Friday, June 4, 2010

Day 317 - chosen

So... work's going well. I've been on my own for 2 weeks now and even though I'm not always super excited to go in to work... it doesn't strike fear into my heart. I never know what I'm going to get, but I'm getting to the point where I'm fairly certain I can handle most of what I get. I like my co-workers. They're cool. My patients... the last time I worked, one of them said I was a good nurse. :) She said I was very sweet. I like the cancer patients. Some of them are really really sad, but some... I can have pretty good conversations with. Even the sad ones... I hope that I can at least provide quality, compassionate care for them and not make things worse by adding to their stress and/or sadness. Anyway... so that's how work is going. It's good.

Thoughts. It seems like... I think about the same things over and over and over again. That means that I write about the same things over and over and over again... in slightly different forms and context. I hope that doesn't mean that I'm not learning anything new. Well... you can tell me if it seems like I'm stuck thinking about the same things because I have not really learned what I needed to learn yet before I can move on.

Yesterday night, I was thinking about love and choices. I scrolled down a little bit and two posts ago, I wrote about choosing love. I shared a little bit about my thoughts last night with some of the ladies at fellowship, but I can share again. I've been thinking about it since yesterday.

I've been thinking a lot about why we, as people in general, tend to forget love so easily. How we tend to take things for granted. How we keep looking for something we don't yet have and don't seem to appreciate what we've got until it's gone. This is just in general. I'm sure there are lots and lots of people who appreciate what they've got... but there are a lot who don't as well.

Hearing about husbands and wives who have drifted into rocky places in their marriages... hearing about Christians who have drifted away from God... makes me sad. What makes me more sad is realizing that it's not just "other people" that drift... it's me too. Even though I see it and recognize it... even though I tell myself I don't want to... I am also one who drifts. I can drift very, very quickly to a place of apathy, of bitterness, of self-importance and self-centeredness... I find myself complaining, I find myself getting frustrated with people, I find myself wanting to shut people out and just be alone, I find myself with a snap or a sharpness in my voice and words that is not indicative of a "gentle and quiet spirit which is pleasing to God" but of a sinful, prideful spirit seeking to serve myself.

I wrote down my thoughts about what makes romantic love special in my notes from Jon's sermon yesterday... but in looking at my outline, I didn't recognize where those thoughts came from until someone else mentioned his illustration about goldfish that acclimate to the temperature of water when it changes... or maybe that was from another conversation I was having about a bio lab that we had at UCI our freshman year. It was something about fish and water and how fish forget about water because they're swimming in it... and that's kinda like how we forget about God's grace because we're just swimming in it and living in it... but not recognizing it or appreciating it all the time.

I've also been having plenty of conversations with single people in search of "the one". So many conversations where people can relate to feeling lonely, feeling sad about being single, feeling abandoned and hurt by friends or people... about exes that move on first... about dates with people that aren't really working... about just being sad that we are at this stage in our lives and don't have anyone... or so it seems.

I don't know how come it seems like I can have all kinds of these conversations all at once. My heart goes out to the single and lonely... because I am also that. My heart goes out to those who are struggling in their marriages because I have also struggled in my marriage (perhaps in a different way but struggled just the same). My heart goes out to those who are dating and who are frustrated with long distance relationships (because I've been there too). My heart goes out to those who are overwhelmed by feelings of this or that... to the point where they just can't help but to cry cry cry... because I do that too. My heart goes out to those who have been hurt by an ex who has moved on first because... well... I know what it feels like to be left behind. It hurts.

And every once in a while, I get questions from people asking me about dating non-believers. Yeah, I've been there too. Heck, I'm still there. I'm everywhere. I'm everywhere to a point where I don't even know where I am anymore. I'm just... here.

So I was thinking about what makes romantic love so... appealing. Why does it make me feel special and why does my heart yearn for it?

One reason is because... being loved means that I was chosen. It means that out of everybody else... someone chose me. Someone saw something in me that they thought was special enough to want for themselves. Someone took a good look at everyone they knew and found something special or remarkable about me... and not just acknowledged it... but they did something about it and chose ME. They put themselves out there to be rejected by choosing me. That's what makes me feel special... because someone else thought so and only wanted me. And not just once. From the first day and for the rest of his life... he only wanted me.

