The Wide Open, Empty


Have you seen Legend? Do you remember the scene when Tom Cruise’s character has to cross the swampy waters outside of the dark sorcerer’s castle? Or what about all the stories where one embarks to cross some dark, misty waters alone. I feel as if I am about to embark on such a journey. But it’s not the presence of evil that terrifies me so much as the wide, open empty that lurks ahead and seems as if it will invade my own life.

I wrote this ramble of thoughts towards the end of my study abroad in July of 2012. My time in Japan was coming to an end and I was under a degree of uncertainty as to whether I would be able to afford to finish my last year of undergrad. But deeper then this, the uncertainty of my future course ripped open an awareness of a metaphysical openness that lay beneath the narrower possibilities of what could happen whether or not I returned to school, or got a job in Nagasaki, or moved in with my dad—things running through my mind at the time. The fact that I had just finished a riveting year of adventure and new experience changed how I looked at possibility and when possibility in the new light of this openness stared back at me I was afraid. Suddenly possibility was so vast and expansive it’s seeming limitlessness blurred the effect whether it was full or empty. I felt a kind of emptiness as I lingered my gaze just those few moments.

Today I’m leaving to return to Japan. Possibility has dared reality again. What I learned then, and must apply now, is that in God possibility and all that lay within it is not to be feared but embraced as part of God’s gift of an abundant life through Christ. We have this promise that God works all things out for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. This is the love of the Father towards us. The principle of uncertainty is promised to all who are born of the Spirit who are “like the wind.” This idea of adventuring with God and setting sail open to his possibility vanquishes all fear because it is his wind, his direction, his possibilities that I get to come in accord with. Like the disciples on the Lake of Gennesaret Jesus is with us and he is Lord of the storm. The wide open, empty is not empty after all its wide open fullness in the presence of God. Sola Dei Gloria!

About minuiperiannath

Name: Spencer Wentland College: North Central University Year: Senior Major:Intercultural Studies My story of meeting Jesus in short: Not many weeks after I was born my parents baptized me into the Christian faith at First English Lutheran Church in my hometown, Appleton, WI. There they renewed their promises to renounce the devil and his ways, the world and evil and raise me the same way teaching me to love and fear the Lord, the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, the Creeds and when of reading age to put the Holy Bible in my hands and all the while, with the church community, instruct me in the Christian faith. My parents weren't perfect but they did fulfill the vows they made at my baptism. I had my own more personal experience with the Lord around the age of seven when I followed Jesus out of the Gospels to a "quiet, lonely place" in my backyard with the hope to do whatever Jesus did there. Without realizing it or ever being taught how to "receive Jesus into your heart" it happened quite like that even seeing a mental vision of Jesus and knowing I need to welcome him into my heart and let him sit on the throne of my life. I've never been the same since then and the Lord has kept his promise to be with me "always." I confirmed what my parents chose for me in a public confession of faith and the ritual of believer's baptism at a local swimming school where the Assemblies of God church my mom attends used to do their baptisms. I've never regretted a life with Jesus; life has always been richer, deeper and fuller because of it. About Me: Ha that's a funny question, and a popular one today. Well, if you really want to know "all about me" you will have to meet me. For starters I am hard to put in simple categories and often find myself tumbling between labels; i.e. introverted and extroverted, strong and weak, intuitive yet a rationalist, introspective and social, unique and individual yet needing people and empathetic. I belong to and am part of the Way and that is probably the most defining important part of my being. (Acts 24:14) As a God lover in the Way of Jesus Christ I long to see and embrace all things and people in his love for his glory. Creative people and places energize me. I enjoy and appreciate art and artists and like to contribute and collaborate in making my own art at times. I need my own time and spend a lot of time in contemplation- this is where I get recharged and new vision and vitality for life. A con of my personality is my ill attempts to understand everything about everything. At the same time I also get energy from others and love to be sociable. I make matrix like connections in my mind and although my comments often are perceived as random too me they are very connected to something. To me connection and harmony are very important and I believe the truth brings that out. The last few years have been filled with learning, studying and meeting wonderful people. Copenhagen, Escanaba, Nagasaki, and now back to Minneapolis! So excited to learn, grow and finish my last year at university! Call: I feel strongly called by the Lord to work and give myself as missionary of love to the Japanese people. As the Lord leads I hope to take a missionary assignment through ELCA Global Mission teaching English and serving in congregational mission and leadership in Japan. Eventually I would like to serve as an apostolic worker planting boiler rooms (missional/monastic communities) around the Japanese archipelago with a bunch of other Jesus lovers in international, incarnational bands of friends. About this blog: This blog is for my Church Administration and Personal Finance class. I'm looking forward to interesting and practical conversation and learning that will help develop my leadership and organizational skills for however and whatever takes shape out of the Lord's call.

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