"Then I said, I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name. But His word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay." Jeremiah 20:9 Life is a struggle. Like a muscle burning during the fiftieth repetition of movement under tension, or a storm breaking the calm in the precipitation cycle, joy, ease and pleasure are found to be fleeting, fragile, precious. Life is around us, and we move through it, channeling its energy in our passage. Eventually, that energy becomes unusable to us, and we pass on, but not all dwindlings are endings, and not all endings are conclusions. We must find the source of life outside of ourselves, yes, but to go on living, we must assimilate it into our being. As a Christian, I firmly believe that my soul is a gift from God, and it is only by His grace that I have made anything of merit, be it achievement of excellence, a level of artistry, or a work of poetry. Yet, I don't think people should let life merely happen to them. We should not occur, but instead exist. We are a creation not a theory. God made us to be excellent creatures, a state which ought not be dependent on excellent surroundings. It would take a deity-sized ego to assume I were a completed work, and I'll admit to that failure at times in the past. I believe that life's struggles exist to wake us from these gross assumptions. My caprice gives me opportunity to change, and though my humanity separates me from God, who is unchanging, it may turn on its head and reach for Him thanks to his present of change. My problem with evolution, as regarding this change, is not scientific, but philosophical. I find it no dilemma that the world was made in a way I might not expect, understand, or have come up with myself, though I do indeed believe it was made, however that may be consequently explained. I do, however, find it hard to assume that all of human experience is constantly progressing, unless I equally assume the fact that it is almost as constantly regressing. Just as in seasons there is plenty and scarcity in cycles, so in life and learning, change is not always constructive. I am responsible to God, others, myself, and this world, and in that order, I believe. If I don't put an absolute and all consequent relatives before myself, my self is not much to hold onto. If, however, I do not take care of myself, then I am not much use to this universe, other than as matter which will eventually decompose and re-assimilate into the fiber of the cosmos. These are my values, and, though they are not fully realized, I would not say they are incomplete. I have much to learn, and perhaps I mis-infer the implications of these values, but, nevertheless, I endeavor to hold them. If I fall, I must get up. If I fall twice, I must stand. If I fall, fall, fall and fall again, I must reach my feet. In danger of plagiarizing the words of a Mexican revolutionary, I would rather die trying to stand than live in the dirt. If, however, I must spend time on my knees in the meanwhile, I suppose I shall accept it as an opportunity to pray.