IVP - Strangely Dim - The Cedar Journals, Final Entry

July 1, 2005

The Cedar Journals, Final Entry

I spent a week recently at Cedar Campus, a camping facility associated with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. I was serving as staff for “Encountering God,” a study track for college students. I drove there alone, and I drove home alone, but in between I ate, played and bunked with a bunch of people I’d never met. Being a neurotically social person, I found my transition into camp life difficult, and I caught myself journaling quite a lot. The journal is presented here, in chronological installments, for your own amusement.

Last one, I promise.

Wednesday, May 18
The worst of my anxiety seems to have passed. I’ve learned and remembered the names of the people in my cabin and my small group. I’ve survived the first of my two talks. I’ve gotten some sleep. I’ve read and written myself to the point that I have little left to explore inward.

And yet I still continue to meet new people—to share table with students and staff whose faces are completely unfamiliar to me. That means a reintroduction, over and over again.

My name’s Dave . . . Nice to meet you . . . I’m not with a school . . . I’m with InterVarsity Press . . . an editor . . . I’m on the "Encountering God" track . . .

There are a lot of people here, and they’re for the most part surprisingly willing to share themselves. In that sense they’re a lot like satellite television. I’m overwhelmed by the range of opportunities before me to meet new people, make new friends and witness God’s work on all sorts of college campuses.

But there’s only so many people I can truly get to know here, and in that sense my small group is a lot like TiVo. I set aside time to settle down with them, getting to know deeply whom otherwise I would have only scratched the surface of.

I guess I miss my TV.

Thursday, May 19
Still Water
When the sun comes out
And the wind stops blowing,
The waters surrounding me come to their rest.

As they rest, so do I.
I soak sun and look past waves and currents
To scan the horizon—
My future wide open.
My sky my only limit.

And yet . . .

There are still these waters.
And still or not, these waters must be crossed
Before I reach my horizon.

And who knows what future they bring me.
And who knows how long my strength will hold out.

But for now the water is still
And I am at rest.

Friday, May 20
The Bridge
There is a bridge
in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
It spans the meeting point of two great lakes
And so it goes on and on and on.

We pay for the privilege of crossing that bridge
when we come to it.
Some believe it leads to Shangri-La
Bali Hai
Utopia
Paradise
Mackinac

But I know it leads to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula—
a place no more majestic than the land to its south
a place no more protected from the sins and sons of the earth.

But it does have its bridge,
which goes on and on and on—
far beyond you’d think a bridge could safely go.
Were it not for this bridge
We’d have no promise
of safely reaching our destination
of coming to Paradise
of coming home.

***

If you live in or near McHenry, Illinois, stop by the Borders Book Store there Saturday, July 9, at 2:00. I'll be signing books and would love some company. That's the day after The Fantastic Four opens in theaters across the country, and while I've been skeptical about the film, I must confess I'm now getting giddy.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at July 1, 2005 8:05 AM Bookmark and Share

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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