I had a really weird dream involving Colton Dixon last night. I mean, it was really weird. We were on the set of American Idol taking a midterm and filling out Blue Books. Then he was unconscious so Guinevere (yes, from Arthurian legend) and I had to pull him up into some freakish tree house to protect him from a huge group of fans. Then we flashed to another scene in a court room where Colton was getting all choked up because he found out his father had emptied the family’s savings to support his music career, to help him achieve his dreams. It ended with a very emotional, very touching scene of everyone hugging and crying and someone making a corny joke about farms, pun intended.
This morning I was reminded of how insanely gruesome some of the scenes in the book of Revelation are. “And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.”
Yuck! Thankfully, “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his (God’s) blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” (Romans 5:9, ESV) This means that those who are saved don’t have to worry about experiencing God’s wrath. So all of that gruesome stuff I read about doesn’t apply to me. Thank goodness!
It is crazy though, reading Revelation and realizing that it’s all going to happen eventually. It’s like the greatest fantasy of all time, but it’s not a fantasy: it’s real. The hero is Christ. The villain is Satan. The prize is the world.
Today I ventured into Manhattan. If I was a local, I would say I ventured into the city. But alas, I am not a local; every part of New York City is THE city to me. So I went into Manhattan 🙂
It was a one-hour subway ride to the Whitney Museum, my point of destination, so I hopped on the G, transferring to the L. While I was on the L, I thought I had gotten on the wrong train. So I jumped off and, upon seeing that there was no option but to exit, I left the station and went up to ground level. I realized I was on east 14th street, which was not where I needed to be.
Well, I’m in Manhattan, aren’t I? I can’t be that far away from the museum. I’ll just start walking in the right direction.
Using my HopStop app on my iPod, I began walking in the direction of the Whitney. After about four blocks, I wondered how close I was. That’s when I realized I was 57 blocks away from where I needed to be. I looked around me, seeing that it was a beautiful day and thinking about all of the things I could see and experience in a matter of 57 blocks. I kept walking.
Throughout that total of 61 blocks, I saw a guy rollerblading while holding onto a taxi, as if it were part of his everyday routine. I also saw Grand Central Station, which I’ve been to before. I saw all sort of dogs, most of them small. One scene that sticks in my brain was a father teaching two kids how to skateboard. It was cool to watch.
61 blocks later, I arrived at the Whitney. When I entered the seven-story stone monstrosity, I was greeted by a simple room, the color scheme grey and plain. Thanks to my handy-dandy student ID, I didn’t have to pay to get in. I was given a ticket, but no one took it, so I just went through and, after getting lost on the elevators (I know, pathetic), which are ginormous (you could totally fit a bounce house in one of those things), I finally made it to the third floor to attend “Rituals of Rented Island.” I have to apologize; I think in my last post I said the name of the exhibition incorrectly. Yes, it was “Rituals of Rented Island.” The theme was psychodrama, which I had assumed because most of what my professor brought up in class or assigned for homework had something to do with psychosis, psychodrama, and psycho-dynamics.
It had occurred to me, upon entering the museum, that if I had taken the subway I would’ve arrived half an hour early for the exhibit. So, not only did I get some serious exercise and get to experience another part of New York, but I also arrived at just the right time. Thank You, Jesus! 😀
I made a point of staying at the exhibit for only as long as it took for me to finish my assignment, because a number of the “art” pieces were very provocative and kind of disturbing. I feel like such an uncultured simpleton whenever I go into certain museums, because half of the pieces I look at cause the question “How on earth was this good enough to be in a museum?” to run through my head. I feel like I should be insightful enough to derive some deeper meaning from four lines on a white canvas. Oh well.
When I came back through the main floor to exit, I saw a museum employee collected tickets. I hid my un-torn ticket and scooted out of the museum, hoping nobody would think I had sneaked in.
On the way back to campus, the subway was packed so I had to stand the whole time. This gave me a great opportunity to use my nonexistent snowboarding skills and ride the subway like I was boarding down a hill. It was a lot of fun, even though I stepped on people’s feet and received many strange looks. I know I’ve been riding the subway for nearly two months now, but it still feels like a roller coaster to me 😀
When I arrived on campus I grabbed a small dinner (fruit and cheese with crackers :D) and headed to my dorm to begin to finish up my homework for the weekend. I finally finished the Critical Thinking & Writing essay. I had to compare the Confessions and Go Tell it on the Mountain in the light of intertextuality. Both of the main characters of each story went through “spiritual journeys” before coming to a point of some sort of conversion. However, both characters felt absolutely condemned by the choice they had to make. Both John Grimes (Go Tell it on the Mountain) and Augustine (Confessions) felt like in order to be saved, they have to completely forsake all of the world, all of anything that’s not spiritual (this includes random thoughts of lizards, clarinets, and pears). But in both of their Bibles (the King James Version, which I think is what is used in Go Tell it on the Mountain, and the Catholic Bible), it says “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:17, ESV) So, given Augustine’s acclaimed extensive knowledge of Biblical truths and John Grimes’s constant exposition to church and the scriptures of God, why did neither of them read this? How was this overlooked?
No wonder people don’t want to be Christians: they think (it seems) it’s all about not having any fun, being serious all the time, and constantly having to go to church. But that’s not at all what it’s about. Christians have tons of fun! I mean, I’m going to PLAY TRAMPOLINE DODGE BALL tomorrow. I don’t know about you, but that’s fun. And because we’ve been set free by the truth of God, because we know we have eternal security and purpose, because we know we are loved unconditionally despite how messed up we are, we don’t have to be serious all the time. We don’t have to be afraid or worried. We don’t have to obey certain regulations so that we can work our way to heaven. We are loved. We go to church because that’s where other Christians are, that’s where we get to learn about the One who loves us so deeply. Why wouldn’t you want to go to church? 🙂
Being a Christian is awesome, but it’s definitely not the title of “Christian” that makes it so. When it comes right down to it, Christianity isn’t about Christians: Christianity is about God. The thing about John Grimes and Augustine’s internal conflict is that it was all about them; they were wondering what decision (conversion or the world) would benefit them the most. I understand this, but it’s not the right way to go about these things. You become a Christian because you realize that Someone who really shouldn’t love you, Someone who shouldn’t care about you, does. You become a Christian because Someone wants to rescue you, and you want to be around that Someone.
“What about those Christians who are hypocritical?”
Well, there’s nothing we can really do about that. Christians are still human. I’m not saying that saying one thing and blatantly doing another is right, but I am going to restate my point: Christianity isn’t about Christians, it’s about God. Just because the people representing Him are fickle and troublesome and biased doesn’t mean that God is the same way. Instead of listening to me babble on about Christians, why don’t you go look at God for yourself? I mean, there are plenty of Bible apps online; Bibles are sold in almost every bookstore. The truth is out there, so go find it.
It’ll set you free 🙂
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” —John 8:32, ESV
If you want to know who God is, and what He thinks about you, check these out:
Psalm 103, 136, 139
Jeremiah 1, 29