The Difficulty of Being Yourself

So…I’m not so sure if journalism is my thing…mostly because I don’t drink coffee or like wearing pencils in my hair or behind my ear and I can’t stand the smell of ink. Actually, the real reason why is because…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

This morning was about purity.

As of late, I’ve been getting into the practice of reading a proverb a day and using that proverb as a writing prompt, and it’s been a lot of fun ๐Ÿ™‚ Today’s proverb was Proverbs 1:17, “For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird.” Now, I understand that this verse is talking about how if someone sets a trap for a bird and the bird sees them setting the trap, the bird is sure to flee for its life rather than take the bait obviously made to harm it. But when I read it, I thought of something different. I thought of how we sometimes settle for anything whenever anything new enters into our lives. Or, when we see “any bird” as in, it doesn’t matter if it’s the bird we’re looking for or not, it’s foolish to set the net. I know it’s a stretch, but bear with me.

Specifically, I thought of the lyrics to Me Without You: “I’d be chasing every breeze that blows my way.” My thoughts were all over the place. I guess that’s what Pam Farrell meant inย Men are Like Waffles and Women are Like Spaghetti went she classified women as having spaghetti brains; everything is connected to everything and nothing is separated. Yes, deceitfulness led to my thinking of purity. Don’t judge me.

Anyway, I really thought about purity and more about modesty, and I began to wonder if I was doing enough to keep myself pure and modest, or if I’ve just been hiding under the notion that I’m not attractive to anybody so it really doesn’t matter how I dress or act. Well, this isn’t true, unfortunately, and it does matter how I dress and act, regardless of how I see myself. I realize this may be uncomfortable for some people to talk about, but it’s extremely important.

I’m sure you’ve heard this illustration before, but go on this tangent with me. Say a few years down the road, you have to sit down with your man or woman and tell them all of the measures you took to secure your mind and keep your body pure in order to present them with a down-payment of your commitment to the marriage relationship into which you may be entering soon. Would your list of measures be long, short, or non-existent? In what way, before you met them, did you value your future spouse by keeping your mind and heart and body pure? That’s how I like to think of it.

Even if you want to strike the thought of remaining pure for your future spouse, think about your relationship with God. In Jesus’ ministry on earth, while it had long since been traditional to exercise only external ritual purity, He taught that purity of heart was vastly more important. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).

So even if you never plan on getting married, or even if you’re already married, purity is still chiefly important in any relationship, especially those of a covenant nature. Without purity or the pursuit of purity in your relationship with God, there’s a separation, a wall that exists between your heart and His, and it is possibly the worst, most sickening feeling to ever plague my heart. In a way, it seems that being pure of heart is the goal of Christian life. Granted, the goal is ultimately to glorify God and to be as much like Him as we can possibly be while savoring the gloriously loving relationship He willingly shares with us, but we can’t fully appreciate either of these goals without striving to be pure of heart.

In other words, I’ve been closely watching what I watch, what I listen to, how I act, and how I dress, just to make sure I’m not slacking in any area and thus exposing someone to a wrong impression of God or of me. I’m not doing this because it somehow affects my salvation; no, I’m solid, I’m going to heaven, there’s nothing that can change that. I’m doing this because I really don’t want to even let there be one sliver of a chance that something will come between me and God. I especially don’t want that separating something to be me, which, realistically, is the only thing that can possibly put a wall between me and God.

Oh! I would like to inform the world that God once again taught me a lesson in patience. I have a new roommate! Well, not yet, but I will by the end of the week. Her name is Bree and she’s a writing major. She’s a very pleasant person and we get along just fine. She’s not a Christian, but that’s okay ๐Ÿ™‚ I had known she’d lacked a roommate and went ahead out on a limb and asked if we could “consolidate” to avoid having to room with someone we didn’t already know or get along with. She agreed promptly and asked if I wouldn’t mind moving into her dorm. I consented.

