There is something to be said about waking up before 8 AM every morning (or rather, getting woken up by the birds and squirrels squawking outside). At least I do not have to suffer the rude awakening by the garbage truck every Thursday morning, and when I get to work before the standard eight to five hours, I do not have to endure the pollution, either by noise, or by dust, of the ongoing construction enroute.
For the past two or three weeks, I have swum valiantly against the current of college whateverness of going to bed late and sleeping in. Forcing myself to go to bed between 10 PM and 11 PM, I have been able to wake naturally (by birds or whatnot) before the sun is all the way up. This mode of discipline has carried itself into other matters and is especially apparent in the regularity of my reading habits right before bed and in the early morning, which during the regular school-year, cannot last even a day. I’m beginning to think taking some time off was one of the best decisions I have made since entering college. (Actually, I was forced into it by financial circumstances, so really, it wasn’t much of a decision. Nevertheless, it has been a blessing.)
There’s a Stanford Daily Opinion article today discussing the merits of slowing down. Perhaps it’s a lesson almost all of us here at the Farm need to learn, and not only us, but those who also considered at one point or another of becoming the future us.
In other news, I received a helpful link concerning the proper Christian reaction to natural disasters. What I would like to add to Point 4 is that the recent calamities in Myanmar and China ought to humble us (I read this somewhere too, but I forgot where). Here’s a relevant passage from the Bible.
1Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:1 – 5, NIV)
This passage shows the urgency regarding the need to repent. Often, people think on terms of rewards and punishments. In the time of Jesus, people associated blessings with a better standing before God and punishments with sin. While it’s not false that God punishes the wicked, the assumption was that some people weren’t wicked. People believed that they could achieve a better standing by doing good works, so when something bad happened to others, they believed it was because the others were “worse sinners.” Jesus shattered that notion. In God’s eyes, everyone was deserving of punishment and death. Yes, even we, who live in this “Christian country.” We are deserving of death because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And that is why Jesus says that unless we repent, we are no better off than those who die in accidents or disasters. Eternal death is so much more significant than physical death.