What Does the World Have in Store For Me?

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I suppose the basic answer to that question is nothing. However, I’m sure God has some things planned for me, and it’ll sure be interesting to find out just what those things are. Maybe not what I think.

I have mixed feelings about what my parents have always wanted for my life- to go to UCLA law school and be successful and classy from there. Pictured above is the beautiful smog-filled LA skyline from a congested freeway.

Currently, I am an economics major, and am about to declare an accounting minor (actually, of late I’ve been reconsidering it). The only thing is… I don’t know if I like accounting. It seems a little boring. At this point, economics seems a little more interesting to me, more fluid and relevant to the world around me. So I’m not sure exactly what I want to do. Sometimes I wish God would just whisper it in my ear. But this would be a little scary, and also, I wonder if I would listen to Him if He did tell me. Maybe He doesn’t care all that much as long as I give Him the glory in all things. But come on, it must matter a little? Surely he doesn’t want me to be an engineer, because I’m not good at math. I would imagine that He would want me to do something that suits me… but what does suit me? And don’t say being a writer, because I will always be a writer, and there are reasons that I don’t want to do that full time.

Well, on a slightly unrelated note, I just sent out an email to inquire about the position of staff writer on a university newsletter. We’ll see where all this takes me, and I suppose I must have faith that I’ll be taken to the right place. It’s time to get out of the driver’s seat.

 

A Moral Predicament (And you can decide!)

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The life of a Christian is wrought with all kinds of moral predicaments, as it should be, I suppose. Do I talk to this homeless guy? Get a divorce? Confront the annoying person? Take this job? Marry him/her? Forge that signature? Tell the lie or spare the embarrassment? Well, I don’t need to tell you about all the kinds of decisions that a person will face, I’m sure we all have enough examples of our own.

My latest moral predicament has been centered around a short play that I am writing as an assignment for my playwriting class. I went in thinking that, somehow, I was going to glorify God through this play, find a way to “witness” if you will. It wouldn’t be easy, but I was going to do it. Not in the most obvious way, of course, because that probably wouldn’t work for my assignment. So I thought, “maybe I’ll do some kind of allegory.” Take a page from CS Lewis, yeah, won’t that be clever.

Now, instead of that great idea that I was going to mysteriously bring into fruition, now I have just kind of an ordinary play, but with some creative twists, the kind of trash us writers live for. I have four college kids in line for Space Mountain at Disneyland. All of them are Christian, but they’re not exactly exemplary people. One is a girl named Lizzie who is a new friend of a bubbly creature named Jeanine. Then there is a couple, Natalie and Jay. Throughout this interaction, Lizzie feels excluded and wonders why she was invited in the first place. But Natalie and Jay, the perfect couple, suddenly engage in a nasty fight, and Lizzie, too, explodes. The themes in this play are mainly hypocrisy, human nature, and social position. Oh, and by the way, the word ‘bastard’ is included in this play. I tried to avoid all other language and borderline language. How do we feel about that?

Even though everyone is a jerk, Jeanine, at least, realizes her imperfection, and the voice of reason, or God, if I may be so bold, has the last word. In a subtle kind of way, of course, because us writers are continually trying to be subtle and at the same time, powerful with our words.

Well, I’m not so sure about this whole thing. Is this the way that God wants me to bring him glory, or should I just shout the message from the rooftops instead, as they would say? Mind you, Jesus spoke in parables to deliberately confuse those who were not willing to understand, but well, he was Jesus. And He always spoke most directly about the kingdom of God. So I don’t know if that applies to me at all.

Well, no one said that life wouldn’t be difficult and filled with conflicts of interest. If anyone has any suggestions for this play and/or my soul, they are welcome. I have already made some changes that I think are favorable for my purposes, but I still wonder if I should just scrap it.

