Isaiah 1:19 (ESV) says “if you are willing and obedient, then you shall eat the good of the land.” Now, I realize very fully that in context the Lord is speaking to the city of Judah…but I can apply this to today.
An acquaintance of Linglin’s (my roommate; everyone calls her Chloe, but I like to call her by her Chinese name) didn’t have a bed to sleep in, so Lin invited her to sleep in our dorm. Loretta (her friend) is indeed a student, but she’s living off campus and her bed hadn’t been delivered just yet.
When Linglin first asked me if it would be okay for Loretta to stay in our dorm, though I said I wouldn’t mind I was inwardly put off by the whole situation. We haven’t even been in the dorm for a week and already you have people coming over. Really? That’s my space and your space…you probably don’t even know this girl very well. Also, you’ll both probably be speaking Chinese all night and I’ll have absolutely no idea what you’re saying.
All afternoon, though I was sure I looked quite pleasant on the outside, I was bitter and selfish and black on the inside. But after I had returned to the dorm room and folded my laundry, I was sitting on my bed fooling around on my iPod when I realized that I had both an extra pillow and an extra blanket….at first I didn’t really want to lend my things to Linglin because I didn’t really want to associate with her and her friend (mostly because I was still put off and selfish), but then I remembered something Melinda had said, “Maybe you’ll lead her (Linglin) to the Lord…she’ll see, over time, by your love and how you treat others and what you do that that you have something different; she’ll be able to see Jesus in you.” Then I remembered Luke 6:31 (ESV) “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” I became convicted about the fact that I’ve been kind of isolating myself this whole week of orientation, afraid that some disease would rub off on me if I talked to anyone. I forgot that I’m God’s girl, and that He loves me…Needless to say, I lent Linglin the pillow and the blanket; she didn’t use either, but she opened up so much when I offered them to her. In fact, we had the best talk, I think, that we’ve ever had since we met. I felt so fulfilled and so stupid at the same time…this was one of those moments when I felt God thwapping me for being a doofus.
Today was fun; I visited a flea market and a farmer’s market and I can honestly say that I enjoyed them both.
The main thing that happened today, was not necessarily an event, but a choice. Tonight there’s a party going on down at one of the dorms. The theme is basically to dress from either the 1920s, 1950s, or the 1980s. There’s mocktails (a non-alcoholic cocktail) music, dancing, and then 80s movies playing on the main lawn after the party. I was all dressed and ready to go, wearing quite attractive clothing (not seductive or revealing, but I felt pretty) and I had even walked into the party room…but then something felt wrong…it just felt like I just wasn’t supposed to be there. I reacted to this feeling by deciding to leave and head back to my dorm, to ask God what I should do: go to the party or stay in my dorm. When I came towards the dorm, my RA was standing there.
“What are you doing? Aren’t you going to the party?”
“I need to get something.” I told her. Yeah, a clear head.
Walking into my dorm room, I immediately felt God speak to me.
“Hunter, I want you to spend time with Me instead. The activities of the night such as dancing, drinking, and socializing have never been something you liked. Even on prom night when you had a date and at homecoming and Valentine’s Day dances, you never felt comfortable…you felt like you were trying to be someone you’re not. Right now is the moment when you need to decide to be yourself….or to be someone else. Why don’t you go get comfortable, make yourself some tea, and we’ll talk.”
He was right.
I went and changed into my most comfortable pajamas and went to the bathroom to fill up my mug with water for tea, when my RA walked in. I had been trying to avoid running into her before settling down because I felt as if I had lied to her in some way. When she realized it was me at the sink, I told her I had decided to opt out of going to the party. She kept pushing.
“Well, there’ll be 80s movies on the lawn. Will you at least come to that? There’ll even be popcorn.” She tried to persuade. Lightheartedly I told her I might come if there really was popcorn, but I knew that I wouldn’t.
As I sit here writing this, I realize that leveling up in my night life just isn’t me…especially with my non-Christian friends. Running off of the adrenaline that comes from flirting, dancing, and drinking sugary (or even alcoholic) drinks has just never been something I have enjoyed. Albert Einstein said that “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting to get different results.” Normally when I would go out at night with my friends, the resulting feelings would be guilt and sadness…because I had traded my identity, no matter how long a period of time, for the identity of someone that I left behind years ago when Christ was not a name I knew very well.
I have never more deeply experienced the true meaning of the statement “be yourself.” Even when it means staying home from a party to spend time with God and studying His word, because it’s something you love to do; even when it means wearing more modest clothing than most girls on campus; even when it means talking about Someone who most people think doesn’t exist.
Despite the fact that my roommate, my few campus friends, my RA, and the majority of the “cool” people on campus are at a party, I feel rather content talking to God, writing about my adventures, and drinking my tea.
I love it when God reveals that He knows me better than myself.