Jon's website

Journals from 2000

Herein is a small, confused boy searching for truth and all too often coming up empty



January 5, 2000--Spineless manifesto

Life isn't something I ever expected to happen to me. All my life, I've more or less just watched others, which is something I don't really mind. I kinda like the idea of just watching other people, exploring and observing from a distance. Not like a voyeur or anything sick like that, but just staying uninvolved in all I see around me, being present but not participating. That's usually the role I take on when I'm hanging out with my friends and the like. And now life just won't go away, it's gonna happen to me weather i like it or not. In case you're wondering what caused this rambling, I hit a small snag while trying to register for classes at the local community college. I was going to take an intro to drawing class, and I called a friend who had already taken the class to see which teachers were good. Upon talking for a few minutes, I found out that there's a good possibility that we'd get to draw nude models. Certainly no problem for an 18 year old guy, right? Well, the trick is an 18 year old Christian guy. I'm trying to save myself, both physically and mentally, for the person I marry. Being the particular age and gender that I am, that would be impossible if I was trying to accurately draw naked people for three hours every week. And that was the straw that broke the camel's back, really. I'd managed to press on that far with a brave face and a pretty strong sense of hope in my heart, but that bit f doubt, added to the fact that I really don't know where I'm going with my life or what I should be doing about it, well, it obviously wasn't pretty. I suppose all this just begs tbe question if my attitude is really just because I'm scared of the world,, scared of getting too involved and getting hurt. Which, I'm sure is the case. So on that note, I'll stop wasting your time and go cower some more. And then The Spirit reminds me that this is all God's creation anyway, and because of that, I have nothing to fear really. I feel a bit better having typed all this. Pray for me if you would. (parting thought: and then there's this strange compulsion I have to tell all this to random people on the internet)


January 16, 2000--Jonah (Concerning January 4-6)

For all those of you who read my above manifesto, this is the larger story of getting into college, now that it's past, told as a testament to God's faithfulness, even while I doubted. On the third, I got off work early, raced up to the college before it closed for the day, and was shot through the aplication process and counciling appointment scheduling. Namely, it took about ten minutes for them to come back with my student number, and I got all the info I needed about coming back for a walk in apointment with a councilor the next day, the only kind of appointment that was available. So I went home and then back to work, talked to my boss about getting time off the next morning to see a councilor, and that was it for that day. The next morning, I went up nice and early because it was the slowest part of the day. I had a slight mishap with watching an introduction video, and realizing that I was only waiting to see a councilor, and not the video also. A slight mishap that allowed a bunch more students to get in line before me. So then I talked to the councilor


January , 2000--Baptismal (Concerning Janurary 15)

<sigh> I should really get around to writing this one out. It's quite an interesting story. If I still remember it properly, that is.


January 27, 2000--A Priori Blues

Let me tell you something. Anyone who says that a priori knowledge (I took Philosophy last year and really liked that word. Hence, I remember it.), as in learning about something without any actual real-life experience with it, is full of crap. People are far too dumb to figure out, correctly, much beyond the simplest things. Even at that we fail.


Febrary 23, 2000--More stuff they never told you about being 18

More stuff they never told you about being 18. I actually got asked today weather or not I wanted x-rays at the dentist's office. And I didn't even have to (or rather wasn't allowed to, per insurance policy, get flouride. Cool or what?


Febrary 22, 2000--Not very happy

Why is it that though it's so easy to become saved, it's equally easy to slide back into old worldly habits (or slide into new ones)? Why is it so easy, especially for those born into the faith like me, to take God's love and presence for granted? To never do anything about it and to never spend time with the One who is the most worthy of our time? Am I simply playing scapegoat with that born-into-the-faith bit? Why are humans so stupid so often? And what is the point to the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing? I mean, couldn't you get most of the same verbal closeness from a good friend? Besides that, what are they good for except oral (and otherwise) closeness? Consider this a spiritual down-time for me. All the same, I shall not give up on God, and I know he shall not give up on me. Got some answers to my questions? Pray for me, if you would.


Febrary 27, 2000--CVS(?!?)

Just a random pondering today. I'm trying to sound cool and funny. Anyway, what the heck does CVS stand for? They are a chain of drugstores where I live, and they just recently (few months ago) bought out all the Arbor drug stores in the area. Some popular suggestions that I liked:

  • Come Visit Satan
  • Communist Vacation Spot
  • Crack Vending Syndicate (my own dumb one)

More to be added as I hear of them.


