between.

In a world that demands labels, identifications, and sides, it’s a nightmare to be stuck in between.  To not be “normal”, “average”, “white”, “straight”, “American” or “majority” is a constant struggle between two worlds.  I witness this uneasiness everyday working in a high school.  Students are constantly attempting to conform, change, shove, and push their way into the popular, smart, hip, skater, or emo group.  The labels high schoolers place on themselves and peers add pressure to ‘be’ and ‘act’ a certain way.  I especially see the struggle of my students with special needs as they try to make friends, and try to reach out to students who don’t understand why they look or act a certain way.  It seems as though they are seen as different from the start, and their struggle to “fit in” is so much harder than other students.  My heart breaks for them to know how much greater they are than they can even imagine.

I often reflect on my own life and what these labels mean and do to me now.  Life and it’s labels are given by society instead of the peers and colleagues around me.  The expansion of these labels have taught me a lot- mainly that I don’t belong.  Do we ever really belong?

I am a Christian, half Japanese, half American bisexual woman whose labels don’t describe who I am.  The complexity of a human being is fluid and much deeper than any label could describe.  I have felt caught in between many of these labels- it’s a pretty lonely place.

In particular I struggled with my “Christian” label and “bisexual” label.  When you think of what a “Christian” is, you think of a moral, conservative, creation believing, Bible thumper who has all the answers, right?  They are confident about where they’re going, what they believe and sometimes they seem to tell people they’re wrong if they don’t believe what they believe, right?

When it came to my sexuality, I had a picture that Christians were straight.  If they weren’t, they were celibate, that was expected and taught.  So, when I realized I was bi, I felt my “Christianity” was like oil and my sexuality was water.  They couldn’t and weren’t supposed to mix.  I couldn’t be both bi, and Christian.

Because I was told my number one identity was always supposed to be “Christian” (because I believe in Christ), I shoved my struggles with sexuality away.  I wrote it off thinking “I can’t think like that, that’s wrong”, and most of all sinful.

When I think about sin, I think about actions that pull you farther from who God is in a destructive manner, whether that’s destructive toward oneself, ones relationship with God, or ones relationship with others.  When I look back on my denial, ignoring, and bottling of my feelings towards the same sex, I realize how destructive it was towards not only myself and who I am, but also my relationship with Christ and how I relate to Him.  I felt shame, loneliness, uncomfortable, and stuck between two worlds.  When I began to come to terms with my sexuality, that’s when I felt a weight off my shoulders.  I felt God telling me it’s ok, the struggle is ok, and (most importantly) I am ok, the way I am, the way God created me.

The most dynamic, life-changing, view altering thing I’ve learned since coming out to myself and others is how great, deep, and expansive God’s love for us is.  No matter who we are, what we do, or how we hurt ourselves, His love is far deeper than we could ever imagine.  He has taught me how to love Him more deeply, and how to love others more deeply.  Even others who disagree with me.  I’ve realized Christians aren’t tied down to certain stereotypes, certain labels like I described before.  There are Christians who are liberal, independent, straight, gay, transgender, scientists who believe in evolution, smokers; Christians who drink, who aren’t sure, who don’t know everything, who don’t understand all of the universe, and most importantly who don’t know how God works all the time.  When Christ is involved, labels aren’t needed.  Christ is bigger than Christians in this world.  He’s greater than how we label ourselves, and if we go to church every week, or if we go to the biggest church in the country or the smallest.  He is bigger, his work is bigger, and his love for you is bigger.  He is not contained in a label- he’s not contained in a church, or a culture, or a specific bible passage.  He is so much bigger than all of those things.  I’ve found when I step beyond the labels, when I’m stuck in between the labels, although it’s deeply lonely sometimes, I’m able to grasp more fully an understanding of who I am in Christ- and nothing more.

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improvisation and suffering.

What have I accomplished today?  I woke up at 6am, warmed up my car that I’m afraid one day is just going to decide it can’t start, walked out the door at 6:40, went to Starbucks, drove to Buswell library to find out that it was locked, drove back to Starbucks and now it’s 7:30 and my class starts in an hour.  Instead of doing what I was hoping I would do (Aural Skills homework), I’m writing a blog post.  And I’m oddly ok with that.

