“Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order blindly and dumbly to rot and disappear forever.”—Ernest Becker
I dream of big cities. Big festivities. Big buildings. Big vibes. Big lights. A sleepless jungle with endless possibilities. Maybe it’ll come true, or maybe it’ll have to wait. Maybe it’s not meant to be.
My dreams tumble, my dreams fall. My dreams shatter, and they make me cry. Sometimes dreams are meant to be broken because they’re the wrong dreams. For there is only one purpose here on this earth that is truly worth dreaming about, and thus I know I am a part of something bigger.
When happiness and joy doesn’t sync up, you have a problem. What makes you temporarily happy but doesn’t bring you eternal joy. Selfishness overcomes, and you find yourself always thinking about what you can do for yourself rather than what really matters. Such simple minded creatures are we.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”—Mark Twain
I have been moved into my place at Brooklyn Heights since Sunday, and was expecting the rest of my roommates to move in today. Got home from work all tired and ready for bed. Tried to open the door but my card didn’t work. Knocked and a guy opened the door. Turns out Jamie, Kyle, and Darryl were put together into the room…too bad both Jamie and Kyle were girls and not boys. This would have been funny, but I was the one who had to move out and now I get that janky bed that no one wants. Sucks to suck, but right now my life is still beyond blessed right now.
Was it difficult to cultivate your relationship with Christ while traveling abroad?
It was initially very difficult to find and meet other Christians abroad in Prague. The only mildly religious people that I met were traditional Catholics, which was discouraging after I found that mass wasn’t for me. But some time later, I have come to terms that this is the first time that I wasn’t surrounded by Christian community. Realizing this, I have quickly learned that my relationship with God doesn’t depend on the faith of others; it is a relationship purely between me and God. I found out that all these years I have heavily relied on weekly “commitments” for me to fulfill my “spiritual time slot”, such as small group, large group, church, etc. That was definitely a refreshing semester for me, learning self-discipline and taking my own initiative to get to know God on a deeper, more personal level. I learned many lessons that I would not have learned by just being in the Austin campus. In a godless place, I had God right by my side.
In terms of literally being on the road and traveling, it was especially difficult to keep discipline and reflect with God and praise Him every night. But one thing to remember is that God with you in all your travels, and it should be a joy for you to share these experiences with the Holy One. Love it and cherish it! He is protecting you from all the horrible things that can go wrong each and every second when you’re in foreign terrain, but the fact that I have been kept safe during all my travels has truly been a gift.
Reflecting on Easter last year, I remember a sermon that Matt Carter preached that changed my life. He preached it a few months before that too, because this is just that important:
When living in “religion”… there is struggle with guilt we run away from God when we sin we struggle with forgiving others it is lifeless we repent because of fear
When living in the gospel… we feel sorrow for our sins because we are overwhelmed by gratitude for God’s grace we run towards God when we sin our burdens are lifted because we experience freedom we forgive others quickly and completely (but not necessarily easily) we are full of life because of God’s kindness we are a work-in-progress!
I hope that one may reflect on this daily and be reminded not to fall in just “religion”. Praise God for a true relationship with Him!
Seeing graduates caught up in the past bothers me. People who hate their jobs, live with regrets, and wish for the past. Where is my life headed? Will post-college life be even better than college? Even before I entered college I’ve been told that college will be the best years of your life. But now as I am more than halfway through and I’m starting to see the end, I strive for more.
Studying abroad has definitely given me perspective and has shown me unconventional paths of life. We, as products of typical suburbia, have generally seen our lives go through the conventional route: Elementary School, Middle School, High School, College, and eventually, a job. We weren’t trained to think outside the box, to explore options and to live life with uncertainty. That’s one of the reasons why I chose Marketing. I am learning to be okay with uncertainty, but what is the right balance of risk propensity and return? What I don’t want is desk job crunching numbers and doing busy work, but how far do I dare stray from that? As I start the “defining decade” of my life, it’s time to find the answers.
“When people plan their stories around themselves, they come to the end and realize their stories were empty. They realize they weren’t the sun and when they forced the world to revolve around themselves, they had no capacity to bring life to those they loved.”—Don Miller