which gets me thinking --
do i take pride in my major,
or what God's going to do in my major?
oh heart of mine,
so lately i've been reading Invitation to Lead, a book for asian american leaders in our generation. there's this part where Paul writes about one of the co-authors of another AA-geared book, // how to follow jesus w/o dishonoring your parents// and how his parents were essentially so disappointed in his choice to join IV staff that his mom told him, "either you come home or i'm going to kill myself."
i wonder it feels like to be caught in a relationship like that. i wonder if that's what it feels like -- to be physically torn between passions and expectations and responsibilities. i wonder why it is that if money didn't matter, i'd probably transfer into urban planning in a heartbeat. but that means staying in school an extra year and a half. that's an extra $60,000. for an occupation i know my parents wouldn't approve of.
how do you define that, then? are those mistakes? does God allow for mistakes? maybe i'm seriously not cut out of this world of industry.
// for example, last week at my sub-team's progress weekly progress meeting (read: 15 coders, designers, and engineers sitting around a big conference table in the theory center) and i was explaining my GPS algorithm, i ended up saying -- "so far we can determine how many GPS satellites we have access to at a given time, inclination and altitude. but i haven't been able to calculate the usability of those satellites due to the interface from the ionospheric... ionophere." yep. professionalism at its best.
*throws hands up in air*
i really don't know, hahahaha.
i wish we could just carve pumpkins and eat pie and drink cider and study revelation all day.
you're sick of running away
i should be studying for my urban planning exam tomorrow morning. but it just seems like one of those nights.
... maybe it's because we don't look far enough into the future. so often, we forget to look towards HEAVEN... towards what lies at the end of this life. i keep listening to the words of Nothing Without You, and how we really have nothing without jesus...
maybe that's the reality of it. when it comes to our relationship with jesus, we have nothing to offer. i keep thinking about this one worship set during winter camp when i really wanted to go outside and be swept away by the rain... -- 1.9.06
... har har har.
i need more thoughts of, good job Daddy... (He's the only one who can get us out of this sick cycle carousel.)
a father who runs
The massive Rembrandt measures over eight and a half feet tall and six and a half feet wide, compelling viewers with a larger than life scene. The Return of the Prodigal Son hangs on the walls of the St. Petersburg Hermitage Museum depicting Christian mercy, according to one curator, as if it were Rembrandt's last "spiritual testament to the world." Fittingly, it is one of the last paintings the artist ever completed and remains one of his most loved works.
The painting depicts the reunion of the wayward son and the waiting father as told in the Gospel of Luke. The elderly father is shown leaning in an embrace of his kneeling son in ragged shoes and torn clothes. With his back toward us, the son faces the father, his head bowed in regret. Clearly, it is the father Rembrandt wants us most to see. The aged man reaches out with both hands, his eyes on the son, his entire body inclining toward him.
It is understandable that viewers have spent hours looking at this solemn reflection of mercy and homecoming. The artist slows our restless minds to a scene where the parable's characters are powerfully at rest. The kneeling son leans silently toward the father; the father calmly and tenderly leans toward the son. But in fact, this is far from the scene Jesus portrays in the parable itself.
The parable of the prodigal son is far from restful, and the father within it is anything but calm in his embrace of the wayward son. Jesus tells us that while the son was "still a long way off," the father saw him and "was filled with compassion for him" (Luke 15:20). Literally, this father was moved by his compassion. The Greek word conveys an inward movement of concern and mercy, but this man was also clearly moved outwardly. The text is full of dramatic action. The father runs to the son, embraces him (literally, "falls upon his neck"), and kisses him. Unlike the depiction of Rembrandt, Jesus describes a scene far more abrupt and shocking. It is not the son who we find kneeling in this picture, but the father. The characters are not at rest but in radical motion. The father who runs to his wayward son runs without any assurance of repentance; he runs without any promise that the son is even home to stay.
