Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...



For whatever reason, I've been a little sentimental today. I guess it's because I can look back at around this time for the past couple years, and see a lot of bittersweet memories. Andrew and Brian left exactly two years and two years and one week ago, respectively. Jon and Amy left a little over a year ago...the 8th of August, I think. it just me, or is it strange that I actually remember these dates off the top of my head? *Shrug*. For the past couple of years, August/September has represented a lot of change, a lot of adjustment. When Andrew and Brian left, I didn't know how I was going to adjust; to have friends that close go so far away was a sore trial, but one that I'm grateful for. What I realized was that friendships of that nature and depth don't just end when faced with difficulties, they grow. I knew that before they left, of course, but to actually experience it was something else entirely. I was a very unwilling student for a long while, I must confess :)

I don't think I would have had anywhere near the same perspective when Jon and Amy left, had God not allowed me to go through it with Andrew and Brian. I can remember a New Year's Eve from a couple years ago. I drove up to the Field's Aiea home to chill with them and Amy's parents before I headed over to my cousin's in Kailua. I don't know if I told them I was coming or not before I actually got there, but I knew they wouldn't mind, and they didn't; it was one of those times that I'll never forget. We hung out, knowing that it'd be the last New Year's Eve together for a long while. And although I don't recall any details about being there that night, I know that it was very special. Sometimes memories are like that...the details fade away, but the richness of it lingers long after. Good friendships are like that, too...even though the details and circumstances will change and fade, the richness will be savored long after.

posted by Bolo | 5:12 PM
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Whew. This second week of school was a doozy. I had my other two classes Monday night and Tuesday afternoon: New Testament I and Theology I, three hours each. I got a bunch of reading for all four classes, but it's not so bad right now. The semester is shaping up to be very challenging :) Effective immediately, I'm interning for my church's youth ministry. It's actually a part of my Youth Ministry 101 class, but it's something I've been wanting to do anyway, so it's nice to get credit for it, you know? Along with that comes a change in my major, so I'll actually be signing up for my classes with a little purpose. Woot!

If there's one desire that I have for this semester, it's that I'd really be where I am. There's a lot of things I could potentially get involved in, and that's not a bad thing at all; I spent the majority of last semester keeping to myself for the most part, so as to become acclimated to the strange white creatures all around me. Already, I find that I'm actually being social this semester. Hush. Let me finish. And no smirking! Anyway, what I meant by that first sentence is that there's a tendency for me to just show up at something, and not really be present, or to have my head up my butt thinking about something else entirely. It's not right to those who are around me, and it's not right in God's eyes, either. It'll be an act of His grace if I'm able to accomplish this, because only He knows how deeply I can get stuck thinking about stuff. Yech. I think the key is to be rooted in Him...truly, deeply, fully rooted in Him. *Sigh*...easier said than done ;)

posted by Bolo | 10:59 AM
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Reason #243 why Boyce College rocks: Last night, we went to Lexington to go see Shane and Shane in concert. We made up somewhere around a quarter of the total body count in the sanctuary...sweet! Shane and Shane were pretty cool, too :)

posted by Bolo | 2:53 PM
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Reason #468 why Boyce College rocks: Last night, we had an impromptu prayer/worship session outside of Carver Hall for an hour and a half. I must say, God hasn't tasted so sweet in some time. Wow...thanks, Lord :)

posted by Bolo | 10:03 AM
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School has begun. It started this past Wednesday, with an 8:00 am class...Youth Ministry 101. I'll have that class at that time three days a week. Ouch. I've had Old Testament I as well, but my other two classes are on Monday and Tuesday, so I'll have to wait until tuesday to partake of their joys.

Yet another reason Hawai'i is better than anywhere else in the world: we don't have skunks. I'm not going into details, but let's just say I now know why their spray is so feared. Gah! Nevermind...I will go into details. The darn thing SPRAYED ME. I was biking home, and it was dark, and the little critter was crossing the road. I swerved to go in the other direction, but it turns around and tries to cut back to where it was coming from. The problem with that? I was already headed in that direction. I braked, but it had its back toward me, and it let fly the nasty liquid. AAARRRGGGHH! Not fun. Not fun at all. But hey...I'm alive, right? :)

posted by Bolo | 4:46 PM
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say what?

God, what would You say to me right now? Sitting here, knowing what I know, feeling what I feel, there's a blindness and numbness to me that I can't shake. Is there hope? Is there anything beyond this shame? My head tells me there is, but each time I look up toward You, I'm afraid to open my eyes; what will I see in Yours?

What would You do with me? Would You scold me, pointing out Your wrathful might? Would You turn away from me, saying not a word? Though I know it is not so, I can't help but want to crawl away and hide from You. But what use would hiding be? Where could I hide from You, where would Your love not pursue me? Nowhere...nowhere. Strangely, that is exactly where I seem to find myself: nowhere.

