Friday, January 23, 2009
When I was in fifth grade stickers became really popular (does anyone else remember that?). We would go to these machines in the stores and buy stickers...and if we had cool ones...we would trade them. Sometimes, if our stickers were lame, we would trade 3 lame ones for 1 semi cool one. And if we were really good negotiators...you might actually get a cool one for 3 lame ones. I won't go too into depth with the whole trading process, I feel like it might reveal too much about how stupid it was. But I do remember this one especially dramatic incident. You see, I had 4 matching dog and alien heads. Each dog head matched the alien head. And yes, this collection was the envy of all the fifth graders. Everyone wanted this one specific set of alien/dog heads. They were bright tie dye colors...with shimmery blocks that would glisten when you moved it back and forth. I got offered entire sticker collections for those two stickers. I got offered money...and I think one girl actually cried. But I wouldn't cave. Those were MY stickers...and I was going to keep them...and not stick them on ANYTHING.
I was the point guard on my varsity basketball team my senior year of high school. I got a lot of playing time...and was fully aware of the fact that my coach counted on me a lot. To be honest, I was pretty proud of myself. But of course I was really humble whenever anyone would say anything. I would say things like, "Well it's a team effort, I couldn't win by myself" or "Aw thanks, did you see Krystal's shot though? She did really well tonight." But in my head I was thinking, "I know."
It was my last game, we were playing in the Friendship Tournament...and the game was close. I made a couple of bad passes, and my coach pulled me out. For the rest of the game another point guard went in, and she did really good. I mean...she dominated. So I'm sitting there...fuming, it's MY last high school game...ever...and this freshman girl is outshining me. The buzzer went off...we still lost...but my team was really excited for this girl. And me? I was upset. Because it was MY game and MY time to shine, and I didn't even get to play in the fourth quarter.
I have a lot of clothes. A lot that I don't wear, that just sit. So I decided that I wanted to clean my closet out and take my clothes to Platos Closet to hopefully get some money for them. My roommates asked me if they could rummage through my clothes before I took them and see if they liked anything I was giving away. And I hesitated. For some reason I have a hard time giving away clothes to friends, because I'm afraid I'll see my clothes on them and think, "That's a really cool shirt, I should have kept it...dang it." What a ridiculously selfish way to think. What a RIDICULOUSLY selfish way to think.
I am so so selfish.
Ben and I had a discussion about relationships today, as we frequently do. One thing we talked about was the fact that there is this deep evil that inhabits each one of us. Not many people get to see it in all it's glory...we're pretty good at covering it up. But it's there. And at the core of it...is selfishness.
We are a society that focuses on personal gain, it's more about us and our happiness...than about others and theirs. We are naturally this way.
This is the worst thing that Satan could have done, I think. Because it is COMPLETELY opposite of who God is. In the Bible God is CONSTANTLY asking us to give of ourselves, to be SELFLESS, to LOVE the unlovable. And yet, these are some of the hardest things for us to do. But it's interesting, because we feel better when we do these things.
It's what we were created for.
I want to work on this.
Selflessness, when practiced and not just preached, is the most beautiful thing you'll ever see.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
There's a lot of depth here at Southern. I was just thinking about a couple of conversations I've had this week that have been really good. Most of them have been with adults who have already walked the same road that I'm walking, and asked the same questions. Growing is good...discussion is awesome. Here are some thoughts brought up so far this week...
God is doing some amazing things here. I am so blessed to be a part of it.
- When you're raising your kids...how strict is too strict? You don't want to shelter them, but you want to protect them from the corruption of this world...so where's the balance? Mr. Verrill says that, when you become a parent, sometimes you realize that the ideals you had for raising your children don't seem as relevant, and you end up changing a lot of the way you thought you would do it. That's probably true...I feel like right now I have a lot of things that I KNOW I'm not going to let my kids do, like have a cell phone before they're 16, own an ipod before they're...older, have a television, have a myspace. But, most likely, when I have my kids... some of these things won't seem as important to me and I'll choose to fight the bigger battles. Like drugs, and sex, and sabbath.
- I had a conversation with Joylynn and Mr. Hamilton today about the state of our church. Why is it that most Christians seem so much more on fire for God than Seventh-day Adventists do? Especially the youth. Why are we so reluctant to talk freely about our God. If God is literally the reason that we are living...why don't we share that...with everyone...anyone...someone? What happens when a Seventh-day Adventist parent would rather send their child to a Christian school than a SDA school because their child learns more about what it means to be a child of God when they attend that school. When they come home saying, " I didn't know that Christianity could be so amazing. The people their know God, and live it."
- I'm taking a class titled Money, Sex, and Power. I know. Awesome. Today Leatherman said that people don't choose futility deliberately...but because of the choices that we make, we get ourselves into futile situations. He gave an example of an invention that he called "The Leathermanizer". This is a really expensive electronic device that sucks up 20 hours of your time, it costs about $200, and then about $10 every month, and uses a lot of electricity...or something like that. But, it doesn't do anything. It doesn't benefit you in any way. So he asked our class, "Would you buy it?". We, of course, said no...because it would be futile, there's no use for it. Then he said, "How many of you have a TV in your house?" Oh snap! We get pulled into these situations, these addictions that seem, at first, like they will be fruitful, like they'll mean something...but they just end up being futile attempts to gain happiness. Money, Sex, Power. All futile attempts to gain something that God offers freely. This class...is going to be awesome.
- Sarah Hayhoe is a wise woman. I adore her. Last night we were up until about 2:30am...just talking. It's like a sleepover...every night. I did a lot of the talking, I had a lot of things to unload, to sort out. And she listened, for about an hour...just listened, and loved. Something that I desperately needed. It's experiences like that that remind me how beautiful friendship is. How we are made for relationships. We are made in God's image, and therefore thirst for community. We are lucky here at Southern my friends.
- Another great point that was brought to my attention this week was the fact that the men that Jesus' chose to be his closest companions, the men that He chose to carry on His message...they all had one really essential thing in common...passion. They were all passionate men...and when they channeled that into something that they really believed in, they sprang to life...and made things happen. I want that, I want passion...channeled passion.
God is doing some amazing things here. I am so blessed to be a part of it.