Thursday, April 30, 2009

four up, four down.

"literally -- nothing is the same."
-- elliot foley
oh gosh.
it's been a while since i've posted anything here. i know some people have been thinking "what the heck greg -- at the beginning of the semester you were posting about dorm room Horse games and now you're not even posting about ten day or 5 day trips!" to which i have 2 responses:
1) that Horse shot was literally the most dramatic moment of the semester, and will forever be engrained in my memory. so lay off. :).
2) there is no way i can do ten day or 5 day justice on this blog.
i can't wait to sit down with everyone someday and share the stories and lessons that i have accumulated during my time here. but for now, leaving you wondering will have to do.
the last 2 weeks has been intense. finals have come and gone, frisbee season is over, and everyone here is just about all packed up. pretty much every conversation you have with people is about moving on -- how are you feeling about going home? what are you doing over the summer? are you excited to see your family again?
my reply is always the same: i'm going to take 2 weeks to just figure out life again. and usually the person will look at me quizzically and ask something like, "what do you mean?". and the answer, like i've heard elliot say over and over, is that nothing is the same anymore.
the way i view people.
the way i view the Church.
the way i view my friendships.
the way i view Love.
the way i view myself.
it's just all so dang different. and i know that a month from now Austria will be but a strange dream of the past to me, and i will be all settled in back home again and whatnot. the challenge for me is to actualize, to integrate, to make truly real all of the things i learned here.
it's also been made apparent to me that everything i've been given is not just for me. the joy, hope, and lessons learned are to be shared.
a year ago i was sitting in my room (207), talking with Josh Wattenbarger about my year ahead. i was looking ahead at WYD australia in july and these 4 months in europe. "i have the craziest year of my life ahead of me" i remember telling him. if i had only known at that moment the joy i would be experiencing right now, i think i would have keeled over. it's like a four month retreat high. but these memories will never, ever fade. the people i've met will never cease to have an impact on me. the love i've experienced will continue to shape my actions.
Austria is over. Half of college is over. I'm twenty in just over two months. just typing this is surreal.
Praise God for His countless blessings and unending love. He has set my road straight before me for four months, He has kicked down every wall i've butted into -- and now He's waiting for me at the end of the tunnel, waving an American flag and welcoming me home.
that's a strange thought.

Monday, April 13, 2009

understanding not needed for standing upright.

do you think they understood? like, really, really, really understood?

picture peter, just hanging out, still trying to figure out if he had just wasted three years of his life or not. mary bursts into his room and starts babbling about an empty tomb and an angel. Jesus is alive again. He's waiting for you.

Peter sprints to the tomb and sees the evidence. and this is where my question comes up again: do you think he understood?

did he understand that thousands of years of humanity had been groaning for this day? that billions of people were not fortunate enough to have the Resurrection ever preached to them? that he would be the foundation of a new creation? that in a few hundred years the whole world would venerate this moment?

heck, do i even understand it today? 2000 years later? because when i lift my hands and say unto God that i love him for his sacrifice and thank him for his love, i certainly feel like i understand. but when i use those same hands to continue the trend of evil, i find myself wondering: do i really understand?

all i can say with certainty is that i understand this much: an empty tomb brought Meaning to a previously empty hearted world. and an empty tomb has brought meaning to my previously empty heart.

and for that, i'll continue to sing, knowing i will never completely understand it.

Easter Monday
April 13, 2009.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

nothing i wanted, everything i needed.

really brief:

ten day was nothing like we planned it, but exactly what we all needed. hopefully i'll post something here about it before we leave for Easter 5day break of wed. night/thursday morn.