Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The F Word

Almost by defintion, blogs exist as very self-centered entities. When one has a chance to express oneself daily, one tends to speak about oneself quite often. Indeed, the pronoun "I" has popped up on "Redeeming Prufrock" more often than your author would like. "RP" orbits as a very Benocentric universe.

A book sits on the shelves at Borders (placed there by yours truly) entitled "No One Wants to Know What You Had for Lunch." This work details how to create and maintain a successful blog, beginning with this first command. I have not read said book, but I have tried to avoid writing on my lunch menu, both literal and metaphorical. It is quite boring actually. Usually either Chef Boyardee's Beefaroni or a peanut butter sandwich with pretzels. The key determinant: whether or not I have time to make a sandwich and bag the pretzels before work in the morning. This may seem trivial, but when trying to squeeze even sleep's pulp out of evening's orange, sometimes seconds matter. So it's usually peanut butter or Beefaroni, unless I have leftovers, in which case. . . .

And I have just spent an entire paragraph talking about what I have for lunch, partly as a joke but also partly to show you what could be.

Only on rare occasions do I aim to spend an entire post talking about my personal life. Say, for example, my first publication. Today though, "Redeeming Prufrock" is all about me. And what's worse, it's about me in relation to that horrible "F" word.

For a 22-year old taking a year off after college, I consistently get questions about my "Future" (cue dark, intimindating music). I have grown to despise this word. If one called me a mutha-futurerer or a goat futurerer or if one told me to go "Future off!" or "Future myself!", they could say nothing worse. 'Tis really a dreadful word. Yet today, I address it because it has dominated my thoughts these past 24 hours.

Yesterday, I accepted a position as a campus staff worker with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship at the University of New Hampshire in (gasp!) Durham, New Hampshire. If the Lord provides the funds for me, this previous sentence answers the constant question: What are you going to be doing next year?

The journey to this decision goes back a year and a half. You would find it as boring as what I had for lunch today, except it would take a lot longer. In particular though, this past week, the time between when IV made the offer and when I accepted it, has been crazy and worthy of note (and consequently, of post). Since they called me with the offer, a friend of mine has died in a freak pedestrian accident, I have continuously flirted with sickness, I have entered the realm of division in the academic Christian body for the first time, and, get this, I was robbed (more on this to come tomorrow; stay tuned!).

Now my universe is not so Bencentric that I believe all of these events happened because of me. This would be arrogant foolishness. However, I would fail to grasp the magnitude and importance of God's kingdom and his desires for my role in it if I chose to say these things did not constitute some sort of attack. I have always believed in spiritual warfare, and every major decision I have made since accepting Jesus as my Lord has entailed some sort of difficult circumstance, resistance if you will. But man, what a week.

A pastor once told me that Satan will leave you alone if you do not pose a threat to him. I have experienced this myself and heard about this from others. When entering into ministry or some other endeavor which strives to advance the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, resistance arises. Satan's ground stands as threatened, and he will fight with all of his God-allowed power to defend it.

Fortunately, our Lord is a warrior. Satan flees at the mere mention of his name. Through these situations and apart from these situations, the Lord has provided me clarity, even to the point that as I prayed over this Sunday night, all valid reasons for not going fell away. Only fear remained. When only fear remains, we must act. In an attempt to redeem the life of J. Alfred Prufrock and rage against passivity, I said yes.

So there you have it, my dear readers. The question of the dreaded "F" word settled, at least for now. Alas, off to bed I head. The time draws late, and I must arise early for a 6:00am shift tomorrow morning.

Beefaroni, here I come!


Esther said...

Oh, my goodness! Ben, that's awesome! I could go off on spiritual warfare, but I won't because it's late and I have a paper due tomorrow... But I think spiritual warfare is very often ignored when it should be addressed. Glad to see you recognize it. I'll be praying for you!

Jenn Pappa said...

New Hampshire?! WTF (as in what-the-future)?! that's crazy and very random... congrats though cause that is gonna be so much fun. :) IV RAWKS

Tammy said...

welcome back to the great New England states! better invest in some heavy duty winter wear.

Ant B said...


Congratulations on your decision. I am so proud of you. Your spiritual insights have been inspirational for me and others.

Ashleigh said...

Jen was telling me about NH vs. Blue Ridge the other day, and I think that sounds way exciting. I know God is going to do powerful things in and through you. :-D