Of fear and faith.  

Posted by Artimus Jones

Soon I will be treking across the country and back again with my good friend and roomate, Mike, and possibly my brother, Joel. It will just be us and our required supplys in a car for three months or as long as the money holds out. I have dreamed of doing this for years and years, and now it is going to finally happen. I am captivated by the freedom in the idea. It feels so romantic to me to just go without any idea of what the next day, much less the next five min, will bring. I know we never really know, but we always have an idea based on routine. This trip however will have no routine to it, or a very minimal one. Adventure will be at every turn and on ever golden horizon.

There are still several months left before we can take off on this trip, we probably won't leave till late May and we still have logistics planning to do. It feels like it will never come time to leave but at the same time I know it will come upon us so fast that we won't be fully prepared for it. I love it.

The other day I was thinking about what this all will mean in some great depth and I scared myself. I WON'T KNOW WHAT TOMORROW HOLDS! I know, as I said before, that we never know for sure, but to realize that I will be leaving all I know and find comfort in kinda freaked me out. It is exciting and invigorating think I will have no control but for the present. It is also a very sobering and scary thing. I want to go deperately, and I am afraid to leave because of what it might mean.

When I came to that conclusion I realized something else. My journey with God is the same way. I know that God has enormous things planned for me. Things I cannot even fathom. Life changing moments. Joy and pain. Laughter and Tears. I desire to experience all this soo very much. I want to go on this God adventure so desperately and yet find myself afraid to leave.

For months I would lay in bed and ask God why I haven't experienced the closeness with God I have been yearning for. I wanted to know what was missing. I didn't understand why. I know I had felt that closeness in the past, but only ever for fleeting moments. Now I know that all that time God was calling me to leave on a spiritual trek with Him and I heard the call but wasn't leaving because I was afraid. I am still afraid, and I still haven't left. I don't know how to leave or how to abandon my fear.

See, though there are similarities in the two trips, there are also some important differences. I have spent so much time in this physical plain that I understand how to move and act in it. I have learned enough to know how to manipulate my physical surrounding to actually do something. I can actually overcome my fear by simply putting one foot in front of the other. I am not as familiar with the spiritual world to simply let go. Why am I not as familiar...? Its probably due to a lack of faith I suppose. No matter how much will you have, if you don't have the muscle to move on the physical plain then you can't move. Faith is the muscle of the spiritual world and I haven't exercised it enough.

God told us he would never give us more than we can bear when testing our faith. I believe that is true, but far to often I have not even tried to flex my faith against the tests before me. I have just let things consume me. Just like building muscle is work, so is building faith and I just haven't been doing it.

I may never be able to bench press a mountain physically, but with time I will be able to move one with faith.


Finding Words  

Posted by Artimus Jones

I am always seeking out those combinations of words that stir the heart deep inside and evoke and feeling that spreads out to every limb. I seek them out in my writing of lyrics and poetry and prose; and I seek them out for my everyday language.

It is in my design; I often stumble over my words when speaking from a very emotional level because I want to do more than just express what I am feeling. I want people to actually feel it. I try desperately to find the string of words that will, by some affect of magic, transform their understanding to full experience. It's not easy to do.

For the increasing need for instant information communication, we have abandoned the art of speech. The great orators of our time are all nearly several generations old. We have forgone thoughtful and eloquent tongues for the atrocious abbreviations of the instant messaging world. Perhaps we have been sitting in the dull roars of our modern world for so long that we have forgotten the beauty of the spoken and sung words we were all gifted with. The backdrop sound has become so loud that shouting is the only way we can be heard and it has become nothing more than a whisper. I want to escape all this. I want to hear a whisper ring in my ears like a shout. I want to hear a shout that is so loud it makes the earth tremble. I want my ears to be filled every day with the beautiful sounds of silence so that the voice, when heard, conveys more emotion and beauty and life than I could ever contain pouring into me.

I will continue to seek out those words that radiate warmth from the center of ones soul out to the fingertips and emanate from the skin something like light. If all I ever find are words that evoke only a tenth of the power of the words God uttered when he spoke all creation into existence, they will still be greater and more beautiful than any words I have ever known before.