Goodbye, 2013.

As 2013 draws to a close, I muse upon it and see it as the only year that I’ve been able to keep my New Year’s Resolution of writing one poem and one other piece per week.  Although I’m not too sure how it has helped me as a writer, it has certainly helped me get through a few dark patches during the year by allowing me to play my thoughts out through the typed medium.  It made me realize that practice makes better, but perfect is unattainable because I should never truly be satisfied by where I am as a writer.  Forcing myself to write allowed me to experiment with different forms of writing and poetry, and it has really been a blessing.  Hopefully, I can continue keeping up the pace next year, but I have a different New Year’s Resolution in mind for 2014.  This is going to be a combined post because the last day of the year falls in the early middle part of the week.

A year has gone by with travails all passed,

heart-shards collected where troubles amassed.

The highs and the lows all natural sights,

valleys and peaks of mysterious lights.

The year has been swell, I raise this next one

to glorifying Him as He teaches a ton.

The winter begins a year of new reasons

as I look forward to the changing of seasons.

Melt ice away through heat of life’s love

as I set my mind upon things of above.

Adventure Time.

The crackling wood that’s underfoot

haunts a frightened me.

The question is: should I here put

my foot and trust that tree?

Yet deeper down we travel on,

lead the way I say,

As I now stuff a nervous yawn,

viewing the lost way.

We stumble down the icy way,

grasping each branch aid.

Forty minutes spent that day

loving what God made.

Despite the fear and threats to fall,

I trusted in His sovereign call;

Glorify Him who made it all,

Whose power ever does enthrall.

Plagiarism.

I think it’s time for me to come clean.  It’s taken way too long for me to realize how dishonest I’ve been in taking credit for what I write.  The truth is, I’m not actually that great of a writer; I’ve been taking material from a friend and using it in all my works.  I first discovered that this friend was a great writer in 10th grade, and I began getting to know him.  Then, I asked him for a favor.  I asked him to give me the words that he would use in his own essays; in essence, I asked him to write all of my assignments.  No one knew that I was doing this in high school, so they all thought that I had suddenly become this amazing writer.  The things “I” began doing with words were impossible given my background in English – low STAR testing scores, bad reading comprehension, and poor essay writing.  I began taking credit for his work that he did on my behalf.  It was interesting, really, because I began taking pride in the fact that I was getting these scores, not remembering that I was a mere low-life in my credit-taking plagiarism.  The pride got to me, and I began to start expecting the good scores to come my way; asking was no longer an option, but a routine.  Yet he wouldn’t mind, and he continued supplying me with his time and effort until the work was finished.

That friend is God.  Without him, there’s no way that I could construct the sentences I even constructed in tenth grade.  However, it wasn’t until lately that I began considering how much I actually glorify Him with my works.  The pride in my own work after getting certain grades began to be disgusting even to myself.  The praise that I finally began receiving for actually knowing how to do something well, by His mercy, began getting to me.  Prior to this, I had been starved of encouragement and motivation to do work because of the constant pressure that certain people around me gave me; it was as if there was always a better result to what I had done.  However, in writing, I finally saw the flexibility in it, how there is no better answer than the one given at the moment.  And it was in those moments that God chose to give me words to put onto paper.  It has never been anything of myself, but God’s working in me that allows me to finish what I am writing and not remember having written a single word of it.  It’s been good practice for testing when I am in sync with what God wants of me in my faith as well; if I am striving, then I am not resting in His ability to overwhelm me and direct me.  Often, the pieces that I remember are the ones that I struggled to squeeze out by my own aptitude and not of the natural flow that existed with Him and His guidance.  So, I apologize for deceiving you all, but I am not the writer that you thought I was.  However, if you’re interested, God is a much better writer, and talking to Him may lead to you discovering how He manages to be as brilliant as He is.

Wind at My Back.

The wind is at my back now, pushes further on,

a whistling soft and easy, as breeze becomes my song.

The ground below, whether friend or a foe

is constant changing, so I’ll never know.

Errant path viewed as erroneous way,

the wind whispers whatever He would say:

Not a sparrow falls apart from Himself,

so blow the dust off the mind’s old bookshelf.

