Living Sacrifice

Friday, January 30, 2004

There are so many things on my mind, I’ve been sitting here trying to write, and I just can’t seem to find a place to start. So, maybe I’ll try again tomorrow.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

I'm not really sure how I am feeling right now. I'm just in one of those spots where I am trying to think about WAY too many things at one time, and it's becoming a bit overwhelming. Let's try this one step at a time.
First of all, I am thinking about attempting to graduate a semester early because I've decided that I'm ready to leave Miami as soon as possible. I'm just getting worn out of being here. So, I'm thinking of ditching my idea of double-majoring and just sticking with a major in Psyche and a minor in Family Relationships (since they have gotten rid of the Family Studies minor). From what I can tell, I have 27 hours to go before I graduate, with only 3 hours to go in my Psyche degree and 8 hours in Family Relationships. So, that leaves me with 16 hours to blow!! haha Dang. Well, if I can hack 11 hours this summer (whew!) I could finish both my major and my minor this summer and then just take whatever I well-pleased in the fall for my final senior semester. Hmmmm....sounds fun I guess. I guess now might be a good time for me to talk to an advisor, eh? I don't know...I've made it this far without one. hehe Anyway, I'm thinking that if I can graduate early, I can spend the rest of December, January, and February working at home at Arby's (since everything at home is free and Arby's pays a crapload more than anywhere in Oxford), and then hit the road in March down to GA and begin my adventures on the Appalachian Trail! High hopes and dreams.....we'll see where it all goes.
Another big thing on my mind: taking drugs. Yes, taking drugs. Kathy (my new friend in Cincinnati) thinks that I should start taking an anti-depressant because, well, she thinks I'm depressed. And frankly, I just really don't know how to feel about that. She's not proposing that it will fix my problems, so it's not a "solution," just a side thing to help cope I guess. I don't really know. But I still haven't figured out how I feel about using drugs to fix emotional problems. Studies are now showing that it is more of physical problem....a chemical imbalance in the brain of serotonin levels. I guess I can buy that.....but then I have to ask, "Why is there a chemical imbalance?" And then I think to myself, "Maybe other problems (like issues in my life) cause a chemical imbalance, and therefore, if I fix those issues, my body will naturally fix the chemical imbalance." For some reason, I just feel like taking a medication is showing a lack of faith that God can fix me. But I guess He can fix me through medication....He created everything..... *sigh* I don't know what to do. And not to mention, anti-depressants have side effects.
Another thing: Kathy thinks I have an issue with suppressing anger....holding in too much. But I don't know...I just don't really feel like I am a very angry person. And, I feel like the Bible preaches against getting angry unless there is a just reason for it (i.e. people defiling God's temple). "Slow to anger" I think it says in James somewhere. But, I also don't really know what Kathy was suggesting as to alternatives to suppressing, I guess I need to read this book she recommended first and then decide how I feel. The book looks like it is written by a secular author, so I have to be sure I am alert and discerning. "The Dance of Anger" it's called. It was in the "self-help/psychology" section of Borders. haha The section where people go when then aren't "all there upstairs." Just kidding .....well...... maybe......or maybe I'm CRAAAAAZY. Hmmmm
Many other little things on my mind, but I'll leave those alone for now. I think the biggest theme running through my life right now is "Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth" (1 John 3:18). I've begun to realize that it's really easy to talk the talk. Anyone can get up and speak about God, tell how great He is, what He does, teach about a Jesus story, say they love someone..... but, it means nothing without actions.
God desires the talk AND THE WALK....especially the walk. So....

I can talk the talk, but can I walk the walk?

