Looking Back: One Thing Remains

Looking Back is a series of posts that reflect on my first semester of college.

Whether it’s down the street or 869 miles down I-35, transition is tough. Looking back, I realize why people say the first semester is the toughest. It’s in between.  It’s uncomfortable and insecure. And every day that you’re in this flux, a choice is made. Am I going to take my insecurities and my homesickness to God or am I going to get back into the life boat?

The life boat is a metaphor Donald Miller uses to describe the human condition. The premise is this: it is our natural instinct for humans to obsessively compare ourselves to each other. It’s as if we are in a sinking life boat and we all are desperately trying to plead our case for why we are better than the next guy. We try to plead our case for why we belong and why we matter but stacking ourselves up against the person next to us.

I wrote this in my journal during a vulnerable moment this semester

8/17/12

I feel like I’m back in the lifeboat. I find myself comparing myself to others, feeling like I don’t have what it takes, and caring too much about what people think of me…I just want to love others and know that Christ is sufficient for me.

Christ is sufficient for me. That’s why the song in the video above was my anthem for the semester. That’s why I wept yesterday when we sang it in church. His love never fails. Comparing myself to the guy next to me, finding my worth in what Billy or Suzy or Professor X or Y thinks of me, that fails. Resting in God’s love, knowing that it never fails or never gives up or never runs out on me, that’s what I want to choose to do every day.

On the eve of Christmas, it should be easier. It should be easier to stay off the lifeboat. Every carol, every gift you give or receive, it serves as a reminder of the person of Jesus Christ:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!  Philippians 2:6-8

Christmas is when we celebrate the beginning of the best love story of all time. Join me in worshipping the very image of love, Jesus Christ, as we celebrate His birth. Let us be so enamored by His crazy love that we don’t need the lifeboat anymore.

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Let’s get political

Since a good portion of my readership is in mourning, I will halfheartedly attempt to cheer y’all up. Hopefully, this will convince you that seceding or moving to Canada is not in your best interest. The one thing I think we can all agree on is that Election day brings out some phenomenal tweets. Something about deciding out leader just ensures that everyone make every one of those 130 characters count.

Funniest tweets of the night:

South Carolina Football Player: “I never got an offer to the electoral college, how good is their football team?”

Bumper Sticker: “A taxpayer voting for Barack Obama is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.”

Eric Metaxas: projecting that one hour from now it will be 9PM on the East Coast. Other time zones are still up for grabs.

BREAKING NEWS: Massive crowd of college students seen earlier fleeing towards Canada shifts direction and is heading straight for Colorado.

Nate Hilgenkamp(my roommate): Nate the Great in 2048. Starting the campaign tomorrow!

Name concealed: Maybe I don’t want to be married by the next election, my husband won’t have any money, #MRSdegree #ruined #noringbyspring

Well, that probably didn’t work. Sorry.

Politics reminds me of sports. There’s some people paying large amounts of money to sit up in bleachers, yell things at the players and feel like they are affecting the results. Sure, on third down, they might force the visiting team to burn a timeout but they are mainly just there. They are spectators. And then you’ve got most people watching the game at home, talking smack to their neighbor who likes a different team, posting about how awesome their team is on their facebook account, inexplicably trying to convince fans of the other team, through their superior logic, to jump on their bandwagon.

We approach politics in this country like it’s the NFL and it’s a shame. Because it isn’t. The difference is that we are the players. No, we’re not the Lebron Jameses or the Peyton Mannings. We aren’t calling all the shots. But we completely underestimate the power that each of us individually has to change our city, country, and world. And it is a travesty that most of us relegate ourselves to the stands, casually living our every day life as if we are powerless to impact the society we live in. There’s nothing wrong to going to the game and cheering for your team, but don’t forget that you can play too. Be the change. 

“He who surrenders himself without reservation to the temporal claims of a nation, or a party, or a class is rendering to Caesar that which, of all things, most emphatically belongs to God: himself.” -CS Lewis

“Politics draws lines between people; in contrast, Jesus’ love cuts across those lines and dispenses grace…we must not let the rules of power displace the command to love.” -Phillip Yancey

Now let’s get into the word.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (emphasis added)

Galatians 5:22-26

 

I impulsively skipped studying for my philosophy test and drove to see these guys play in College Station. Worth it. These guys rock hard and speak truth.