” ‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.’ ”
Title credits to T.H. Huxley.
I do believe that we think too much as a society, but not about things worth thinking about. Today I slipped and fell on ice covered by sand as I alighted from the shuttle at Clark. I began asking myself why I deserved such a thing – and in front of so many people, too! I felt a fool, duped and stupid; but that is thinking too much, you see. I did nothing wrong, simply stepped in the spot that looked least icy. I was wrong. Again, last night Luke and I discussed how history might have been changed if everything was peaceful. Is it true that major technologies usually are a result of conflicts? We take these classes in philosophy, in literature, in recondite subjects that leave us with little to show. So we can philosophize – does that translate into action? Is it a bad thing for us to spend time on things that don’t translate into any practical purpose, or do these thoughtful encounters play an important role in shaping who we are, and through that result in influencing the action we do take? My goal has always been to pursue a career whose only substance is through symbols on a page which we have all agreed have certain meanings. But what if we couldn’t agree on what the word empathy means? Or any word: then the whole system falls apart because the theoretical expressions become meaningless.
Lately though I have been realizing what silly things we expect ourselves to be able to do. Hi, I’m Katie, and I’m a perfectionist; but in reality I am a hopelessly weak creature without God. Ian and I have not been getting along too well on account of a hat and my pernicious nature. This, too, emphasized how little I can do on my own. Of all things I desire peace in our marriage, yet of all things this isn’t a constant reality. Why? I think that in the end I will realize that for all I rely on God while alone, as soon as I talk with Ian my self-sufficient side kicks into full. That is where God’s promise comes into play: ” ‘My grace is sufficient for you, My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Cor. 12:9) Life is a constant continuum of admitting weakness, then grabbing back that admission, then slowly letting it go again; submitting daily to Christ is thus a necessity. That’s one reason we pray before we eat: it’s just a handy time to remember that we are frail, that without God’s provision for that food, our bodies would die. God’s sovereignty is manifested in every bite we eat.
News: cobwebs have been cleaned out of my Clark box today! I got no fewer than TWO pink slips; I assumed both were from Mom, since she’s sent me two packages that hadn’t arrived yet. Wrong. One was, and it contained some rather mystifying objects… I was happy to note that they padded everything with last Sunday’s cartoons, giving me a happy taste of home and the Seattle Times. Sweetest of all, they said they would pay for me to make a 30 minute phone call to London. The other package was from Ian via ThinkGeek and contained a note: “Dear Katie, happy 6 months of marriage. Love, Ian” And he sent me the flu! (It can also double for an enormous jelly-bean if I’m that desperate) Well, I have to confess that getting two such loving packages, my eyes started to water a little bit and my nose had to sniffle a tad more than its normal condition warranted. I wish I could give my family a big hug and say thank you so much; getting a bit of love in a package here at Clark, in what has become a cold and friendless place for me, warms my heart and makes my day instantly. Plus now I have a plush cuddly influenza microbe, and who wouldn’t want one of those?
Additionally, I encountered some irony in the fact that Clarkies talk about being so environmental, but a girl next to me here in the computer lab had a thing to print out, a two-sentence ad for the Vagina Monologues that had to be repeated numerous times. Instead of printing out several of the repetitive sentences on one page, she used a single page per set. One tiny corner was used, the rest to become waste paper. But then, maybe she isn’t one of those environmental activists that one constantly encounters here. We’ll assume so. Last year some activists marched around campus banging plastic gallon-drums with sticks to protest the war in Iraq. Yes, it’s taking action, but maybe a well-placed series of symbols on a page representing an idea and mailed to the right person would be more effective?
Ian’s off to Scotland for a nice weekend. It sounds like it will be a neat experience, and a good chance to get away from people for a while. He kindly called me and we talked for a while this afternoon; today has been a much better day than I thought it would be. Praise God!
– KF –
30 days until my husband.