This is not a public journal. There is no theme, agenda, or overall purpose. I need a reason to write and it needs to be well informed. I consider myself an expert in only one subject, my own thoughts. I am reflecting my experiences onto the internet because this seems to make them more beautiful to me, especially when they are idealized and inaccurate. This is not a mirror for me to see myself looking back, nor is it a mirror that reflects a detailed image of myself to others. This page is but a jumble of letters, words, and ideas that will be interpreted differently for each person, including myself. There are no mirrors because these thoughts are directionless, inaccurate, and fuzzy; a vague, splotchy reflection of McKinley.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Don't Close Your Blinds

It comforts me to close the blinds. I am now in the library on a bright Saturday morning.

It looks like spring, though it feels like winter. As I took a walked outside across campus, a cold wind penetrated my thin sweater. It felt hopeful with most of the snow melted. That refreshing air of change. My hope for change is very premature, since it’s still January. When I arrived in the library I chose the brightest desk, right next to a window. The sunlight was so bright my computer lost a short battle with the sun to decide who was brighter. After breaking a sweat through the insulated window, inside a heated room protected from the cold wind, I closed the blinds. My eyes adjusted, my computer became visible, and little bits of light broke through the cracks in the blinds. My body relaxed and I began to work.

I couldn’t do it. Homework seemed so small compared to what I had just been through. The moment was too beautiful not to share. Bright sunlight and cold, fresh air. Loud music vibrating my ear drums. People walking calmly, at a Saturday’s pace, exchanging smiles. Then, arrival at my destination. A quiet desk where I could be alone. A place to record that short, optimistic glimpse of humanity. Hope in a time of renewal. Renewal in a time of weakness.

This isn’t the first time that a moment lifted me up in a time of need. It actually seems very common. It’s never the elaborate searches for “fun” that do it. It’s not typically well planned. Expectations seem to ruin meaningful experiences. Spontaneity is the only constant between my different experiences of renewal. A bit of our godliness shines through. This is a human only experience. Not just a chemical impulse but something deeper and much brighter. I felt like more than a busy use of resources. I saw hope, I was given light.

It’s the contrast that counts. Darkness, to light.

The most hopeful moments only come after hopelessness. The contrast brings the experience to life and makes it vivid. This morning’s sunlight followed a particularly dark time. Many cold, wintery nights alone, too busy to experience the day. It wasn’t dark because I was hopeless. It was dark because productivity was my focus.

An enlightening scripture comes to mind. “They who are not chosen have sinned a grievous sin, in that they are walking in darkness at noon-day.”

This is a reference to the verse that states “many are called but few are chosen.” Those that are not chosen are surrounded by light, yet choose to walk in darkness. I have done this all too often. I close the blinds, no matter how much light is on the other side.

Closing the blinds today in the library brought me comfort. It always does. The brighter the light, the better the blinds. Why do I let myself walk in darkness at noon-day? The consequences of hoping too much outweighs the cost of shutting the light out. What if I dream too far?

Though we are constantly reminded to keep our blinds closed and get our work done, a short glimpse of our godliness brings spontaneous hope. Renewal comes easily, even if the darkness has settled thickly, getting comfortable. The light is easy to contrast. There are moments where we allow ourselves to let all the light in, even if it’s too bright. These moments only happen when there aren’t any blinds to close, when light can flush out all desire to keep it away.

I was with a friend who had given me hope in many times of need. Times of self-doubt and times of darkness. As I was with him I stumbled upon a different verse.

“They shall give each other light in their times and in their seasons.”

I was given light today, it’s my time and my season. I have needed others for a renewal and hope, yet I often closed my blinds. I feel like I need to share this spontaneous light, please don’t close your blinds.

You are of God, your light comes from within. Hope doesn’t settle upon you, it is a unique part of your nature. Do not doubt your potential. Light is always within reach.

Renewal can happen in a number of ways. (1) Make an effort, open your blinds. If you don’t feel capable of opening them on your own (2) let another give you light, in their time and in their season. Though you may be in darkness, those around you have light to give. DO NOT allow yourself to walk in darkness at noon-day. (3) Even if that seems like too much to ask, you are still not lost. You will have a moment where you are alone, with no blinds to close. Whether you are walking to the library, talking to a friend, or on your knees; light will find its way out of you. Hope will overtake you as fast as that light can make its way through the open sky.