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Ahhhh.....It finally feels like winter. White powder everywhere, icicles hanging off of trees and cars, snow balls, snow angels....I don't care how much people complain about winter. That doesn't change the fact that when I walk outside, I'm taken in by the beauty while the little kid inside of me begins to emerge as a smile creeps across my face. Just last night, I had the craving for a pop (yes, it's a "pop" in the North, not a "soda"), and I remembered seeing a pop machine next to the laundry room in the other apartment complex rather than the laundry room just across the hall. So, I decided that my craving was intense enough to be worth satisfying, and so, in my hooded sweatshirt and silky track "skins" underneath my jeans, I jetted outside in search for the machine. I had no idea it would be so much fun! Of course I was cold, but that added to the adventure. As I ran across the parking lot, I took the liberty of stopping and sliding on the semi-slippery pavement. You can't do that in the summer! :) And it was fun prancing through the snow on the path to the laundry room. In fact, it was so much fun, that I forgot my money, and so when I got to the pop machine, I got to go BACK to my apartment and do it all over again! haha That must have been subconsciously on purpose, eh Freud?
Speaking of my track "skins," I did learn a lesson yesterday: Don't wear silky pants underneath baggy jeans, especially if you aren't going to wear a belt. I almost lost my pants a couple times yesterday, and that's something Miami University just isn't ready to handle.
On the subject of learning things, I learned something else about myself this past weekend: I am a freak of nature. My rib cage is really big and sticks out at the bottom. At first, I thought maybe it was normal....maybe females have different rib cages or something. So, when I had the chance, I looked up skeletal differences between males and females. The only real difference between men and women occurs in the pelvic area and the overall smaller bone density for women. So.....I'm a freak that has a freaky rib cage. Or....I'm "unique", just freaky I think.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Sometimes, when I take a step back from my life, I begin to think that maybe I’m getting sucked in…..sucked into this thing we call “education,” and sucked into the mentality of living for my own benefit. It’s the American way of life, and most certainly the Miami University way of life. I was in Spring Street Market today, picking up a few vittles for my tummy, and I realized how self-centered everyone is here. Everyone was in the store with a goal in mind: to get what they wanted as quickly as possible, interact as little as possible with anyone else, and leave. I have to admit, I was in the same frame of mind. As I was fulfilling my mission, I ended up dropping my CD player on the ground, spilling the batteries and my CD. Hardly anyone flinched. People were so into their own thing that the world simply continued on around me as if nothing had happened, as if I wasn’t even there. I felt like a burden, like I was an obstacle….I was in the way, and no one cared one smidgen about me on the floor gathering my things. The sad thing is, had this not been me, I probably would have reacted just like everyone else did….by simply ignoring anything that didn’t directly affect me or the goals I have for myself.
This is the world we live in. A self-centered, selfish race…everyone in it for their own personal profit. I went to the House of Prayer on Friday night, and something the speaker said was, “we are a performance-based society,” and it’s so true. We all feel like we have something to live up to, some way of feeling like we have to put on a show for other people, to look good and be esteemed by others. The thing is, this is almost opposite of how God sees things. We don’t earn our salvation….we don’t even have to do anything to “win” God’s love for us. He doesn’t expect a performance, and we certainly don’t have to prove anything to God. He already knows every cell that makes us who we are.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”- Psalm 139:13-16

We just simply have to “be” and accept the One Sacrifice God sent as a symbol of His love. Like any earthly father, God the Father simply desires our love. That’s all. This first commandment that Jesus said to do was to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). And we show our love to God by obeying His commands (1 John 5:3) and following the second commandment Jesus made which was to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).
So, I think what’s been hitting me hard lately is how I have allowed the world (specifically Miami University) to corrupt my mind into thinking that I should be living my life for myself, for my success, for my gain, to reach my goals. “Do not love the world or anything in the world” (1 John 2:15). Those are worldly things, and I’ve let myself become a part of this world. Instead, I should be living my life for God, for the sake of the gospel, and for others. God didn’t put us here for our own personal gain. “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:7-8). Isn’t that exactly it? Anything we gain that is personal profit will only be rubbish in the end… will mean nothing to us, to others, or especially to God, and instead will be seen as loss, because where there is more of us, there is less of God, and we are drawn away from His will and His freedom for us.
I hope the next time I see someone drop their CD player, or even more so, see someone hurting or in need, I’m not so absorbed in my own life that I miss an opportunity to share God’s love with someone who really needs it.

“Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did” -1 John 2:6

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Just doing a test round.