meditations

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Help Me

Lord, please help me. I fear the direction that I am going, and I fear the challenges in front of me. I feel like I've become a stench in the eyes of some of my friends. I am scared to pray this and even tell another soul about the condition of my heart, because I have so many fears. It has been months since I've been on an active pursuit of you. My pride won't allow me to simply be.. The discomforts of suffering make me want to quit, but I will strive. Correct me. Correct me, the incorrigible. Correct me, the fake. Correct me, the angry. I am desperate for you. God... please restore me to a healthy place.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Poverty of False Reality

Ever since I have been a young child, I have had several complexes. No, this is not something I want to reveal about myself. (Another representation of the insecurities which have existed for years on end.) I have always been one to please others. I've been taught to serve. After all, my dad, a pastor, and my mom, a nurse, are both servants in their work who believe their financial and living provisions are provided by the Almighty.

As an only child, or as the youngest and oldest child, I have never grasped the concept of accepting that love. Being born in a meritocratic world with laws which prescribe and prohibit behaviors while bombarding the young mind's mentality with self-directed representations of values, how is it even possible to live normally?

The infirmity which has been breaking me recently is relational. The feeling of not ever being able to be in a serious dating relationship with anybody is troubling me. That insecurity is reflected through resentment, attachment, jealousy, and idiocy. What is it that I want? If I like someone enough, I secretly want to be with them forever. I want to be the person in the center. Me. Me. Me. Just me. But dude, how is this even feasible?

Plagued with that image of being a "nice guy" who's so passive and doesn't do anything, has no conviction or balls to take a step forward, and on the other hand, not being "many" enough to respond in grunts, and just... not really care about things.... it's all bullshit. So what do I do? I hide. I don't allow myself, my real self to be exposed as is. I am no longer transparent, I become opaque.

I firmly believe in friendships growing into relationships that will be fruitful eventually... I still remember an aching thing from my past. It tells me, "dude, that's bullshit... how many times did you get played with that kind of mindset?" so i'm locked. trapped. stuck in between a place where i'm feeling envious of other guys who have it so easy, or... even feeling inferior to those particular gentlemen. This brings me to a point where I say, dude... I suck. I am confused. I say a prayer to Christ explaining to Him my lostness. How I long to come back home. I say I surrender but I only give Him some of the bad, but cling onto the cynical me, the jealous me, the insecure me. I hang on.......

But even thinking about this, I see how much of an idol or god (note: lower-case 'g') thoughts of dating and marriage can be. Where am I coming from? I believe (but am constantly learning about this belief in a realer sense) that the only relationship that can truly fill me does not come from trying to pour my all out into any particular friend or girl or family member or whatnot, but God, alone. When I try to impress somebody or try to get someone to like me.... I am not being real. I am in fact, deceiving in order to better my appearance in order to get a certain kind of relationship while I'm still the same insecure, broken man who hasn't really been healed or anything. I try to please by being somebody I am not. This is when the poverty of my false reality kicks me in the gut extra hard. But it's a correctional kick which reaches me on so many levels. Being revealed to this poverty, I come to see how ugly my attitude, intentions, and SELF is.

One thought I remember having last year when one of my friends in Irvine started getting really friendly with another friend was, "FUCK. How come I always get shitted on?" The reality was... he allowed God to work in Him. The manifestation of his relationship with his current girlfriend was real. They have a real and authentic relationship with transparency, openness, love, forgiveness, and kindness. I felt really jealous. All I said to myself was, "Dude, why do you gotta be such a bitch?" I attempted to drown the increasing insecurity and desolation with alcohol and drugs and contemplating suicide. Why? Why was I so negatively sensitive to this that I could not be okay with the joy my friends were both experiencing and be supportive and glad for them?

I realized how much of a god I tried to make of my pride/self and the girl. I realized how jealous I got and saw so much poverty in that. What is it that I wanted? I wanted a relationship that I thought could fulfill my deepest longings and satisfy my deepest insecurities. Nope. I came to realize the insecurities were magnified, and the gap of my longings was widened. Why? Christ was nowhere in the picture. Self was glorified. Flesh was pleased. Ugliness was justified.

God has a purpose and plan for me which is being reconciled with Him through Jesus Christ. Secondly, finding the right person is not as important as being the right person. Thirdly, I was hardly honest. I was living a fantasy in which I thought things would be so great if they were a certain way... I was seeking romance instead of friendship. What is a building built on little toothpicks? NOTHING. I was trying to build the roof without building the foundation first. As I continued to build the roof over the little cramped space I designated in my heart, it became more and more difficult to build up the friendship. So friendship was not sought before love. I was rushing things. God doesn't do quick-fixes (except in the case of miracles). The best things and most beautiful things are very painstakingly crafted or developed over a course of time. My intentions were ill. Being stuck in that fantasy gear, I longed to cultivate romance without the blessing or honesty or friendship to. I was not transparent. I was far from it. I lied. I lost sight of what a relationship is--it is intended to enjoy God and glorify God in togetherness and unity. I lost sight of the reality that I could very possibly and plausibly get hurt in a place where I did care and love and serve as well. I remember how I would disappoint my parents when I was younger. GOD'S PLAN IS THE BEST. No use in pursuing something which doesn't have his blessing.

God, please heal me from whatever's impeding me from experiencing full, joyful and intimate friendships with everybody. I feel that I am so uncapable of even being a friend. I feel like I've been squandering your riches in order to magnify myself and make myself seem like I'm the most important being in the world.... God, I feel the poverty of my false reality from throughout the years up until today. Forgive me for the times I've stumbled, had bad intentions and did not understand. Forgive me for being a spoiled kid, treating you like Santa Claus or a parent who withheld stuff. God, I believe you won't withhold good, ever. In this time, I come to you seeking to reconcile.... Please take my ugliness, my jealousy, my shadiness, my past, my doubt, and my foolishness.... No, take all of it. Take my joy, and mold it into your joy...