 

Media: notoriousspinks.com

The World and Me

I’ve posted many a time before about social anxiety/self esteem issues. I just feel like a fool sometimes in public. It’s not that I don’t talk enough, usually. It’s that I talk in order to spare awkward silences, and I wind up saying stupid stuff, and then when awkward silences do come up, I feel that they’re my fault. I perpetually fear that I am offending others or annoying them. I feel as if my very presence is a burden.

The worst part is, I have no way of knowing whether these things are true or the extent to which it is true. But I believe it, even though I know that it’s possible that people don’t see me as as much of a moron as I do.

The thing is, I have very good reason to believe this is true. Very good reason. Growing up, my friends always told me I was awkward, even if they didn’t exactly use that word. And, as I’ve written about before, this hurt me deeply. I don’t want to blame these people for saying it. It was only true- and that’s why it hurt me so much.

I had friends in high school and middle school,  so it could have been worse, but they always seemed to have their own lives,  carefully separated from mine. They always had at least one other friend that they clearly liked far more than me. And how can I blame them for that? Good for them, what right did I have to be jealous? I had the great relationship with my dad, and no one could have taken that away from me. But why did it hurt me so much when they would talk about their other friends, like what they did on the weekend without me?  I suppose it was because I knew that they regarded me more than I them. So now I’m writing about it and maybe someday I’ll be in therapy talking about it.

The thing is, I’ve come to realize that I need God’s help. There’s no way that I can ever navigate the social world, let alone the spiritual world, without it. I can try and try until I’m blue in the face to do the right things, to be the best I can be and so on and so forth. But after a while, I realize that instead of trying to do things for God, I should do things through God and for God. I know, the distinction seems insignificant, but I think it is possible to draw on strength other than your own. Possible, but difficult and mystical in practice.

The Problem of Giving

It was early afternoon on a college campus in the Western United States. Bright, sunny, and warm. I walked to the chain fast food sandwich shop on campus. I was in a good mood, generally, becauae I have no reason not to be and am at least smart enough it. I found out the day that I got an 82 on my management accounting midterm, which is a good outcome considering that I forgot my caluculator (who forgets their calculator when they know they’re about to take an accounting test?)

Anyway, I meet a man from Feed the Children while going there. I always end up listening to spiels from nonprofit volunteers. Do I seem like a giving person? Some kind of sucker? Of course, I’m kidding about the last part, hopefully.

The thing is, I actually would like to help children who need food. I believe that God calls us to provide for the basic needs of others. Because if they can’t even survive, how can they ever come to know Christ? But it just so happens that I have heard of scandal in the Feed the Children organization, it was a couple years ago and I think they’re doing better now, but that kind of thing does make you wary.

I would like to give, and I know that it’s right to give, but I always wonder how! I don’t want to give to the wrong people and have the money be wasted. I don’t think it’s something to be paranoid about, it just means that you must be vigilant. Also, I think it’s important to actually help people, beyond just having good intentions and taking some kind of action. The situation in Africa is a good example. A lot of people say that all the humanitarian aid that has been provided over the years has not reduced poverty.  I think I will be reading a book soon on this subject, called “Dead Aid.”

Well, I’ll be posting more on this topic in the time to come. But for now, God bless! Try not to do anything too crazy this Halloween!

One of the Good Days

Last night, in one of those blissful in-between states between being awake and sleeping, the times that I feel most close to God (and now my atheist friends will use this as evidence that belief in God is irrational because I feel closer to Him in a half-conscious state), but I felt that I made a very important connection, or rather God showed me an important connection, and I thought it was so important that I absolutely had to blog about it. It was a spiritual click, something that seemed quite brilliant. And now, I can’t remember it. Well, I hope I remember it if it was important, but if not I’ll leave it at this and talk a bit about my experiences today instead.

So, if you read my blog, you’d probably get the impression that I’m someone who is naturally kind of down, but doesn’t want to be. You would be right. It is part of my nature, but I try to fight against it, even though very often it seems like a loosing battle. But I know that God can defeat my absurd emotions, and I look forward to the victory.

But today was one of the good days, truly. I feel generally happy and fulfilled, like I have a good life and I am grateful for it.