I’m not sure where this post will lead, so I apologize if you read a post and hope to know the point before I start.  I don’t know the point of this post, therefore, you won’t know the point either.  Hopefully there is a point to it though.  As always, there has been a lot on my mind.  One, my senior recital is coming up in less than a week.  It’s made me think about my musicianship throughout these past 5 years.  For those of you who don’t know me, I play the cello.  I’ve been playing the cello for about 13 years.  I’ve realized that I came into college very well trained technically.  But my musicality was very lacking, which I think is a good place to be.  To have the techniques down on my instrument but be lacking in the musicality.  It’s better than lacking in technique but advanced in musicality, because technique will always hinder from the musicality.  That’s beside the point.

Since coming to college, my one major accomplishment performance-wise has been my ability to step away from the music and actually say something with the notes that have been written out for me.  The main way that I was able to accomplish this was through the ability to improvise.

I love the cello.  I love playing, performing, but most of all I love hearing the cello.  I love the instrument, and I know the instrument.  Improvising has allowed me to gain the confidence to be ok with playing something that may sound bad, and moving on from it.  When you improvise, not everything sounds good.  I would improvise with a pianist, and so most of the time it wouldn’t sound good.  I started out playing whole notes under the piano, but now I’ve been able to play moving notes and it becomes easier and easier to play off something that doesn’t sound good and making it seem like it was supposed to be that way.

Here are some links to improvised music that my friend Ryan and I recorded:

7.27.13d
8.4.13

Most of all improvising helped me to step away from the notes.  Prior to my improvising experiences, I was so caught up in getting the right notes that I couldn’t step away and find the line of the whole phrase.  Improvising gave me the freedom to say something with my instrument where prior, I couldn’t because I was focused on the details of a passage.  It would take me forever to read and learn a piece of music because I was so focused on the notes and all the details within that note (dynamics, articulation, etc.)  I’m going to be honest, I’ve only started practicing for my recital within the past month.  And even that practicing hasn’t been a lot.  This week, I’m planning on actually practicing a lot… which who knows if that’ll be a lot.  But the point is, I’ve learned new pieces much faster than I did before because of that ability to read through a piece of music the first time and understand the phrasing of it instead of just focusing on the notes.  Music and the way it is written makes sense, and when you understand why a composer wrote something a certain way, then you can easily understand where he/she is going with it.

Enough of the music jargon.  I’ve also been thinking about relationships and how God provides.  When you lose someone close to you, whether they pass away or they just drop out of your life, there is a grieving process that takes place.  I’ve been going through this and it’s been challenging in many ways.  I’m not going to go into details of what’s happened or who I’ve lost, but I miss them.  I’ve been in denial, I’ve been angry, I’ve tried to see what went wrong and questioned with what ifs, I’ve been depressed, and I’ve been anything but accepting of it.

I trust that the acceptance will come in time, but for now, I’m suffering the loss.  It’s been challenging to move on in my life and leave the past behind.  One thing I can say though, is God is good.  He has provided for me friends that have blessed me in so many ways.  I’m able to be myself now and I’m enjoying my life and where I’m at so much more.  Many of my friends have no idea what I’m suffering the loss of, but they have been supportive of me and loving of me as if I’ve known them my whole life.  I’ve felt very alone and isolated, but I’ve also felt more loved this past semester than I have in a long time.  God has been so good in providing me exactly what I need at exactly the right time that I needed it.

I am certain that God had this planned out in my life that I wouldn’t suffer alone.  I am also certain that he would not let you suffer alone either.  He has blessed me so much by his provision and by the body of Christ.  My view of the body of Christ and it’s purpose in this broken, lonely world has greatly expanded in the past 5 years.  God has shown me who he is and his presence in my life much more fully and I’m so thankful for God’s grace in showing me that.  Through the pain of loss, I know God is good.  That is the one truth I hold to, and everything else will fall to pieces around that.  I pray that in your suffering God will teach you that same thing, that he is good despite the pain.  I pray that truth will lead you through the rest of your life.

the questioning soul

Today’s small group was so good.  I shared my story and also felt like God was leading in our conversations today as well.  Our conversation led me to think about my relationship with Christ in a way that I haven’t thought about in awhile.  It made me question whether my relationship with Christ was real and whether he actually was working in my life even when it didn’t feel like it.

