Monday, January 31, 2005

Ode to Trees

Hi, this being my first post, I should introduce myself. My name is Josiah Keller, I am currently 22 and live in Delta Junction, Alaska, USA. I am currently a member of religious community called Whitestone Farms. We are a peaceful group that think most of what the world has to offer is not worth having. As such we have moved to Alaska (as of 1982 - the year I was born) in order to be more separate and raise our children away from the influence of the world. Whether this is actually happening is a different story. This last decade, with the technological revolution, it doesn't seem to matter where you live, you have the opportunity to see and hear and be influenced by just about anything. Unlike some other religious organizations, we have not tried to resist the technological advancement, instead we have embraced it. As such, we are learning that the separation from the influences of the world around us must be internal because no external separations will make a difference any more. I am a second generation member of this community and am still in the valley of decision about my future. As far as what makes me tick as a person, I think it is impossible to describe, so I shall not even try. You may gain a glimpse into my life from this blog, and you may not. That is up to both of us.

That last paragraph was difficult (like it always is to try to explain to an outsider why I live the way I do). But hopefully it is mostly accurate and casts all those involved in a truthful light. Now, as you have probably noticed, or will if you look at my profile, I have quite a list of likes that don't seem to match up with what I said about the way and place I live. This is because I am still undecided about whether I really want to give myself to the kind of separation that this community professes to believe is important. I have so many thoughts on the subject that they tend to bump into each other and get jammed in my brain. Sometimes these "thought-jams" are depressing while at other times, I can manage to ignore them. Anyway, the process of sorting them out and weighing them to see what I really believe enough to change who I am in order to be aligned with them is very time consuming. Well, this was meant to be an introduction, and now you have really had one... sorry I am so confusing. The forest of my mind has been very dark and frightening of late. I think it is owing to the experiences of the last week.

Speaking of this last week, it started Saturday the 24th when Whitestone's Convention began. In case you don't know, convention is when we spend three days listening to travelling ministry from around the world who share the same beliefs as we do. It is usually a time of refreshing our spirits and recommitting ourselves spiritually. However, this year, I came away with a sober sense of just exactly how badly I need to make up my mind and choose to go wholeheartedly one way or wholeheartedly the other. Every service brought another bought of clear word that erased all "grey" areas and made the choice before me black and white. As if that wasn't enough, immediately following that, one of the chief ministries in our circles, Buddy Cobb, stayed on at our community to give a teaching to our young people. It was aptly called: The Plan of God. This thirty-hour course spanned the next five days after convention and I have never heard something clearer or simpler repeated over and over again. Basically (although the days of revelation and proof are good and important) this course boils down to the simple thought that God's plan for humanity is to have a remnant of people who are willing to give up their bodies (by choosing not to follow their own impulses or ideas) to God's Holy Spirit so that He can choose to direct and guide them. This means that every choice we make should be God's choice and that everything we do should be because He directed it. While hearing from God is often exhilerating, doing what He says is often frightening because it is such a deviation from what I would do naturally. Even simple things, like go talk to that person and encourage them to change their ways can be very frightening. Anyway, the basic upshot of this last week was that I came away with the obvious and impending thought that the only real choice I have is who's will I am going to follow, I will either do what I want with my life or daily, momently, I will choose to ask God what He wants me to do and do it. This is a frightening commitment to make at 22 years old. Basically, I feel like my current life is a contradiction but I have no desire and am afraid to change it in any way. So that is where I am currently and why today was such a weird day becuase I spent the entire day mulling these things and laughing and being depressed at intervals as different thoughts flitted between the trees in the forest of my mind.

Well, I am usually a lot more exciting, although I have a tendency to be weird. But today, was a day of contemplation and so here is a bizarre smattering of what is in my forest.

THE END (for now)


Blogger Johanna said...

May clarity guide your way and the road rise up to meet you and slap you in the face and all that.

8:20 AM  

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