Friday, September 26, 2008

Spiritual Hunger

Hey guys! Sorry it took me so long to update this thing after I got back from my fall retreat at camp. This week has been super busy. I mean, more busy than I could have ever imagined it to be. I'm used to having lots of things to do, but somehow a bunch of deadlines, papers, and other little odds-and-ends just sprung up on me over the past week, and I've been a little overwhelmed.

More than overwhelmed, I've been feeling a sense of spiritual hunger unlike I've ever felt before. It's probably because I went from the awesomeness of the retreat (where, by the way, I didn't have a chance to talk about my SSA issues with anyone, but I did open up about other things) to the humdrum of my bustling everyday life. This past weekend, I had an amazing chance to spend time alone with God. I was in the middle of a beautiful camp, with several lakes and ponds and a forest all around. There was plenty of free time where I could just sit alone, get into God's Word, and reflect on my relationship with Him.

But then I started my week at school again. I've hardly had any of that kind of alone time. Sure, I've spent the few minutes I can each day continuing to read through the New Testament (which was my goal this semester). But I haven't really found the time or location to really spend time with God. I know that sounds strange, because supposedly God is everywhere, but I have a hard time focusing when I'm in my apartment, surrounded by books full of assignments that I need to get done, or a computer full of e-mails that I need to reply to.

I'm really just hoping for some time to fulfill my spiritual hunger. I want to know more, build my faith, and work on actually using my faith to do some good. It's just really hard when I'm so involved on campus and have a billion different other things coming my way. I need to learn to prioritize, I guess, but I also need to learn to say "no" to different things. I can only be so involved and I need to make sure that the development of my faith is something that I place higher on my list.

Either way, that's what's going on right now. All in all I'm doing well. I'm staying busy and my semester is shaping up to be a good one. But if I don't spend the proper amount of time fueling my faith then I'll really be wasting a year, and I can't do that. Hope you all are well!


phantomsojourner said...

I know exactly what it's like to have all the responsibilities of campus life, and yet desire that time with God. It's tough to juggle all the homework, papers, meetings, etc, with the need for prayer time. One thing I've found that helps is actively trying to see God in every person with whom I come in contact. If I treat others as I would God, I find that can be a form of prayer.

Of course, sometimes I get so overwhelmed with "stuff," that I just need to get away and chill. Which, perhaps, is why I'm going to a monastery for Fall break!

Dan in Michigan said...

Hi there Jay,

I just stumbled on your blog through XGW where some of the commenters linked to your post earlier this year. I have to say I agree with you completely and appreciated what you had to say since I too am a guy who says "I like guys but God gets in the way."

You mentioned in that post about all of this "dying to self" stuff, and that really has become my lot. I view my struggles with my sexual desire to be my daily cross to bear, and since Christ has said we're to take it up daily, I'm not surprised that it's my lot, nor do I feel sorry for myself (anymore...) ;-), and indeed have begun to see the beauty in offering it up daily to him. I wish I had reached that point when I was till in college, so I think it's great that you've come to that conclusion. When I was in college, I was really more in the state of mind where "God gets in the way," and I just stuffed my desires completely down. Now that I'm approaching 40, and with plenty of mistakes, comes a bit more wisdom. (It takes some of us a bit longer to learn than others, I suspect!)

Anyway, I plan to spend some time with your blog.

Keep up the faith, stay strong!

From a fellow sojourner,


Jay said...

PhantomSojourner: A monastery! Wow. Now that's a place to go if you want time alone with God. May you be richly blessed there.

Dan: Hey! Welcome to the blog. No matter where we are in life, I think we all can relate to the struggles that are involved in dying to self, being obedient to Him, and trusting Him to fulfill our lives (even though we'd rather take it into our own hands and fail miserably in doing so).

I look forward to hearing more from you!


Anonymous said...

It sounds like you have found a delicate balance in what you believe to be the competition between your homosexual desires and your obligations to God. As someone who went through a similar process, although reaching a different result, I understand your struggle and wish you the best in your life.

God bless,


Eddie said...

I somehow found your blog linked from another site. I've read the entire blog. Yeah, I had a lot of spare time. You seem to be an intelligent guy. I'm interested in the Reformed view of the Bible. What books do you recommend reading? I'm an Exodus survivor. I don't recommend Exodus. I will speak about the chapter I attended. Guilt plays a major factor in getting gays to behave. It's a secret cult, er...I meant to say club... I wish I had your spirtual maturity when I went to college. Thanks for sharing "your life" with us and we're better for it.


Jay said...

Eddie: Hi, and welcome. I'm actually newly-Reformed, I guess. I haven't read any long or thorough books on the subject, but this essay by J.C. Ryle about election really helped me get over that aspect of it, which was my biggest problem.

I also enjoy the works of Sinclair Ferguson and John Piper, though I haven't read either to the extent that I'd like to.

In regards to Exodus, I think the biggest problem is that so many chapters are so different, and there isn't a lot of unity there. I think some do go the wrong way of being guilt-based, while others are actually very Christ-centered (I don't have any direct experience, but I have met Christians from Exodus online, and they run the gamut). The bad part is, of course, that you're basically playing Russian roulette when you go to one, because you don't know which kind you'll get.

But I guess the same could be said for any local church or Christian organization.