Transitions

In life, we always have the times of transition where we have to adjust to a lot of different things. How we adjust to new situations in life can determine who we are, what our purpose in life is, the people around us, and how we serve God. As I have reached the end of my undergrad career I’m about to enter a time of transition in my life. I enjoyed the last bit of the semester, but I can’t help but look ahead because life will be quite a lot different now that graduation and finals have rolled on through. Will I miss being at Northwest (like that is even a real question)? Yes, but I also know that God has a lot more in store for me as I move in a new direction. I’m gonna hit on a few different parts of transitions, and there’s a few important things that go along with them.

Firstly, there will be new activities that you will participate in. In the short-term you may yearn for the previous activities that you had but take advantage of the new ones that are placed in your life. Keeping to the norm is so easy, but God calls us to move outside of those boundaries. He pleads for us to jump headfirst wherever he sends us because in doing that his mission for us is fulfilled as we rely on him for assurance and guidance. He cherishes and loves you with a deeper meaning than our human existence can even comprehend. He knows every single part of you, and because of that God knows what we are capable of. New activities and opportunities that fall into your life are never accidents, they are his way of showing you how to serve his Kingdom. For me, I don’t know what plans that he has for me. I will be returning home to the same area code, but I don’t want to live the exact same life that I did before high school graduation. College has changed me and I know that God will show me the new, unique path that he has prepared for me. Some things will be the same, I’m not saying that’s bad at all. I’m just saying that God will carry people in transition in new directions, and we should be all-in for doing that as he calls.

Additionally, you and the relationships you have in your life will change as you go through changes in your own life. In transitioning to a new surrounding there are different people in your life and they play a new role in your development. People who have been in your life already will play different roles in your new environment. Time and space changes relationships in so many different ways as some relationships will drift farther apart and others will stay close together. The old saying says, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver but the others gold.” I love this because it really applies to transitions. Those friends that you keep throughout the transitions in your life are the most important to you, but at the same time you need those new friends because they can directly relate to your life. I have a core group of friends that I know I can lean on anytime. They are wonderful people that God has placed into my life. With that said, I’m excited to see what new friendships are on the horizon, and how those are going to impact my life.

Most important of all is the fact that you yourself will change during a time of transition. Things that mattered to you before may not matter as much or you may put them on the back burner. New things will become important to you as you find yourself in a new atmosphere. Your personality may change to a certain degree. Your ways to spend your free time may change. A lot can change. The priorities in your new life will be in a constant fluctuation, and the level of different priorities may change quite often in a short amount of time. The level of your relationship with God should remain constantly on the top of your priority list. It sounds like a really simple thing (Duh!) but it honestly is not that simple in actual implementation. It is extremely easy to rely on what you’ve learned throughout your life, especially if you’ve been a Christian all of your life. So just don’t forget to read your Bible every day and pray to God whenever you can because that’s where true growth comes. I’m not gonna lie, this is something that I have struggled with at different times. Yet, I always find myself running back to God because I know that no matter how my life is going in the end He is by far the best thing for me. True growth comes when you do something on a consistent basis. The longer you pursue God the more you realize that he is crazy into you, and wants to love you more than anyone else in this world ever could!

So hopefully that’s a short message that resonates with you. This applies to anyone’s life, whether you are going through a transition or not!

 

P.S. I’m graduated from college! It’s pretty cool! I’m excited to see what happens in the next part of my life, but I will be more free to write this blog so expect more posts!

 

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Arrogance and Perseverance

Arrogance is one of the things that I hate more than anything else. That’s why I was confused when I saw and was told that I was becoming arrogant. At first I dove into complete denial and blamed it on a mixture of other things but when I truly looked at myself it was undeniable. I had started to unintentionally become arrogant. Overconfidence is something that none of us (most of the time) ever see coming and don’t realize how it is affecting us. Personally, the arrogance that I occasionally suffer from is the type of feeling like I know how best to handle the situation. I would say 95% of the time this isn’t the case but the other 5% it manages to sneak into how I handle things. When I’m in this “arrogant mode” I tend to ignore everyone else’s advice and continue to do things my way. Sometimes I even override God, which obviously is wrong, but Satan totally baits me. He says “Look at you, you’re so mature and definitely know how to run things on your own. People don’t care about you and most of the time they try to hurt you. Only you can determine your destiny.” I occasionally fall for this and I’m sure I’m not the only one who falls prey to this kind of reasoning. I mean, it’s human nature to fall for that… if something feeds us and tells us we’re awesome then our instinct is to worship it.

