Wednesday, May 27, 2009

100th Post-Changing Perspectives

Recently a girl from my high school graduating class decided to organize a time on Monday nights where we could get together and discuss big issues that we're all strugling with. She called it... "Monday Nights" strangely enough. Such a descriptive term.

Being a white person I am naturally predisposed to have bad memories of high school and so my first response to hearing about this group was "I'm not really sure I'm interested, because it'll be all awkward and we won't really get into anything" but then I decided to ignore my first reaction and run headlong into this group to see what would happen.

When I showed up at the first meeting it was almost exactly as I had pictured it. There before me stood 4 people I hadn't spoken a word to since Graduation and the girl who started the whole thing (Who I hadn't seen in almost a year). We proceeded into the obligatory early discussion about what we were all doing with our lives, and then someone threw out the topic of hell and it all kind of went from there.

I have to say, I've never had an experience like that where I've walked into a room of unfamiliar people and shared quite honestly about a lot of things. It was like we had all grown up all of a sudden or something and now we could sit down and have good solid discussions like adults.

Monday of this week we had another meeting with twice the number of people, and again we had very intimate discussions about some very personal topics and some of us shared our stories of where we were at and what was really going on in high school when we were all worried about making friends. It was really refreshing and I was really kind of sad when it was over, but I know that these discussions are starting to build on me. I'm waking up to the reality of God around me again and thinking about things I've been to lazy to think about for a while.

Sometimes God picks you up and slaps you upside the head to get you out of a funk. When he does it's a great feeling.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Reversals

I was hanging out with some friends and someone told a story about a mutual friend of ours had alcohol for breakfast. We all kind of laughed nervously about the whole thing but some part of me was very unsettled about the whole thing. It's partly a product of the fact that I have a distinct memory of this person making fun of someone else for supposedly drinking at a party. 2 years ago this person was making fun of someone for drinking alcohol, and now this person is drinking for breakfast.

Then this got me thinking about another situation in which another friend was making jokes about the things I was doing on my computer. A few months later I found that this friend was a little involved in these things that he was joking about me doing. Making jokes at someone else, while being guilty of the very thing you're joking about.

Is this unique to Christian culture, where we value good morals and think of some things as very bad? I know that there are other instances where I've seen people become the very things they used to make fun of. What happens to us? Is there some kind of reversal going on?

Or maybe it's all just a cover-up. We project our perceived failings into the humor that we use with those around us. We try to reassure ourselves that it's ok with humor. I don't really know the answer right now. I wish I could figure out what causes this and reverse these reversals.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Redness

I get hung up on being embarassed.

I'm not really sure why this is. It's only really struck me in the last couple of days. I keep thinking about situations where I've been embarrassed either directly or subtly and I always get really emotional about it even if it was like..a year ago or whatever. For some reason embarrassment gets me worked up. It's stupid when I think about it because I know that the other people probably don't even remember the situations for the most part, but for some reason I get worked up thinking about stupid things I've done.

I'm not really sure how to get over this though. I thought dropping this problem here might help me to think about it a little bit.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Board

Wednesdays are the worst. Not only do I have a lab which means a whole bunch of extra work, but I usually end up having to stay on campus later in order to finish either the Monday or Wednesday lab. This means I'm on campus from 9 AM til about 5:30 PM depending on the day. I am essentially working a full time job. I love life...

I'm actually super bored right now. I forgot the book I'm reading right now at home so I'm stuck just chilling here and waiting around for lab time pretty much. I have my laptop but its entertainment value is limited at school (Actually I do have some movies...). What's an organic chemistry student to do?

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Good Life (and the Not So Good Life)

I actually can't remember the last time that life was this good for this long. It's been a few solid months of very good times. It's not just me either. I see a lot of my friends who are really enjoying life (unless they're lying to me) and it makes me happy.

For a long time I felt like God was pretty much in the mood to just poke me and prod me all the time whenever life got good, and then when things were bad he just kind of walked away. Now that things are good I have a lot more perspective on why things went the way they did. I can see the bad times as experiences which contributed to life being good now and helped me to grow a lot.

During my "interview" for my summer job, the interviewer was asking me about seeing the good in really shitty life experiences. I'm working with a lot of kids in mid-high school who are in varying stages of growing and pruning whether it's spiritual stuff or just life things in general. As I was explaining how I felt that my life had finally gotten "good" and how these past experiences, however bad, had contributed to my current state. He asked me if that would help me in my work. I told him that I thought it would because I've been in this spot of feeling like life was just pointlessly awful and God was playing games with me, and now being in a place where I'm past that and I see what good came out of those things, I feel like I can honestly tell the kids I'm working with that if they stick it out and hold on to God, things will get better.

That's the hardest thing to tell someone who's going through rough stuff. When you're in it, you really don't see how it could possibly get better, you just feel like you're stuck in this awkward position. That's the delicate balance that you have to walk. You need to be able to tell them that it'll get better, but you have to be with them in the moment.

It's not unlike a verse in James, reproduced below. (James 2:15-17)

15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Life is a delicate balancing act, and once again teenagers get some of the toughest struggles.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

On Lunch (I guess this is the Wednesday Morning Post...)

The Wednesday morning post has gone back into hibernation for a while, seeing as how I'm in class on Wednesday morning instead of having this really awkward block of time to work in. I'll still try to update periodically when I feel it will improve my sanity but don't expect a post every Wednesday morning. That way you won't be disappointed.

Right now I'm debating whether or not to go track down some lunch. You're probably thinking this is a bit strange, but you need to understand my thought pattern on this. It doesn't (which apparently is not a really word) really make any sense but it does in my head. I didn't pack a lunch this morning which I don't entirely understand given that I had a full 30 minutes in which to pack a lunch. Something must have come over me. So, lunchless, I sit on campus where I could eat but campus food is largely crappy. This problem is compounded by the fact that I currently have no cash on me, thus preventing me from eating on campus. I could go somewhere else and eat but by this point in my lunch hour I don't really have time. So I'm sitting here instead with mild hunger pangs and blogging about how I can't decide to eat lunch.

Sometimes I wonder how I get into these patterns of thinking. Some things should be really simple, but somehow in my brain they get more complicated. I don't know how things all when so terribly wrong, but they did. What's a young man to do?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

To Do List For Today

-Finish eating lunch (PB&J, YUM!)
-attend tutorial about IUPAC names until 4 PM
-work with lab partner on lab write-up
-finish pre-lab for lab tomorrow
-finish 3 online assignments
-prep for lecture tomorrow
-make dinner
-return car to parents
-sleep

I knew that I wasn't going to have a life once I started orgo but it's finally starting to sink in. Yesterday was the last tame day I'm going to have for a very long time. The weekend can't come soon enough.