If I look to You, and find that I am losing myself, will You reach out and hold me fast? Will You remember the promises You've promised, the blessings I do not deserve? If I open my eyes and return Your gaze, will You scorn me for weeping? No, I know You won't; tears would not flow if You did not break my heart of stone. Hold me again, Father...

posted by Bolo | 7:09 PM
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Got a package from Andrew in the mail today...a couple of his CD's. Woohoo! I've heard most of the songs before, and some I've heard in their unfinished forms, but a couple were completely new to me. I knew they'd be good, I'm amazed at how beautifully God pours Himself out through Andrew. Listening to some of the songs, it's far too easy to forget that we're not both at home, maybe sitting in his living room, maybe sitting on some beach somewhere with Brian, just singing and playing, laughing and listening.

But I'm not at home right now, and neither is Andrew. He just left on Sunday to head back to school. When I was talking to Brian about it, I told him that even though Andrew is now situated geographically closer to me, he feels further away being that he's gone from home. Strange, isn't it? I'm not sure why I feel that way, either. Silly human. *Shrug*...

posted by Bolo | 6:47 PM
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It's a sad thing to speak to someone you love, someone you care deeply for, and hear not the tiniest whisper of hope in their voice. It seems like that state has gotten hold of a few people lately. It's a hard thing to hear, but even harder to bear. *Sigh*...

posted by Bolo | 3:57 PM
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Someone brought it to my attention that my previous post was...well...not nearly so clear as I would've hoped. So, consider this to be a bit of an explanation. What follows are several thoughts that may help to shed light onto the canvas of my muddled thoughts :)

First, I didn't mean to convey any irreverence whatsoever for God's word. When I read through scripture, I'm often tempted to ignore what's being said. Who would want to face up to their depravity or the sobering truth of 2 Timothy 3:12, without the hope of the cross and the promises of God's grace? The truths of scripture are indeed comforting, but before they comfort, they must first pierce us painfully. If we are not pierced, we will never truly realize how Christ Himself was pierced. Thus, when I spoke of the difference between God's view and my own, I was speaking of the ongoing struggle I find myself in: the struggle to let go and trust that scripture is Truth, and to revere it as such, despite the horrors I am shown. For if I never face the horrors, I will never see the beauties.

Second, that the reverence for scripture comes not only because it is true, but because it is Truth, and that God has chosen to reveal Himself through it. If God is infinite, then I would venture to say that to look into His word but shallowly is to know and experience God but shallowly, and if knowing and experiencing God (glorifying Him) is the most enjoyable thing we could ever possibly do, then why the heck am I reading my bible only out of guilt that I haven't had my "quiet time" today? That's the most lame-asinine *cough* excuse I could possibly give, and can only begin to imagine the lengths to which God is insulted. That's like a man telling his bride that he married her only because he felt "guilty". We should be approaching God because He is deserving of it, and because we are keenly aware that our desperate souls cannot possibly live without drinking deeply of the Living Water. Doing so out of guilt or duty makes us all the more wretched and sorely misguided, because we are totally missing the point of God's grace: unashamed enjoyment of Him, which is His glory manifest in our lives.

Third, no matter how fully I may plumb or traverse the deep truths of scripture, I will never ever be any closer to discerning the furthest dimensions of its depths than when I'd first begun. Why? If God has seen fit to reveal Himself through scripture, then part of what is to be revealed in scripture is His infinite love, grace, mercy, wrath, justice, kindness, wisdom, humility, majesty, short, His very nature, which is by definition, infinite. If I'm going to be experiencing God, He will forever be unfolding the wonders of His grace to me (Ephesians 2:7). Neato :)

posted by Bolo | 2:01 PM
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Deep Water

I've got this picture in my head, and it's been stuck there for a week or two now. I feel like I'm standing on the shore of some endless ocean. The ocean is God's truth: deep, powerful, mysterious, breathtaking. I like to stand on the shore, though, because on the shore I feel safe. On the shore, I feel I am not at the mercy of God; on the shore, I can stand on my own two feet.

I'll often wade into the shallow waters of God's truth from time to time. I do it once or twice a day, and call it my "quiet time". Sometimes, when I dare to go for a swim, I'm taken in by how incredible it all is. All sorts of wonderful things are found in God's truth: grace, holiness, wrath, love, forgiveness, righteousness, glory. But after I'm out there for a while, I'll say "enough!" and come back on to shore. On the shore, I can stand on my own two feet.

I'll boast to my friends about how well acquainted I am with God's truth; the truth of it is, God finds my acquaintence with His truth disturbingly lacking. The truth of it is, I like the shallow waters of His truth, where I can still stand on my own two feet, and where I can still say I'm getting into His word.