Wherever I go, His will will be true,

I just pray for grace in a sky turning blue;

mistakes will be made, but Love should not fail

for God is in all, and His will shall prevail.

And so we forgive, for He forgave first,

sending His Son to begin our rebirth.

Mercy desired, sacrifice cast off

yet how many “know,” and still dare to scoff?

I pray for forgiveness deep in my heart,

that I may be swift and as sure as a dart

to forgive those around me, moved by His love

understand why I’ve been called from above.

I pray for His wisdom, to know what to do

for this world is dying, and lest I should rue,

may He grant me discernment in speech every day.

I pray for the fear of Him, knowing His way.

The wind blows on, and the thoughts are all lost,

but Lord, I pray that I remember the Cross.

Change.

As I glumly sat behind the wheel of my minivan a few days ago, I began reflecting on things.  This prompted me to remain still at a green light, leading to the expected honking of people upset with the lack of action in their own lives.  However, the thing I began musing on was about how much I’ve changed.  I began thinking about my winter break and what I would be doing with it, and I came to the point where I reminisced on how I spent them in the past.  The realization settled on me when I discovered that I no longer enjoyed staying home alone and doing solitary things, like reading for hours.  It was a bitter moment actually; part of the blame was on college and how the forced interaction somehow stole a bit of my personality, dissipating any desire I had to be alone.  The need for human contact was, in a way, a crippling inability to exist and entertain myself independently.  However, the moment was fleeting when I began reflecting on my spiritual life as of now.  I began seeing that I had always been blessed with an ability to communicate fairly well with others – the exterior reserved, awkward, aloofness was the only thing that made me unable to reach out to others.  Now, I find myself in an internal skirmish come social gatherings; do I continue on with my newfound self, much of which has changed drastically, or do I let my old personality refresh itself.  It’s a question that I find harder and harder to answer with each meeting of old friends.  My life now is filled with God because of the environment that He’s placed me in, and yet, I’m not sure how it would be reflected if I did some of the things I used to do in order to get along with my old friends.  I have since limited my swearing exponentially, normally catching myself before saying them, but it was that casual usage of it that seemed to let me “fit in.”  All of this reflection is beginning to wear me out, so I guess I’ll just finish with a reminder that the true friends of mine won’t mind, and that as long as this new change doesn’t reflect my human judgment of my old friends but God’s love for them, I should be alright in the end.

Oh, Sick.

Being sick is perhaps one of the most deplorable conditions of a student’s life.  There’s just simply no way to think, everything becomes amplified in its sheer ability to frustrate you, and each day that you’re sick is another day not worth being awake for.  Sickness reminds you of how incredibly unreliable the body is.  However, sickness also helps us appreciate the small things of our health so much more.  The ability to breathe through your nose, hear things properly, and live life without the treacherous, constant shivering.  When that one side of the nose that has been plugged up all day finally clears and allows oxygen safe passage through it, life gains an immeasurably greater prospect of hope.  And then when the phlegm that has been plaguing your lungs finally is hawked up through the throat and out the mouth…the relief is unimaginable.  But best of all is when the foggy veil of what-is-even-going-on is lifted and you begin understanding what is being said to you, and you can actually hold a decent conversation with the hapless interlocutor dealing with your mental languor at the moment.

The state of being sick does not exactly help one’s desire to read the word of God at all either.  When the words seem dry sometimes in a state of thriving health, the mind has no desire to further bog itself down with the message of thousands of years.  However, there is also the temptation of reading the Word just to try and haggle with God; my time spent reading Your Word for the healing of my sickness.  I’m not sure how I feel about this situation when it happens in my own life.  I feel guilty because I feel like I’m merely bribing God to heal me with an outward act, but at the same time, I am reading the Word and storing whatever message He has prepared for me that day.  It’s a strange situation to be certain; one thing is for sure, it’s led to very interesting debates with Him about what it amounts to in the eternal race.  Either way, healed or not, I pray to persevere in the reading of the Word so that I may at the very least be spiritually refreshed that day, even if my physical condition seems to antagonize me at every turn.  There is hope beyond the suffering, joy beyond the tears.