Thursday, January 24, 2008

giving up control

i am a huge control freak. by that i don't mean i try and control everyone elses lives, but my own.

i have a schedule.

i seem spontaneous, but only on my own accord. i'll change my schedule in an instant, but someone else changing it? oh no.

the thing is, all the time i talk about surrendering to God, and letting God control your life, and i usually think i do let him do that, but i really don't think i do at all. hm.
i love God, and i trust him, i think.

i think the true mark of faith is fully surrendering, but if i "have to" keep control, then i'm not really surrendering.

it's wierd, i'm thinking about freedom, and control, two very different things.

freedom is thought about as having nothing burdening you, and then it leads on to being able to do whatever you want, freedom from the weight of sin is another.

being able to do whatever you want is a point of control... so i would probably right now say my addiction to control is keeping me from being free, something i just realized is that i need to give up control in order to be free, that seems ironic.

give up control to have freedom.

that seems counterintuitive.

wanting control, is still wanting, not being free. holding on to for your not being free.

being free is having nothing holding you back, having no bonds with anything but God, and being who you were meant to be - sans sin.

control is actually working against freedom so long as it's in human hands.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sunday, January 13, 2008

alive, alive. alive!

but then they danced down the streets like dingledodies, and i shambled after as i've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people who are for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'awww!'

that kind of person makes me feel alive, and at the same time, convicted. those are the people we gravitate to, the ones who give us a purpose and let us know we are human.

what's different about them?

they are experiencing and embracing the moment. i could go all "existential" and talk about them finding purpose in every moment, but that's not what i want to say.

those people are the ones who shine like stars, the ones who shine. the other night i read a passage about a lamp, on a stand. the lamp doesn't move, it just shines and shines and shines. same goes with us, we're in this place right now, why not just shine?

Friday, January 11, 2008

i want to be free

i want to be free

i want to experience freedom.
not the no-more-rules-type fake freedom we all imagine when we're six - but a different kind.

the kind of freedom i'm talking about is freedom from my self.

freedom from my compulsions, insecurities, fears.

if i had no fear of being judged, if i wasn't afraid of what people would think, what would my life look like?

i would probably dance a lot more... spend a lot less time thinking about what i'm going to wear (yeah... i do spend a lot of time doing that, just ask chrystal)

if i weren't always trying to live within social constructs then maybe i might be who i really am.

its hard to explain.

society tells me that when i'm steaming milk to make a caramel macchiatto, it's not 'normal' to play frisbee while doing a handstand... but if i were free from what society tells me, then i probably would do just that.

what holds me back from calling the shed in my backyard a secret fort and inviting all my good friends over for secret meetings and then buying a dog (who in our mind is our guard wolf) named magnus, and then digging as far in to the ground as i can to find treasure? the fact that society calls 18-year-olds who do that crazy.

i want to be free of that. i don't like that at all.

i hear all the time "the only opinion that matters is god's"
but no one lives like that. no one lives as though that is true in their life.

i have never met someone who is free. someone who doesn't care what anyone thinks, and is willing to be completely free.

i said "willing to be completely free" because, i know it's a choice.

if i chose to stop caring completely i could experience freedom, but at the same time, i'm unwilling to choose to do that, because i'm so scared, and that fear traps me.

i want to be free.

i just haven't figured out how i'm going to do that.

how i'm going to be who i really am.

god's set me free, but i haven't experienced that freedom. sometimes when i dance as hard as i can, or wear a sailor's hat in my car, i feel a brief sort-of freedom, but then people's opinions start to matter, and i start to change my actions, and try to justify my actions with words and my taste of freedom is over.

i want to be free.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

new years

this year i've decided that i don't have a new years resolution, but i do have a goal.

i want to realize as much of life as possible.

emily gibbs after her death says:

"do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? - every, every minute?"

this after trying to go back and share her newfound zest for life with her family.

emily made me realize i'm just as ignorant as her family.

when i talk about life's beauty and 'realizing life' i'm talking about living in the moment; appreciating the moment - the sights, smells, food, colour, taste of everything in that moment.

the reason paintings, pictures and movies are so popular, is that they capture what it's like to exist at a given point in time.

why do we like them? -- they do what we don't. they capture, and so realize a moment in time. they let us realize life after we live it, much like we do when we reminisce.
when we reflect on our lives, we romanticize our experiences, and when we do that we finally realize and appreciate those minutes we failed to realize when we lived them.

