I’ve grown up loving to write… or should I say struggling to put my thoughts to words on these things called blogs. Ever since Xanga which was practically half my life ago, I’ve always found it somehow refreshing to spill my thoughts into the public realm where anyone and everyone can read the innermost ponderings of my heart.
Of course there was lots of maturing to do and still lots of maturing that I’ve not yet done… but I think I’ve come to understand a bit more (I hope I’m not lying to myself) each time I log into wordpress and sit in front of the computer wondering how to express myself, if I should even express my thoughts, and who in the world is going to read all this…why I blog.
I blog because I want to. I write what I want to write, I share what I’d like to share. I hope I’m reviving a resolution to keep doing something I’ve always loved to do — to write.
Just because I like to write.
At the heart of what I’m learning in my life now is the difficulty & preciousness of truth. What’s sad is living amongst a society today that no longer believes in absolute truth but rather truth to be relative and subjective. We are content with truth formed from an individual’s opinion if and when those truths are difficult to understand. And even to those who value and struggle in this endeavor, very often it seems many will give up at the footstep of this unending pursuit.
Truth demands consistency. That’s why we have apology - a defense to the worldview we hold. However, when truth does not even hold value in one’s life, complacency or indifference is the reason why we no longer think with clarity & reason. Our concern for eternity and eternal truths have been suppressed by idolatry and pride. We suppress inconsistencies in moral standards, our innate understanding of love, & historical harmony for unbelief. We suppress inconsistencies in infallible scripture for traditions. We suppress inconsistencies from our exegesis in the very Bible we read for a more man-centered gospel and more man-centered truths to appeal to what man would like to hear.
In the end, the question is always why struggle with truth? Why struggle with what seems to be perhaps most difficult in life — why strive to know Him?
I think for me, it’s this very struggle that continues to bring me to my knees…in awe, in amazement of who God is. And though there’s much I still have yet to understand and perhaps much I may never ever fully understand, the preciousness of truth is the joy of knowing Him. Many days I wake up in the morning and I ponder over eternal truths. Perhaps the most fundamental truth - the very message and validity of the gospel. Seeing more and more that Christ, indeed, did pay the debt on the cross not out of obligation but because of an amazing thing called love.
I think about how undeserving I am, and perhaps one day when His glory is revealed, I imagine my face streaming with tears understanding much of what I can hardly even hit the surface now in knowing.
Brothers & sisters, I pray you will always be reminded of the very gospel we hold. That Christ died on that tree of Calvary as a propitiatory sacrifice. That we were spared from His wrath. And that He loves us…perhaps much more than we’ll ever know.
It’s difficult for me at times to put together my worldviews with my actions…with ministry. At times I wonder why I struggle, I question how I can live so passively if the very worldview I hold is one of great urgency…one that does have every condition to be filled with passion. To know His love intimately can only cause an urgency to share the good news. To live for Him giving all of who we are because He deserves all the glory.
And yet this summer I’m perhaps learning another reason why love can be difficult sometimes. When you know in your heart how much He loves us…and yet there are still days, even weeks where everyday worries cloud that intimacy. But it’s in these time I can only pray and hope that even these lows are being used by Him according to His will. The freedom of the will…a theological point so difficult to understand beyond just saying His will > ours. I find that though it is true we may never comprehend much of His will, I believe there’s much precious truths in discerning the significance of His will and His desire in the lives of His people. The connection between our choices and the Sovereignty of His will & good pleasure.
I’m thankful that though it’s always difficult to love Him more, that He IS faithful…in so many ways. Even when we are faithless. God, thank you for loving me..
Just finished RC Sproul’s The Soul’s Quest for God: Satisfying the Hunger for Spiritual Communion with God and James White’s Grieving: Our Path Back to Peace.
Getting into Edwards’ Freedom of the Will, James White’s The Forgotten Trinity, and Charles Leiter’ Justification and Regeneration.
I feel very fortunate just having the time to read, to allow my heart & mind to grow, to know Him deeper. I think lately though reality has hit me…the reality of work & responsibilities, the reality of money & finances.
