Wow. Is it December already?
I've been in LA for over four months now. What's changed? Namely, two things.
Number one, my dependence on God. As much as I'm attracted to the thrill of new things and adventure, I like the safety of home. Having family members around the corner, friends I've known since I was toddler, is rather comfortable.
I wish there was a verse in the Bible that went, "Thus saith the Lord, you will be very comfortable and chill for the rest of yo life." I looked. There was none.
Facing new challenges, new risks, and new relationships has forced me to the conclusion that I'm a trainwreck without God. Unfortunately, I'm a natural worrier, and life's never given me more things to worry about than right now. Rent. Jobs. Friendships and connections. General questions on "Where am I going in life?" I probably spent more time looking at myself and my own issues these past few months than ever before, and it wasn't healthy. I don't want to worry. Really, who does?
I want to be the type of person who pursues what God's giving them, nothing held back. Pastor Derrick and Matt would refer to it as being a "yes man" for God. Whatever God says, just say yes. A while ago, I felt God telling me to buy food and distribute it to the homeless. It took me a couple months of self-indulgence, but one weekend, I decided it was time to put up or shut up.
I went to Ralph's with my friend early in the morning. We spent about $120 putting together fifteen care packages and a bunch of bread, cold cuts, peanut butter, and jelly for sandwiches. Around noon, we met up with a couple friends at USC, including Brian Tang who documented some of it with his camera, put together the sandwiches and care packages, then hit the road, driving to God knows where.
There was no definite plan. I told my friends that. We just headed towards Little Tokyo, looking for homeless people along the way. I dubbed us the "Peanut Butter and Jesus" crew, and the car was the Peanut Butter and Jesus mobile. Hopefully that wasn't blasphemous.
It wasn't long until we found a small homeless community of about 10-15 people. I parked the car and popped the trunk. "Stay together guys!" We proceeded to give the homeless the care packages filled with water bottles, fruit, cookies, chips, toiletries, and of course, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They were quite ecstatic. They even told us about another homeless community around the block that could also use supplies. That was nice of them.
We drove around Little Tokyo for a few more minutes while passing out the rest of the sandwiches, but our work was done. One of the guys later told me it was probably the highlight of his semester. I agreed - it was pretty fun. There's something refreshing about taking my eyes off myself and blindly doing what I feel God wants me to do. Even if it is a little random and weird. But that’s what makes it fun. :)
I don't know what God wants me to do next. It seems He's been opening door after door, telling me to trust that He'll guide me all the way through. I'm becoming more comfortable with being uncomfortable, because there's no place I’d rather be than in the arms of my Father.
Number two, my love for people has changed. I know some people assume I'm a naturally kind and loving person, which I can be sometimes by the grace of God. But in all honesty, I have a tough time fully loving people I've just met, whether it be at a Bible study, a new church, or a random student at USC. I have to train myself to love people for simply being humans loved by God and created in His image, rather than analyzing whether they're worthy of love based off my sinful standards.
I play worship for a Bible study on Mondays, and I want to say how grateful I am for these new brothers and sisters in Christ who have welcomed me into their fellowship. And they feed me. That made me trust them immediately.
In all seriousness, I'm trying to see people through the eyes of God. His chosen, beautiful children, whom He longs to connect with. Can I live my life in a way that shows people how much God loves them? Christian or non-Christian, it doesn't matter. This is the way I want to live. This is what I'm going to strive for.
A couple months back, I made a blog post on pornography. It was fun. I love talking about porn. Not in a positive way, but in a open and honest way we as a Christ-centered family can deal with it. However, I did get a message from a friend, saying I was setting my standards too high. "Don't make such a big deal that you're not perfect," he told me. "Everyone does it."
But it's not about being perfect, I told him. It's about being set free.
I'm not okay with succumbing to the "natural" sinful habits of humans just because everyone else does. Let's fight the good fight, run the race, so that at the end we can hear God, the Almighty Freaking Awesome Creator of the Universe say "Well done good and faithful servant." I. Seriously. Cannot. Wait. Only about 60 more years or so to go. Hopefully.
Thanks for reading! See you next week with more Word Vomits.
“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12 (ESV)