there's a series of pictures my friend jeanette took of us on a bridge. to someone looking at those pictures all they are is jeanette on a misty bridge, and mitchell on a misty bridge. but to me, they're so much more:
jeanette and me went on a walk through downtown hamilton with the intent of capturing pictures of hamilton's beauty, but the day we chose was one of the coldest days i can remember. it was close to zero with high winds and freezing rain, we walked maybe two hours - me not wearing a coat and her telling me "mitch, wear your coat!". multiple times i borrowed her gloves because i couldn't stand the cold anymore, and then her batteries died, so each picture we took we had to turn the camera on and hope the camera would stay on long enough to take the picture, this bridge, we bought batteries just to take the pictures of us on the bridge. and then i had to make sure we were both on the right spot of the bridge so that it looked cool. then when i went to take the picture of jeanette on the bridge, i took it from multiple vantage points. so for me, each one of those pictures has a memory, a moment that's significant to me.

there's another picture that i just saw of me jumping on a trampoline with my friend, i hadn't seen that picture before, and it brought back all these memories of us hanging out going for hikes early in the morning, the smell of summer air. and then us anticipating our time at camp.

it's not about saying "oohhh that looks nice". when you look at a picture it's about realizing just how special that moment was: remembering how you felt, what it was like to be there, the friends you had and the times that you had.
it's about going back and living in those moments.

my goal this year, is to live in this moment, and realize life while i'm living it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


wonderful day.

spent it with family of sorts.

most of you know i haven't had the best luck with cars... five accidents, three transmissions or something like that in a car hasn't spent much time on the road, although i did 26000 km in less than a year, which is pretty impressive. all that is behind me - my new years resolution was to keep my car on the road, or something like that.

yesterday i got in my car at 4 am to go to work, and then i see a flash at my feet and hear my loud heater die down. that was a sickening moment. so i drove to work as usual, just with my gloves on.

everyone knows that when i really want to do something and there's an obstacle in my way, i'll do it anyway. that's how it was today:
i had planned on hanging out in newmarket today with chris and my friend becel (jordan). i was really looking forward to nothing was going to stop me - not even the -12 degree weather.
i get on the road to go to chris' house and my antifreeze starts freezing on my car window (just a bit discouraging) but i rough it out, and by the time i pick chris up my toes are numb... and we still have an hour to drive. we tough it out (and stop at a rest place to pee and warm our feet), finally we end up at jordan's and go inside. of course our plan from the start was to go toboganning so we went for about 10 minutes and got cold. we spent the rest of the day at the mall and in his basement watching camp dvds and looking for where's waldos - not for waldo himself, but for the book; there were none on the shelf.

one of the highlights of the day was when we pulled out of the driveway at about 530 (-15 outside) to go for dinner with a friend, and the car fogged up completely, we scrubbed and scraped but couldn't see for the life of us. we then go inside and hang out a bit longer, and make plans to hang out some more. his family was great, they fed us, and were fun to be around. then chris and me leave to face the cold dark roads of newmarket. we try a new plan - lighting candles on the dashboard to make more heat... it was lots of fun playing with the fire and fog, but they just made little circles of visibility, so we blow them out and appreciate the birthday-like smell and decide to "just drive". that was interesting. its snowing by this point, and we still have lots of fog, so as a result we get on the 400 north, and as we see a sign saying "20 km - Barrie" chris looks at me and says "oh no..."

our hearts sank, and i just about gave up. we pulled off at the next exit and sat in our car going "nooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" chris got out and cleaned the windshield and scraped off the frozen antifreeze while i called my mom to ask her to pray for us. chris got back in and we prayed again. we got back on the road and made sure to get on the 400 south.

a nicer moment was when a guy stopped beside us because he saw we were in trouble and offered help. i liked him very much.

then we started to go, and finally passed newmarket and started making progress. although our toes were very cold, chris was in my sleeping bag at this point shivering. he was awesome. never complained, just shook a lot. as trucks would drive by and splash muddy slush on our windows we would periodically pull off to clean the windshield by hand, until we mastered the spray and wipe technique, tough to explain, but it worked.

we then stopped at a rest stop to warm up. we got hot chocolates and wendys, and reflected on an amazing day.

when we got home we just smiled.

i can't imagine a better day.

i think my favourite moment was when chris said something around the lines of "isn't it great? we can see the cars in front of us!!!!!"

he really meant it. i was feeling the same way.