Only by His grace, I don’t even need to hold a job to be able to sustain myself and at times I live almost without any real or heavy burden for money. But somehow I know deep inside my family works much harder than I do and that the freedom I have to be consumed in His word and in His providence is by the provisions that are lavished upon me. At times I wonder why I live such a (comparatively) comfortable life…that my only real burdens are really of the mind and what I believe God continues to press upon me to learn, to do.
And at times I long after the corporate life once again…to be able to be consumed in work, to come home tired but knowing that I’m learning and growing in the reality of what it takes to perhaps raise a family one day. I try to balance out my work-theology life with work at home, but the reality is…even then I can’t seem to find the full-blown passion I once had for business & work.
I keep finding that life seems hard…not because of relationships, finances, calamities, or the common difficulties of life. Life seems hard because of the very burden I hold — a burden of uncertainty…uncertainty as to where He should lead me, what His plan holds, and what am I to do in this time and day.
And yet I’m always reminded of His Sovereignty in His will, His decree, His wisdom…His unfailing love - one that simply brings me to my knees (I must have said this a million times) asking, how can He ever love us as He does?
Wow, it’s been some time since I wrote on this…
I find that many things in life you’ll forget..(the presentation you had last month, the greasy pizza you ate last week, the conversation about tipping cows the day before) but many things you also won’t forget…people, friendships, & this last week’s conference in Tampa. Perhaps what I realize I’m beginning to cherish most in my life is simply knowing Him more each day.
And indeed, how awesome it was to hear from those who have spent so much of their life pursuing God. Aside from the worship, the experience, and the immeasurable awesomeness of looking into apologetics, Old Testament’s significance, other worldviews (agnosticism, Islam, atheism, King Jamesism), there are three things that particularly stuck with me that I’d like to share with you all from the conference.
1. Battle for the Bible
I find that it really is amazing looking into apologetics. The manuscripts, witnesses, the defense of the reliability of the New Testament & its inspiration, measuring it against any other work of antiquity. One thing I’ve realized is so many people will never look into this stuff. And though definitely this is not a requirement for one to know Christ, it certainly is an affirmation to what you believe in. It strengthens faith, and as with the significance of theology, it causes you to love Him more…
The best analogy I have for this (and as many of you know I don’t usually like giving analogies because I feel like they can undervalue the real truth) but just so to paint a picture… it’s like if someone told you the legacy of a father who loved you but you never grew up to know…and you spent so much of your life believing just in what that person told you about your father, and then you find evidence that affirms more and more of what you were told. That so many people wrote an account of your dad that was so intricately similar despite the odds of it being errant given the circumstances in that time, along with many other reasons. It would strengthen this love you have for your dad.
How much beauty can be found only brushing the surface of what’s given to us — that faith was never blind but saving faith. Probably what’s most sad, though, is those who don’t know Christ and don’t ever look into evidence for the Bible. Particularly atheists who ironically long for others to think for themselves, are led purely by passion against religion and never examine history or entertain any intellectual thought. As Robert Price would say himself, he believes most atheists are actually agnostic but just don’t know it or acknowledge it.
Lastly, the battle for the Bible in today’s generation where churches are forsaking expository teaching to please the traditions of man. In knowing His word, we must take it for what it is…and not try to change it for what we want to see of God. How many people of the 70% of America who say they’re Christians are being brought up in completely false doctrines and teachings and may never know if it themselves because they don’t look into the Word. I think my thoughts on this one though can be left to an entirely new post. One of these days…
2. God’s Sovereignty
Brothers & sisters, God’s Sovereignty…how amazing it is. I pray we’ll be reminded of what this means in all areas of our life. Because it means everything… At the conference, the audience was given a time for Q & A for the apologists/speakers. Standing before five great apologists was an unforgettable experience despite how nervous I felt. But the question I asked was one that really has boggled the minds of John and me.