My faith was not my own until the summer after my seventh grade year.  That was when I realized I needed a restart; I needed to change. It was a breaking point in my life where I needed to either be following Christ, or I was going to be dead for the rest of my life.  God humbled me enough where I fell to my knees in complete and utter inability to continue with my life, unless his forgiveness and favor fell on me.  This was the beginning of my journey of walking with Christ.

I think my story is different than many Christians, especially those that I encounter at Wheaton.  Mostly because the people at Wheaton almost all have similar stories.  They mostly all grew up in Christian homes, which Christian parents, and their testimony extends practically back to when they were in the womb (not really, but you understand what I mean).

For Christians like this, I think it’s easy for them to find an ideal in their relationship with Christ and fixate on it.  It’s hard to be sitting in questions and not feeling God and his presence in your life.  It’s mainly hard because faith has always been innate in their nature.  The gospel has always made sense to them, and trusting and having faith in God has always been easy.

For me, questioning is easier.  I can’t say it’s super easy because it’s not, it’s still challenging.  But I think the uncomfortable feelings of questioning my faith come more naturally because I questioned God from the start.  The reason I am explaining this is because, as Christians, we feel the need to always know the answers and to always be comfortable with the “this is right, this is wrong”.  But the more I’m learning, the more I’m realizing that life isn’t about the easy neatly packaged answers.  Life is about the messy, frustrating, anger inducing questions that we can’t answer, and I don’t think God ever intended us to answer.

This is going to be a short entry (I’ve been very distracted tonight for multiple reasons).  But I want to challenge you to question.  I want you to challenge the idea that questioning isn’t a lack of faith, but rather a strengthening of faith.  I saw on my news feed this “Commitment+Doubt= Growth”.  That equation is exactly my point.  When we cling to Christ in our doubts and questions, that is when God can more fully show us who he is.  God uses our questions to prove his mercy and faithfulness to us everyday of our lives.  Maybe as Christians we should see questioning our faith as a way to grow and understand more fully who we are as humans and more fully who God is.

legacy.

I go to Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.  If you have not heard of it, it is an evangelical Christian liberal arts college with around 2,500 students in both undergrad and graduate school.  There are some special things about Wheaton though; it is not your average evangelical Christian college.  Jokingly, we call ourselves, “Wheaton: the Harvard of Christian schools”.  Yes, we are conceited and sinful.  Wheaton College is ranked nationally number 57 on US News’ best liberal arts colleges.  Wheaton places great value on the quality of education we are receiving.  Our professors push us to where we never thought we could go, and most Wheaton students excel beyond that push.  Not only are Wheaton’s academics highly valued, there is a long legacy of amazing, famous people who have graduated from Wheaton. This list includes Jim Elliot and his missionary crew, Todd Beamer, John Nelson, and many more.

One particular alumni was Billy Graham.  He has a huge, massive building named after him on campus, in some ways its a little obnoxious.  You should come see it.  Billy Graham was an evangelical preacher who led massive “crusades” leading people to Christ all over the world from 1947 to 2005 (although Billy Graham is apparently planning having one last crusade this November, just in case you were curious).  This weekend, Wheaton College is holding a conference to remember Billy Graham’s ministry.  Tonight, I had the blessing to sing at this conference, at a hymn sing, as a “crusade” choir member.

The hymn sing was structured like a crusade was (apparently, I really have no idea).  As I was singing in the choir, several things struck me.  First, about 95% of the audience was at least 70 years old.  Second, I was singing hymns I have never heard before, and if I have, the last time I sang them was when I was probably 5 years old (Although we did sing ‘I Love You Lord’ and it made me miss my CVCA class of 2009).

This morning Leighton Ford spoke in chapel.  Billy Graham had mentored Leighton for many years.  He spoke about the importance of mentors, how to be a mentor, and to make sure we thank them.  one significant thing hit me though. In chapel, behind me there was a student being especially obnoxious.  When Chaplain Kellogg introduced who Leighton Ford was, the student behind me asked “Who is Billy Graham?”  He honestly had no idea.  I was slightly appalled at the fact that he didn’t know but a thought in me lingered: his question was a legitimate question.

