Monday, February 22, 2010

Two Sticks, Some String, and a Giant Box of Excitement

2-22-2010 (Time is flying by!)

About 4 or 5 years ago, around Christmas time, my brother, cousin, and I went to our beautiful and wonderful grandmother (whom I love and adore very much) and asked to be shown instructions on the curious art of knitting. I remember because it was my freshman year of high school and I was a strange kid back then. I returned home and I taught all my friends how to knit and we turned it into a hobby for young men and carried our needles with pride. We once spent 5 hours in a Denny’s. We would have even stayed longer, but they finally politely asked us to leave. I mention this because my friend Emily is a big knitter and she has gotten me back into the game. I forgot how much I enjoy messing with yarn and thread. I never was a big knitter and I can’t even claim to be one now. But, since I have decided to take a break from planning I need something to keep me occupied. I guess it’s like I’m trying to stop smoking. Anyways I sat and bonded with my borrowed pair of needles for quite some time today. I forgot how to finish it off so I am left with one long knitted piece that I am going to use as a belt/necktie/headband. It will be amazing. Emily was talking about how trippy it is that we can sit down with string and two sticks and make all kinds of crazy stuff. She is really good, she throws out mittens and hats and patterned cloths—this girl is creative! I just knit row by row to keep my fingers busy and my mind working. It is as we call it—“meditation in motion.” I know I am feeling especially peaceful today. After all, it was a good day.

There was no blog entry yesterday because I never made it home. We went to the girl’s place in the early afternoon and enjoyed the day eating their food, drinking their tea, and talking about all the things student missionaries have to talk about. By the time we realized the time and got ready to leave it was too late. Steven and I walked to the bus stop, but I knew that we had walked in vain. No buses were going to come. Our options were to either take the girls up on their previous offer to let us stay the night or to take a taxi. Steven and I both hate taxis and we don’t really feel like spending that kind of money on a taxi when we are trying to stretch out our $12.00 lunch money. So it was that we went back to their flat and crashed on their floor (Steven actually got Emily’s “bed” which happens to be a fold out chair). Life is good. We got up early (at least early for me) this morning and set out for home. We were home by 11:00am and I felt like I had the whole day ahead of me, after all, that is about the time I usually get up. Luckily, my private tutee cancelled and I got a little more time to mess around and relax. Today I played catch-up at work. I made quizzes and administered them while I frantically graded their assignments from last week, then we all graded the quizzes together. I plan on doing the same thing with my other levels tomorrow. Maybe that’s cheating, but I take some pride in my genius time management.

I was thinking a lot about God today, a lot about Jesus. Then I thought a lot about life. My baby cousin (he’s two years older than me) reminded me today that one decision can cause a domino effect on your entire life and change your future income, living location and conditions, spouse, and virtually everything. It makes me want to step lightly. I think life is a lot like knitting. God began with virtually nothing, maybe some string and a couple sticks, but with His creative power made a huge and wondrous quilt of life that we call home. My dad is quite the guy. He can look at a pile of dirt and see a brilliant house standing proud on the barren soil, a skill that I have always envied and admired. The neat thing is that I have seen him look at dirt, describe the house he sees, and then actually turn the thought into a real, solid, sturdy home. He always told me that he could do things like this because he was created in God’s image. God creates, and we are made in His image with the ability to create. So as I am twisting this string I am not making anything as cool as a house or really anything cool at all. I am simply keeping my fingers busy, but the truth is a funky little creation comes out. So when I think about life I think it is a lot like knitting. Most of the time we feel like we are just keeping our fingers busy, trying to keep pushing through, feeling worthless much of the time, and like what we’re making is not that special. Perhaps we don’t even know why we’re doing it but we cannot put the string down; we are addicted to life. I think it might all be very fuzzy now, but one day we are going to put down our needles and see this massive quilt that we have produced. A quilt soaked with the tears of our sufferings, stained with the blood evidencing our pain, radiating with the colors of our joy, and the wrinkles of our thrills. I can’t wait to see my quilt when it’s done, but if I don’t keep knitting, there never will be a quilt. So although this life is kind of scary and my existence is quite complex, I am going to pick up the needles of life and start twisting the yarn of experience. I want to make it, and make it I will.

I described to you a part of my day, but now I have to take the time to describe to you the most exciting part of my week. I was about ready to get in the shower this afternoon not too long after getting back home and I hear the phone ring. Steven picks it up and asks me if I am expecting a package from Robert. I said yes and Yelena screams that she has this huge box waiting in her apartment. I was not dressed and already had the water flowing so Steven offered to go down the street for me and pick up this package. I couldn’t imagine it was that big so I took my shower in great anticipation, but trying not to get my hopes too high. When I got out of the shower sure enough there was a giant box sitting my living room. I enjoyed the intense excitement that flowed through my veins and let the rush take me. As I opened the package I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was so much stuff! I got 4 pounds of fresh Starbucks coffee along with unending cookies, candies, crackers, and everything else American you could dream of. So tonight I owe a very special thank-you to Bob Christianson! A man that I don’t know incredibly well, but a man with a heart so big that he wanted to reach out to a random kid like me that is stranded on the other side of the world. I know my friends and my roommate will also be ecstatic as I share all these wonderful treasures. It made my day, brightened up my week, and is something that I will never forget. Thanks Cousin Bob!!

1 comment:

  1. I really liked this blog. One of your best. I especially liked the knitting parable.