My question to them was…given the inerrancy, infallibility, & inspiration of the Word given to us, how can it be that two people can look at the exact same text and have such a different interpretation? As in the case of Armenian and Calvinism. Both sides have Godly men who believe their interpretation is correct. How can someone like me know which interpretation is truth?
James White gave an answer that really hit home. He first laid out his thoughts of how perhaps He would allow such dissension (as even in the case of Paul and other Godly men back in the day) in each generation so that these truths would be even more precious to us. But the basics & fundamentals of the gospel should still be understood universally amongst true believers. His answer was much longer but in summary, it pointed back to God’s Sovereignty.
And how amazing it is to know more of His Sovereignty. That though our finite minds cannot even grasp much of who God is, the more we see His Sovereign grace & will, the more we realize how amazing His love is.
3. Life is going to be hard
I think the last thing were just thoughts I put together during the conference. But my question I’ve long struggled with was…why should we as believers continue in this faith if the more we know Him, the harder life seems to be? In other words, why not live a complacent, easy life and live in this joy of not having to be burdened…Why would Paul suffer so much for the gospel?
To illustrate this point is taking another leap over a pit of spikes, but I find that the more truths become real to us, indeed life seems to take its own toll of burdens. Though many times it’s almost impossible to explain, how often the burden is of sharing a heavy heart with an unbeliever, spending time in the Word, pondering over His will, pursuing Holiness over sin, or simply knowing Him more. Why not lay down these burdens and live the party life…drink away those sorrows so thoughts can be drowned away, take that easy route and dismiss these uncertainties of our faith away, to never spend time in thought and pondering of Him.
My conclusion is this…that in the same way I believe in depravity & grace being made irresistible - for the only thing we’ll ever love of our flesh is sin and that grace had to be made irresistible for us to even know how to love Him, this is the very reason why theology matters. These burdens are hard…because it’s against our own flesh, but how He knows how much we need them to mold us, to shape us, and to find a joy we never can see of ourselves.
And to each, He’s given their own measure of faith so that the more we know Him, the more we can only praise Him.
Brothers & sisters, rejoice in your tribulations for tribulation brings about perseverance, rejoice in your sufferings…for suffering brings about perseverance, perseverance; character, and character - hope (Romans 5:3-5).
There’s still so much I don’t understand of who God is. But the joy of knowing Him more. I pray each of you will find and continue that joy in living that journey & relationship with Him.
“Amy, I’m not sure how to tell you this. But there’s been a minor accident… We were longboarding around uptown and somehow one of Scott’s wheels got caught onto a rail…and so he fell kinda awkwardly. He’s perfectly okay though. It’s just that he’s in the emergency room right now with a broken leg and a few minor bruises around his arms and his right cheek. He’ll need to get a couple stitches but the doctor said there’s a good 65% chance he’ll be able to get out before the wedding on Saturday so I think we’ll be okay. The good news is I bought him some soba noodles so hopefully he’ll feel better & recover quicker. Yeah…so I guess we’ll see you on Saturday?”
As much as I wanted to play this BAD BAD…like really BAD joke on Amy that day, I restrained myself knowing that it would’ve been likely that before I could even confess it was a joke, I would’ve already found myself in the hospital with more than a broken leg and a few minor bruises lol. Plus it probably wouldn’t have been that funny. Believe me, I’ve learned that lesson one too many times (in my younger years).
Nonetheless, Scott’s bachelors was one that I think a lot of us really got to enjoy. No, there weren’t any strippers (even male ones…thanks to Tim & Paul). No booze, and no real debauchery this time besides a little male bonding that may have went a bit too far.
Half the guys longboarded around uptown & downtown to sight see while the other half walked around to stir up a hunger. At night, we crashed at a pretty sweet suite and did things…to Scott. Let’s just say things that we hope he’ll remember one day.
What I really wanted to blog about though isn’t about the party itself but rather a post about relationships. Scott as well as these others guys I’ve spent my years in college with have truly helped me define what I find to be most important in human relationships. I think we value different things in our relationship with people – whether it be similar interests, personality & human relation compatibility, and all those other things you probably learn in Sociology class. But the thing I’ll always value most in friendships & the people we meet is not just the same pastimes we share, compatibility, or other common interests but rather the common desire in knowing Him more. This is what lasts, what changed and continues to change me.
