Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ah, Twizzlers.

Has anyone else ever eaten an entire bag of Twizzlers in one day? Or drank a can of Dr. Pepper (or R.C. Cola - nod to Neely) through a red licorice straw to stay awake when studying? Well, I have, and at last I have a little bit of backup. Psychology Today recommends Twizzlers as a stress-reducing snack! Yippee! Hand me a bag of red, chewy strips of yumminess!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Shadow of a mighty rock

Today I got out of work early, around 3 pm. It was a beautiful day - a high of 60 degrees, and I felt like a little exploring. I wasn't exactly sure where I would end up but I just started driving through Winter Park toward downtown. Near Rollins College I stumbled upon the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens, a place I had never been and never heard of. Perfect. One U-turn and I was there. They were closing up the indoor museum but said the grounds were free and didn't close at any certain time. The light was just perfect and I happened to have my little digital camera with me.

Have you ever had a "place" that you returned to again and again at certain times in your life? A little spot outdoors where it is peaceful and inspiring, and all your own? Well, maybe I have found a new one.

I have been feeling quite distant from God, not really able to pray, not motivated to even go to church. My dad is quite sick with stage 4 cancer, and I feel that I am watching him die before my very eyes. I find myself angry, bitter, sad, and confused much of the time.

Today I found a stone table to sit at near the lake. In view was a strange orange sculpture which I didn't like at first. But then I remembered that I have a thing for the color orange (ask me why sometime if you are curious) and noticed that the figure was dancing. It seemed hopeful to me, and as I sat down I felt like reading my Bible. Having been inspired by a sculpture of "The Risen Christ," in which there is basically a pile of rocks to symbolize the empty tomb, I read the story of the resurrection. Tears welled up in my eyes as I recalled the power that Jesus exerted over death, and remembered that one day all of this pain will be over. I then turned to the end of John 11, after Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. Jesus asks Mary if she believes He is who He says He is, and if he keeps his promises. She answers yes. I prayed a renewed prayer of belief. It didn't take my pain away, but it felt good to pray it.

Then I went and sat under a large sculpture of a crucifix. It was a powerful thing to sit on that bench, underneath the cross, and to accept forgiveness for my bitterness and pride at thinking I have any control over my life. More tears.

I hadn't planned on that time with the Lord. But it was real, and it was beautiful, and I feel more peaceful than I have in a long time. Last night was a sleepless night. Maybe tonight will be different.

I am reminded of the words to a favorite song I haven't heard in awhile:

Beneath the cross of Jesus, I fain would take my stand
A shadow of a mighty rock, within a weary land
A hope within the wilderness, a rest along the way
From the burning of the noontide heat and the burden of the day