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Reality Straight Ahead

Reality Straight Ahead

I snapped this picture leaving Wicked on our last night in New York.
I don’t particularly like it.

The mission/service work we did in NYC felt like a fantasy world.
That sounds strange. I mean, we were in Harlem and the south Bronx. We served people by informing them that they could be tested for free for HIV/AIDS. We got hot, sweaty, sore, and exhausted.

I think what felt fantastical was that my goals and duties were so clearly defined.
Goal: Love God by serving the people of New York.
Duties: Hand out cards, organize books
That’s it.
I was a part of a team focused single-mindedly on advancing God’s Kingdom by serving the people in New York City. This sounds like the great fantasies that enchant my imagination: The Pevensies and friends always work towards one goal (finding Aslan, helping Prince Caspian, seeking out the East, or saving Prince Rilian), and Frodo and Sam seek only to destroy the Ring in Mordor. Simple, direct, and extremely important.

As I came back home, I felt myself descending into the mad, busy, confusing world of Reality. I have DemiDec deadlines, a thesis to write, the GRE to prepare for, volunteering, graduate school to worry about, friends to contact, family to care for, and, of course, thinking way too much about boys and men and my future. I understand so little of what I should be focusing on, and I feel myself pulled in so many directions. What one goal should I be working towards when I have so many things to do?

I suppose it is exactly the same goal as in Narnia and New York.
Goal: Serve and love the King.

It’s the specific duties that are a little harder to figure out.

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Lay it Down

Tonight, as a study break, we sang, “Lay it Down.”

Almost the whole song consists of those same repeated words.
I lay it down.
I lay it down.
I lay it down,
at Your feet.
I lay it down.
I lay it down.
I lay it down,
at Your feet.

As we sang, I tried to mentally lay everything down. My finals. My friends. My thoughts about my schedule for move-out. My thoughts about boys. My thoughts about anything other than God.
I lay them down.
And then, *flit* *flit* *flit*, thoughts about things other than the Almighty God fly back into my brain.
I ask Him to help me lay them down.
And we do.
And then they flit back. And I ask Him to help me again.

I can’t say I ever succeeded in completely focusing on Him during the worship. One might blame it on too much caffeine and an over-crowded schedule, but we all know those are just excuses.

He did grant me a beautiful picture, though. Look at it with me.
I lay it down. We lay it down. The whole Church body. We stand in concentric circles around the throne of God, bathed in reds and golds and yellows. With every repeat of “I lay it down” in the song, we each lay something before the throne. Around and around and around it goes. I lay down more and more. Each saint beside me lays down more and more.
The whole church.
Before our King.
At His feet.
The whole communion of saints.
Laying everything down.

And oh, picture: What can God do with a whole Church laying everything down before Him?!

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