Sometimes in life we get this very uncomfortable, nasty, gnarly, sticky situations that we never wanted to get ourselves into but somehow, someway, we managed to step right into a big pile of gum on the street of life, and until we’re honest with how ridiculous we look and ask for Someone’s help, we’ll be stuck there and the piece of gum will swallow up our shoe.
Okay, I tacked on some artistic flair there, but y’all know.
Today was quite a long day. This morning I woke up late, but still early enough to spend plenty of time with God and to get ready for the day. I got my first official manuscript to edit for my new internship…it was a large piece, and in a foreign language that I can read/speak.
Ego: Oh yeah, you totally got this. You can read French like a pro.
Logic: Hunter, you should probably think this through…you might not be advanced enough to do this manuscript justice.
God: What would glorify me?
Honesty. But I didn’t accept that until later in the day.
I left the email and the manuscript alone and talked to God, praying to Him about the day before it even began, and asking that, even though there would be plenty of opportunities to give in to panic and mental breakdowns and all sorts of nonsense, I would turn to Him instead and not give in to worry or anxiety. And God did just that.
In World Civ., we all participated in a debate of sorts staged in the Ming Court of 15th Century China. Before the debate, we watched a documentary on China and its cultural development throughout the Ming Dynasty. Apparently, when the Treasure Fleet of emperor Zhu Di reached Africa, the giraffe fit the description of the Chinese equivalent of the unicorn :D.
So, my World Civ. professors are wonderful. They’re very professional and honest and straightforward. But what they seem to be doing is searching for a way to create an “absolute” perspective on history, to triangulate the search for international accumulation of historical records so that history isn’t completely written by the victor. At the same time, they’re encouraging me and my classmates to be skeptical of everything we think we know and to never just accept something, which means, if we adopt this method of thinking and approaching things in life, an absolute anything, especially an “absolute perspective” is impossible to acquire. Now, I know that God is absolute, and that He’s the only true constant in this life and that He never moves and never changes, and I’m used to and accustomed to talking to people (my professors and classmates) who believe that there are no absolutes. But this troubles me: I’m being asked to be skeptical about everything and approach things with an gnostic perspective, yet I’m also being asked to search for an absolute perspective on history, and, indirectly, on life. This doesn’t make any sense.
I brought this concept up in class, and my professors repeated that this is an overarching question of the entire class, claiming that there was certain evidence that could be leaned or depended on. I’m not sure what’s going to happen, or where this contradiction is going to collide with itself, and maybe I’m seeing it the wrong way or misunderstanding something, but I’m interested to see how everything is going to play out.
Maybe the real Absolute will be introduced and accepted 🙂 Now that would be kind of cool…just a bit…yeah.
After World Civ., I sat outside and talked with Fly (I’m not sure if you remember her, but she’s one of my Christian friends from last year) for a while as I waited to meet up with Karly for lunch. We talked about the church in Japan and the church in China, and it’s much different than what I thought it was (and my knowledge was limited to begin with). We talked about God and about school and about her life and my life and it was refreshing to speak with her and be encouraged by her as a sister in Christ. Karly came and the three of us talked for a bit, then Karly and I left for lunch.
Lunch with Karly was wonderful 🙂 I learned something awful though. Apparently my generation, as the product of the beginning of the era of self-esteem-building and self-power, is referred to as the Entitlement Generation, because we (the majority) think we’re entitled to everything. Most of my generation doesn’t know how to handle failure because as they grew up they were told they were invisible, unable to be touched by failure or any sort of negative force…but this is a lie, and they’ve been living that lie for all of their lives and now, in the real world, it’s a kick in the teeth. But I never knew my generation was referred to as the Entitlement Generation, and it kind of makes my stomach turn.
Anyway, we talked about our classes and about God and about His timing and how amazing He is. It was refreshing, and on top of my talk with Fly I was encouraged to the max. My next class was Studio, and I knew it was going to be difficult, but I was ready for it…sort of.
I walked to Studio, preparing to step back and just let God do the talking for me, because I’m clearly incapable of doing it on my own. But then, while my classmates and I waited outside of the classroom, my professor came up and told us we were all going to the reading taking place in Higgins Hall, the Architecture building located off-campus. So we headed off campus as a group and went to the reading.
The reading ended, and I headed back to the dorm, still trying to figure out how to tackle the manuscript. I took a thirty-minute nap to boost my energy before going to German, my final class of the day.
After German, I grabbed dinner and headed back to my dorm, prepared to tackle the manuscript. I took a shower and ate and did a number of things before finally sitting down at my computer. I called mom to talk to her before I closed myself off from the outside world.
When I told her about the manuscript (not about its content or its author, since I’m not supposed to discuss that information), she responded with a motherly assessment of my ability to speak and read this language as well as my editing skills, basically coming around to saying that I couldn’t complete the task given to me.
Because I’m stubborn and just ridiculous I met this assessment with a cold “I’m totally capable of doing this: just watch me.” And we exchanged a few words before hanging up. I went ahead and began the first few pages, fighting the acknowledgement of the obvious impossibility and pointlessness surrounding my editing (or trying to edit) and reading this piece. Eventually I sat back, knocked down a few levels, and emailed as professionally possible my internship adviser (I’ll call him that, because I’m not sure what other title to give him) that I wouldn’t be able to do the script justice because it was beyond my reading level in that language.
I love my mother, but I can’t stand it when she’s right.
I called her and told her what happened and she laughed and I felt much better, embarrassed about what’d transpired and already developing nervousness about tomorrow and what it might bring, but I’m glad I was honest.
Whatever happens, I tried to do what would glorify God and I trust that He’s going to take care of everything. *Sigh* Tomorrow will certainly be an adventure, but I’m excited to take on such a new experience. I just have so much to learn and I’m just so unknowledgeable about so many things, but I guess I have to remember that I’m only nineteen and that God has put an entire life before me to show me how to be better, how to love, how to forgive and be honest without such difficulty or uncertainty, and to grow me closer to Him, and I’m just so glad that I’ve got my whole life to do this, because I wouldn’t want to spend it doing anything else 🙂
“We take this course so that no one should blame us about this generous gift that is being administered by us, for we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man.” —2 Corinthians 8:20-21, ESV