Rejuvenation

27 02 2006

This past weekend was the first one of relaxation this semester. I forgot the importance of time to recharge and relax. It was inspiring and it was preparatory for the coming week.It was the first time I had been to McConnell’s Mills. Saturday morning was cool, but it was sunny and the brisk air was invigorating. The walk to Hell’s Hollow was quiet, the creek in the background. There is great appreciation in being far away from everyone and everything, even if it’s only twenty minutes back to reality. It’s a gorgeous retreat and I had the chance to take some pictures, like the one at the top of this post.

The past few months have been void of a calm Saturday morning or a weekend that is free from the responsibility and obligation. The difference in the way you feel Sunday night and Monday morning is unbelievable. I sat down to the final exam I have to take before break and I felt relaxed and ready. Did I study this weekend? Yes, but it was not a consuming studying.

There are weekend full of work because of necessity, but it is unfortunate that those are the norm. We aren’t made for seven days of labor. I know that this comes as a major surprise to some of you, but we were made for a day of rest. We were made for a Sabbath.

The day of rest is a gift, given to us to recharge and rejuvenate. Not only that, it was given as a day of worship. I find that I often use Sunday as a day to catch up on things from the past week instead of using as a day of rest. I use the excuse that my ox is in a ditch and that it’s absolutely necessary. But is it really?

There are many arguments that the day of rest is an antiquated Old Testament doctrine that can be ignored. If you want to do that, I’m not going to stop you, but perhaps you should try honoring it for a few weeks. See what a difference it makes.

While at college, my time is not mine. I spend every waking minute being owned by someone, something, or some project. I look at my overwhelming calendar and feel like a slave. I have moved to two calendars: one for classes, lectures, and meetings and one for homework assignments, projects, and tests.

I want my weekends back. This weekend, it was my weekend. Sunday was a day of rest and worship. Saturday was a day of relaxation and fun.

Is it right to study on Sunday? Is it right to go to work on Sunday? Let me know what you think.





Is Islam A Religion Of Peace?

18 02 2006

Since September 11,2001, I have often heard that true Muslims are not terrorists and that those who truly follow the religion are peaceful. Many have proliferated this view, including the President of the United States, who addressing the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C., said, “Islam is peace.

My knowledge of the Islamic faith is limited. I am not a Muslim scholar, nor do I know very many Muslims. Those I know are all upstanding citizens of the United States. The fact that Islam may not be a peaceful religion may never have even crossed my mind again, but in the past week it has.

Today in Nigeria, 16 people were killed. Most of these were Christians. These Christians, some killed in churches, were murdered by violent rioters who were torching churches, shops, and vehicles. These rioters were Muslims. Why were they rioting? Because of Danish cartoons.

The protests around the world over these cartoons are ridiculous. Muslims are infuriated over these depictions of Mohammad that were published in the Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper. You can read the reasons behind all of that here, but I’m not going to recount it all for you.

Have you heard of Kanye West? Perhaps you caught him on the cover of Rolling Stone last month. I didn’t see any Christians burning KFC’s in Libya.

What kind of religion is so infuriated by cartoons that they start burning things and killing people? Where is the freedom of speech?

I understand that there is controversy over “hate speech” and “freedom of speech”. Personally, I would tend to error on the side of free speech. People should be able to print what they want, when they want. No matter who it offends, they should not be stopped. Do I think Kayne West was inappropriate by posing as Jesus Christ? Yes, I do. Do I think he had a right to do that and have Rolling Stone publish it? Absolutely.

Is Islam peaceful? I don’t really know. But ask those killed in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East over the past few weeks. I think they know the answer.

What do you think?





Why I Wake Up Early

3 02 2006

I wake up before my problems do. It is really that simple. I was asked why I got up early and I really had to think about it. But after I contemplated whether I really had a reason, I decided that it was it. I wake up before my problems do.

 

There has always been a battle between Early Risers (ER) and Night Owls (NO). They don’t understand each other. However, in my personal experience, the ER is much more respectful that the NO. The ER is always looked down upon for going to bed early and scoffed at for their pre-midnight bedtime. The ER often has trouble sleeping at night due to the noise of the NO and their inconsiderate attitude towards the ER who is in bed. You will also have the NO who finds it funny to wake up the ER for entertainment value. However, you don’t find the ER making noise when he awakens. You find the ER quietly going about his business. The ER does not get up to play music loudly or shout in the halls. The ER gets up early because his problems are still asleep.

 

I have an uncle who claims that there has never been a successful person who has gotten up past 6:30 AM. Now, I’m sure there is factual and scientific evidence to support this. But as an ER, I see this to be true by my own verification. Not that I myself am successful, but I see the people who are up and are at work early in the morning and I see them to be much more successful than those still in bed. I think it’s easy to see why the ER is more productive than the NO. When the ER gets to work, his problems are still asleep.

 

I get up around 6:30 AM. I am up at this time at minimum five days a week, but often six or seven. I have my morning scheduled. I wake up, go to the gym, shower, do devotions, and eat breakfast by 8:45 AM. I usually do some of my class readings at this time, too. I then go to either class or chapel and by 11:00 AM, I am most of the way through my classes for the day. By this point, the rest of the world is getting up. My problems are now awake. My cell phone starts to ring. My desk phone starts to ring. My inbox begins to fill up. Today, on a Friday, I received 20 emails that required attention. Only two of these came before 8:00 AM. Fortunately, Friday is the day that I receive the fewest emails. Yesterday, for example, I received 37 emails. None of these were before 8:00 AM.

 

Working in an office, I often went in early. It was amazing that I could accomplish more between 7:00 AM and 8:00 AM than I could between 10:00 AM and noon. There were others that were there even earlier than I. I know people who go into the office by 6:00 AM. Why are they there? So they can get something done before the phone starts ringing, the emails start coming, and the mail arrives.

 

I read this interesting article online. Doesn’t everyone want to become an Early Riser? I think so. I think every Night Owl wishes that they had the potential to rise up with vigor at the break of dawn. After you read that article, check out some of the other ones on that site. The guy who wrote it is into polyphasic sleeping now which is a new interest of mine.

 

I’m convinced that some day the rest of the world will catch on to the Early Riser. Until then, I’m going to enjoy the time that I have to myself from the time I wake up until lunch. I’ll let my problems sleep.

 








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