Ending at the beginning.
After getting done with my last final and returning to my room, I opened up my iPod and looked at my Bible App’s Verse of The Day.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
Now, before you go off and say “Yeah ok, I know that verse. I’ve heard it a thousand times and have had it memorized since I was in diapers.”
Stop and imagine that you have never heard John 3:16 before, you have never heard about Jesus and yet you still know how utterly sinful you are.
Read it again.
"For God so Loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
There is a God that loves you. However, you will never see him because of all the “wrongs” you have done. Because of your separation from him, God gives his beloved son so that you will not be ruled by death; so that you will have life.
No matter who you are, God loves you but we can only have life through Jesus.
You have sin, you have problems, of course you do.
What you need to do now is believe that Jesus is the Messiah, The Savior. Believe that all you need to overcome all the death is his blood.
I’m thankful that on the last day of class for this school year The Lord has reminded me I am ending this year right where I began: a man that has been given life because of what Jesus has done.
That is the wisdom of God.
A couple nights ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and could not go back to sleep. Instead of just lying there, I decided to try and be productive at Four a.m. and began writing new scenes for my play. By the time it was Seven in the morning I had finished the last two scenes of the play and was looking at the complete first draft.
It was such an amazing feeling! I was so excited, and then I re-read the play.
It wasn’t bad, in fact a lot of it was pretty good to me. However, reading the work as a whole made me realize some problems with the story that I had not thought about before. After re-reading the play and taking a nap I decided that what I had was a very “rough” rough draft.
In a way, I think it will always be a rough draft. I have a feeling that I will never look on anything that I write as ever being “finished.” But that is “life” literally.
Sometimes we get so caught up looking at all of our problems and imperfections in life that we forget where we are coming from. Thank God that Jesus sees the whole picture, He sees us through the eyes of grace. In grace we are made complete.
Whenever you are reminded of the plot holes and grammar mistakes of your life give it to God. Remember that when Jesus died on the Cross He said “it is finished.” That means that whatever comes up, Jesus is bigger.
Through the Blood of Jesus Christ I am a Pulitzer Prize Winning Final Draft.
In a Flash.
It’s very easy to look at things as they seem and not as they truly are. Today is the first of May, I have been working hard getting everything ready for the One Act I am directing this weekend, I am stressing out because I have a number of Papers to write and I don’t seem to be extremely motivated.
If you read into what I just wrote a little deeper you will find the underlying meaning of my statements. The fact that it’s the first of May and I am directing this one act while procrastinating before doing some papers means that I am at a transitionary period. All of what is going on in my life at Sterling is essentially the last hurdle to jump over before moving into the summer.
It’s strange to think that this year is at its end, that I am already at this point in the semester. Maybe one day, I will be able to comprehend the transitions a little more. From my short Twenty One years of experience as a human being I am being to understand that life is a series of New beginnings, adjustments, homeostasis and then transitions.
I can feel it, the change; part of me knows that after this transition will come another new beginning. While I am coming back to Sterling next semester I feel as I finish these papers, One Acts and assorted obligations I will be jumping over into something new. It is true that life at Sterling will be a bit different for me being a Part-Time Student, searching for the next step in life and the arrival of a niece or nephew (my Sister and her Husband are expecting a baby).
I hope I’m ready, which is kind of a silly thing to hope for because in a way no one is ever ready for change and yet always ready. Weird, I know but thus is life on planet Earth.
So, here’s to enjoying the transition and landing into the new beginning.
It’s crazy to think that I’ll be going back to Central America soon. It seems like so much has happened in the two years since I left Nicaragua and I am very excited to share what God has done with the people of Guatemala! Please pray for my team as we prepare and also the other Sterling Teams going out around the world.
Lose and Gain.
"All Shane does for school is act all day."
This is a true quote from a seventh grade boy at a youth group Ministry Teams performed at a week ago. Of course to me, this boy’s statement was pretty funny because I know the many papers that I still need to write before the end of the semester and all the other homework; sometimes I wish all I needed to do was act all day. I do understand, however, this boy’s perception of what a Theatre Major does; it’s not too different from other people’s perception. I may know what really goes on in the Theatre Department I can honestly say that Theatre Classes are a little more interesting than others.
I have a class called Survey of Contemporary and Modern Drama; this class is focused on modern pieces of Drama and requires a lot of play analysis and then discussion. A group of fifteen dramatic and opinionated Theatre Majors mixed in with about six English majors all asked to share there opinions on Plays and Themes within Drama, needless to say the discussions can be pretty interesting. And while there are many times us theatre majors are able to push each others buttons, I feel very blessed to be able to spend so much time with this group of people.
It’s just so easy to take for granted the people I have around me and the opportunities that being at Sterling gives me. It’s amazing to think that not only am I allowed to be involved with performing but I have also been given the opportunity to write for the stage as well. In fact, my play “The Doorway to The Shine” is scheduled to be produced and staged next semester!
