God had to knock me down a few notches today.
First of all, you know that paper I was all freaked out about last night? Turns out I didn’t have to write a response paper to the reading assigned after all, which meant I didn’t have to worry about it. This one of those many moments when I’m reminded of God’s control…Maybe one day I’ll come to the point where my default reaction to stress won’t be to freak out, but rather, “I wonder how God’s going to work this one out.”
This morning, Word, Usage, and Style class was a lot of fun 😀 All of us are improving as writers and it’s really cool to see how our pieces look now in comparison to the appearances of our first pieces. Ah, the joy of learning 😀
During lunch I realized how much my brain has changed, not value-wise but as far as observation is concerned. I notice EVERYTHING. I can hardly pay attention to a single conversation anymore because I’m listening and watching and noticing and it’s really just ridiculous. I sat alone for a little while in the cafeteria, eating my food and observing lunch time dynamics. As I watched, I could see the formations of clicks based off of all sorts of similarities and an equal amount of differences. The fashion majors clumped together like glittery rhinestones and tasteful scarves. The art and design majors (you can tell they’re art majors because they usually have a streak of paint in their hair or a smudge or two of charcoal on their cheeks) sat at some of the round tables. Ignoring academics, people of the same ethnicity, particularly Asian, came together in groups of four, five, and six. They spoke in their own language and ate their own food. It must be nice to have things be so familiar when they’re so far away from home. And then you have the groups in which there is no pattern.
Okay, so maybe being able to observe everything isn’t so bad 🙂
In Writer’s Studio we were discussing the end of the book we’ve been reading for the past couple of weeks. It’s titled Jesus’ Son, based off of a writer’s interpretation of a song sung by Velvet Underground, a band of which I have never heard until participating in this class. Once I got past the title (because Jesus never had a son; that’s totally not biblical), I then had to get past reading all of the vice that littered the short stories. There was a lot of vulgarity and drug addiction and just disgusting things that I really didn’t want floating around in my head. I struggled through the anthology and came out on the other side, wishing I could’ve read something different.
In Studio today, however, after we went through the book and discussed every part of it, I realized that I was trying to be God. Let me explain: God is the only perfect being around; He’s the only One who can righteously cast judgement upon anyone. Well, while I had been reading this anthology, I had subconsciously been putting myself above the drug addicts, the hooligans, the crazy people who lived in the stories I had to read. I must’ve forgotten that God says “none is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-13, ESV) This means that all of us are equal before God, whether we’re saved or not. Also, God doesn’t play favorites. So I do good things, pray, wear modest clothing, whatever…but these actions aren’t what save me. I’m saved by grace…not by myself. Not only am I equal with someone addicted to drugs before God, but I once, before I knew how much God loved me, was addicted to an unconventional drug: I was addicted to a person.
I talked about relationships a handful of posts back, and one of my points was seeing the other person as one who could fulfill your emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. Well, about six years ago, I was in a relationship where I was totally addicted to a guy, a human male. Because I was so addicted to this guy, I let myself stay in an abusive relationship, let myself be taken advantage of, and let myself be totally disconnected from those who love me, including God. I was a kind of addict. When it was all over, I went through an emotional withdrawal where I spiraled down into a deep depression. I was numb. My thoughts were silenced. My body exhausted, all the time. There was a huge hole in my heart that I couldn’t get rid of. I can honestly say that I was very near committing suicide at that time.
During a drive to Wal Mart with my mom, I confessed to her my feelings of depression (even though she could already see the evidence of them in my life) and told her about the gaping hole in my chest.
“Mommy, I have a hole in my heart and I don’t know what to fill it with.” She very calmly and very matter-of-factly said something along the lines of:
“Then fill it with Something that will never run out.”
That’s when I realized how much God loved me, that my worth couldn’t be put in the hands of temporary things because then my worth would be temporary…duh! It was because of that addiction and because of that relationship that I came to be in this intimate relationship with God. How dare I put myself above those with addictions when I’ve been there, when I’m the same.
I felt like a hypocrite, and an even bigger doofus for not catching myself earlier. I think my spiritual exhaustion made me subconsciously give myself a license to judge others. I forgot just how broken I used to be and just how broken I still am. All of us are broken; we are walking pottery with cracks and blemishes that can only be filled by the Ultimate Potter.
So, after Writer’s Studio, I felt much better, much less out of sync, which is kind of how I felt when I woke up this morning. I tell ya, whenever there’s something I’m totally missing, I know that I have to look for it because I feel like there’s something between me and God. There’s like this weirdo-head spiritual block thing where I feel like I’m being dishonest with God (even though He already knows my heart and mind). Thankfully, He’s awesome and points it out in the cleverest way possible.