 

One story was back in the dog days of last summer (almost summer again!!!) when my soccer team was about two weeks from our first tournament and our coach had us all sit down. He then proceeded to talk about the best parts of an individual’s game and the poor parts. So I was sitting patiently near the end of the line and when he finally came to me I was ready to hear what he had to say. He went on and on about my best parts (because I’m so good 😉 haha) like that I was pretty fast, was top-notch at defensive headers and how I was a weapon on corner kicks, anchored the defensive line etc. so he finally said just one thing that wasn’t good about my game. He said that I had a tendency to become arrogant and ignore advice from my coaches and my teammates… I sometimes just picked a way to handle a play and most of the time it worked because of my natural ability and wonderful soccer skills hehe 😉 but on the other hand sometimes it backfired because I don’t know everything about soccer. At first, I told myself this… “you’re so good that he couldn’t find a negative and had to make something up”. Yes, I actually believed that. I was so stupid but after a few weeks I realized that what he said was right… from that point on I played without arrogance and it worked better than before. And didn’t have a problem with arrogance until…

 

About a month ago a few of my friends pointed out to me that I was acting a little arrogant and not completely like me. I actually feel bad because I went off on these people and totally ranted about how I was fine, just myself and yada yada. However, a little after that, I realized that these people were telling me the truth. Ya know, I feel like I’ve grown a lot in God the last year and become a stronger person. I’ve become somebody people can confide in and I’ve learned how to be a better friend (most of the time lol. I still fail sometimes!). However, I got blinded to my own arrogance because I told myself that stuff. I told myself that I was too good and didn’t need any help from anybody else. Thankfully, I (think) I’m getting back on track and being the person who I am… easy going and trusting God all the way!

 

So just a quick note… I decided to make this a two-part thing. Hope you like the second part and I’ll put a brief note about graduating at the end.

 

How is perseverance defined? Perseverance is defined by not only what you are willing to do to endure a test, but how far you are willing to go to attempt to solve the problem and how you come out at the end of that trial. There is a distinct difference in the two approaches to solving a problem. There is the nonchalant approach, which consists of mostly doing nothing, and the person just hopes the problem solves itself and/or disappears by itself. Conversely, there is the problem-solving approach where the person does the most they can to solve the problem and uses critical thinking to reach a point where they can then classify it as not a problem. It is fairly apparent the latter of these approaches is the one that is most successful; however, I’m going to take a quick voyage through the first method to explain why it is a bad one to use. Then I will take you on a journey via the second approach and see how that benefits the people who use it.

 

The problems with the nonchalant approach are beyond the number of fat cows in a lush green pasture (that metaphor was for Fat Cow if he reads these haha. If not, he’s now been honored in my blog and should start reading it). First of all, if you follow this procedure you will never be in control of the situation or be one of the people who have a say in the outcome. I’m not saying that in order to succeed you must be in control of a situation, but it certainly helps to be at the head of one sometimes. If you are never part of the group attempting to resurrect a situation by finding a solid solution for it, then there is a pretty good chance you will never get what you want and/or get a feasible solution. At best, the problems of your life will be hit-and-miss, 50-50 etc. Sadly, that is how most people live their life. That is why America is decomposing right before our very eyes. People aren’t willing to persevere through their problems and they don’t care about them. Therefore, their morals, beliefs, ideas etc. are all sliced down with ease because the people aren’t willing to cling on to who they truly are and allow their problems to change who they are. That is a complete absence of perseverance and without perseverance you’re only gonna fail 😦 Now that we see why this method is not the correct one to use, we can skedaddle over to the proper technique!

