirit indwells you richly, no matter what come!

- Chris


  1. I get the points!!!
    Reference to Inigo's line in The Princess Bride. :)

  2. Thanks for "summing" up. I'd have hated to see how long you would have gone if you fully explained. ;)

  3. Hummm ... so you're a family that keeps points! Fun!!!

    Chris, it's been fun to walk with you from afar, this journey you're on. I love where you are, this place of strength and confidence and peace. Awesome God!

  4. btw - like your new site and layout


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