And the truth is, I’m extremely lucky to have met so many people – not just Scott and not just whom I’ve met in college, but several others in my life throughout high school who have challenged me in my pursuit of faith, who have been there in my highs & lows, who have run that race beside me, and lastly who have pursued me.
What do I mean by that? I spent most of my life chasing after my career & dreams. Why? You can read about it here. And yet throughout all my life, He’s put different people throughout in different stages of where I was who would care not for just my physical & mental well-being. But for what’s even more important - my spiritual well-being. With Scott, I remember him calling me on several occasions just to ask if he’d get to see me that week at large group or small group. And though, many times I remember rejecting him (and several others) for work, what’s stuck with me til now is that unending pursuit of me.
In the same way, I believe often we reject putting God first or even pursuing Him because we care so much about careers, academics, our dreams, our relationships with people, and what our flesh desires & hopes for. We put God somewhere in the back of our hearts.
I think sometimes we forget even what Christ meant on that cross for us. That while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. We forget how undeserving we are to live for ourselves. God did not come to this world to condemn it, but to save it. We were all already dead in our sins and destined to eternal death if there is any higher justice in this world. But yet God in his amazing grace & love would send Christ who knew no sin, to pay our debt, so that we might become His righteousness.
Our lives were never meant to be about us. And yet in our utter depravity, He did one of the most amazing things in His love & grace — He pursued us first.
Anyways, let the pics tell you about the rest of the evening -
Scale of 1-10 how good-lookin? I’d say maybe a 53.
the other dudes? meh 9.89 maybe.
dude, I’m glad Scott likes Sushi. this was a reminder of our SG’s genroku memory. Yes, Scott remember that?
the evening’s stripper.
At night, we played a couple games w/ our bachelor. We wanted him to remember us even after he tied the knot. The first game ensured that he would remember our physical traits. You can probably guess how the game was played.
The scary thing was Chris seemed to be enjoying it in this picture. Maybe he’s just that comfortable with his sexuality, always having enough ladies crowding around him anyways.
Then we got into a 3-person dating game where our bachelor had to know who we were by the questions he asked and the answers we gave. Only there was a catch…of course the voices did not sound like any of us. Let’s just say Scott heard a combination of smeagles (from Lord of the Rings), some concoction of a dying bird & a high pitch noise, & other unimaginable voices from really bad actors you would never want to hire for an animated film.
After our man-handling festivities, we ended the night sharing stories and had some time for prayer.
I think many would agree with me on this, that Scott really has been an amazing guy in our lives. It’s the little things he does — teaching us how to longboard, sharing his findings from the Word, wearing that darn green hat ever since I saw him 3 freakin years ago. The little things are what amount to the big things. And I think the big thing is how he’s affected so many of us positively throughout the years through his unique personality, but more importantly his love for Christ. Hopefully this blog post will serve as a reminder one day for him to treat us to a VIP lounge at his private executive room when he becomes a noodle bar tycoon businessman. Don’t forget that Amazon started in a garage. Now we’re just waiting to say that their amazing noodle bar started from a backyard.
For most of us, work is not something we enjoy. But it’s what fills a large part of our lives. Without it, we’ll never learn, we’ll never experience, and we’ll never build ourselves to who we want to be.
Work comes with a heavy price though – for one, it consumes time. It becomes monotonous, tiring, stressful, and sometimes even draining. On top of that, it strips us of much freedom we have throughout a day and only gives back some throughout the year for us to keep our sanity (otherwise known as “vacation” days). But beneath it all, work is the very thing that pays for our comfortable existence. And when it becomes a part of our life, we begin to find that everything else in our lives outside of work can only orbit around it.
So if we’re going to spend so much time doing it, how do you find meaning out of work?
