Thursday, March 20, 2008

Today I did not punch two guys in the face. -or- Trying to look at the glass half full.

It's been a rough two weeks for me. Meager March is progressing well. I'm right on budget, having spent 104 yuan in the first 20 days of March. That includes a haircut, a couple of bus rides, and more time on my computer than I ever planned on. Of course, if I was really on welfare here then I wouldn't even have a computer. But the meagerness isn't really the rough part. In fact, the meagerness has only contributed to my peace of mind and sizable ego. Just today Jessica commented on how I'm the only male taking part in Shiyan's Meager March. "You're the only one who was man enough to accept the challenge." That's what she said. *insert laugh here if you've ever watched The Office* No, the rough part has been a very tough patch of culture shock, homesickness, and worrying about my future, which all conveniently hit at the same moment last week. So I've run the whole gambit from "I'm moving to Korea next year," to "I'm opening a coffee shop in Shiyan next year," to "I'm moving back to the States next year," to "I'm not even waiting for my contract to end, I'm leaving tomorrow." Like I said, it's been a rough two weeks.

So now I'm stepping back and instead of looking at all the bad and annoying things around me, I'm trying to be more optimistic. This glass isn't half empty! It's sort of almost halfway full! So I won't sum up today by saying I almost hit two guys in the face. Instead, I'm gonna tell you that today I did NOT punch two guys in the face. And right after I didn't punch the first guy, we found a store that sold whipping cream and they even whipped it for us for free. Yay! Then on the way back to school Jessica didn't punch a little girl in the face. Which is way funnier than me not punching a man in the face. (I hope you realize that "not punching someone in the face" is code for "I really almost punched someone in the face but restrained myself.")

But there are always things that you just can't put a pretty face on. Like racism, or riots, or affairs, or outright hatred. I know I have a hard time with a lot of things, but I just don't understand when people refuse to love. When promises made are considered null and void because you think you might like someone else better. Or when someone dies but you can't go to their funeral or offer support because their congregation split from yours and no one in that group will associate with you anymore. Shunning someone in public because they support giving a Bible to someone. That amounts to public hatred. Turning your back on someone in the supermarket when they say hi to you. Preaching hatred instead of love. Legalism instead of truth and spirit. Limiting yourself and everyone you come in contact with instead of letting Christ set you free. I admit that I've got a whole tree growing out of my eye, but some people don't even realize that they're blind in both eyes and walking into a pit.

There's so much more that I want to say, but I don't think I should. Most of you probably have no idea what any of that alludes to, and that's okay. This post isn't aimed at you. If you do know, then hopefully you understand my meaning. Selfishness, unfaithfulness, pride, hatred, ungodly actions; they all manifest themselves in the smallest and largest ways possible. If we can't take a slap in the face without giving up or slapping back, then we need to reevaluate ourselves. We should respond with love! If we can't love unconditionally, it's not really love. If we can't be loyal to our first love, what's keeping us with our second love? Or third? If, in a town of 15,000 people, both lost and Christian, the only ones who aren't welcome at your funeral are the other Christians, what's the point of even calling yourself a Christian? Even though I'm pretty sure I'm not perfect at all the things I just mentioned, I still can't understand blatant disregard for some of these. Some of the most central aspects of Christianity and Love, yet we can't seem to even grasp the idea.

I have a feeling my blog has developed a negative tone during the last few posts. I have to be honest, I've been very very down lately. I have some great high moments everyday, like when my family calls or I'm with friends here, but then 2 minutes later I'm back down again. For the last two weeks. I have faith that I'll come out of this rut soon, but I just want people to know that they don't help by abandoning or being hateful. I'm not just saying they don't help me. They don't help the world. They don't help themselves. They don't help the Kingdom. They don't help God. The only one they help is the very one trying to destroy them. So if you're not helping, sit back and put things in perspective. You don't matter, others matter. I don't matter, others matter. We don't matter, others don't even really matter. Only God matters. And he's already told you what to do. Love him first. Love others first. He'll worry about you. That's all that matters. My cups not half empty. My cup overflows.

7 comments:

Hannah said...

Brian, I just wanted to know that I am speaking of you to our Father even though I don't know
everything that's going on.

I would suggest listening to some Josh Groban--his music always makes me feel better--but for some reason most guys don't seem to find the suggestion to be helpful. ;)

China Brian said...

Wow. Thanks for the suggestion, but I think I'll stay away from Josh Groban. I have bad memories of a coworker who liked Josh Groban waaaay too much. Thanks for your concern, though!

jennifer said...

Thinking and talking....I understand:) LUBS...

Anonymous said...

You are wiser than many people twice your age. I am very proud of you.

mama

Anonymous said...

You are wiser than many people twice your age. I am very proud of you.

mama

TexasNeals said...

oh, brian, we love you so much!! i'm sorry that you are experiencing down times. loneliness/homesickness? maybe? i don't know, i just know that we love you and miss you and think (and talk about) you all the time. suz especially. so sorry for all the pain and frusteration. i'm grateful for your post. i am sorry for the causes of it, but am encouraged to work on myself as i struggle to love the way that God wants me to. you and my brother are two of the best examples i can think of- of loving others. you have such a big heart bri, thanks for sharing it w/ us.
love you....

TexasNeals said...

did i mention that we really wish we could give you a super-dooper-mega hug? well....we do. :)