Human Being

May 21, 2009

Human being – isn’t that a term that we should be able to define without a problem?  After all, we are one.  We live it, we experience it, we spend every waking moment trying to figure it out.  Even with many clues given, somehow we surrender to the idea that we cannot fully grasp the concept of what or who we are.  In lack of a better answer, we conclude we are complex beings.  But something must be off; something must be out of sync, that we struggle to accurately put all the pieces together.  Are we intended to be a mystery or are we not insightful enough to even understand what we are?  Many blame this enigma on life itself; on circumstances.  But isn’t life what we make it?  Isn’t our tomorrow fully based on what happened yesterday?  Isn’t our world a progression of events that has lead us to where we are now?

To try to answer why G-d created us is like trying to wrap our finite mind to the size of an infinite universe.  Our limited knowledge and understanding can only theorize about this.  What we do know, because of the blessing of being able to be sensitive to the physical world, is that we exist.  Genesis tells us that we are an image of the Creator and that once G-d saw what He created, He viewed it as good.  The beginning of the story of our existence is filled with harmony and peace.  This was disrupted by the fall, sending the rest of human history into a spin; one that got out of hand pretty quickly.  I am not saying that G-d was incapable of forcefully placing things back on track.  But, as C.S. Lewis wrote, forced love is not true love.  Even though G-d could have created a predestined world, He chose to place a limit to His almightiness and give us the gift of freewill.  I know I am mentioning very controversial aspects of the Christian faith but all I attempt to do is reveal the importance that the gift of choice has in who we are.

Much of what we have traditionally heard is that we embody what is wrong.  That the essence of who we are is faulty.  But that is not what G-d saw after He gave us life with His very own breath.  Then again, we do struggle with the evidence that clearly states we have messed things up.  The idea that the Bible is not referring to physical characteristics when it states we bear the image of G-d is not foreign to us.  Does that mean the rest of what we are is closer to exemplifying who G-d is?  When we read that G-d is jealous, gets angry, is concerned, smiles, that His heart brakes, is that just a few writers humanizing the Great “I Am”?  These things and all the other things that we are fall in three categories: spirit, mind, and body.  Unfortunately, we usually let our body dictate the course of our decisions, needing the mind to then figure out ways to correct what went wrong.  But what if our lives were lead by the spirit?  An integral part that is usually dormant because we constantly doubt it is even there.

We are beings that know the pain and the frustration we feel because things are “out of wack”.  There are few things that are that real.  We are hesitant beings because, no matter how hard we try to run away from this, we see the effects of the decisions we make.  Not to forget the guilt all this produces.  The biggest effect the fall had on us was the belief that we no longer needed the “G-d element” to be whole.  Yet our nature relies in being full of the spirit of G-d and letting this direct our minds and bodies towards healthy actions that will affect immensely how we relate to one another and how we go about our life.  It will be then when we see our lives give fruit that truly reflect the just, merciful, loving image that we bare.

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From 0 to 09

May 21, 2009

I actually don’t remember what I was doing a year ago.  So, I guess this won’t be as detailed as I thought (I am sure it will be long anyway… that’s just me).  But I would like to talk about where I’ve been and where I feel I’m headed.

Background
To not assume that you know enough about me to know some things, I will explain.  When I graduated high school, I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life.  Then again, I was pretty sure I wanted to study theology (at least what I thought then it was all about…).  My parents, both being theologians, gave an interesting suggestion.  They said: “The way the world is right now, you need more than one degree.  We strongly suggest that you get a “secular” career first, and if you still want to study theology, then do that afterwards”.  So that kinda left me with… nothing.  Thank God I did have a dream worth pursuing.  I wanted to have a sports scholarship in the USA.  So I guess it didn’t really mater what I studied as long as I got to play a sport in collage.

Even though the original plan failed and my dad pressured me into going into conditions that were not the most comfortable for me, I found something I really liked and could see myself doing for the rest of my life – Criminal Justice.  After a slow but constant degradation of my life, after 3 years in the US I had to go back home to pull my life together.  During the 2 years that it took to finally feel like myself again, God revealed a clear calling to be a worship leader; something that I have slowly grown into.  Then again, there was something in me that pulled me towards finishing school and walking towards something bigger than the call-center life I had.  After several failed attempts of going back to the states to finish criminal justice (cuz they didn’t have it here in CR) and a lot of thinking, I realized that it didn’t feel right to go through that lane.  There were three really important things in my life: Serving God, my future family, and my “career”.  What I realized is that Criminal Justice was going to be one of those careers that forced me to choose between the other 2 important things in my life.  Whether I was going to do good in my career and my stuff at church and neglect my family or set my priorities differently but always neglect one of the three.  This simply was not an option for me.  So CJ… out the window (plus the doors simply did not seem to open to go back to the US).

