Standing Up For Yourself Doesn’t Feel Good

Despite what I’ve heard on daytime talk shows

Maybe some people find it liberating. I suppose it depends on your value system.

If I could go back in time and undo it, I would.

I did it because I made a big deal out of something that seems to represent all the things in life that I am discontented with. I was tired of not getting my way. I really thought they would understand, but they didn’t. They don’t understand me anymore than I understand them, even after all this “communication.” And why would I expect her to change? Why would I expect any mercy? She’s not even a Christian, but I am. I shouldn’t have done it.

There’s an old, kind of silly saying, “It’s better to be kind than right.” I think that saying is true. If I had been kind instead of right, I don’t think I would feel so lousy right now. 

I would rather not talk about the big problems with the world, but I think it’s safe to say that sometimes, with petty little problems that other people would dream to have, maybe it’s best to let the molehills be molehills. 

 

 

 

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Lilies of the Field

I was inspired this morning to blog about something, which, at the time, seemed very stimulating and theologically involved. But, unfortunately, life has gotten in the way. I don’t even feel that I am worthy of the noble thoughts that I planned on posting for today. So instead, I will talk about something that’s been on my mind, plaguing me and robbing me of my joy. Hopefully if I splash it out onto virtual paper it will help, or not, I suppose.

I try not to bore anyone who reads this blog with the annoying details of my life, but it may be inevitable as I am explaining myself. I apologize in advance.

I feel that my career has already gotten off to a rocky start, even though it has not even started. If I were to phrase it a little more melodramatically, I would say, “My life is ruined!” That’s kind of how I feel right now.

Let me go back in time so you can understand. This will be brief. The first midterm for my financial accounting class (which “assumes no prior knowledge of accounting”), I… Well, I’ll say what I didn’t do instead. I didn’t write all the answers on my hand or my water bottle. It was an open-book partnered test after all. Sounds easy right? It actually wasn’t. I have never been a believer in cheating, but let’s put it this way, I didn’t follow the directions of the test to the tee. It just sort of happened, but I felt really bad about it afterward. The funny thing is, I would consider myself an honest person. By nature, not by choice necessarily. I couldn’t lie straight to save my life.

But apparently, during accounting tests, I lose my mind a little. Especially the final, which was so hard and stressful that I wanted to cry. And I usually don’t get test anxiety.You’ll have to take my word for it.

It was in this frenzy that I may have bent the test rules again. Let the judgment begin.

This accounting class has been the weirdest academic experience of my life. Here’s another interesting thing. The TA’s didn’t even give me a score for one of my midterms. The other midterm, not the questionable one. So I emailed the professor. Long story short, this has become a real headache. An annoying misunderstanding, but I wonder if it was meant to be. Is this my just desserts for technically cheating? I am afraid so. WIth the D on my transcript and some weirdness between me and this professor, who I highly doubt is ever going to help me get internships now, some questions come up. Do I deserve the D? Should I insist upon the D? Should I try to explain myself to the professor and fess up to my seemingly inconsequential missteps? Should I be an accountant at all? Surely this is a sign from God that it was not meant to be. Though I may have thought my intentions were pure going into those tests, well, maybe they weren’t. Perhaps I was doing it for the financial security in uncertain times, or the legendary accounting party/conferences where scotch and Coca Cola flow like water.
I’m in kind of a rough spot. If they raise my grade, I’ll feel like I don’t deserve it. If they don’t raise my grade, I imagine that I can pretty much say goodbye to any internship possibilities that may have existed. And do I really deserve a D?

I prayed that the fair thing would happen. But I still have an uneasy feeling inside. I’m kind of hoping at this point that they won’t raise my grade.

I thought I knew myself. I thought that I was smart. I thought that I was honest. I thought I had a bright future ahead. And now, thinking ahead makes me cringe. It’s all so muddled out there. Maybe it’s better that way.

I don’t know what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. But I think I’ll take it one step at a time. Maybe I will try to explain myself to my professor. What’s the worst that can happen? He already thinks I’m incompetent, and I already have a D. Though I suppose I could get an F, or an expulsion. But isn’t it better to burn earthly bridges than spiritual ones? In fact, I just emailed the professor. Thank you blogging for leading me to a decision. Lord, please bring peace to my heart.

To close, here is a very relevant Bible verse:
Matthew 6:28-30
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

The Two Edged Sword That is The Truth

“Tell the truth, honest is the best policy,” they say. “The truth will set you free,” they say. Well, who am I to contradict that? But the truth is just not fun. Think about it, why would the truth be pleasant? The things we do aren’t usually good and the things we think aren’t all that noble, so why would anyone want to disclose more embarrassing facts than absoulutely necessary for practicality and sanity? Isn’t one of the basic aims of humanity to make every effort to escape from the crueler realities of life, whether through the bottle, the screen, the crack pipe, or, in some cases, the book?

Don’t deny it. Denying it won’t get you anywhere.

One of the Ten Commandments is you shall not lie. “Fair enough” we think. “Surely no good can come out of lying. But why do I need to tell my neighbor about every skeleton in my closet, every secret fear and agony that haunts my soul?” So most of us don’t attempt to disclose that stuff. Because it’s only true- who really wants to hear all that? No one.

So then we try to be very judicious about what we reveal. Just yesterday I was covering up, oh, a pretty important trespass against someone. I thought it was okay, since I wasn’t really lying, at least a vast majority of the time, just withholding important information, that’s all. But I started to feel really bad about it yesterday. I would deliberate and deliberate in my head, endlessly. I’d come to the decision to keep up the charade, but I never felt good about the decision, so the process just repeated itself. The Golden Rule, that was my justification, the golden rule. It’s amazing how good the enemy is at helping you justify your wrong actions, even when you start to get that “sinking feeling,” which I believe is really God tapping you on the shoulder. So I tried putting myself in the shoes of the trespassee. I thought, “If I were them, would I really want to know?” Wouldn’t it be better if I just fixed it, saving them the heartache? Yet I came to realize the impossibility of rectifying the situation without them knowing about it. I suppose I sort of knew  it from the beginning, I just choose not to acknowledge it, since I was just so focused on trying to save myself. But anyway, back to the narration. So I asked for a sign, and I thought was going to wait a couple more agaonizing, guilt-ridden days. But then I got my sign, much sooner than I thought, which convinced me once and for all that the deception absolutely needed to end. And that was the moment that I came clean.

What can be learned from this story? Not necessarily that you need to tell people everything. Even if you were insane enough to want to do this, come on, you wouldn’t be able to. I suppose the lesson is that you have instincts, as a believer, and as a person. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll regret not listening to instincts (God’s whisperings)  more often than not, impeded my pride, laziness, or a myriad of selfish concerns. And then, you have to just stop beating yourself up.

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