Tonight at the hymn sing, I realized I was right.  The student’s comment about Billy Graham was a real question. Billy Graham is dying on his death bed right now. Not in the public eye, and far from society (at least in comparison to how he was during his ministry). I realized tonight, I was singing songs I had no idea the tune of.  The way the leaders spoke tonight was weird.  They introduced every song, and the pianist would play while the worship leader spoke.  That doesn’t fly in contemporary churches today.  And that’s ok.  The world Billy Graham preached in was not our world.  His ministry may still be alive right now and working and doing great things, but his name will fade.  His name will soon be unknown completely.

Billy Graham’s ministry was incredible.  Everyone in the world knew who he was, his name spread through the nations.  At least this is the sense that I get when I hear about him.  But what is Billy Graham doing now?  He is turning 95 this year and he is slowly making his way to heaven.  I’m not saying Billy Graham’s Crusades were good or bad, but what will be left of his life ministry?  It will be nothing in 10 years.  The Christians Billy Graham led to Christ will soon be dead, and his name will become unknown.

This interested me because it reminded me what we live for.  Billy Graham devoted his life to Christ.  He began a ministry that led many people to Christ.  He preached the gospel radically to those who have never heard it and probably never wanted to hear it until they heard Billy Graham speak.  He was an incredible man.  But in comparison to everyone else, he’s going to die and so will his name.  Yes, it is etched into the Billy Graham Center and all over the Billy Graham Evangelical society, but will they remember Billy Graham?  The generation that grew up watching Billy Graham on TV will soon be dead.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I pray that God would use me like he used Billy Graham.  I’m ok if he doesn’t use me as radically and famously as him, but I pray that when I die, God will be remembered, not me.  My name, Emy Sukenaga, will soon be gone from the world.  No one will remember me, but I pray that people will know Christ because of me.  I pray my legacy on this earth is that I loved Christ with all my heart, and I loved his people because of His love for me.  Our life is but a breath.  But I pray God uses that breath to bring people to remember him and the legacy he left the world.

journey.

Studying at Wheaton has been a blessing for many reasons. I’ve met people here who are lifelong friends, I’ve been blessed by a community of believers that is both loving and God-fearing, I’ve built relationships that have both challenged me and taught me to love more. I have changed, grown, matured, and learned so much since I graduated from high school.

As a freshman, I was bombarded with a huge diverse group of people from all over the world. Each of us experienced the church, community, and life completely differently. We were thrown into community and willingly forced to build new relationships. I came to Wheaton thinking I knew what it meant to be a Christian, but I quickly realized my view of Christianity was very closed and compact. It was neatly packaged in a little box that clearly defined what was right and wrong.

As my freshman year became my senior year, I listened and heard ideas about different controversial subjects in the church, and it felt like someone was slowly taking apart the ideas and beliefs I had neatly packaged away. I heard different stories about peoples’ churches, families, different cultures, and tensions people lived in.  I realized that my growing up in a half Christian home and graduating from a small American Christian high school did not mean I had all the answers. My neatly packaged little box of Christian beliefs and doctrines could not be the only solutions. Slowly God was taking the box of beliefs I brought to Wheaton and unpacking it. As if telling me, yes this is the way you see this, but there is also this way to look at it as well. It made me uncomfortable, and it still makes me uncomfortable.

I like finite, simple answers. I like being certain of what is right and wrong. But the more I search, the more I am led back to faith and trust in God. Not all answers can be finite. God is an infinite being that cannot be grasped. Therefore my search and desire for a finite, simple answer to a question about an infinite God will be endless without faith or trust. That uncertainty makes me uncomfortable in a world that demands certainty and proof.

Today in my senior capstone class for music majors, I found my thinking open even more. A student in my class shared that his beliefs are closer to agnosticism than Christianity and that he wouldn’t consider himself a Christian. I’ll be honest, my mind was blown. How could he make it through 4 years at a Christian college especially Wheaton? But I was more shocked at my inner reaction to this clear declaration of his own personal beliefs. Despite the humility and vulnerability it must’ve taken for him to admit this to a circle of “strong” Christians, who were just saying humility is boldly proclaiming Jesus is the truth and there is no other way, I found I was immediately inclined to argue with him. How insensitive of me to not be able to hear him out. He is on a journey and I’ve met him in the middle of it. He’s going through life just like you and I. But there is a context for his beliefs.  How often do we have ears to hear that story? How often do we listen to people and hear where they are at and not just assume or put words in their mouth?

