This post is quite delayed, as I am referring to a men's camping retreat that occurred two weekends ago. If you seek an explanation for this time lapse, you should reread the first paragraph. Regardless, this camping trip was a necessary break and gave me a good deal of insight to some big issues I have been facing. To begin with, it was extremely encouraging to be surrounded in Christian fellowship with so many of my brothers on campus. Time spent together with no agenda other than to enjoy the company, build each other up, and to retreat with God was absolutely fantastic. And as is the case when my mind can run free, I came up with an analogy. If you didn't catch it - that last sentence rhymed, so I stopped it where it was. I came up with an analogy while sitting at the campfire, listening to a lesson/discussion about sin and what it means for us.
On the outskirts of the fire, there was one log that rolled out of the main pyre as the wood collapsed as it burnt. This log was hollow and the interior was slowly smoldering. As it was no longer in contact with any of the other logs, the only burning of the wood came from the inside. Science time - due to the limiting amount of oxygen inside the cavity and the comparatively small surface area, the log burned at a much slower rate than that of the other logs that were burning from the outside. Returning to the larger picture, this burning log was practically useless for anything (except making analogies) as it provided hardly any heat, as the fire on the inside was insulated by a think, hard wall. However, as hard as wood may be, the fire eventually won out, and the flame finally broke through the shell. Almost instantly, the wood was ablaze, finally providing the heat that it was originally placed in the fire to provide.
To tie things together, you need to know the main issue I have been facing recently. To make a long story extremely short and simplified, I have almost certainly changed the path of my future career. A childhood dream of mine was to become a veterinarian someday, and I have been pursuing that path ever since. However, after filling out pages and pages of veterinarian applications, I realized that I had no real enthusiasm for the future. I began to seriously consider what I was passionate about and what I wanted to accomplish in my life, as well as praying for guidance. Once again, I am extremely shortening things, but as of now I feel that I am being led in another direction completely - public health, especially focusing on international health and development. And I am really excited about it! For the first time in a long time, I am actually enthused about graduate school and incredibly excited about what God will allow me to accomplish through this.
This is where the log analogy picks up. Every person has a fire burning in them, a fire that when released will change the world. However, that is the key - it must first be released. Like the log, nothing really is accomplished while only the inside is burning, insulated from the real world by a thick wall. In my case, stubbornness has been that wall. Veterinary science is what I wanted to do ever since a child, and that is how I have focused my education and planned my summer experiences. However, that idea was a remnant from myself many years ago. Since then, I have had innumerable experiences and have grown into the person I am today. And that person is better equipped for other causes; however, I have refused to accept this as I refuse to give up on an old dream. However, God is gracious enough that he intervenes when I need it most, and the fire has began to break free. Like the fire in the wood had to work through the layers laid down year after year before the wall was breached, so has the years upon years of my planning had to be broken through for this fire to arise. After all, it is quite literally like throwing just under 20 years of planning out the window. I can't wait to see where all of this is leading me!
I enjoy epic statements and quotes, and am planning on ending most of my blog posts with one. However, all I keep thinking of is this...
"Burn baby, burn!"