Thursday, January 26, 2012

Why Can't I Be In Their Shoes Again, Final

Yep, the title is back, recycled, reused, and abused. Don't worry, this was meant to be a trilogy ;)

Call me a sad, sad child but I've been waiting for the Grove Winter Retreat ever since I graduated. I just wanted to relive the college experience all over again. The time leading up to the retreat felt like ages, but the time at retreat felt like a blink of an eye. But thats life. Everything you enjoy goes by in a flash while everything you stress about continues to carve out the Grand Canyon. I think the anticipation and the hype we created amongst ourselves made it that much quicker, but that much better. Me, chubs, and Wayne took off early from work to get to Long Point before 10pm. We got there exactly at 10pm and already it felt like college never ended. Only thing different was the fact that everyone was greeting you and hugging you like you have seen each other in ages. Good times.

There was nothing especially different about this retreat in comparison to the past four I've been to but this one just felt unique. One, its the first I've attended where I could actually sit in the congregation section, and two, we're "young adults". Retreat in general is a time where you refresh, renew, and reinvigorate yourself for God. Check, check, and check. I've also experienced the college life again. Check. However, I've also realized something else. Aside from the challenge Pastor Lisa left with us, I've also got a sense of being alive. Not just breathing but a sense that this is what I live for. Its like not having a bowl of pho for a week and finally being able to down two large bowls, soup and all. To no surprise I longed to be amongst my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, to worship and praise together, to pray and heal each other, to share Christ's love with each other. It was this very moment that I looked forward to all year long. Its over now but for the time being, it was a nice glimpse of heaven.

On the way back from the blessed time, we got to talking about our current positions in life, our jobs, and how we still wished we were back in college. Bare truth is I still dread Mondays and I'm not excited about the work I do. It doesn't get my adrenaline kicking, it doesn't make me feel alive. On a pessimistic view, I probably won't be pumped for whatever I do next. As much as I've doubted I now know for a fact that my passion lies in praise. Nothing gets my heart pumping and stomach butterflying like being part of praise. Whether it'd be playing on the team or just throwing my arms up in the air, its officially my passion, I can't find any other excuse now. What was it that drove me to tears the first morning worship session we had? A missing link finally found, a longing fulfilled, a thirst quenched. Praising by myself and alongside fellow brothers and sisters is a totally different experience. For this reason I wish to devote myself to the current praise team that I've been given the privilege to serve on and lead.

I live for these moments and sadly I've become too dependent on fellowship to brave out into the new world. I know I'll never be in their shoes again but I realize its never a bad thing to relive certain moments of your life. They're worth reliving for a reason. Quite honestly, this week has been a long long week. Exhaustion from retreat coupled with work stress is never good. Luckily I've always got my 2 hrs of commuting to digest it all and have time to think. The more I think, the more I can't express my thanks in words. College, no, the Grove was an awesome, life-changing chapter of my life. I'll forever be thankful for the memories and the lessons learned but I can't let it hold me back. Gotta take off my old shoes for a brand new pair. Been wearing them too long now that its been slowing me down. So here's to my "official" first step into the real world. My old shoes I shall place in my case for forever long preserving, like my blue jacket.

Memoirs of a Syracuse Grovian Alum, class of 2011.


Bible Progress - Exodus 38

Monday, January 16, 2012

I'm Number 1!

A very delayed happy new years to you!

I've been slacking with the blogging but hopefully I'll get on it asap and stay on top of my routine.

So 2012 has finally come and personally I feel that this is the year where my life will start to forge its own path. Its been over a month since I've been employed and I have to say, thanks God. He answered my prayers exactly on the dot. Maybe I should've prayed for an earlier employment date rather than "by the end of the year." Many if not all of you probably have your own resolutions for the coming year and likewise, I have mine. As you know I have successfully finished reading the bible last year. This year I have a new set of resolutions that I hope I can keep along with my 50 year bible plan (which I've creatively dubbed The 5-0 Plan). With the numerous resolutions I came up with I just chose to stick with one.

This is the year to be humble and thankful. Cliche? Yes. But this is the year where I will be thankful more so for what I have. With this whole 99/1% junk and occupy this and occupy that, I nearly hopped on the bandwagon for the 99%. Then I actually sat and thought about it. No matter how much of a "financially difficult" situation I was in, I've always had health, food, water, and shelter. That in itself is more than enough to be considered "rich" but I've also had great company wherever I went, I now have a job, and a family in good health. What more do I want? I asked myself that over and over and when I sat down and actually thought about it, all I've been doing is complaining about the luxuries I didn't have. In the near future I'll probably never have my dream car, an ipad, an imac, excess cash to fulfill my oh so greedy heart, nor enough to go on a dream vacation. I literally sat down and wrote out a list of these things then later trashed it cause it was obscene. Here's the dumbed down version: luxury, luxury, luxury, money to pay off loans, luxury, luxury. Yep, I'm shallow. My entire list was full of useless, meaningless stuff for personal momentary pleasure. I've also come to the realization that I do consider myself part of the "1%". In my honest opinion, I think that whole 99/1% debate is all cognition. How do you perceive your own quality of life? I have an amazing one, just not the luxuries that the 99% so desire. I consider myself rich for never has a day gone by where I starved, fell ill of disease, or slept against the elements. Oh, did I mention that I'm typing this up on a macbook pro while tweeting on my iphone? I guess because I own Apple products I'm automatically part of the 1%.

On that note I really do wish these "99%" can settle down. I do sympathize with the "real 99%ers" and not your average jack and jill who tweet and share "occupy" all over the place to go with the trend. I have a serious pet peeve for bandwagoners. I just don't know how to deal with all the same facebook updates and tweets about x and y when I know for a fact that they had no clue as to who or what x and y were before. Not gonna lie, I'm guilty of it as well. Judge me if you so desire. Greed will only get you so far in life. Even if the 1% controls all the wealth, there are those that probably worked their asses off to get there. They just reaped the fruits of their intensive labor. Why would you want to steal that away? Respect. On the other hand if they're up there because of exploitation, fraud, or other gimmickry, He gives and takes away in due time. In the end, the world could use a big slice of humble pie right about now. I'd like mine blueberry flavored.


Bible Progress - Exodus 5