Good and Bad

I’ve been pretty honest about myself and my flaws on this blog. I don’t see any point in glorifying myself. I should say, however, that this has not stopped God from doing great things through me. As long as I refuse the glory, I see no harm in showing that the Lord uses even very flawed people in positive ways.

Brandon

My friend, Brandon, must think I’m some kind of saint. He’d be wrong, but the funny thing is, almost every time we speak, I have some sort of great amazing wisdom come from my mouth. I, of course, struggle to put in practice almost any of it, but it seems that every single lesson I’ve gotten from the Lord comes to mind exactly when Brandon could stand to hear it. I particularly enjoy this because Brandon is a man I already respect. My favorite thing about him is that he thinks for himself in a time when so few do this. It is quite an honor that God would use me to bless such a man, even if I am so unworthy.

Daniel

Daniel has seen the weirdest side of me and that pretty consistently. He has been taking on some rather monumental projects and has done it with the strength that clearly comes from God. Nearly the entire time, I’ve been around perfectly sacrificing much of my own life to make his dreams happen. Not only that, but it’s been easy. Daniel almost tried to stop me being so helpful because he was afraid of taking advantage of me, even by accident. It seems without fail that I volunteer just about everything I have to make his life better, and it works very well. I’m not sure if this is more for Daniel or for me that the Lord brings this out. In my friendship with Daniel, I’ve seen the work of theosis, that Christ makes his followers more and more like Himself. God shows me through this friendship, that I am not totally lost, no matter how bad things get.

The Other Side

I am no saint, however. While God brings amazing things through me to show me that I am not lost, he confronts me with my sin to show me that I am not perfect either. Today, a friend called about various matters and at the end of the call she asked me if I could promise to do my best not to get angry at a question, acknowledging that I couldn’t promise not to get angry, but only to try not to get angry. I agreed to do my best and her question was whether I was interested in buying a book from her. Wow. That was it. The shocking thing here, is she wasn’t crazy to be so worried about me getting angry over it. The organization that she was selling for is one that I am very against, and apparently, I’ve not been nice about it. My anger has been a bit out of control recently and God is throwing that in my face.

I will learn to be gentle. When confronted with my sins like I was in this phone call, it helps to think of how I treat Brandon and Daniel. I am capable of better, by the grace of God. The Lord shows me my victories through His strength to show me that I can indeed overcome this anger. I will do it, by His grace. That’s theosis. When I was a teenager, a man said to me, “God loves us just the way we are, but He loves us too much to leave us that way”. I’ve always remembered that. I am not lost.

My Father

In the past couple of weeks, things have been rather hard due to the medication change. One strategy that helps me through hard times is to focus on people I love and why I love them. Today, I will talk about my father. I definitely love my dad and for a lot of reasons.

One of my earliest memories is of my dad showing me how to make a helicopter out of Lego. I thought it was the coolest thing that he knew how to do that. He probably thought it was the coolest thing that he could show that to his son. My father has been sharing things with me ever since.

When I was young, my father introduced me to computers. He gave me a lesson in how to use DOS at the Command Prompt. I still remember bits of it, though I rarely use the command prompt for anything anymore. My father loves to problem solve computers, which is good since he does it for a living.

My dad also showed me video games and computer games. One of the first things my parents did when they got their first computer was to buy educational computer games. Later on, I played all sorts of games whether educational or not, but I often preferred games that had something to do with history. I gained my love of the classics from a game called Caesar II, which was a city building game set in the Roman Empire. This game had tons of files on Roman history and sometimes I would spend hours distracted on those pages rather than playing the game. This ultimately led to me learning Latin, which is still a passion of mine.

My dad loves books, and once again, he shared with me the best of books. In high school, I spent much of my time reading Isaac Asimov books, after my dad gave me one back in middle school. In fact, in my senior year of high school, I was so bored with classes that didn’t teach me anything that I would just skip them and give myself an education in the library with Isaac Asimov among others.

My dad likes television and movies a lot more than I do. I’m more like my mother in that I don’t really care that much for them. Yet, many of my favorites, I found through my dad. He introduced me to Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, and many many others. I remember that he told me and my brother about George Carlin and other comedians as well.

My father and I are quite different in terms of philosophy and religion, but when I went in my own direction, he learned everything he could about my new-found views and discussed them with me. Initially, he wanted to convince me that I was mistaken, but he respected my choices and seeing that we are not likely to agree, he just has many intellectual discussions with me about these ideas. I’m thankful to have parents that support my right to think for myself. If anything, my parents raised me in a way to demand that I think for myself, even when that means I disagree with them.

These things I love about my father are small compared to the bigger things such as his overcoming of great trials, but my dad’s hardships aren’t for me to put on the internet. I was one of those hardships. When I was in denial of my illness, I fought bitterly with him. He never stopped loving me and supporting me in what ways he could. He made mistakes, but he also corrected them and made himself a better man. It takes a really big man to apologize to his own son for a mistake, but my dad did that, and more than once.

I’ve seen my dad become a better and better man as time goes on. I’m proud to carry on that tradition. I’m proud to be so much like him. I, too, love books, and computers and games. I love ideas and philosophy. I like corny jokes and geeky funny t-shirts. These are all traits I get from my father and I like that.

So why put up all this stuff about my dad and how much I love him? Because that’s a much happier thing to think about than how hard the last few weeks have been. What’s more, it is all true. It is one thing to escape miserable truth by diving into fantasy. That isn’t really very healthy. But to escape miserable truth by focusing on delightful truth is wise. I remember when God taught me that. To this day, sometimes, when I am particularly unhappy, I’ll call a friend or family member to tell them how much I appreciate them. It always makes me feel better.

I suppose I should give a bit of news on these last couple of weeks though, since I promised actual updates. The truth is, in the last few days, things have gotten a bit better. I’ve felt closer to stable. Today, for the first time in weeks, I felt quite happy, but not excited or manic. Perhaps this new medication will make things a lot better for me after all. Time will tell.