GOD PLEASE MAKE ME CAPABLE OF LOVING. LOVING YOU. LOVING OTHERS. LOVING MYSELF, BUT JOYFULLY GROWING.... PERSEVERING THROUGH STRUGGLES.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Ezekiel 36:25-38

36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them].

36:28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

36:29 I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.

36:30 And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.

36:31 Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that [were] not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.

36:32 Not for your sakes do I [this], saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.

36:33 Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause [you] to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded.

36:34 And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by.

36:35 And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities [are become] fenced, [and] are inhabited.

36:36 Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined [places, and] plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken [it], and I will do [it].

36:37 Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet [for] this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do [it] for them; I will increase them with men like a flock.

36:38 As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

In Light

Scared, fumbling, doubting, weak, stupid, hurt, defensive.

+

Sought out, willfully discussing and allowing oneself to be spoken to, and in turn giving that same degree of care back.

=

Being able to be loved.


In light, enlightened by the searchlight which seeks in darkness. Absorb the beauty, there is no other beauty or fame such as my God.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Pressing Forward

So strange to see that mistakes are not ultimate failures. But by all obviousness, to not indulge in going through the paths that make mistakes an inevitability.

Much like a household rat eating the cheese on the mouse trap, or the roaches that are lured into a trap by sweet smelling foods, temptation seems to be that bait for the snare that is set beneath it. Underlying any temptation seems to be something that intially seems good, but overall is poison.

Having tasted the poison yet again, I am in desperate need of resuscitation. I know what's good for me, but why do I compromise my standards? Why do I place comfort, security and judgment into my own hands?

Skewed visions of what reality is. My will is weak, my desires are strong. Only if the desires would be molded after something of worth. My desires are molded after the path widely traveled. The destination is the cliff... the place where lemmings drop like flies--I can't die like this. I can't live like this either. There is something that goes beyond how things appear.

So many fronts and facades to put up that reality is shattered....


Oh, Lord, I am weak... I have failed once again.... Once again, I ask you to save me. I give my self, my everything into Your hands. It isn't much, but please show me daily that You are enough.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Addiction

What does it take to stop? If something is bad for one's well-being, and this knowledge is known by the addict, how does he quit? How does he quit a habit he's been continuing for years and years? The addict wishes to quit. He firmly desires to quit. Yet in the face of adversity, his will crumbles... Perhaps this takes brokenness... the type of brokenness that makes you realize that we're not in control... That our lives will eventually spiral out, or we'll end up going crazy if we don't direct our addictions to the proper authorities. But what I just said, "directing our addictions to the proper authorities," one grows weary of authority. Ever since the day a child is spanked, operant conditioning tells her that in order to receive good things, you do good. If you do bad things, you receive bad. Based on this meritocracy, how are we to trust that we are loved, despite our cesspool of lies, hurt and burdens? I'm learning myself.... one day at a time. Thank you, Jesus.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Tears, Loss, Joy

Psalm 126

A song for the ascent to Jerusalem.
1
When the LORD restored his exiles to Jerusalem,
it was like a dream!

2
We were filled with laughter,
and we sang for joy.
And the other nations said,
"What amazing things the LORD has done for them."

3
Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us!
What joy!

4
Restore our fortunes, LORD,
as streams renew the desert.

5
Those who plant in tears
will harvest with shouts of joy.

6
They weep as they go to plant their seed,
but they sing as they return with the harvest.



Habakkuk 3

17Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, 18yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation. 19The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He will make me as surefooted as a deer[f] and bring me safely over the mountains.



"The younger son's return takes place in the very moment that he reclaims his sonship, even though he has lost all the dignity that belongs to it. In fact, it was the loss of everything that brought him to the bottom line of his identity. He hit the bedrock of his sonship. In retrospect, it seems that the prodigal had to lose everything to come into touch with the ground of his being. When he found himself desiring to be treated as one of the pigs, he realized that he was not a pig but a human being, a son of his father. This realization became the basis for his choice to live instead of to die. Once he had come again in touch with the truth of his sonship, he could hear--although faintly--the voice calling him the Beloved and feel--although distantly--the touch of blessing. This awareness of and confidence in his father's love, misty as it may have been, gave him the strength to claim for himself his sonship, even though that claim could not be based on any merit."
-Henri Nouwen
on the Parable of the Prodigal Son





What do tears imply? Tears imply being overwhelmed at either extreme. One cries tears of joyful laughter or tears of sorrowful loss.. Focusing on loss--tears, the feeling of abject poverty in the spiritual life means gain. Gain? How does losing something mean gain? Maybe when we get too proud, too comfortable, too complacent, too dependent on our own resources, God's love is reflects from those tear drops. Why love? Why do tears reflect love? Love so impossible that it takes a marginalized, misfitted, rejected, broken man/woman and reminds this person of the absolute freedom in being loved. Tears from an infant reflect need--need for provisions, for embrace, and for necessities, and blessings. So long have tears and fears been avoided that I'm a pent up automatron, trying to stomach every pain. When everything comes collapsing... I fall in tears... on my knees... realizing that I missed the point. The point is love. Opportunity knocks. Tearful surrender is the opening of that door.

Joyful tears. "How sweet it is to be loved by you." That old pop song from back before I was born. It's like realizing how blessed, how undeserving, yet how appreciated I am.... How LOVED I AM! It is the appreciation of the other party in being able to think about me so deeply and love me so graciously that I am awestruck... tearfully laughing!