My third roommate got home a few hours ago after being gone for the whole summer and so already I'm looking toward lots of movement, lots of activity. It's good and I'm excited for her to be back, for both the new dynamic and especially because I missed her. That said, another person around the house and all the students coming back and it's suddenly way more people-busy than it has been in months. I've spent the last two months meeting one-on-one with people and sending more emails/making more phone calls than I think I ever have in my life, but apart from meetings, most of that work has been alone at the table in my living room.
Last week before church, I drove a few miles farther south and planned to spend an hour or two on the beach just sitting and thinking in the quiet before the chaos of Sundays and the next months to come. It didn't actually work out like I thought since it ended up getting hotter earlier than I expected and I conked out and woke up sticky from the sun, so then I headed to a coffee shop and drank a hot chocolate, reading and thinking.
I was thinking this weekend how being alone here will probably be different than in Romania. Here, as much as I love hanging out with people and talking till all hours of the night, I could probably go all day without seeing anyone and not realize it. So at first I was thinking this will probably make the first part of living there (or probably more specifically when I move from Bucuresti to Pitesti) a little easier in that I don't need to have a ton of friends around me and do fine without it which will make the transition easier. I do want to be clear: I'm not a hermit, and I really do love and want to be around people. I just don't need to very much. But then it occurred to me that being alone here where I'm comfortable and do have community will be very different than being alone in a very foreign place. Just something I'm thinking about, though. Wondering what it will look like--maybe now is a good time to kick back into what's been this summer my Sunday-only, super social Sarawr mode.
Also, not related, but some verses, both of which have pretty neat/crazy stories I'll have to tell later about how I found them (or maybe I should say how they found me):
"Then the word of the LORD came to me: 'This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent away from this place to the land of the Babylonians. My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.'" Jeremiah 24:4-7. And then,
"This is what the LORD says: 'Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,' declares the LORD. 'They will return from the land of the enemy. So there is hope for your future,' declares the LORD. 'Your children will return to their own land.'" Jeremiah 31:16-17
I've been thinking and praying about the first one for a couple of weeks and then, bam!, today the second one. I know it's no accident or coincidence, and as I'm praying about what I'm supposed to understand from these, as there are a million possible interpretations and applications my mind jumps to, I realize that this summer has been full of God's promises. There is the promise that he will get me to Romania, and who knows when, but he will. There's the promise of good plans and provision for a whole lifetime and longer, and a reminder of who he is rather than what the details of next month will look like. And preparation, and a million other things, and then these verses, which I'm certain I'll be looking back on in thirty years in awe, telling stories about the good and mighty Lord.
Another thought about trying to understand Scripture: how do I go from saying 'how does this bit of Scripture fit into my life' to 'how do I submit my life to the authority of this bit of Scripture'? Any experience I've had with this has always been the observe-interpret-apply approach--and this has been incredibly helpful. But it occurred to me today that instead of being bogged down by introspection that perhaps it would be like worship in the same way that worship is freeing because it's not about me--and less limiting. Just thoughts though. This is for another blog. And until then--