The next and final class of the day was botany. Now, last night my professor emailed me saying we were going to discuss the candid “baloney detection kit,” which is basically a number of tools that scientists use to read into scientific arguments. Part of this kit (I only know this because she sent us reading material to look over before hand, and part of the material was the “baloney detection kit”) was to see anything supernatural, philosophical, and/or religious as not to be taken seriously. I spent most of the night reading up on creationism, the science of creationism, and then evolution and the science of evolution. So today, my professor was speaking and she made this claim:
“Supernatural claims are not scientific.”
I stopped taking notes for a moment, feeling like this would be a good time to ask a few questions.
“Wait, so the Big Bang Theory isn’t considered supernatural?” I asked.
“No, because it’s based on empirical evidence.”
Empirical evidence is defined, according to the Encarta World English Dictionary, as “based on observation and experiment; based on or characterized by observation and experiment rather than theory.”
“It just seems like it would take a lot of faith to believe in that.”
“It’s not faith, actually. We take the information we have based off of what we believe to be true and test our observations of the world around us. We take the way we understand the world and apply it to space.”
“I meant faith in the way that no one was there at the time of creation.”
My professor went on to talk of experimentation and testing hypotheses. She kept saying how experiments needed to be repeatable.
“Scientists won’t tell you that they know anything for sure, without a doubt. They’ll simply use the simplest explanation.”
“So, why is the theory of evolution considered a simpler explanation than that of creationism?”
“Because creationism is based off of philosophy while evolution is based off of empirical data. Creationism is not a science, or a concept that belongs in a science class. If you can give me some empirical evidence concerning creationism then I’m sure evolutionists would love to have that kind of new information.”
“I’m not trying to prove anything. I’m only asking questions. But have you ever delved into the science of creationism?”
“Let’s talk about this later. We can talk about this all you want but I don’t think this is fruitful for everyone else. I’m not saying there isn’t a God.”
“I wasn’t bringing God into the conversation.”
“Right. I’m not saying I’m not spiritual. I did read a little bit about creationism in grad school. I felt like, for me, it was a dead end, because I couldn’t read into the science without finding at least a small trace of faith.”
I had more questions to ask, but I felt led to drop the debate there. I learned a lot just through that conversation. I find it interesting that I didn’t have to state any claims and she brought up God and spirituality anyway…just like in Writer’s Studio, when I asked about vice. Hm.
The rest of botany went pretty smoothly. My classmates looked at me funny, but it’s okay. During our break, some of the girls were asking people what they were going to be for Halloween. I told them that one of my friends wanted to be Jabba the Hutt. They didn’t know who I was talking about, which made me almost fall out of my chair. Poor culturally deprived people!! How can they be without the magnificence that is Star Wars??!!!!
*sigh* oh well.
I returned to my dorm, feeling like my world was spinning really really fast and I couldn’t slow it down. I wonder if it’ll be like this for the rest of my life; does life go faster as you grow up? I think so. I was feeling really stressed and kind of overwhelmed, so, before I did anything, I took a shower and got comfortable, plugged in some Royal Tailor, and started working on my Critical Thinking & Writing essay. I’ve decided that I’m going to include the gospel in my essay, even though my professor won’t give me a chance to make my argument. I don’t know how it’s going to turn out or whether or not it’s going to affect my grade, but I can’t just discuss God and a relationship with Him without actually talking about Him. That doesn’t make any sense to me.
So yeah, things are getting harder here. Things are beginning to be more of a challenge than they were in the beginning, but I’m not worried about it. Yeah, I’m really tempted to get angry, to get frustrated, to just forget it all and either go rant like a mad-woman holding the Bible over my head or just give up and blend in with the rest of the world. But the first won’t work; nobody ever came to God because of hate. The second won’t work either; God is too much a part of me, too essential to my life, to my existence, for me to abandon my relationship with Him. I need Him like a seed needs water.
Sometimes I feel like I’m totally crazy. Like, what makes my God so different? Or, maybe I should accept some of the things that everyone else accepts, like how being a drug addict is okay to a degree, having sex just feels good, and showing skin is a form of self-expression. But you know what, I’d rather be crazy. I would rather feel like I’m crazy than give in to what the world wants me to do. I would rather feel out of place than let myself believe in everything the world tells me to believe. And I would rather risk my own reputation, my own social status and possible career, by telling people about my God, about His love for them, about THE truth, than just sit back and pretend like I haven’t been saved from myself, like I’m still wandering the earth, looking for my place in this life, like I’m still lost, confused, and hopeless.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” –Romans 1:16, ESV