Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hello Mountain Top! *Woops! Good Bye Mountain Top, Hello Valley...*

This morning I did a geography presentation on Middle (or Central) America with a great group of other students.  I think it went well, and our teacher seemed to really enjoy it.  Since our presentation realm included countries like Mexico, Costa Rica, etc, we had a bit of fun with it. A couple members of our group made awesome sombreros for us, another member made spiced hot chocolate and the yummiest baked, cinnamon tortilla chips, and I bought a bunch of different kinds of tropical fruits and veggies to share, including a coconut (yeah, neither a fruit or veggie, but you get the idea).  I had fun, and now I have a fridge full of exotic goodies. A win-win situation, I think.

Then I got my geography quiz back and I had gotten a 90% on it. This is such a blessing, considering my first quiz netted me  67% and an angina attack.  I mean, really. What was I thinking? Apparently nothing.  Actually, I am learning that in the same way that I don't do graphs well in macroeconomics, I also don't do maps well.  They confuse me.  I need lots of words on them to make any sense of them.  Hence the flashes of anxiety and gut-wrenching confusion when given a blank...yes, BLANK!!!...map and asked to name countries and stuff.  Really?  *sigh*

Anyway, so the 90% was lovely.  I left the school on a bit of a high, the teacher's praise for our presentation ringing in my ears and a successful test tucked into my school bag.

In the car on the way to the grocery store, I suddenly realized how tired I was. Exhausted.  And my throat was scratchy and sore. My body hurt.

Then on the way home from the grocery store, my car stalled.  While I was driving it.  Scared the willies out of me.  It started up again, but not before adrenaline flash flooded my body and left me wanting to fight off the dragons of expensive car repairs or flight my way into bed with the covers pulled securely over my head.

It amazes me how quickly I can go from cloud 9 to a face plant in the mud.

Alas, we don't remain on the mountain top forever. I am grateful for mountain top experiences, those wonderful moments of pleasure, success or happiness.  Mountain top experiences remind me that there is something wonderful, good and worth working or waiting for while traipsing through the valleys of life.  The valleys help me remember what life is about, how fragile it is, how important my people are, how much I have to learn, to grow, to be.  And it is in the valleys that we do our best growing.  Our hardest work.  Our most intense living.  It is where I, as a disciple of Jesus, best learn to trust Him.  And, oddly enough, it is where I feel His love the most.  Think about it, a loved one's arms wrapped around us in a moment of accomplishment and success feels great.  A loved one's arms wrapped around us in a moment of abject failure, disappointment, or misery can be life to us. Love received in these moments means everything.

That's why we need to make the choice to love unconditionally.  I told someone once that I wanted him to love me when I am "bad".  He was offended  Apparently, the concept of grace - the undeserved love of God - hadn't reached him yet.  I was sad. But no matter.  When the God of the Universe offers His unconditional, eternal, overwhelmingly powerful and passionate love to me, even when I am screwing up, I can accept the worlds refusal to do it, too.  My goal in life is to walk so close to Jesus, that His life is in me, and His loves are my loves.  I want to love like He does.  And, to be honest, that happens in the valleys.

So...I'm going to drag my sore throat and achy body to bed and start working on the next history exam, on Thursday.  And the geography colonialism paper due on Tuesday.  And the...well, you get the picture.

Peace out.

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