February 29, 2000-- Back on (some) track

Well, given the dip in my mood over the past few days and the general increase in confusion, God is slowly getting me back on track, as he always does when I finally drag myself, broken and bleeding from trying to face the cold, dark world alone, back before his throne and admit that I need His help. The cool part is how he even guides me during my times of rebellion, back into a full, or rather, growing relationship with Him. My mind is at least running a million (different) miles an hour again. I wonder where it is God really wants me to go in life? So many ideas and thoughts regarding computers run through my head at the slightest bidding that it's not funny. And yet there are otther areas, too, writing and some kind of church leadership. Perhaps some combination of the three.

Thanks especially to all my Christian friends who put up with my bouts of cynicism and odd questions, including Kate, Megan, Shirley, Mrs. Fishaw, and Linda. Thanks all. You've done God's work.

Well, I'm definately a happier person than I was a couple days ago, but I've still gotta get up in less than 5 hours (whoops). So this is the end of my journal.


May 29, 2000
Temporal Burning (I love that phrase)

- or -
The confused litte man who won't shut up and keeps complaining about the same thing.

A pondering from a confused mind. I am sure to get my meaning muddled up by putting it into words, but I'll make the attempt anyway

Well Lord, I've got some wacky stuff in my head, so help it come out well. Here goes...

<sigh>. I complain about this a lot. I feel bad for doing so again. At least I'm consistent. I wonder when, and/or if I'll ever figure it out...

Time. It never stops. You can use it or just let it fly on by. If you're patient enough, whole days, months, years can fly by without your having done much. You just can't stop it. So what do you do with it? Since you're spending it anyway, you might as well try to do something useful. While this is a helpful realization, it adds a second, harder question, even while answering the first. What useful ought one be doing? And what if there are many things whose values are not easy to rank? Since it's what I'm dealing with, I'll detail my case.

I'm a Christian. I'm also a hacker-in-training (the good kind of hacker, as in a very skilled programmer) and/or a scientist of sorts, tho I haven't really decided which yet (I will use Science from here on in to refer to this whole spectrum of options, for simplicity's sake. Don't forget the computer part tho, because it's a major component). I value both. Science I value for the mental challange, because you can do useful and cool things, and simply for the sake of knowing new things. But discoverey in itself is not a fulfilling means or end for me. Within Christianity, true Christianity, one finds a tenderness, a caring, and most of all a love that Science alone simply cannot provide. Because of the nature of human relationships, that is fallable, imperfect relationships, these can never take the place of such either. Knowing God, as a friend, a father, and Lord. is ultimately what we're created to do. But he has given us an awfully big yard to play in while we do it. On a theoretical level, then, Christianity and Science, work, and the rest of the immediate world are not at all opposed, but bound together with an indescribable genius by the maker of all things.

My problem lies on a more practical level. [please note that this may be a gross oversimplification] Man's view of Christianity and of Science do conflict, it seems to me. Traditional Christianity (at least from man's perspective) places much value on the souls of men, and the spreading of the good news about, well, many things. The fact that there is a God, that he loves us and wants to know us, that something in our environment, sin, keeps us from him, and that there is a rememdy to this divine schism, this is the jist of it's message. What is taught to most these days would have us give as much of our time over to "saving souls" and maintaining relationships as possible, at the forsaking of all other things except where nessecary.. Indeed, most of the Christian media (music and the like) could be interpreted as encouraging this. Science does not directly contradict this goal in and of itself (although there are those in both camps who claim it does), but is merely, if you will, a distraction. It seems almost selfish to devote yourself to anything besides prayer and fasting and preaching and the like.

Now, under cover of so many words, we finally find my problem. When I do pray, I have no problem going on for a good hour or two. There are a great many people I care about. I all truth, had I the knowledge or the time there would be six billion people I would like to pray for (as well as the many in the future still to exist before Christ returns, should that be very many at all. He may be here in just five minutes, but we won't know until the five minutes have passed). But there is also a part of me that finds it terribly hard, if not impossible, to give up the persuit of Science and the like (mainly the computer part).

This is perhaps a gross simplification of the issues, but the net result of all these conflicting (if somewhat mistaken) demands flying around in my head is that I do nothing at all, except procrastinate. Other things can arise that temporarily take precedence, things like work (hey, I don't want to scare off any prospective employers. I know when things are clearly must-do). However, whenever I find myself with free time again, it is back to the same old question. God or the computer? And neither one is sufficiently compelling to make me choose it over the other. And so I do nothing, just mindlessly surf the web or half-heartedly clean my room or something.

