Sunday, September 23, 2007

Kinko's Days

They are called Kinko's days. The term was coined by Michelle Silvashy, one of the former InterVarsity staff workers at SSU.

What they are is this: a day in which you have one thing on your mind when you wake up, and one thing on your mind the entire day. It was Kinko's for Meche. She had to make copies. The day goes along and you proceed to do what needs to be done. At the end of the day, you lie in bed waiting for sleep to overcome you, and it hits like a ton of bricks: you realize that you have spent an entire day without reading your Bible, doing a devotional, or even praying. You realize that Kinko's was the only thing on your mind.

For me, it was my essay. An eight page essay analyzing the Gothic Hero. I woke up early, ate breakfast, and had great aspirations for the day. As time went on, I welcomed seemingly small interruptions from my outlining process. I talked with friends as they were on lunch break, I took a nap, I finished watching Season Two of The Office. As I slipped in between my covers around 1:30 AM, I realized that I had lived yet another "Kinko's day."

How do I do it? I find it so easy to go along with my day, have good conversation, serve my roommates, and yet spend an entire day without the slightest though of my Creator.

I know that God is here. I know that even in the midst of my forgetfulness and rebellion that He loves me as I am. He is my constant companion, whether or not I choose to acknowledge Him.

But as I thought upon my seemingly unfortunate situation, I rejoiced in the fact that the LORD still meets me as I am. Even though I wander day to day, He still holds the lamp unto my feet, He still is the light unto my path. I need not to worry with what is going on outside in the darkness; I need to keep my sights on Him.

So in a way, these sorts of days always are helpful to me. They keep me humble. They are a constant reminder of my wonderful Maker.

A Perfect Night for Shark Fishing

I was sitting at my kitchen table with two of my roommates and a friend Victor. Vic got a call from our friend Luke. After the normal greeting, I heard Victor say, "Hey man, are you going now?"

"Are they going shark fishing?!?! Let me talk to that boy!" I grabbed the phone from Victor and asked the same question of Luke. The answer was yes. All I had to do was grab a sweater, put on some shoes, and walk over to their dorm. Victor and I went along with Luke and our friend Ambrose. We loaded up the car with fishing poles and bait, and headed out to Tiberon.

My thoughts were running wild with scenes one would see in a National Geographic documentary: water sloshing onto a dock, a large shark thrashing wildly to rid itself of its captors. Somehow I kept thinking that sharks would also emit some sort of screaming noise as they were being dragged from their watery home. But these fantastical visions were not the only thing I was thinking about. A couple of days earlier I had mentioned to my friend Jeff how I wanted to go shark fishing with Luke, and he discouraged the idea. He told me sternly, "Tam, that is illegal." I later asked my father, and he said as long as you did it off a dock it was fine. I never did check with anyone of authority or see the rules in writing, I simply trusted the word of my father.

On the way there, the four of us were recounting our fishing history. We found that Victor and I have never caught a fish before. We drove out to the bay, and followed the windy roads down to a beach I had never been to before. There were no lights around us, so we had to use our cell phones to see the road. I saw that I had a text message from Jeff. It read something like this: "Shark fishing is illegal without a fishing licence." What a killjoy! I pushed these words to the back of my mind and focused on bating the hooks.

The bay was beautiful, and the sky was even better. We saw a few shooting stars. Lights from across the water reflected brightly and made wonderful scenery. We could see the Richmond Bridge all lit up, as well as San Quenton. You just had to forget that it was a prison you were looking at.

Well, we sat there for an hour and a half. Nothing. Not one nibble. We had driven forty-five minutes, braved the cold wind, and touched nasty dead fish all for nothing. We were cold and it was about 12:10 AM. We decided to head back.

The boys dropped me off at my house and I walked inside. A few minutes later I noticed I had a missed call from Jeff. I figured that he had called only six minutes earlier, it would be okay to call him back. When he picked up, he asked how it went. I told him that nothing happened, and he said, "Good. I'm glad nothing happened."
To tell the honest truth, I was too. For most of the time, my conscience was going crazy. We were shark fishing, for sure. But I wasn't 100% sure that it was illegal without a licence, not to mention the fact that we did enter a state beach after the hours of operation. How were we going to explain that one? "Oh sorry Park Ranger, I didn't know that if the gate was locked I couldn't just walk around?"

In essence, Jeff told me what I needed to hear that night. I was not living above reproach and setting an example for my peers. I was making unwise decisions and putting my desire for adventure above my desire to do what was right.
all in all, what I had though to be a perfect night for shark fishing turned out to be very different. It was a perfect night to be reminded of how I am to live.