It's not so special if one day he chose me and the next day he abandoned me for someone else. What makes it special is that he chose me and then continued to choose me day after day after day. Maybe he chose me because he loved a little thing about me that one day... but when that love grows the more he finds out about me... the more he knows me... that's special. That's remarkable. And it's downright amazing that someone else could see so much of me and still want to be with me... the ugly and all.

Choosing me wasn't always easy. OK well, I can't speak for him but I know that I'm not exactly a piece of cake to get along with. Choosing him wasn't always easy either. Doing the long distance thing... I was confronted daily with the question "is it worth it?" Is it worth tying myself down to someone that I can only talk to between the hours of 4 and 7pm (or whatever) because of the time difference? Is it worth it to be with someone who doesn't know whether or not he'll be moving back to the U.S. anytime soon? Is it worth it to have a boyfriend but to have to go alone to everything because he's never in the country? It's like having someone but still getting stuck with the worst parts of not having someone. Or was it?

He was analyzing whether or not I was worth it just as much as I was... and he still chose to be with me. I had the comfort and security of having someone who cared about me... and yet I still had the freedom to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted because he wasn't around all the time and I didn't have to be there for him, on call 24/7. I had the best parts of being in a relationship as well as the best parts of being single.

And I didn't have to force him to be with me... he was with me by choice. Just like I was with him by choice as well. Two people who choose each other and continue to choose each other through thick and thin... how beautiful is that? That's love, yo.

What is truly meaningful is the choice. The continued choosing. Commitment. Faithfulness. Loyalty.

You know what's yucky to watch? What was yucky to watch was Wikus van de Merwe in his mechanical suit... running away and leaving Christopher Johnson at the mercy of the crazy MNU guys who were out to kill and destroy BOTH of them. It stops being yucky when Wikus stops running... he hears that they're going to kill Christopher (or something like that)... he turns around and goes back to protect him. Sorry, District 9 is on Netflix streaming. Just saw it again recently. It is beautiful to watch self-sacrifice in action. And yet... I don't think all that many of us are as willing to do it for others as much as we are desiring that it be done for us.

I'm sure you already know where I'm going with this. God chose us. He chose us and loved us even before we were born. He sacrificed Himself for us. He sacrificed Himself so that we could be with Him for all eternity. God loves us. When you stop and think about what that means... it stops becoming something you can just brush away or think little of. This is it. This is the BIG one. BIG BIG love. The kind that doesn't depend on what you do for them... doesn't waver back and forth like a swinging pendulum... it is constant, you can depend on it, you can count on it... it will never fade, it will never cease to be... you will never find that God has chosen someone else one day because He always chooses you. Everyday, always.

So that's Him. He did more than enough on His side. Now... looking at me on my side. My track record is less than perfect. It is not even less than perfect, it is horrible and shouldn't even be put in the same sentence with "perfect". For someone who chooses me... why not choose Him? In Him... in His character... is everything I ever wanted. It is everything I admire. Everything I desire for myself. Jesus is hot.

Every time I read about Joseph and his life... I think to myself... dang, Joseph is hot. He's my favorite. Then I read about Moses and I'm like dang, Moses is hot too. He's my new favorite. So are Joshua and Caleb. Every time I read about King David and his life... I also think to myself... dang, David is hot... maybe he's my favorite now. When I read about Elijah and his prayers... dang, that's hot too. They can't all be my favorite. I looked at what made them hot and I realized that... they're hot because their lives were conformed in the likeness of God... and God incarnate is Jesus Christ. Joseph, Joshua, David... were men... they made mistakes. Un-hot mistakes. I was talking to my friend about our "criteria" and the only person who has all the qualities we want in the perfect husband... is pretty much Jesus. I think I've whittled it down to one criteria if I'm going to look for another man to spend the rest of my life with here on earth in addition to Jesus. He has to love the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength. Yeah. that's it. And maybe speak English. How did I get here. Hm.

Chosen. I have more to say. I'll save it for another day.

1 comment:

  1. shoot. i just wrote a comment and refreshed the page and lost it. oh well. maybe i was preaching more to my own heart than sharing with you, tiff :) thanks for reminding me that we are chosen not by anything we do but out of God's great love for us. it's funny how we can be so discontent with every area of our lives and forget about that simple truth--a truth that should matter so much more than all the things we worry about. praise be to God, who not only chooses us, but never lets us go.