Monday, November 29, 2010

I know it's not anything, but sometimes it feel like I"m not making progress fast enough. There's a lot to be thankful for, and a lot I should just take in and try to enjoy without beating myself up. But it's easy to feel disappointed in yourself. And it's easy to feel like all the effort you've put in has been for naught. I need to keep reminding myself to not expect to accomplish too much at once. That progress, no matter how minute is progress.

I like this quote. Incidentally, I went to Emerson Junior High, named after the author.

"What lies behind us and lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us."


Monday, November 22, 2010

Birthday Resolutions

What's better? Making yearly resolutions on New Years (and here I mean Jan. 1st, although Chinese NY would work just as well), or on your birthday? I've always made my yearly resolutions on NYE. But I was so inspired this week by Elsie's 27 things before I'm 28, that I thought about changing to my birthday. That way, as you face the depression of turning one year older, at least you will have something to show for it! Hey look at this list of things I've done this year...

While doing mundane tasks today, I semi-daydreamed about what would be on my list:

- Reading Plato (I feel so guilty I know so little about philosophy)
- Paintballing (Can't believe I haven't done this yet!)
- Taking an acrylics or oil painting class
- Getting my motorcycle license (possibly)

What would be on your list?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Why I believe in God

Sometimes people ask me why I am Christian. This is really a complicated question. Aside from personal reasons, I think there are so many reason TO believe. One main reason for me is the issue of fairness. Let me explain. When you play a sport, there's rules and a referee to ensure that things are more or less fair right? You might have to submit to random drug tests or other types of regulations to ensure that no one is cheating. In school, teachers and administrators try to make things seem fair. Everyone takes the same SATs, or writes the same essays.

But what about life? Who ensures that things are 'fair' in this large game called life? Who makes sure that you are born into a family that loves and takes care of you? Who makes sure that when you grow up, and start to make friends that they don't abandon or betray you? Or when you start dating that you are treated fairly?

I used to volunteer at a Children's home and the stories I would hear would make me so angry. Most children there had some kind of emotional disorder. One or sometimes both of their parents were in jail. In a few cases, they were adopted, and then unadopted by their "parents". They were basically either children who were purposefully abandoned, or who due to their parents being unable to take care of themselves, taken away by the state. These children are labeled as having "anger management issues", or "personality disorders", but really, they are just kids who were messed up because of their surroundings. They grew up too fast. And the scars they carry with them, will affect their relationships for a long time to come.

When people ask me why I believe in God, this is what I think of. That I do not believe there is true justice in the world. And this both hurts me and bothers me. I can't make things right for everyone. I know I can't. No matter how hard I try, it could never be enough. I can try to make things fair for everyone I meet, but how many people would I meet in my lifetime? I think sometimes God can bridge the gap though. Between what we are and what we want to be. For me, for kids without families, for everyone. Even when you have nothing, you may have God, and that can be enough to make things ok... to get you through. In the same way, how much do we deserve the truly great things that happen to us? Not any moreso I think, than the truly crappy stuff.

My favorite praise song is the Matt Redman song "Blessed Be Your Name". Every time I listen to it, I feel inspired.

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

I'm reminded that when something good happens to me, it's generally not because I deserve it. And when something bad happens to me, I shouldn't stop praising God. In life, things are often unfair. And both good and bad things will happen to me regardless of what I do. But moreso than a person who thinks that they've earned everything good by themselves, or a person that only praises when they are happy, I can choose to praise in both the joy and the pain.