In chapel this morning, we read a prayer (located at the below :)) that said what we do here is never complete.  Every impact we make is only a seed planted, and a step along the pathway.  This prayer came to light in my senior capstone class, when I realized that everyone is in a different place.  At Wheaton, we assume that everyone else believes what we believe.  It is an underlying assumption about the Christian evangelical world.  But the truth is, we are all on a path, some of us are on a rough patch right now, some of us are on a path of clouds.  Nevertheless, we are all journeying through life together.

Being at Wheaton, I have questioned my faith more than I ever have before. I have witnessed suffering in many ways, seen the vices of organized church and religion, and felt the pain of people who are genuinely hurt by Christians. My walk with God since being at Wheaton has been anything but clarifying or filled with answers. My walk with God at Wheaton has been just that -a walk. God promises to never leave us or forsake us, His love covers our every sin, our every doubt. God is not a God who will tell you the answer to your every question, instead he will be with you, that is his promise. He is on this journey with you as long as you trust him and have faith. Living in the uncomfortability (is that a word?) and tension of knowing the truth, but not knowing the full truth has led me to have more faith and trust in him and the journey he has me on.  I pray that he will teach you to not boast about your own journey, or quickly condemn or argue, but rather teach you to listen fervently to the stories of the people around you and walk alongside them on their journey to finding Truth.
It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.

Prayer:

The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent
enterprise that is God’s work. Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of
saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.

No prayer fully expresses our faith.

No confession brings perfection.

No pastoral visit brings wholeness.

No program accomplishes the Church’s mission.

No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.

We plant the seeds that one day will grow.

We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.

We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.

This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.

It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an
opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master
builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.

We are prophets of a future not our own.

pressure.

I’m 22. Almost 23. I will be graduating from college sometime soon, Lord willing. When I graduate from college and move into the real world there are expectations that my parents, friends, and community have on me.

I go to Wheaton College. Although not a conservative Christian college by any means, Wheaton is still an evangelical Christian college. I’m watching as many of my friends are getting married. And it’s not just two of my friends. It’s definitely in the double digits. My Facebook news feed is lined with wedding pictures, engagement pictures, and new relationships being started. As wonderful and glorious this may be for many people, its rather distressing and scary for someone who has never been on a date before.  When I graduate, there is an expectation of making a career out of the education I have received.  In that career making, there is an expectation of money making as well. There are many facets of expectations we have on our lives and what we want to happen.

In our lovely American, evangelical Christian culture, you go to college, get married, start a career, have a family, continue in your career, retire, move to a nursing home, and then eventually die. All of those things are great, wonderful, and beautiful in their own way, but is that the only way to live our lives? Living our life around the expectations of this grand, happy, American life, put on us by ourselves and others?

I am inclined to believe that these expectations greatly effect the way we live our daily lives. I’m convicted that each day I wake up and each moment I do not surrender my day to God, I am living under the pressure of these expectations. If I do not surrender my day to God and his will, I am living for myself and my pleasure. Therefore, I am denying myself the opportunity to please God and bring him glory.

When I live in the expectations of society, I live under the pressure of the world and not under the peace of God. I believe that God has a plan for me, and I know God’s plans for me are far greater than my expectations or my own plans for my life. Therefore, I’m able to trust him when I surrender my day and each moment to him.

It sounds easy doesn’t it?  But how often do we actually live our lives like this? I know I don’t live this way very often at all. In fact, most of my day I am too busy to think about God or what he wants in my life. Most of the time I’m not even thinking about God because there are so many other things going on.  When I’m on Facebook and I see new relationships starting, wedding pictures, and engagement pictures, I wonder what’s wrong with me. Or why I’ve never been on a date. Or I wonder if I will ever get married. And my heart longs for it. This is mostly because of a fear of being alone and living my life by myself.  But what would it be like if I slowed my life down and brought my concerns and troubles to Christ in every moment in my life?  Is that even possible?