Today just got off to a good start. I woke up early by my biological clock, even though I forgot to set my alarm. I thank God for that now. I had time to make myself look presentable, which is unusual. By the way, I need to go into a thing someday about whether or not makeup and fancy dress is a sin. But I’ll leave that to another day.

The morning commute was manageable, and I made it out alive, so I considered that a success. So I go to my classes, and I am able to focus a little better because I came more prepared. And they seemed like generally productive classes. But here is where the real game changer came in. And I think God put this in my life on purpose.

In my playwriting class, we were asked to write scenarios for possible one-scene plays and share them in class. A scenario is basically an outline of a play. Anyway, one of my classmates scenarios involved a Christian boy and a diva-ish, preppy popular girl who was very ungrateful. She would complain about not having a car and little things like that. Meanwhile, a friend of hers had real problems, like a father who got a heart attack among other tragic incidences. Anyway, after the scenario was read, we talked about it. People in the class expressed how they knew people like the first girl, and how they hated those kinds of people. And that’s when it hit me, that I can be like that sometimes. Not the popular and preppy part, but the ungrateful part. I realized, as I was sitting there “I don’t want to be like that at all.” It’s so counterproductive, not conducive at all to the things that I want to do in life. And how does that reflect on God if I can’t be grateful?

So, things went well after that. I mentioned the campus EV I was going to in my last post. Well, I showed up at the designated area on campus, and there was no one there. So it seemed, but then I saw a boy sitting on a bench. I sensed that he might have been there for the same purpose as me, so I started talking to him and turns out he was leading the EV. He didn’t actually think it would be good to evangelize with me, but he talked to me to get a feel for what I’m about, which is understandable. And then I met someone else from the group. They seemed very nice, maybe a little judgmental about me not going to church, and maybe they emphasize the formal church experience just a little too much, but I understand them, and I think they’re sincere. No one can be perfect, after all, you just pray that we’ll all get a little closer.

So then after that, I had dinner with an old friend and went to see her dorm, which was fun. We went to this thai restaurant on campus. I got curry noodles and thai iced tea, which really helped me power through my last class of the day! It’s also funny how caffeine helps me so much with my self expression skills. It just makes me feel like my brain and my mouth have a much better connection, as opposed to a lot of the time when they don’t seem to communicate that much. I hope one day the Holy Spirit Himself will give me that kind of energy!

Well, I’m very sorry if this seems a lot like a journal, and that I didn’t get to do any actual evangelizing today. Hopefully surrounding people who walked by picked up some snippets. It’s just that I’m happy! No, things are not completely resolved, and no, my life is not perfect, but hey, it’s close enough for me. I can work with this! Yes, God has blessed me and I can more than work with it, I  feel like I can live, like I can go on, and keep on going and thrive forever. I feel self-confidence, can you believe it! I not only know, but at the moment I feel that God created me for a reason. I’m not a worthless, awkward alien, but I’m a human being, a child of God, and so are you.

A Struggling Servant

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I believe in serving God, and others in the process. Isn’t that the whole point of the Bible? In the Old Testament, kings and judges served God and their people. In the New Testament, we are exhorted again and again to serve the hungry and the needy ceaselessly. After all, Jesus himself didn’t sit at meat, he SERVED IT UP and himself, in the most literal way possible. He set a pretty good example.

And then there’s me.

I just don’t understand it. When I try to serve, things always get in the way. Transportation, scheduling, wrong intentions, discouragement from people in my life, logistics… the list goes on and on. I hate to make excuses, and I hate to believe in something that I hardly do. That means that I don’t even believe it.

But why can’t I just go out there and serve? I think it’s so necessary, so important, and yet, and yet…

I just finished emailing a bunch of student organizations for service. But the fact that none of them are religious makes me uneasy. I don’t want to serve a vain and secular cause. But as long as the organization is helping people in need, isn’t that worthwhile for me to do, even if the people around me are serving for a different reason? What do you think, is service pointless without God? Ultimately, I know the answer is yes, but can’t service be a vehicle to higher understanding? And can’t I try to impart some kind of spiritual nugget, convey an essence of God by the way I complete a certain task that will make it worthwhile?

