One week, seven days, 168 hours... well it's been a little over a week since the Forge class of 2009 graduated. I spent the first week at home in Ellinwood and it was a drastice change. I went from living with fifteen people and doing everything together to living with four people with four different schedules. It was kind of lonely in the day time with everyone at work, but I got to get somethings done that I needed to get done (including make yummy granola!). I also watched my first post-forge movie which was the Disney/Pixar classic, Cars. For those who don't know, we decided that throughout the duration of the Forge to not watch movies or TV, except as assigned by Matt (which wasn't that often). Anyway, the movie was heart-warming, but I haven't watched another movie since then.
As I've been reflecting on the past eight months, a few things come to mind. First was how much I learned about my own selfishness. The first 2/3 of the Forge was really difficult for me, and I really struggled with becoming a part of the community. I was very inward-focused. Matt, the Forge director, really challenged me at the beginning of the second semester to reach out to my Forge family and see if things changed. It's hard to describe what happened once I began to try. I know that I didn't do it on my own, but I also know that I had to try in order for the change to begin. God works in funny ways, I guess. One of the mysteries of the Kingdom is that when you reach out to others and sacrifice to meet their needs, somehow yours are met as well, but if you seek only to meet yours, then they remain unmet. It's the only way that community can work. In 1 Peter 1 it says, "[now] that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart, for you have been born again." That was the command I clung to last semester and I think it really sums it up well. I am to love the people God's placed in my circle of influence because that's who I am. I have been born again, I am a child of God, a disciple of Christ, and my identity is now one who loves.
That's all I've got for now! I hope the sun's shining wherever you are.