I pray that God would teach me how to live my every moment surrendering to him and his will for me. Even the moments where I feel left behind, alone, and forgotten by the rest of the world and my friends. I pray that God would give me eyes of discernment to know myself and how he’s made me. I pray that he makes his plan for me clear. I pray that as a church, we are able to live like this as well. I pray the church would not escalate the effect of expectations on people’s lives but instead point people to God and his will for them.

I also pray for you, as you read this. I pray that God would be relevant in your life. I pray that he would show you his plan for you. And I pray he would give you the patience to wait for what he has planned. I pray that you would have the strength to surrender your every moment, thought, movement to God. And most importantly, I pray you would have the strength to surrender the pressures you feel from society, culture, yourself, and the people around you to him.

still.

Psalm 107:25-31 ESV
For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea.  They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight;  they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits’ end.   Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.  He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.  Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.   Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!

Being at Wheaton is not the same as when I first came as a freshman. Although, it is similar. When I was a freshman, I knew no one. And I was constantly trying to find people to spend time with. I know people now, but I’m still desperately trying to find people to spend time with. It kinda stinks when people look at me and wonder what I’m still doing here. Or ask me if I’m a freshman. I usually politely respond “No, I’m a fifth year senior”, but in my head I’m thinking “No, ya dummy, I’ve been here longer than you have. Get over yourself.”  In a way, I feel like a freshman. I feel like I’m forced to meet people and create intentional community.  I feel pressure to share my life experiences with people and create friendships.  But, I feel out of place and naked without the security of my class roaming around.
Aside from my desperate attempt to be with people, there is another similarity between my fifth year and my freshman year at Wheaton. When I was a freshman, I drew near to God. He was my refuge, my safe place. I came to Wheaton because I felt led here by him. My freshman year, I searched for him in my loneliness, asked him for answers and direction, and talked to him constantly. Now, being alone and stressed, feeling like the work keeps piling up on me and not knowing how student teaching is going to work, I am desperately seeking him. Losing close, deep relationships has caused deep pain, seeing my class move on has caused me to question why I’m still here at Wheaton, and not having any consistent, steadfast friendships has spun my life upside down. It has forced me to realize that God is the only one who will be there for me no matter what. God will not move away from me, he will not leave me for someone else, he will not ignore my prayers or my desperate messages to him, he will not leave me in silence forever. He is my best friend, my consistency, steadfast rock of my life.
So to the stillness. Today God showed me his stillness. Before I went to Women’s Chorale rehearsal, I decided I was going to watch the sunset over at Northside Park. When I got there, I was going to work on aural skills while sitting on the dock, but I decided to take my Bible instead (probably a good life choice). As I sat, I literally just listened, and breathed. I read a little, I prayed, but mostly just sat.
Northside Park was pretty busy during the time I went. There was a marching band practicing in the distance, trains blowing their horns, cicadas buzzing away, kids yelling trying to hear their echo, I was even interrupted by a man with his child who decided to fish off the dock I was on. Usually I wouldn’t do this, but Leon (I believe that was his name… I couldn’t understand his English very well) and I had a little conversation.
Although there was noise all around me, Leon’s child making random babbling noises, the screaming kid trying to hear his echo, the ducks quacking away, etc. I was at peace. In those moments, I felt the stillness of the water. I could feel God’s stillness on my heart. I was there. On the dock. Watching the sunset and basking in God’s presence. I didn’t have a care in the world because I was in the presence of my Father in heaven.
I wish I lived my life like this. Noise happens all around us. There is no way to avoid it.  There are people talking to us, children screaming, music playing; all beautiful in their own way. I wouldn’t call the noise a distraction, because, it’s not like the noises were purposefully detracting my mind from God. I think it’s ok to engage the noise around us but making sure we keep our minds and focus on God and his stillness. So my question for myself is do I live listening to the stillness of the water? Do I focus my life basking in the presence of God or do I instead get too caught up in the noise around me?
My prayer is that God would teach me how to be. How to sit in his presence and enjoy his stillness, while life continues to move on around me. And in his stillness see the beauty in the noise around me. I pray that I would be focused on him and the stillness over the waters. I pray that God would continually still my heart to slow down and enjoy each moment of my day, whether I’m in class, studying with friends, sitting at a noisy park or alone trying to figure out what to do with my evening. I pray he would teach me to enjoy and love his stillness among the constant noise I’m living in.
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