I’m probably just over thinking it. I should just do something. Well, tomorrow, God willing, I’ll be participating in something called a “campus EV” with this Christian organization. I’m banking on EV standing for evangelism. If you have a minute, you can pray that it is successful!

youngleaders.nssga.org (photo)

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Today was my third day of college. So far, I only have one casual acquaintance because he is my partner for a group project. It’s an interesting experience, commuting to college two days a week. You’re kind of anonymous when you’re there, just one among thousands with no little niche. It’s a good thing in a way, such a big environment. You get a lot of second chances because when you do something embarrassing (like I ALWAYS do), chances are the people who saw you doing it won’t see you again or remember. At least, I hope so. Like today, I had quite a few blunders. I accidentally opened an emergency exit and sounded a little alarm… In a library. My green tea latte spilled on the cup (which seems painfully trivial, but trust me, it was awkward). Oh, and I asked a really dumb question in accounting class, and couldn’t even play it off or make the professor catch my drift. I am convinced that after only 3 days of school, at least 2 of my professors are convinced that I’m some kind of idiot.

Every time I walk to class, I feel like I see the same sea of faces. Asian girls, maybe speaking Korean or Chinese or Californian, pretty girls on bicycles, cool guys on skateboards that whiz right by me at startling speeds, shy girls with their arms crossed, frat boys, artistic types, nerdy guys, short girls, groups of laughing, happy people, the occasional couple holding hands, girls wearing Greek shirts, blondes, Hispanics, African-Americans, Africans…

Most of the people I see, I know wouldn’t want to get to know me. But sometimes I see people with lost eyes, who don’t seem that different from me. If only I could stop them and say hi, say something, ask what their name is. But that is weird. So the current propels me forward, propels them in the opposite direction. We aligned in space, for a moment, but that was all. I know that they have their own life, and that I will likely never be part of their world. And as strange as it seems, the thought makes me sad.

Sometimes, I’m not that bad at walking, as opposed to standing. I feel weird standing sometimes. I can swing my arms and look straight ahead. I can walk fast too. I can look almost normal, like I’m just another girl who has her own life too, I can put on a brave face, a serious face, and pretend not to notice people, pretend that I don’t feel loneliness and apprehension. But I have a feeling that anyone who really pays any attention to me will see right through this thin facade, and the thought terrifies me.

Sometimes, I feel sorry for myself, and I weep when I am alone at night because I feel like my life is going no where, or that it’s just not moving fast enough to where I want to be. This happened to me last night. But then I told myself to get a grip, to stop being so ridiculous. I’m going to college, doing what I always wanted to do, getting a fresh start, not to mention I just recently had a book idea that I have a good feeling about. Not to mention, I have my family, who is always there for me. I got to thinking on the bright side, then reverted back, seesawed a few more times… And then, all alone, I started singing a worship song, all alone in my room to the stillness of the night. The stillness, that was really kind of like a churning. I know someone was listening, I know God heard me. I was afraid, the thought of the glory of God made me cower. It’s like in an old Disney movie, when someone says something like “oh, look, it’s blah, blah blah.” And then they’re like, “HOLY CRAP STICK, IT’S BLAH BLAH.” You know the corny little comedic technique. That’s how it is with me. Most of the time, I console myself with the thought that God is watching. And then, on rare occasions I’m like WAIT, GOD IS WATCHING… I’M NOT ACTUALLY ALONE! And then, that reminds me again what it’s really all about. It’s about God. It’s about God, it’s about God. That’s not something you can learn in a day. I have to remind myself all the time. It would be better if I reminded myself more. Better yet if I took action.

Sorry that this post has been so melodramatic and abstract. I’m in a weird mood now, in case you didn’t get that impression. Hopefully I’ll start making sense again soon.

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