1. Take a glimpse at the bigger picture of things
This may comes more easily for some people than others but I believe everybody has the ability to think outside the box every now and then and view our life from a larger perspective. Sure, we have work piling up every morning, meetings to go to, and deadlines to meet but in the midst of all the little things, it’s important to look at the bigger picture of why we do what we do. Ask questions like, what does my job mean for people? How is it affecting others and those around me? How is it affecting my own life and who I am?
So often we’ll get too caught up with our day-to-day activities that we forget to reflect, plan, and then dream of where we want our lives to go. This is why I think it’s vital to find quiet time to ourselves no matter how busy the day is.
2. Remember to connect the dots
Especially for the career-driven & aspiring young men and women – remember that successful careers aren’t built overnight. They take years & often decades to build up to. So don’t be impatient. Know that there are stepping stones – and lots of them. I believe these stepping stones are essential to people holding higher positions & responsibilities. Without them, you’ll have leaders who were given their position (maybe by previous generations or their family network) and often times those are the people who have absolutely no idea how to lead.
Above all, always check your ego at the door. Don’t ever think you’re ‘too important’ to brew coffee in the morning or to help lend an extra hand to a co-worker in need. Great leaders are ones who understand how to serve. Understand these things and one day you’ll look back and connect the dots of how you became the person you dreamed to become.
3. What you Love
I’m not talking about going off and dating your co-worker. I’m talking about finding the things you love, the work that you’re truly passionate about, the things outside of work that your heart has great compassion for. I think the best time to really pursue your heart is in college when you have that freedom to chase after those things you love without being tied down by any real responsibilities.
And when you find where your heart is for in all these things, somehow the career paths you take and the work choices you make will all begin to come together to bring content that goes deeper than anything else. And when you’ve found worth in life, you’ll find everything you need to finding meaning in the workplace.
1. You can get what you want in life if you can help enough others get what they want” - Zig Ziglar, See You at the Top
When I first started my career as a salesperson, this was the first thing I learned and it has been what’s stuck with me ever since. I believe the most important aspect of sales is how you build your relationships with your clientale. As Zig went on to say, “it’s not about building customers, it’s about building clients.” The difference between customers and clients is customers will come by once and never be seen again while clients will always come back with themselves or someone new.
When you’re selling to people – whether it be a product, service, or idea; always think about their needs first. And then think about how your product can & will truly change their lives. If you can believe in your product in that way and if you can value the people whom you’re selling to, I believe you can always get what you want in life.
2. Never let the fear of rejection or embarrassment hinder what you want to achieve” - CEO of Dundas Systems
I first heard this at a conference in 2007 and since then, it has been one of the most important staples of my life. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been rejected or turned down in my career. Especially after doing tradeshows — when you think you’ve developed hundreds of relationships with important prospects and decision-makers. Then when you follow-up with them, it’s almost as if you never met them before.
One of the most beautiful things about life is unpredictability. If we always know the outcome, our lives would be stripped of adventure, spontaneity, surprises, and ultimately I believe happiness. And many times we’ll be rejected. And many times people will fear rejection after having been severely hurt by past failures.
Failures are the greatest opportunities to learn from. Had I given up after our first, second, and third failures in our early startup years, we would’ve never found what we have today. Never let fear of rejection hinder you from making choices & taking that leap of faith.
3. “For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” - Benjamin Button, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
My mom always told me to dream. And I believe this has been what I’ve been most thankful of from my mom. Because I believe dreams were meant to be. When I look back on my life, all those dreams I once had have been honored. Because you never stop chasing after them until you satisfy what your heart calls you to do.
I’ve learned there’s so much to experience in life, there’s so much to learn from people, there’s so much to see. Our life is not even a speck in the universe. And yet every life was meant to be significant, to have purpose beyond our understanding so make the best of it and “if you find you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”
4. “The way to live with significance is to devote your life to a purpose that is larger than your life. - Billy Morin, OceanHills Church
This life was never meant to be about us. I think this is the most difficult yet most important concept one can ever grasp in life. To dedicate our lives to faith takes a lifetime to pursue and yet this is what makes life worth living - to love and to glorify Him. In my own pursuit of meaning, this was what I found. That no amount of money, no amount of achievements, no amount of glory & fame, no amount of materialism, no amount of power will satisfy us until we find who God is.
