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Not Prepared April 5, 2009

Posted by Justin Farr in Ramblings, The Journey.
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I’m laying here in bed. It’s 77 degrees outside, and the warm breeze is pouring in through my open windows. I can’t do anything but ask myself… something. The question is too big to put into a few words. A sentence. It’s not something that can be condensed. You can’t point to it and say, “Yes. There’s the question. Now, can someone answer it for me?” Life doesn’t work like that.

I don’t want to be 18. I don’t want to graduate. I don’t want my friends dispersing across the country. I don’t want my life to drastically do a 180. I don’t want a finger that will forever feel incomplete without a ring. I don’t want to sleep with my dog at night because I’m afraid that no one else will ever be there. I don’t want this. I don’t want to be driving, working, doing things on my own. I want to be a kid again, blonde hair ruffled by the winds as I run around and the sun caresses my face. I want to roll around on the grass, jump out of swings, catch lightning bugs in the evenings, be on the constant hunt for snakes, toads, bugs. I want to have this dainty view of the world, thinking that everything will be alright in the end, and that life isn’t so bad.

Why the hell is it that, for 18 years, you are raised by parents and family members and teachers, and they don’t teach you a damn thing? Sure, I can find the value of x. I can do my laundry and wash dishes. I can change my oil. I know what a noun is, and where other grammar parts go in a sentence. I can drive. I can be polite at the dinner table, and I can make conversation. All of that means nothing. Why aren’t we educated with something that matters? Why do you have to suddenly wake up one morning, unprepared by all the adults in your life, to realize that you don’t know anything, and that life is nothing like what you’ve been raised to believe? And you say to yourself, “Wait a second. Hold up. Stop the train. What the hell happened?” When you ask yourself where your life went. Ask yourself, “Where did it all go?” When you wonder why things aren’t turning out the way you planned. When you wonder why life hurts so much, and why is it that things can’t just… be alright? And you wonder, “Why wasn’t I taught how to cope with all of this? Why wasn’t I taught something that was actually worth learning?”

I’m not prepared for this. Any of this. This sudden rush of change that is hitting me like a wave and forcing me under, praying for air to save me from dying. Or a hand to pull me out…

But then… Then, there’s the times when you have fun. You dance with friends, and you are merry. You never want it to end. It’s fun. It’s liberating. You want it to last forever. To dance on into the night. Then it’s over, and you back to life. Which is fine, you’re told. “You’ll have other experiences like this. Other fun times. You have your whole life ahead of you to be happy,” they say. Which is true, unless God is calling you elsewhere.

When I don’t feel like I am drowning, when I don’t feel angry at everyone who has failed to prepare me for the reality of life, I am having fun and enjoying life. I don’t WANT to sacrifice myself, my happiness, and my freedom. I don’t want to sacrifice myself for God and for the rest of the world, so I can live a life of prayer. I mean, I do, but all too often I don’t. I don’t want to die. I don’t want to sacrifice myself. That’s such CRAP.

I don’t even… know. I’m not prepared for any of this. For growing up, for graduating, for starting a huge new chapter in my life, for being baptized in 6 days.

I’m not prepared for life.

Out of the Mouths of Babes March 8, 2009

Posted by Justin Farr in Ramblings, The Journey.
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This morning I finally understood more fully what Christ meant when He said, “Be like little children.”

I reluctantly woke up this morning at 8AM. I go down the hall and likewise wake up my little sister, Daria, who is 3 (almost 4). She groggily opens her eyes to behold the light of day shining into her room, filtered through purple curtains. “I have a bad headache,” she says, and she crawls out of bed and heads to the bathroom. I then go to stir Mama, who is already awake. She says to not wake Daria up because she has been up with her all night; she had’nt been feeling well.

I told Mama that I already woke her up, so she instructs me to ask Daria how she feels.

“Daria, how do you feel?” I ask.

“I feel bad,” she pouts, and looks up at me with a frown and eyelids yearning to close again.

“You do? Do you want to go to church?”

“Ya! I wanna go to Sunday school!”

“But you don’t feel good,” I tell her.

“Jesus make me better in the morning,” she smiles, and goes to get panties out of her drawer.

A few weeks ago she was sick and prayed to Jesus before bed that He would make her feel better. The next morning she woke up feeling fine. She still remembers it, and went to church and Sunday school with utmost faith that Jesus would make her better.

She’s feeling better now… 🙂

I need to learn how to be more child-like. God help me, and to You we ascribe utmost glory! Amen!

God is Good March 6, 2009

Posted by Justin Farr in Ramblings, The Journey.
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God is good. Right?

I think I believe that. Sometimes – a lot of times – I don’t. I look up into the vast heavens on a chill winter’s night and feel so tiny and utterly… alone. Or the times where the world is moving, rapidly spinning onwards, and I’m just standing still, trying to will everything to stop with my feeble mind.

I hate change. What I do is I ignore it. I know it’s going to happen, but I ignore it. If I deny it, it won’t happen, right? But it always does. The day that that big change occurs, I try not to think about it. Then it happens, that final moment where you know that it is all so very real, and things change so suddenly, and then it hits you that this is reality.

Mama says that when I was little, I was the same way. I hated change, but then it would happen, and I’d eventually get over it and realize, “Hey, this isn’t so bad.”