So, while I will still be on the same floor in the same dormitory, I’ll be in a different room. How exciting! So yes, all I had to do was wait a few days longer, and I would’ve been fine. Regardless, I’m still glad that Charlene is here. Speaking of Charlene, she, Anita, and I all hung out today. We met in my dorm and played Rummy while eating sushi and spaghetti and munching on cheesy jalapeno chips. It was really refreshing to have some girl time ๐Ÿ™‚

My assignment for World Literature today was to write a haiku, using as few words as possible. When my professor assigned this homework, this was literally the first thing that popped into my head:

Image

Yeah.

So THAT will be interesting.

After lunch with my people, I ventured to Critical Thinking and Writing, during which we discussed Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech and Malcolm X’s The Ballot or the Bullet speech. It was a relatively fruitful discussion and we talked a lot about politics and what it means to be American. I know, I was surprised too.

Then comes my first Prattler experience.

As I walked into the computer lab where the Prattler was meeting, my stomach turned and I had a terrible feeling. I hate it when this happens, this gut reaction, especially this time because it was having to do with a class, and I’m not willing to give up on something before I at least try it.

So I stepped into the lab with a number of other people. The group consisted of about ten to twelve individuals including two male advisors. Now, at first I was okay….a little nervous, but okay nonetheless. I wasn’t okay, however, once ideas for articles like “Pratt Sex Tips” came up and once one of the advisors began making comments to the people around him concerning the disrespecting of my God…

“Everybody runs out of colors…I mean, jeez, God ran out of colors.”

“They say God created the earth in six days….but that’s more like a myth than it is truth. It just seems like truth because enough people talk about it like it is.”

I know he wasn’t saying it to me directly, or that he was trying to hurt anyone (or maybe he was), but it stung. Despite my great desire to argue, to fight, to be angry, I held my tongue. The Holy Spirit quieted my heart and reassured me that this wasn’t the right setting or the right time.

The room smelled of cigarette smoke, which clogged my lungs once or twice and made it hard to breathe. All everyone wanted to talk about was sex and alcohol, how it was a bummer that Pratt didn’t have it’s own bar…

I was so confused.

While some good ideas concerning Pratt sports (yes, we have athletics) and other Pratt quirks, I honestly thought the school magazine (I learned it’s actually a magazine and not a newspaper) would be less secular…of course, I have no idea why. While the Pratt students are all extremely talented, I just sometimes wonder why things can’t be innocent rather than tainted. I guess this again brings up the argument of vice v. virtue. I also sometimes forget that not everyone knows about my God, about how wonderfully loving He is, and about the life He wants all of them to have. Going against the grain is going to be especially difficult here, mostly because I’m one of two freshmen in the class and I’m not in favor of drinking, sexual activity, or perverse anything…it’ll definitely be hard to be myself. But it’s okay. I just have to take it one week at a time.

I was exhausted when I left the Prattler, but excited about having been assigned my first article. I have to write an article about the mystical nature of the new animal that is the architecture student. These majors live in the mysterious place that is called Higgins Hall, a place where people rarely go in or come out. Seeing an architecture major is a rare occurrence on campus. If Steve Irwin were still alive, he would feature them on his next adventure of seeking out rare creatures of the earth.

Anyway, while today was tiring, it was also fun in its own way. I’m beginning to remember the weight and the impossibility of what I’m doing. I know I say this a lot; I know I talk about how impossible this is and how much resistance I’m getting because of it, but it’s because of the awareness of this fact that I can be reminded of just how possible it all is with God.

“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”

–Mark 10:27, ESV

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About newminority16

Hi, my name is Hunter. I very often make random comments about bacon and how chocolate is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy :) So, before I started this blog, I was getting ready to make one of the biggest decisions of my life: college. God led me to go to a secular college in New York City, a place I was deathly afraid of. It's followed me through those years at college straight into married life and becoming a military spouse, all while seeking to following Christ and know God better and share Him with others. This blog is a way for you to go with me through these adventures, through being a Christian in a world that's forgotten its Creator.
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