I apologize to all of you who waited by your computers in vain last Wednesday for another blog post. I hope your fingers aren’t too sore from constantly refreshing the page and hoping that a new literary masterpiece would appear. And by all of you, I mean… mom.
Anyway, I am going to post my journal entries from my trip to Alaska… enjoy.
It’s our first morning in Alaska. This place us indescribable! It’s like standing inside of a postcard or something. I’m sitting on a bench next to Berner’s Bay surrounded by cascading snow-capped mountains. My ears are filled with the sound of the wind in the trees, the cries of eagles (yes, the bald kind) and the fluttering of hummingbirds at the feeders behind me. This place is like a storybook or something. They told us that there are actually whales and seals swimming around in the water here. I’m hoping to befriend a seal before I leave. And we saw a bear on our way in from the airport, so my hopes are high that I will soon befriend one of those as well. You know, like a Gentle Ben situation.
Anyway, we’re still trying to figure out exactly what our role will be here for the next week or so. We know that we are doing the programs for camp chapel services but other than that we don’t have a ton of specific direction. We met the staff and counselors last night at dinner. Well, kind of met. It was actually a little awkward. You know that feeling when you are on the outside of something and at first you kind of feel insecure about it but then that insecurity gets covered up by smug superiority. “I don’t want to be a part if your cool knit cap wearing, awesome beard growing, Alaskan wilderness surviving crew anyways…” Awww… Who am I kidding? Yes I do. I do want to sport cool knit caps, wear super tall rubber boots and grow awesome beards. I want to be accepted. But, I felt like I wasn’t and I could already feel the beginnings of resentment rooting itself into my heart. I think we retreat to judging others quickly in situations where we feel left out as a way of protecting ourselves. Of shielding our fragile self-images. No one can exclude you if you exclude them first, you know. But that junk leads you to loneliness and isolation and away from relationships of any value. It leads you to anger, bitterness and resentment and away from joy, satisfaction and contentment. It is sin. Sin, in one of it’s oldest and purest forms…pride.
Whoa! Seriously, two bald eagles just flew over my head. How inspiring is that. I just about broke into the national anthem.
Anyway, so I get up this morning, still with the lingering flavor of superiority and pride in my mouth, and read this in First Corinthians, chapter 4 “… that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? “ Ouch. There goes that smug superiority thing.
And then I read this in Tim Keller’s book Counterfeit Gods…
“I don’t believe the economic motive and the erotic motive account for everything that goes on in the world. It’s a lust… A longing to be inside, [which] takes many forms… You want… The delicious knowledge that just we four or five – we are the people who (really) know…. As long as you are governed by that desire you will never be satisfied. Until you conquer the fear of being an outsider, an outsider you will remain….“
– Quote from C.S. Lewis
And so, I know what I need to do. Well, I guess I already knew what I needed to do, I just really didn’t want to do it. Time to stop being arrogant and waiting around for others to welcome me and go pursue them instead. Isn’t that what Christ has done for me. It’s really absurd how many times I have to learn the same lessons over and over again. It’s pretty humbling. This one in particular makes me seem like a middle school girl or something. Quite embarrassing.