Soon, I won’t be at Sterling; I won’t have the community or same opportunities I do now. It’s hard to comprehend and also a little frightening, I just hope that I can appreciate what I have here while I have it. So, I may not know exactly what’s going to happen after I’m done here. I don’t know if I will be able to support myself through acting or writing; I honestly don’t know much of anything. However, I do know that even if I utterly fail at life after Graduation it won’t change anything. I could be the worst playwright or actor ever but I would still be loved just the same by God. I could be a total joke and have absolutely nothing of value to offer society and no friends but my Father will still be my Father.
It’s comforting to know that God’s love for me is not dependent on my own strength.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you…"
1 Peter 1: 3-4
One day, I will lose this College but I will never lose what I’ve learned at this college; and that’s the grace of God.
The Glass Menagerie.
You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.
Many of us have heard our parents or teachers tell us that statement at some point in our upbringing; and while the statement may sound a bit cliche it is such an important lesson. The truth is what you want to happen is simply just not how things work out a lot of the time.
So there I was this past December looking at the newly posted cast list for “The Glass Menagerie” and in desperate need for someone older and wiser to look me in the eyes and say those hard to swallow but oh so important words.
I was mad, I didn’t get the part I wanted. Boo Hoo yeah I know. Poor Shane didn’t get the part he wanted at the School where he gets the opportunity to not only further his education but also be involved with an artistic process that he loves. Essentially, I wasn’t starting the process of this show on a very good footing; but along the way something changed.
Last night, after the final evening performance for “The Glass Menagerie” and in my opinion our best run through of the show I finally decided that I would not have wanted this process to go differently than how it has gone. I’ve learned so much through this experience, been able to grow as an actor and be a part of something that I really love.
I didn’t get what I wanted, but I got what I needed: a chance to create on the stage.
That’s priceless, that’s theatre.
Not too long ago Sterling looked a lot like the Planet Hoth From Star Wars; we even had two days out of school! This is a picture of a group of us that braved the snow to frolic around the Football Field! Strangely enough, today the temperature got to around Seventy degrees so I’ve had the best of both worlds in a short amount of time.
Where’s my Ton Ton?
Enter into the Interterm.
Sterling College is a very unique place.
We have strange customs with shoes, doors, ring “ceremonies,” and now the weird tradition of “The Interterm.” For those of you that don’t know, Interterm is a condensed semester between the Fall and Spring Semesters. Students can take up to four credits and go to a three and a half hour class everyday for about three weeks.
In a way, Interterm is like a practice run for students before the “full” spring semester begins. Every one of my friends that go to some other college respond to the idea of Interterm with the same quizzical eyebrow raised face,”Huh, that’s interesting.”
Not only is interterm interesting, it can also be treacherous so I have developed a step by step survival guide to interterm.
1. Most interterm classes start at 8:30 so you must avoid the temptation to stay up as late as you would normally.
2. Remember that the Sterling Students who did not go to Interterm have not fallen off the face of the Earth but rather decided to continue being really lazy or continue making money at an at home job.
3. Be prepared to make yourself a sandwich in the Cafeteria, because of the lower population of students the number of meal options in the Caf. are fewer.
4.Make sure to choose an interterm class that you think you will be able to be engaged in for three and a half hours.
5. Make the most of the awkward classless afternoons that you now have in interterm. I suggest playing monopoly, clipping your finger nails, writing a novel or I guess even doing homework… if you’re really desperate.
If you abide by these rules that I have set up you may just be able to survive the mysterious Interterm and ready for the spring semester.
I don’t want to be that guy.
That guy that has a personal countdown to Thanksgiving Break. the one that loses all motivation the week before a big break and just shuts down. While I cannot say that I have made the full transformation into being “that guy” yet, I can say that my focus levels are pretty close to “E” at the moment.
Where did it go?! Why is it gone?! Was it ever even there?
Maybe I am just one of those guys that feels like he needs a pre-break break to fully prepare for a nice relaxing week. That is one theory, or it could be that I am just incredibly lazy.
It’s probably the latter.
Don’t judge me! I am just so overcome with thankfulness this season that I cannot help but spend all energy on sidewalk prancing and Christmas Carol singing. While the prancing isn’t exactly going to prepare me for the Math Exam that I have tomorrow I believe that it is good to take the time and stop to smell the decomposing leaves on the ground sometime.
Why should we not? We are loved by our Heavenly Father, we are redeemed by Christ and we are still breathing.
Prance away you turkeys,
Maybe it’s not so bad.
Those moments of stress, the times in our lives where all we can focus on is the seemingly infinite list of obligations and tasks to get done; they are not that bad. Now, do understand that this statement of mine is coming during a moment of relative leisure. I still feel that the moments of intense stress that we all seem to hate so much and remove from our lives can be great opportunities to appreciate life for what it is.
Why is it that everything has to be calm and peaceful for us to appreciate our life? Is it possible that even the rushed moments of stress and anxiety can bring about a greater understanding of the gift we have all been given?
Last night, working on one assignment while juggling in my mind other deadlines and responsibilities I realized that even these points in time are something to remember. How could I complain? I am at a great school, learning about things that interest me, being challenged to do things that will make me grow; the things that bring all this stress into my life may just be the things that make my college experience more worthwhile.
Stressful times are just like any other, opportunities to learn. So while I may not be saying “Oh yeah! I want to be really overwhelmed with all these things!” I do know that the crazy college moments won’t last forever and I should grow from them while I can.