I think God's view is entirely different. His truth is vast and powerful, and it's only when He pulls me far from shore, where I can no longer stand on my own two feet, that I cry out to Him in desperation, finding myself sorely lacking in my ability to stay afloat in His truth. He never lets me drown, of course, as that's not His way. No, although I never drown, I find that in the deep waters of truth, I'm often brought to the realization that His truth is not a matter to brag about. It's a matter for us to be silent, and God to be loud. It's something that we are lost in and found in all at once. Deep, powerful, mysterious, breathtaking...

posted by Bolo | 6:34 PM
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It's *really* early right, before 9:00 am early. Oooohhhh...what I'd give for a good 'ol fashioned Ward Starbucks iced black eye right now...light ice, black. I used to love sitting outside at Ward, watching the early morning crazies walk in, sporting a hazy, desperate sort of look in their eyes. With some of 'em, I wouldn't have been surprised to see that they had put their clothes on in the wrong order...underwear on the outside...probably did it myself a time or two ;)

posted by Bolo | 9:34 AM
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It was on a Sunday. I remember that fact very clearly, because our church participated in a men's softball league, and our games were on Sunday afternoons. I caught a lot of heat from the other guys for having to sit out the game, but there was no way I was going to miss this one. I told her that she'd better realize just how much it meant if I was giving up a softball game in order to be there. Of course, I would have felt tremendously guilty if I hadn't been there, 'cause I'd already managed to get caught talking on the phone during the homecoming game. What's the big deal about that, you ask? Everyone talks on the phone during games, right? Well, I was talking while the homecoming court was being presented. Still, nothing horrible about that, right? Wrong. She was on the homecoming court. And she saw me talking on the phone. While *she* was being presented. Yeah, the decision to skip the softball game wasn't very difficult.

Being back there was very surreal. The sun was shining relentlessly in the late afternoon, and the humidity was enough to make my face shine with an angelic glow. Stop laughing...I know what you're thinking. Mom and dad spotted me, and we went to our seats. I felt rather important sitting there in the reserved section; mom told me it was just because everyone else didn't want to have to deal with the crowd, so the ticket fell to me. Ok, whatever makes 'em happy, right? We waited with the rest of the anxious throng, to which I felt some strange connection, if only because we were all at the collective mercy of Those Running The Program. I remembered what that felt like, even though it had been several years since I'd directly experienced the force of their influence. I could pick out Mr. So-and-so, and Mrs. Whatsherface. Oh, and Mr. Uehara...who could forget him? In my heyday, I'd done my best to drive all of 'em nuts; now, I had the sneaky feeling that they saw me in the crowd, and decided to make me wait even longer, so as to enact upon me some twisted (but delicious), long-awaited revenge.

Mom couldn't see her. I spotted her and said, "she's the one in the black with the funny hat on...can't you see her?" Mom only partially appreciated my help; they all wore black with funny hats. Seeing her there, it somehow erased all the turmoil and frustration of the years gone by. I remembered all the yelling, the crying, the door slamming and phone throwing. I remembered the things I'd said to her that I wished I hadn't; I remembered the things I hadn't, but wished I did. For some reason, after all the crap she'd put everyone through, all the stupid things she'd said and done, I found myself with a lump in my throat, and a desperate sort of pride in my chest. She was my baby sister, and she was graduating. So what if it almost didn't happen? She was up there, and that was all that mattered to me just then. That was what it was like to sit on the lawn at my old high school on that Sunday afternoon under the sticky sun, with friends and family being baked together into what seemed like one big sticky bun.

I thought about that afternoon for a long time after that. I still do. I thought about how proud of her I felt, and how much I love her, and whether she realizes it or not. I think about the ways she still holds people at arms length, and has a hard time loving and accepting love, especially from those who don't always know how to give it. I don't get mad at her, though; how could I? If ever I do, God reminds me that that's how I treat Him, and that He still finds Himself with a lump in His throat when I somehow break through and graduate from one stage of life to the next, no matter how ugly my grades are. And believe me, there've been some ugly ones ;)

Oh, our softball team managed to win without me playing third base. We would later go on to stomp through the loser's bracket and make it all the way to the finals. I didn't miss another game all season.

posted by Bolo | 3:04 PM
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Gollum, baby!

I don't know if any of you have seen these, but the official Lord of the Rings Movie Fanclub sends out magazines to its members that are, in my humble opinion, simply outstanding. The only way to get a hold of them is to join the fanclub, and back issues cost $30 a piece. Yowza! The latest one has Gollum on the cover...very, very beautiful shot. I've seen a lifesize cardboard standup available for sale, but I'd love to get my hands on a lifesize figure of him, or even a bust. That would be very cool :) Hey, they sell official replica's of Aragorn's pipe, so it's not just a pipe dream...*cough*. (Ok, ok, you can stop the groaning any time now...)


The bust does exist...but I'm not sure how much I like it...I'd rather have a Smeagol-type expression.

posted by Bolo | 3:07 PM
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