This left me again with not knowing what my life was going to be about.  After enjoying a couple of years of carefree living (after all, I was being “responsible” having a job and all), at some point I considered that I could be content with growing as much as I could at my job, and letting that be what placed food on the table, while I invested my life in my calling.  But something in me felt like I wanted more.  Being a worship leader is fun but just felt like I wanted more.  So, when my pastor offered me a full-time job at the church because he felt directed by God to do so, I left my Team Lead position at SYKES and I jumped right on it.

It was a crazy year! I will not get into the details of that… I will just say that God was purifying me through fire but the hardship of this was not enough for me not to be content.  To my surprise, this dream came to an end after a year of working there; because Chris (my pastor) felt that he had to let me go.  He felt God wanted to teach me things that could not be learned there (No, really… I wasn’t fired!!! I was told it was not related to something I did or didn’t do. It was all God’s doing… sure felt fired though >:0/ hehehe)

Quarter Life Crisis
That set me off in a roller coaster ride!  I was feeling that I really wasn’t made for ministry work (which I was directing my life towards), I was back at square one in the call-center life, my friends were no where to be found… I was just miserable.  I felt my last 10 years where wasted.  Like I was almost 30 yet at the exact same place I was when I finished high school; but with no dreams because all my dreams had already been crushed and stepped on.  I was really wondering if my life was worth anything.

God used that painful year of complete loneliness and meaningless days, together with the year to follow (when things seemed to get “back on track”) to teach me things that now make sense.  A search that has lasted almost 30 years has finally come to an end.  I know that the majority of people find this answer much earlier in life but that was not my case.  Then again, I have dealt with the feeling of being an alien all my life so I don’t ponder on that.  What I do value is that all the anxiety and doubt about who I am and what is the purpose of my life has been finally answered.  I cannot even express the peace that this brings to my life.  The best part is that God had been preparing me for this.  So, even though it was recently revealed or I finally understood what I want to invest my life on (it’s a whole life time… this is something HUGE), I find myself knowing and prepared… even with a little experience.  God has been faithful to the promise He made… that He was personally going to teach me.

Vocation
It is interesting that it has been almost 2 years since my last relationship and haven’t even been on a date since.  I am not on a quest to become a monk.  It’s just one of those things that simply happens when you live your life in a certain way.  This, in and of itself, is an immense topic, which I can share if you wish, but the point I am trying to make is the style of life I have right now.  I have discovered that what I want to spend my life on is walking alongside other people; sometimes to help, other times to simply serve as much needed company.  I want to invest my life on others.  I feel that God has not only called me to be a worship leader but a pastor.  Not one that typically comes to mind as being in charge of a church or preaches every Sunday; but the actual humble meaning of pastoring… spending time with them, caring for them, nurturing, walking together towards lives full of TRUE life.  At some point I thought about studying sound engineering, but I realized there are hundreds of people that can serve God this way.  Then again, not many are willing to lay their lives down for others.  I feel that God is calling me out for this and I am willing…

I truly do not know how or where or any other detail about it.  But there is a comfort of knowing what I want my life to be about.  Because, even the things I do now fall under this focus.  Even though I feel like God might be preparing me for something new… something different, I find myself living the type of life I want to live.  I am barely starting to walk this out (although I have been walking in this direction for years), so there is still much to struggle with and a lot of uncertainties that flood my insides, but the direction is now clear and with determination I will fight to keep advancing…

Our “Reality” vs Truth

May 9, 2009

I am beginning to believe that the way we must see our reality is that it has been built based on deception. What we think is real is based on what is in our mind; experiences and circumstances. But who told us how to interpret all this? Who paints the picture of what this life is? Could it be the media, Society, Religions? How, then, can we find what is indeed true? THE SOURCE of it all… maybe? Should we ignore then all other sources, including our own self as a source?

The source of it ALL is God. Therefore, we should pay more attention to THE SOURCE instead of our own opinion or the opinion of others. We need to understand that when God explains reality it is the right perspective. But when anyone else (including our selves) explains “reality”… the perspective is distorted, making it somewhat untrue. In other words, everything (including our thoughts) is influenced by lies. The only source of actual truth is God.