catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 10, Num 15 :: 2011.09.02 — 2011.09.15


Answers come like drizzled honey

I am of an uncertain age. In an uncertain time. A place where I don’t fit into the norm. Single. Mid to late 20s. No kids. No pet.

In general, I tend to deviate from the norm anyway. I have never been interested in following the crowd. But there are so many questions that float through my mind about what I should do and where I should go, and the answers come (if they come at all), slowly, like the honey I drizzle on my toast.

I was born into a community. My upbringing was steady, secure and surrounded by good people. Some may call that sheltered, but I was innocent and had a blessed childhood. I got to be a kid. I played outside for hours each day, riding bikes, tagging along with my brothers, or climbing trees. When inside, I would make up stories for my toys or, when I was older, write stories. It makes me so sad in this day to see kids grow up too fast. They don’t have the chance to play and create their own stories. They aren’t encouraged to pursue things they love. They are pushed in one direction and are exposed to worldly cares and experiences way too quickly.

Blessed as I was, the community in which I was raised was centered around the church. The whole family would go to youth group events. I sang in the youth choir (aptly named “Attitude Check”). My mom was very involved with the children’s ministry. My Dad maintained the church landscaping for something like 20 years. The people, the activities, the lessons all helped shape my early life by instilling in me the morals and beliefs of a Christian and what it meant to treat others the way you want to be treated. I learned that life is not about me, and that being kind and helpful to others could bring indescribable joy.

Community is a support system that surrounds you at all times. It is like a blanket of comfort but should also be the source of challenges that push you to be a better person. A healthy community should not be dormant, but alive and eagerly pursuing greatness for God. Each person brings unique gifts and talents that should be embraced and used to bring about good.

After college I decided to stay in this town, while my closest friends, one-by-one, moved away. My community was leaving me. I can’t say for certain why I felt the need to stay. Perhaps I will receive that answer when the honey drizzle ends. I do believe that God has purposes for each time of our lives. Perhaps I am supposed to use this time of independence to pursue my passions — a time to learn, gain wisdom, figure out what I truly want in life and develop into the person God wants me to be.

As my friends left town to pursue new ventures, I don’t think I fully realized the community I was losing. I went on smoothly through days of work and family times out of town. I didn’t mind having so much time alone. And then came the part where life takes a sharp turn and throws the whole world upside down. Losing my Dad was like having a light go out in my life, a light that had always been there, shining goodness onto everything I did.

Everything inside me changed. Community has come to mean something far more than just having people close by. Depth is what I look for. I didn’t always value the time spent with family and friends as much as I should have. Now I am eager to cherish all the little moments. Nothing special — just being together.  As Eugene Peterson writes, “I am interested in discerning the voice of God in the conversations that we engage in when we are not intentionally thinking ‘God.’”

As I emerged from the darkness of grief, I have become more open to meeting people and taking time to do things I never would have done before. I learned to let go of all the worries about life and live the adventure, wherever it takes me. Invite me on a trip and I will go without a second thought. I might invite you over to spend hours talking, laughing and sharing stories — just like my dad used to do.

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