And as J.I. Packer once said, “there’s a fine line between knowing about God and knowing Him.”
Know Him, pursue Him, love Him because He loved us first.
Great companies are companies that have purpose. Great entrepreneurs are those who search for meaning before they even pursue an idea. These are the people who are truly changing the world – those who understand that wealth, power, and all the materialism in this world is only temporary and will mean absolutely nothing in the face and inevitability of death.
As Guy Kawasaki once said, “Death and illness have had a profound effect on me in this regard. Neither cares whether you’re rich, famous, or powerful. All the riches, fame, and power don’t matter if you’re sick or dead. So when you’re feeling invincible, just remember that you could be gone in a split second.”
So how do you make meaning out of your business? Here are some lessons I learned in my pursuit of finding meaning in the startup world.
1. See what you can do for people
If the first thing you think about is profitability, sales forecasts, margins, etc. then even if somehow you get people into buying your product and make money, in the end you’ll gain nothing. One of the things that I find great burden in my heart is seeing countless people fall into the trap of thinking materialism is the gateway to happiness. Sure, money can buy happiness to some degree but how deep will it go? Even the happiness of a Lamborghini is short-lived. Don’t spend 20 years trying to buy one so you can see for yourself why — I’m saving you a quarter of your life right now.
Ideas & companies that lack purpose lack substance & value. Those are the 7/10 businesses that fail within the first 3 years. My personal opinion is those are the businesses that fail 10/10 times. Without purpose, what do you gain?
The very first and foremost question a business should ask themselves is what am I doing for my customers? How am I serving their needs? These are the questions that not only will attract customers (duh!) but they are the ones that are serving people and ultimately changing the world for the better.
As legendary sales guru Zig Ziglar once said, “You can get what you want in life if you can help enough others get what they want.”
2. Make valuing your customers a priority
Once you have people buying into your company the next step is to value them — and value them HIGHLY. Tony Hsieh of Zappos.com, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Steve Jobs of Macintosh, will all tell you one of the most important aspects of a company is how they value their customers. It is said that one call rep at Zappos spent 2 ½ hours on the phone with a customer. Another time, flowers were sent to a customer whose mom passed away. And that’s just two of hundreds of legendary stories of the over-and-beyond service Zappos gives for their customers.
People who have an amazing experience with a company will always be glad to come back again. But on top of that, they’ll tell their friends, and their friends will tell their friends – and that’s when marketing begins to market itself — or as some of us call it - spreading by word of mouth. And word of mouth marketing is hands down probably one of the most effective ways to market any idea or product.
3. Build your company’s foundation on integrity.
Reputation is not everything, but it is very important. And the key to building a reputable company is integrity. The key to the people running the company is character. Eventually as your company grows, you’ll begin hiring employees. And to build that right foundation, you have to lead by example. If you’re completely honest with yourself, you’ll know that sometimes honesty hurts business. There are times when you’ll lose important sales leads or miss out on some opportunities. In the end though, the loss of business is significantly better than the loss of character and if you can understand that, you’re on the right path. If you can’t, you’re in trouble. Treat others as you would want to be treated.
4. Have a grander purpose beyond just ‘business’
Whether it be involving your company with philanthropic causes or serving the community needs, I believe one of the most important aspects of a company is how it values what it is blessed with. I believe our blessings were given to us so that we can bless others. And that is one of the greatest joys of life that no money can ever buy.
Of all the companies I love & enjoy talking about, the one that I love most is Chick-fil-A. Their grander purpose beyond everything else?
“To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us.”
In business & entrepreneurship I believe meaning is the most important aspect of a company. Ultimately though, I believe the same idea translates to our lives — and that’s finding life meaning is most important in a person.
The other day I found myself reflecting a lot on my life in these past two years - the experiences, the struggles, the good and bad times, the highs and lows, and just this time in my life that have really changed much of who I am. It’s in these past two years since August of 07, that I found a large turning point in my life. And this is what I wanted to share today.
