March 10, 2004

In chapel today we sang this song, based on Psalm 139:

You have searched me, O God
And You know me well
You know when I sit and when I rise
You perceive my thoughts from afar
Know my words before they are -- O Lord
I stand in awe of your ways

Where can I go where You'll not be?
From Your presence where can I flee?
Where can I go where You'll not be?

If I go to the heavens, there You are
If I go to the depths You are not far,
not far, from me, from me
If I rise on the wings of the dawn
Where-ever I sing this song -- O Lord,
Your hand is guiding me

Search me, oh God, and know my heart
Test me and know my anxious thoughts
Reveal the wicked ways in me
For on my own I cannot see, O Lord
And lead me in Your ways

So yes, in addition to the work I have to do for this Friday/next Monday and all the Big Questions floating around in my head, there is now another Issue that needs urgently to be addressed: what am I doing next year?

Waitasec, people who know me are saying. You've said for a month and a half that you were going to school back home next year. You said you decided over Reading Break so you wouldn't have to figure this out while wrestling all this other stuff.

Well, I've changed my mind. This doesn't mean for sure I'm coming back. But it's definitely a change from when I was completely sure I wasn't returning to Redeemer.

A friend of mine pointed out to me last night (well, I've expounded on his basic idea) that there are two major factors in decision-making: reason and emotion. Both are important; it's unwise to make a decision when your gut tells you it's wrong, but it's also unwise to do something you feel is good if there seem to be strong, rational arguments against it. But he noted also that both reason and emotion can be corrupted by sin. I cannot yield to the temptation to identify, say, the emotional arguments as coming from the sinful nature and the rational arguments as being from God, but rather must determine whether... I'm not explaining this very well. Let me get St. Paul to do it for me:

For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.
And hey, a little Isaiah never hurt:
Therefore once more I will astound these people
with wonder upon wonder;
the wisdom of the wise will perish,
the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.
So yeah. If I want to make a decision, I need to do it soon; if I come back, I will want to be on Senate, and if I run for Senate I likely will win. And nomination forms are due Friday at midnight -- so that's as good a time as any to be my arbitrary deadline (because, believe me, if I were not to force myself to decide by a certain time, I would never finish weighing the arguments).

The last month or so, I realize, I've been to some extent hiding, both physically in my room and emotionally from others, so that I wouldn't have to build any stronger relationships with people I wouldn't likely be around after next month. But in the last couple weeks I've met new people and had good conversations in spite of this, and that makes me reconsider what God is calling me to.

Heh. Keep me in your prayers. Also pray that I don't get too self-absorbed, as tends to happen when we're going through trials. I have to choose to remember how blessed I am, how many opportunities I have been given, how much love and grace are all around me.

"Where can I go where you'll not be... where-ever I sing this song, O Lord, Your hand is guiding me."

Update 7:56 PM: I am coming back to Redeemer. Thanks for your prayers.

Posted by Tim at March 10, 2004 01:04 PM | TrackBack

That is very good news, Mr. Van Alstyne.

Posted by: Gideon Strauss at March 11, 2004 06:11 AM

This is straussspam.

Are none of you Koyzisheads going to comment on the revered political philosopher's first Comment column?

Gideon Strauss
Editor, Comment

Posted by: Gideon Strauss at March 12, 2004 02:37 PM
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