This past Thursday I had the chance to drive up to Grand Rapids and hang out with my sister and her best friend, who was visiting from Charlotte, North Carolina. I've been really looking forward to her visiting for two reasons. First, I have not seen her in so long and she is wonderful and secondly, we have been planning on going to the Grand Rapids Museum to see their new exhibit "Bodies Revealed." Wanting to be in the health care field, you would understand my excitement. We began our journey, touring through downtown Grand Rapids in the 1800's then upstairs to the Grand Rapids Furniture Company, meandering through different military firearms on the wall, and other interesting historical pieces of Grand Rapids. As we went through we posed for different pictures and laughed as walked through. Finally, we came to the newest attraction, "Bodies Revealed." We hand the lady our tickets and she informs us that there is no photography, no gum and anything else that might interfere with the safety of the exhibit. After we get the whole "spiel" we head into the exhibit. There are tv screens on the walls that give you an informative background about the exhibit and the purpose of the exhibit. As we are walking through the exhibit, we continue to be amazed at the mere complexity of the human body. My sister's friend turns to us and says, "Even after seeing and experiencing all of this, I do not understand how people do not believe that there is a God." The TV screens even told us at the beginning that there was so much we still did not know about the human body and that certain aspects could not be explained. Being in Health Care it is important for me to remember everything that I learn in my classes here at Hope, but it is also important to remember that not everything can be explained through science. My research methods prof, who is a paid scientist, understands that you cannot research something that is immeasurable. We cannot prove that there is no God or that there is no Heaven or Hell because these things are far more than we are. We cannot begin to understand the complexities in this universe without knowing that there is a God. There are 204 bones in the body, over 600 muscles (depending on the person), and about 20 of those muscles are used to smile. Can we really believe that it all just went "BOOM!" one day? Sure, sometimes miracles happen because of great medical care, a surgeon that saved a life. But, who gave him the talents, skills, and knowledge to save that life. A deep drive had to have been placed in that human being for a purpose. What about the firefighters and police officers and emergency workers that work around the clock to ensure our safety? Firefighters carry over fifty pounds of gear, not to mention running up and down stairs, prying entrances open, and carrying people. Who built firefighters to be able to handle that kind of endurance? Every person is built differently, each person thinks differently, every single person is unique. As humans, our mastery is to make things in mass. We make lots of the same kinds of clothes, we eat the same kinds of foods, we drive lots of similar cars, we build similar structures. God doesn't work like that. He molds and sculpts and paints each person like a canvas. No matter how many times he uses similar colors, he can never stroke in the exact same spot and in the exact same way, making each masterpiece unique. In my Cultural Heritage class we have been reading works from Ancient Greek philosophers. I came across this quote by Socrates, "True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us." I encourage each of you to go out this week, and look at the world around you, do not try to understand the complexities of life, simply bask in the pure joy that it was created for you.
I have recently realized how fast my life is really going. Coming into a new year creates new possibilities, new adventures, and new landmarks within my life. I have realized that these years are precious and with each day the future becomes reality. I think the older I get, the more I think about the future and what God has planned for me. I talk often with friends about our plans for the future. Kids? How many? Marriage? To whom? Career? What? Where do I wanna live? What friends are gonna be in my life when I get to these points? What do I really want to accomplish in my life? So many questions that are discussed but mainly left unanswered. I am almost 20 years old which means my future is right around the corner. I was talking with a friend of mine last night about our lives and how fast these years at Hope College have been already. We can hardly believe that in a few short months we will be Juniors! For us, it is crazy to think because we remember, like it was yesterday, walking through those open doors into a dorm that we would live in for the next year without our parents for the first time. I am constantly reminded how much change happens in my life. I am currently in a brand-spanking new semester with new classes, new faces and new experiences. I am waiting for the time to come shortly when one of my best friend's leaves for Spain for 3 months and my brother leaves for Texas for the Air Force. All of this happening in the same weekend! You can expect a sappy mess out of me that week for sure. Constantly changing, constantly moving. That's life, right? Or like the French say, "C'est la vie!" This semester is definitely going to be a challenge for me both physically and emotionally. I plan on relying on God's strength to get me through it all. With all of the business of my life and the constant worry about the future, I forget that all I have to do is give it to God. Let Him fill me and consume my life. He knows the path he has for me and I will choose to follow him even when the going gets rough, and for sure it will. My prayer for you all is that you choose to give it God when worry and doubt seem to be all-consuming. Change is destined to happen and with God, we can get through it together.
Grace & Peace,
"But I've learned the hard way that change is one of God's greatest gifts and one of his most useful tools. I've learned the hard way that change can push us, pull us, rebuke and remake us. It can show us who we've become, in the worst ways, and also in the best ways. I've learned that it's not something to run away from, as though we could, and I've learned that in many cases, change is not a function of life's cruelty but instead a function of God's graciousness...If you dig in and fight the changes, they will smash you to bits. They'll hold you under, drag you across the rough sand, scare and confuse you. But if you can find it within yourself, in the wildest of seasons, just for a moment, to trust in the goodness of God, who made it all and holds it all together, you'll find yourself drawn along to a whole new place, and there's truly nothing sweeter. Unclench your fists, unlock your knees and also the door to your heart, take a deep breath, and begin to swim. begin to let the waves do their work in you."