There is a line in Jewish tradition that would likely have entered the minds of the first hearers of this parable. According to ancient thought, the manner of a man''s walk "shows what he is."(1) Dignified men in this ancient culture simply did not run. In order to do so, long robes would have had to be lifted up, exposing the legs, which was inherently shameful. And yet, this father runs to the son who blatantly disrespected him, and hurriedly embraces the one who once disowned him. This man's "walk" shows a substance that is nothing less than staggering. All measures of decorum, all levels of expectation are simply shattered by this father\'s love. It would no doubt have been a disruptive picture for the audience who first heard the parable; it remains a disruptive picture today.
The portrait Jesus offers of our Father in heaven is one of action and immediacy. The image of any father running to meet the child who had made a mess of her life is compelling. But that it was so outlandish in this ancient context makes this depiction of his love all the more stirring. It brings to the forefront an image of God as one who is willing to embrace shame on our account. It brings to mind the image of a Son who endured the cross, scorning its shame, that we would not grow weary and lose heart.
God is moving toward us with a walk that thoroughly counters any thought of a distant and absent Father and boldly confronts any move away from Him. In his radical approach of our hearts, the Father reveals who He is. However far we wander, the God who laments even one lost soul is waiting and ready for our return. More than this, He is the Father who runs to close the distance.
Why is it okay to invite that friend to fellowship next week 'cause that's a better time for him/her to come? (how many next weeks will there be?)
Why is it okay to cheat off of homework so readily at a school we're paying basically $1,000 per credit for?
Why is it okay for people to be so darn indecisive?
Why is it okay for so called "godly" men so have it all together spiritually, mentally, physically... but oh right, add girls to the picture and their emotional states are toxic dumps. (Think the air above North Korea right now... actually this is something that personally really ticks me off. I mean the "godly man" facade. But nuclear war would tick me off too...)
Why is it okay for people to just up and leave churches, communities, because of a falling out with an (in)significant other?
So there's this line from Love is the Reversal from Starfield's newest Cd... and for some reason, I always thought this was one of those upbeat, happy songs. Then this morning I listened more closely... and --
Welcome to the world wide train wreck...
Hahahaha -- in the ironic way. Do you ever see just so much wreckage around you (both physically and in other arenas) that you start laughing?
Yeah, nothing is as good as it should be, 'cause this is the rehearsal
Yeah, in between the was and the could be, love is the reversal
i definitely feel you there -- i think part of me would think that it'd be summer again. hanging out in naperville til the wee hours of the morning, random visits to the city after large group, loitering in mcdonalds parking lots until people would honk at us.
but it's not, is it? we're all growing old now, doing our own thang, at our own schools. it's odd seeing people you've grown up with, served together with for so long move on to leading small groups, worship, serving on exec, (dating o_O) on their own campuses. i guess it's sad in a way, knowing i probably won't be here next summer for 724... but in a way it's release for me too. helps to know that we're all moving on, moving forward, chugging forward...
i was watching coach carter with my mom tonight, (before she fell asleep hah hah..) and for some reason, there was this scene where the coach asks the team to look at their own lives. and their parents' lives. and asked them if they wanted better than that. and that really reminded me of the one night in the bronx where we spent the night in the homeless shelter @ st. georges, only to tutor and play with kids the next morning. in the back of my mind, these thoughts of, "how many of these kids will end up in that homeless shelter one day..."
we really are all wired for different things. sometimes you just miss when you were all on one circuit board...
anyway, the other day i was seeking refuge in big red barn from the rain (trying to study for linear algebra prelim, but to no avail ._.) while i realized that every thursday is international coffee hour. it's an afternoon where all the international students can come and socialize, drink free coffee, eat free food, and just be, away from all their studies and whatnot.
so while drinking my free coffee and eating my free food and doing practice prelims, these two chinese grad students asked (in mandarin) if they could sit with me. i said yes, and we started chatting a bit. then one of them asked (once again in mandarin),
"so did you fly directly from china here to go to school?"
which at this point, i simply laughed and explained that i was from chicago.
but times like that, (including last night with my roommate and i watched Jet Li's Fearless) when i'm particularly blessed that God made me the ethnicity and culture i am.