Some Roads Do End…

Tell him that I’m sorry, and tell him thank you.

I’ll be moving forward right now.

I won’t be looking back.

It’s time to go now… so it’ll be goodbye, then?

At least from where I’m standing, I can see that there is blue in the sky.

Can you see it, too?

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A Day in the Life of an Angsty Teenager

Periods of sunshine and happiness interjected with periods of depression and self-loathing at my own inadequacy to measure up to standards. Whose standards? Probably mine. I can’t do anything right, I can’t play piano, I can’t write, I can’t psychologize people (yes, I just made up that word), and I want someone to shoot me now because I got an A- and that is the most horrible thing ever. And it’s raining and I don’t want to walk across Huxley to get to Smith to practice piano because it’s flooded and I’ll get wet.

Then there’s the times that I ask, “What have I got myself into?” Can I really do this? Can I prove to people that I’m not too young, I’m not too immature, I’m not too… too short? Can I prove to myself that I have what it takes? I worry.

It’s at moments like those that I wish I could say that I’ve outgrown that phase, but I realize that I haven’t.

Sadly, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of negative thinking. Stop talking about yourself and how bad you are, for goodness’ sake. The whole world knows you think you’re inadequate. The whole world might even tell you that you’re inadequate. But you know that you can do all things in Christ who strengthens you, and that he is enough for your inadequacy.

And move on. I’m sure we can probably figure that we were meant for greater things than this.

Meanwhile, you’ll probably find me in Smith, arranging piano covers of Brooke Fraser and Regina Spektor. Apologies to my piano teacher in advance.

PS: the covers never did get arranged for some reasons I don’t have time to go into.

The Paradox of Freedom

Why do people say that freedom is not really free?

Can mercy/grace and justice exist hand in hand?

Well…

Freedom makes me think about the movie Braveheart. William Wallace tries to win freedom for the people of Scotland. In the process, he loses his life and so never gets to experience that freedom. Not to mention the many soldiers who lost their lives fighting for this freedom.

So while freedom is free for us, it also means that some equivalent exchange has to happen. In our case, freedom was paid for with His blood. For us to win freedom from the bondage of sin, Christ died to pay the penalty for our sins. We can experience such freedom only because He went through excruciating pain and suffering to give us such freedom.

At the same time, the knowledge of how expensive such freedom us makes us savor that freedom. It was bought for with blood. It wasn’t cheap. Such freedom must be precious indeed.

But how can mercy and justice exist hand in hand? Grace is us receiving something we don’t deserve at all, instead of the punishment we ought to receive. Unmerited favor. Mercy is much the same thing. It’s when you do something wrong, and should face the consequences. Instead, you don’t face the consequences but instead receive a reprieve. You don’t have to face the consequences anymore. This happened on the cross, when we were granted a pardon for our sins.

However, at the same time, you hear about the justness of the God who showed us such mercy. Does this mean that God is not just after all?

Equivalent exchange, also known as justice, demands that someone must pay. If not us, then who?

You can almost see where this is leading.

There’s a certain paradox about freedom and grace. Neither are free because Someone has to pay for it. There’s also a certain justice, because while we might not be the ones to pay, Someone else has to. It’s that justice and just payment that gives freedom and grace such value and make it so precious.

Also remember that we were bought back from this slavery. We weren’t cheap. Remember that, and think about how precious you are in the eyes of God.

Live, knowing that you have been freed.

Live, knowing that you were precious enough to be freed.

This is for you.

Someone was talking about how me watching anime was a waste of my time, and how he should watch it, judge whether it’s a waste of my time, then try to persuade me not watch/read it anymore. I was irritated. Quite irritated. Especially when he started talking about how it was like being addicted to a drug. “What’s the point?”

I think he belongs to the “Fantasy is a waste of time” club.

I would go further to say that I’m pretty picky about the stuff I read and watch, and that I do know when something is a waste of my time. Even though this is fantasy, there’s something about it that somehow resonates with me. Fantasy always has a bit of realism in it, and this [Fullmetal Alchemist] is no different. It depicts humanity at its worse, but also humanity at its best. There’s comedy, sadness, despair, romance, tragedy. There’s mindless rage, injustice, cowardice, and cruelty, but there’s also forgiveness, courage, grace, and redemption. There’s hope. Which is what people desperately need.

Good fantasy is ironically marked by the realism in it.

Stories can also make one inspired to reach for something greater than themselves, right? For me, that’s what makes a good story cross the line into something much much better.

Waste of my time? I don’t think so.

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Time to blog?

Do I?

I’m sitting here. I have 3 exams next week. One in the much dreaded calculus. Two in music, which is awesome. But the ear training exams ARE really tough.

Do I have time to blog? heh.

You just sort of make time for stuff like that.

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Seriously, though. Life has its ups and downs. Some weeks are worse than others. But for some inexplicable reason, I am pretty happy. I’m happy with the major(s) I’ve chosen, with the college I’ve chosen, with the people I’m meeting (and they sure are an interesting bunch) and with the road I’m walking on right now. I trip over stuff all the time (both figuratively and literally) but I’m getting where I’m supposed to be.

Even though I basically failed two theory exams (curse you, second species counterpoint!!!) and one 10 page paper (in the words of the professor “I’ll give you a 78 but you don’t know how to write”) and a psychology exam (76), I think everything’s going to turn out ok. And that I don’t regret the decisions I’ve made one bit. Except that I should have gotten serious about piano earlier.

But life really isn’t bad at all.

I’m pretty sure it’s because of grace.

Life is good.

God is good.

The end.