A Long Roller Coaster Ride
My sophomore year of college was a mess. Not because of any typical struggles a college student may face from too many wild-drinking parties, fallen grades, academic failure, or problems with people but more so it was the inner struggles I had inside of me. Many questions to life filled my mind every night and in each one, I searched deep within to find truth. Weeks and months would go by and each day was a struggle. I think the most unsatisfying thing was not being able to find concrete answers to abstract questions. My heart was broken, my life was in many ways devastated, my faith was wavering, and the only thing I could find worth running after were the things I loved and the dreams I once had.
In an attempt to find meaning, I began pursuing entrepreneurship more than ever before. It was the very thing I thought could satisfy me and it was the very path I had wanted to take since prematurely coming out of high school. In the two years I chased after my dreams, I learned more than I ever could about start-ups & small business. I founded three separate companies with the help of family and landed projects for both small and big companies. I got my chance to travel across the world and live the very dream I had in high school. I found success in more ways than I felt I deserved. Yet through it all, I found it to be never enough. I wasn’t content with life still and I knew it. The ideas I concocted of changing the world I eventually found to be meaningless and life was still a never ending roller coaster that I could not find real satisfaction in.
In one of my journal entries late summer of 07′, I wrote –
God, I’m lost. Help me find who you are.
And underneath that, I wrote a verse I found during my devotions -
“You will seek me and find me if you search for me with all your heart” Jeremiah 29:13
Struggle with Faith
In those months that succeeded that journal entry, I did what I loved everyday. But I could not find satisfaction because behind everything that was happening in my life, I struggled hard with faith. And everyday I asked myself why? Why live this life struggling to find answers? Why pursue God if all that comes out of it is brokenness, pain, & unknowing of this world? What worth is there in running after God? Sometimes it’s almost hard to describe how brokenness feels when you’ve almost lost hope in the things you believe in. It’s hard to describe how much it aches not knowing why we exist or what real value there is to life.
On the surface, it’s one thing people may never have known about me. Because on the outside, I made sure no one could ever know. I made sure to always put on a happy face and mask those real feelings that I had. This was who I was. These were the things that I struggled with.
Where I am Today
Yesterday, I had a chance to sit down with my pastor and just share where my life is today. I shared with him how different my life is and how far God’s really brought me in my pursuit of Him. And the irony of it all was I thought I knew God all my life because I grew up in church, and I had tried to do so much for Him. But there was so much more to that I could never see. There was so much I had not experienced in knowing Christ. And the real question I wish I would’ve pursued earlier is do I just know about Him or do I truly know Him? Am I living for myself or am I missing out on a life so much greater than I could ever see?
I’ve learned that it’s not about finding what we can do or what we should do with our lives. But it’s about finding what God wants us to do. It’s about drawing close to Him so that He can draw close to us. It’s about knowing God and knowing that even though there will always be so much we don’t know about Him but just our pursuit of Him is worth every moment of our lives. It’s about finding hope in His sovereignty. It’s about finding how worthless we are without Him. That even with free will, He wants us to depend entirely on Him. And even though these things would’ve never made any sense whatsoever two years ago, these are the things that have truly changed me for the person I am today.
When I think about the cost of following Christ, I often think about how hard it really is to give up ourselves to Him. The sheer thought of surrendering the entirety of who we are is one that’s always been extremely hard for me to accept. But yet we fix our eyes upon Him so that we may find rest in His sovereignty. And who are we to say that these costs are too much to give? What about the cost that Christ paid for our sins? What about the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross so that we might live in eternity one day with Him? But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8). He would love us so much that he would send his Son to die for us so that we might live. And all he wants is for us to know Him - To understand how deep, how wide, how high, His love is for us.
If my life has changed any in these last 2 years, it’d be that I can say today with certainty that it’s worth it. That there’s nothing in this world - no achievement, no endeavor, no accolade, no person, no experience, that’s worth more than following Christ and knowing Him.
Fourth year undergrad at UTD.