Prayer is supposedly asked for every day, if not more frequently, and if my petitions alone take several hours, where is the time for a simple relationship with God? Beyond that, where is the time for exploration of other things? Should I just not sleep as much? Do I have a mistaken concept of prayer? Or is it the worth of Science I'm mistaken about? I suppose I should shut up and find a book on time management or something, but I can't read it because it would not be praying/bible-studying or learning other things, and I can't do either of those because I have this book on time management I need to read... ... So, what it all comes down to, if you understood any of that, is a simple request. HELP!!! If you have any ideas, thoughts, or anything regarding my situation, granted time, I'd like to hear them....


June ?, 2000-- On certainty, variety, religion, etc

I'm not sure where to begin. Then again, I never am... Too many things spinning around in my head. I'll stop complaining now and try to let them out. Alright. On certainty, or "picking-and-choosing". Why do people do that? Truth is not like shopping. There are things that are true, and things that aren't. You can't say "well, this is going to be true, and this won't be". They are what they are. It's reality. I suppose, however, you can say "I will accept this as true, and I won't accept that." Logically, this is invalid, because the truth is there, weather we know it or not. It is a common human passtime, though. I'm often guilty of it exactly.

I'm not claiming to be a despenser of truth, or even a knower of truth in this article, but logically, I think, there are things that are and things that are not. Science points toward this. One can do things like drop a ball or mix two chemicals, and they'll always do the same thing, given the starting conditions are the same. That implies that reality is a definate thing, no matter what our brains think. Of course, I suppose this is all limited and/or overshadowed by the fact that it is our _observations_ of this consistancy that allow us to make such guesses at the nature of reality, and from this fragile basis we suppose that our observations are not always right, even though reality is. The sheer number of times consistancy can be observed helps to fight the uncertainty of our observations tho...

Yikes. Did any of that make sense? Maybe I should stop thinking about all this and just go play in a sandbox or something...

Well, on to more reality distortion. If we accept the premise that there are things that always are, things that sometimes are, and things that just plain aren't, it at least gives us a basis to start thinking from. The only other possibility is to try reasoning chaotically. I know what chaos feels like, it lives in my head. Ideas and thoughts swirl with an alarming rapidity, so fast that I've written this whole pondering in 20 minutes or less, and haven't even covered half of what I'm thinking. Much less than that even. Trust me, chaos doesn't provide for many answers. I'm going to commit a bit of logical error here, I think. I'm moving from basic metaphysics to theology without proving the transition I'm going to make. Evolution has it's "missing links", so for the moment I'm going to take the same liberty, simply to allow me to write about what's been bugging me the whole time.

Like I hinted at in the first paragrah, I'm bothered by the fact that people pick and choose from different religions so freely. You've got to have a concrete reality that you are exploring, rather than deciding how reality will fit together. You believe in God. Wonderful. Don't you think, tho, that it's God who gets to decide his (used simply as a default pronoun, in this case, as I view "its" as somewhat disrespectful) nature? Unfortunately we hit another road block here. Religions, at this point in time, have people as their only methods of spreading. It's people telling us what they think God's nature is. We don't know who's made things up, who's simply had too much to drink or sniff, and who's actually been talked to by God. Sigh. That leaves us with educated guessing, and/or personal "knowing" or testimony directly to our hearts by God, as Christianity says happens. I believe it, but I suppose that's another matter.

What a load. That's a big confused set of words about... I dunno. But I feel better for having typed it... Get some thoughts out of my head, lock them into a steady state on paper, keep them from swirling and changing constantly in my head. Well, that's it for today. Come back next week if you're still too poor to afford your own LSD (for the record, I don't actually support LSD or drug use. I just feel like I'm high all the time. Never actually am)


June 21, 2000-- Cedar Point

A small journal today. Just wanted to let the world know that I spent the day yesterday at Cedar Point (It's one of the larger amusment parks in America, for all those outside the Michigan/Ohio area. Lots and lots of big roller coasters). Got to hang with some of my friends that I don't get to see too often, made an old friend better, and a new one too.

Over the last four years or so, I've had a consistantly good time there. The rides were fun too. So hi to Mike D., Chad, Robbie, and now Allison and Amber too. Good Times.

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