Friday, May 29, 2009

From Nater

Greetings my missed blogsters,

Clearly, I haven't had a single moment to blog over the past month. My excuses are as follows: I started a temp job that is keeping me busy, at least for a few more days! Add that to the mix of the long drawn out process of me trying to learn to cook each night when I get home, grow in my marriage, and work on my theology class, and you hopefully can understand why I'm a goner.

Soooo, since I'm still officially a 'goner,' I'm posting something that Nate wrote in response to another blog. That man challenges me in ways I never imagined . Grin. And I love my Jesus all the more so for it. He is good for me.

I'm not typically a blogger but I wanted to share something with you. My buddy and I were having a conversation about freedom. What does it mean to be free? Thinking back over the exchange later my mind wondered to one of those snapshots that all of us have of our past. A distinct scene in our lives illuminated by the flashbulb of our memory and vivid in every detail. Fourth grade.

I was sitting in my little cubical in the middle of a row of identical cubicles struggling with the complexities of diagramming a sentence with more than one prepositional phrase. As hard as I tried I couldn't concentrate on anything but the insane slowness of the big black hands of the big white clock that hung mockingly on the opposite wall of the class room. It was a beautiful day outside and the sluggish heat of the early summer had affected that clock with a serious case of lethargy! I was a typical boy and I was born to be outside. I wasn't much happier than when the prickly feeling of scabby knees and the guilty awareness of grass stains were the foremost realities in my life! Neither the scabs nor the grass stains are present in my snapshot! Just me, my work book and that clock.

Have you ever actually felt realization wash over you? You know that 'felt' since a truth? That since is the brightest part of my fourth grade picture! In that second I had the most profound since of eternity! In the space between prepositional phrase one and two I saw eternity! I knew with all the certainty that a fourth grader can muster that I was trapped! My life as a student would never end! I would be trapped in an endless battle with the minions of sentence structure, presided over by a clock with frozen hands! I wonder if I have ever craved freedom like I did that moment! It was longing that I had! Oh, to do whatever I wanted! No more hour bells, no more detention for being late from our laughably short recesses, no more grown ups telling me what to do! Just me and... whatever I wanted to do! How wonderful! How Magical!
That's an old snapshot. I can scarcely believe that more than 20 years have passed since then. Of course school did eventually let out for the summer. I did eventually graduate, never to diagram another sentence as long as I live. I can now do whatever I want to... no grown ups.

Here's the funny thing. Doing what ever I want hasn't made me free. In fact because I can now do what ever I want I have often found myself not able to do much of anything. Freedom isn't at all what I thought it was 20 years ago confined to my fourth grade English prison. It's not at all the allowance to do whatever I want. In fact I'm learning that freedom is quite often the opposite of that. Most often 'whatever i want' is a reaction to my emotions, my circumstances, my selfishness, my pride. Freedom is a result. Not a prerequisite. It is as much restraint as it is movement. I just got married. In planning our wedding I began to experience all kinds of new and exciting things about the death of bachelorhood! Most of them had to do with um... female dynamics. Now I am a man and as such I tend to very quickly snap into 'fix it mode'. I responded to my beautiful bride to be in very logical ways. So business like and straightforward... Okay, the point is that I could respond to her any way I wanted to. I quickly learned however that if I didn't learn the 'correct' way to respond I would seriously impede my ability to function freely around her! Aka: Dog House! Please don't get me wrong! My now wife is wonderful to me! She is far from a diva. I just had/have a lot to learn in the marriage department. It's the same in all aspects of our lives. The choices we make determine our freedom!

I've long since left the fourth grade. I haven't diagrammed a sentence in a couple of decades and time seems to be passing at an ever increasing rate. Today, for just a moment though, I was back there, at my desk, craving freedom.
nate griffin


Profbaugh said...

Yup, your man is very, very wise! Loved it. . but more than that it rings so true.

Much love,

Toknowhim said...

Your husband is perfectly matched for you :)

PS. We call our youngest, "Nater"...actually he is the "Terminator", but we call him Nater for short :)

mandy said...

Love this, Nate. How you've adapted and adjusted to best love your woman! I'm so thrilled to call you a friend. :) Thanks for sharing this with the rest of us. (And your massive use of exclamation points!!!)

connorcolesmom said...

Ok you and Nate are a perfect match for sure
He almost lost me at diagramming a sentence but I stuck with it ;)
He speaks such truth - LOVED IT!
Enjoy your day!

Emmy said...

That was great! Nate you need to blog! Thanks for sharing!

God puts you all on my heart all the time... so thrilled everything is going well!

God Bless- Emmy : )

Kristen said...

Loved this post... and I do see something that might just be birthed out of this marriage someday. A blogging duo! Hmmm... think about it!

Nate, you took me back to the 4th grade - and yes, that was a much longer time ago than your fourth grade years! I love how our earthly view of "freedom" is so different than our Godly freedoms!

Lauren said...

I love your blog. Thanks for sharing with the world.