That New Mind

Self-awareness:  an ongoing attention to one’s internal states

These summer months have allowed and caused me to dig deep into the self-awareness attribute I possess; whether discovering more lies my flesh believes or idols I cling to, I been mentally, spiritually, and physically stretched. Shining a light on your inner thoughts and probing the depths of one’s heart reveals how truly murky you can find yourself. It disgust me how I am at times. At the same time I’m more alive. I’m discovering when my hope rest on created things or people or a job then ultimately I’m lost. Switch ones hope to the Creator and let it rest on Him then you can attain true soul rest.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” — Matthew 11:29-30

He been trying to get my attention and who would have guessed the storm that delayed us three days in Hong Kong would open up my schedule and become an invitation to switch my gaze. Dummy, Matthew 8:23-27, ‘even winds and sea obey him’ there was definitely a reason we needed a delay. Don’t mistake me for saying or think I believe God sent the Typhoon because I wasn’t focus on Him. The storm rolled through no matter what, but I believe He purposed that time for me to get re-centered on Him if I so chose to respond to His invitation of being in solitude with Him.

I went for the first time to a week long camp and was a counselor. Graciously, the Lord didn’t have me stay all week. I never been a camp counselor before, so I had no clue what to expect. Low-n-behold, my first time would be over Chinese high schoolers who could barely communicate in my heart language, English. It was definitely a humbling experiencing. What made it interesting that here I thought I would take a more predominate role; yet with the language barrier the responsibility of leading went to the other Chinese camp counselors. That’s life here in a nutshell. Not the fact of responsibility going to my other Chinese camp counselors, but what I usually expect here doesn’t play out.

There is something special though about seeing Chinese people whether they are kids, students or adults. The culture and mindset of China is, “interesting”. Before I arrived I asked past students who came here to  give me a description of China life and their experience. The overall repetitive answer I received, “It’s China.” How helpful. They could have said things like: When one sits in a coffee shop, like I am now writing this, occasional songs of artist like Justin Bieber or Rihanna or Katy Perry can be heard playing overhead. ALWAYS playing. Patrons, like two gentleman talking, or shall I say shouting, believe being within two feet of each other is not close enough to hear. I reflect on my metro ride from the island to the city and think, “Was I really only a foot away from the glass sliding door, and yet, that older couple saw space enough for them to squeeze in front of me with their luggage?” When all these things aggravate me majority of the time, ha and there is so much more, I can’t help but love China and appreciate the overall culture mindset and lifestyle.

A couple nights ago the guys and I had accountability. We reflected on my original mindset and even went as far as stating words I stated last year when I arrived within my first month. I won’t bore you, well, one loses the full appreciation if one doesn’t have all the facts, right? I stated, “Make all the rules and boundaries you want. It won’t make a difference when I go back to America, because I will still do what I want.” Dumbass, right? I have come a longgg way from that foolish thinking last year.I haven’t ventured as far as I like, but it’s been a forward growth in a positive direction. Ha. I know I’m a work in progress. It’s amazing though to see how much one can change over the yearI mean I’m not the same arrogant boy who left America last year. Every year life changes a person, hopefully for the better. Add living oversees, living life on mission, tack on living in a authentic challenging community, *exhale* exhausted just writing that, One couldn’t help but change even though one doesn’t see one’s change in the day in, day out.

Where am I going with this? I don’t know. The next four years are going to be awesome! I mean I can recall my departure and how I was mentality. That destination and what my mentality will be…is to be alive. to come alive. come alive. Come alive. come alive. Full of life now. Full of passion. It’s how we made you. Just let it happen That United Pursuit song thou. Jamming out to it as I write obviously

Could you have imagined you be reading something like this from me? I mean I have done some F-upped shit and can recall all the times I should have died. Trust me I know. Things I will have to carry through my life, but that’s the Gospel yo. We are all F-upped people and yet God still wants you. amazing huh? Eric Liddell stated in his journal, “If I know something to be true, am I prepared to follow it even though it is contrary to what I want… Will I follow if it means being laughed at by friend or foe, or if it means personal financial loss or some kind of hardship” What a challenge, huh? I am only two years in and man I got a challenging life in front of me, but when you’ve tasted the true living water he provides:

“Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.'” — John 4:13-14

 Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine! — Dietrich Bonehoeffer


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