That’s pretty much how it is now.

I am trying to see that God is good. He’s not out to get us, and He is good, and He works in mysterious ways.

The other day I went to take out the recycling. I was finishing up, and night had descended, when I spotted a small sort of shelter in the back near the woods and behind the recycle bins, and a raccoon was eating food from a bowl. I managed to get near to raccoon and just watched it for awhile. A woman then came up to put more food and water into the dishes. A couple of stray cats came up to eat, too. It turns out this woman has several “station” around the area to house and feed stray, feral cats.

This experience was incredibly uplifting. All I could think was, “Wow. God works through everyone in so many awesome ways.”

Great and Holy Lent started. I’ve been failing at things so miserably lately, but things have, surprisingly, gotten better since the onset of the Lenten season. The fasting I have grudgingly been doing has now become more wanted, and it has increased by closeness to God. If nothing else, I cross myself and talk to God more often. I’m beginning to get a better understand of what Christ Jesus said when He said something along the lines of, “This demon only comes out through prayer and fasting.”

God is good. I have to keep telling myself that. It baffles me sometimes why I can’t always see this truth. It’s like I’m at a gourmet feast eating candy, or playing a videogame while standing on the precipice of the Grand Canyon; I refuse to want what is good. I’m far too stubborn a person.

I hate change so much. Father Justin, my spiritual father, and his family are moving to Kansas City. I spent most of yesterday helping them load the truck and pack, as well as some of my other friends from church, until about 1AM. They should be on their way to Kansas City now…

Change hurts so much. I want to halt everything, struggle with all the strength I have and dig my heels into the ground to stop the earth from moving. Stop change. Stop it all. Make everything static, nothing changes. I hate it so much.

God has this funny way of teaching us lessons. We fight and kick and scream and bite to no avail. It happens. He wants us to learn something, and by golly, it’s going to be done. We can’t fight it. Why fight God, anyways? He knows what’s best, right? I’ve learned lessons before. Hard ones. I fought against it, but God kept throwing things my way to where it was unavoidable. Now He’s doing the same in regards to change, and it all connects so that it works for the salvation of everyone else involved, too. Everything is so providential. He’s God, after all. Truly, if we trust in Him, things turn out alright. To steal a line from a song my Nana sings, “Why worry when you can pray?” Worrying cannot add as single second to our lives. We don’t need to worry; God has it all under control.

It still hurts, though.

My spiritual father moved. My best friend has left me. I’m graduating soon. God is certainly trying to teach me a lesson about change; this is all happening so fast and so close together. I hate it. Everything is working out, but I still resist it with every fiber of my being.

Everything is changing.

And I’m powerless.

It was so hard looking into Fr. Justin’s empty living room after a long day of moving things into the truck. Just a few weeks ago I was at his house with his wife and kids and friends from church. We laughed and played games and sang songs and cried. Now that day is just echoing across the hollows of my memory. Yesterday, when I saw him and Mother Jodi last, is nothing but a memory now. I gave them hugs. I held them so tightly. I never wanted to let go. If I just held on strong enough, long enough, if my love was enough, they would stay.

But I had to let go. Leave. And cry.

At the opening of the Mary Tyler Moore show, she is walking down the meat aisle. She picks up a package of meat, checks the price, rolls her eyes, shrugs, and puts it into her cart.

Things in life happen for a reason, and everything is in God’s hands. I have to keep telling myself that. Repeat it over and over, like a mantra that reminds me that I’m alive. Real. That my existence is not without purpose. God isn’t like a clockmaker. He didn’t wind the world up and let it go, watching it from a distance. He is always at work in our lives. I don’t like the circumstance. Roll of the eyes. What can I do? Shrug. I put what I have into my cart and move on, crossing myself and praying, knowing that God is truly in our midst.

It’s one of those times in life that even a cigarette can’t remedy as it smoothly caresses your lungs with its loving sting. It’s one of those times when all you can say is, “Oh.” Because there isn’t really anything left to say.

Oh.

Fight or Flight September 13, 2008

Posted by Justin Farr in Ramblings.
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***This was during a period where I fell from God. Keep this in mind, even though this is a real instinct. :P***

I’ve experienced a very powerful instinct.

I was sitting lazily at my computer earlier tonight, minding my own business, when Daria, my three year old sister, lets out a scream. She’s a bit ghetto (we are trying to adopt), so I figured she had done something that needed a spanking. I come out of my room with nonchalance to see what had happened. But then… that’s no “I’m crying because I was spanked” scream. I enter panic mode and my heart beats faster as my feet carry my to the living room with haste.

Mom had Daria pinned down on the couch and David was hovering over her. My eyes go wide as mom barks out orders for me to retrieve cu-tips and a tissue. I run to the bathroom like I have never had any greater mission in my life. I hand her the supplied, see david with tweezers up Daria’s nose. I stand there twitching, not knowing how I can help, Daria screaming and crying. Then David pulls a huge wad of paper out of her nose. Apparently, she had stuck it up there.

With the crisis solve, I noticably relaxed, though my heart raced 5 minutes longer.

Never before have I experience such panic and desperation.

I had one goal: Help her, save her. Slaughter anyone who gets in my way.

I’ve never been so determined and goal oriented in my life. So this is what love does.

Interesting experience tonight, indeed.