 

When you throw everything you have into solving a problem and endure all the stuff that comes along with it, you have just demonstrated perseverance. There is not much more you can do when a problem comes your way besides praying, using that to form a way to solve the crisis and throwing the whole kitchen sink against what is up against you. An example of this was a soccer game me and my team had in the group stage of last year’s state cup. We had just come off a 4-1 defeat of the minnows of the group and had to face a team that was not as skilled as we were. The first half was absolutely horrible, to put it MILDLY. We had one of our best players not show up; another one got lost and got there right at halftime, and the rest of us just played like crap. One of the worst halves we ever played as a team, but we managed to keep the score down to 3-0. As we were walking off the field the referee said halftime boys, but I heard one of their players talk to another one and say isn’t the game over already? A few other teammates heard it as well, and that really made us upset like no other. Now we coulda folded, believed what their player said, and pretty much have given up on the game. However, my team has been one to give their all and we decided to persevere through this trial. It seemed undoable, but we all knew that if we stuck with our guns and tried as hard as we could we would have nothing to be ashamed of. It took awhile, but we finally scored halfway through the first half to make it 3-1. Five minutes later, with a quarter of a game left, we scored again to make it 3-2. At this point, we had to go down to three men in the back, with me as the only center back. We had all our players up, desperately trying to get a result that would give us a good chance of advancing regardless of the result of our  next and last game. My old center back partner, Senol, rose to occasion on a corner kick with three minutes left and buried a ball that had been bouncing around the box into the goal. We were jacked up and that goal eventually ended up being the goal on tiebreakers that eventually got us into the state cup quarterfinals. Plus after the game we were mocking the other team’s player amongst ourselves, and for the rest of the tournament that was the top thing we did lol. I’ll always remember the specifics of that second half as long as I live 🙂 The point of that lengthy metaphor was to show a success that came from perseverance. The players on my team didn’t just give up and say we’d fight another day, we said we would fight to the death… and we did!

 

How you come out at the end of a trial is important as well. Continuing with the soccer example, whenever we were losing in game after that state cup game, we always believed we could win. We knew that whether we were losing by 2 or 1 we had the skill to comeback. Whenever you make it out of a trial, you need to look back in your rearview mirror and say what did God want me to learn out of this? Why was I given this trial by him, and also, did I handle it properly? God gives us trials to grow and get closer to him. I am going through a trial right now and while I can’t say it has been enjoyable, I can say this- I had been ignoring a problem for far too long, and God said hey, you need to solve this. At first I whined, said it wasn’t my problem and etc. but God told me I needed to clean up certain parts of my act. He showed me stuff I was locked into that I hadn’t even realized I was doing. Now, I’m starting to improve and while the situation hasn’t changed that much yet, I know I have changed a little for the better. That’s what God does, he just improves us little by little by little because he knows every part of us down to the deepest part of our soul and he’ll continue to help us get closer and closer to him until the day we die 🙂 It’s just up to us to persevere on toward what he wants us to find

 

Well, only twelve days left and I’ll be graduated from high school. It feels so weird… the whole year has passed by at a slow pace and now it’s ramping up at the end. I do know that now I have to grow up and act like a man so I will do my best to do that. However, since society gives me some slack I can still act like a teenager when I hang out with my friends haha! Wow… all the memories I’ve made from this year are amazing… never gonna forget my senior year!

April 12th: My Utmost for His Highest

I read this bit from Oswald Chamber’s book “My Utmost for His Highest and it was crazy awesome. Just relax and read through the passage for today

Co-Eternal Life. Eternal life is the life which Jesus Christ exhibited on the human level. And it is this same life, not simply a copy of it, which is made evident in our mortal flesh when we are born again. Eternal life is not a gift from God; eternal life is the gift of God. The energy and the power which was so very evident in Jesus will be exhibited in us by an act of the absolute sovereign grace of God, once we have made that complete and effective decision about sin.

“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you . . .” (Acts 1:8)— not power as a gift from the Holy Spirit; the power is the Holy Spirit, not something that He gives us. The life that was in Jesus becomes ours because of His Cross, once we make the decision to be identified with Him. If it is difficult to get right with God, it is because we refuse to make this moral decision about sin. But once we do decide, the full life of God comes in immediately. Jesus came to give us an endless supply of life— “. . . that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). Eternal life has nothing to do with time. It is the life which Jesus lived when He was down here, and the only Source of life is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Even the weakest saint can experience the power of the deity of the Son of God, when he is willing to “let go.” But any effort to “hang on” to the least bit of our own power will only diminish the life of Jesus in us. We have to keep letting go, and slowly, but surely, the great full life of God will invade us, penetrating every part. Then Jesus will have complete and effective dominion in us, and people will take notice that we have been with Him.

Hope this made a good impact on you! God is incredible 🙂