Good Friday

The season of Lent has ended this year and I never spent time trying to understand God’s love for us and it wasn’t until recently that I actually found a way to define it using a scenario that I can understand. And it goes a little something like this…

What I had to work with was basically the love of a parent towards their children or child in this case, and growing up, I’ve always had trouble trying to muddle through and interpret my own emotions with love being the most troublesome to me, but now I’m starting to get a grasp on what it is love can be.

On Good Friday, Christians observe the Crucifixion and Death of Jesus Christ. If one saw the movie the Passion of the Christ, or just any sort of Biblical version of the Crucifixion, one can see that it is as tortuous as it is symbolic. I’d imagine the Romans use it to deter any further insurrections from rebels, thieves, etc etc. But that’s only the start of why we observe this. Christ was always known for turning something that came across as a negative thing or event, and to completely turn it around as something good. “When your enemies strike you, love them instead.” “If you have two coats, give one to someone who has none.” Essentially, Christ is asking you to give of yourself, to change your very way of thinking/reacting and giving to Mercy and Love.

But that isn’t to say that Christ didn’t know what it was like to feel frustration and anger, He just simply chose to do good things, rather than lash out in said emotions. With that being said, Christ knew what lied ahead of Him when he went back to Jerusalem, the Son of Man knew. Let that sink in for a moment, you’re going to go to a city that you absolutely knew would be the location of your death. You knew that walking into this city is the equivalent of stepping towards the guillotine. No one else would’ve thought so, but you, and you alone, knew. And it’s usually at this point, where I’m often left wondering as to why and the extent of God and Christ’s love for us, but my recent revelation helped me complete this thought.

It is because Christ also knew that to do this would save us. To have in the palm of your hands: your own life or the salvation of generations to come. And even then, not everyone will want to be saved by you. To commit this ultimate sacrifice for everyone, even those who’ll reject your teachings, twist your words for the benefit of others, or just plain deny your very existence.

And what does Christ say to all of this? “Not even a question. I choose you.”

You can bring up every sin and deplorable act Mankind has ever done, and Christ would still go through with it. If nothing else, He’d probably still go through with it, even if it gave you (or me) the chance to redeem ourselves from said acts.

(To be honest, I already knew this train of thought, but it always remained a bit of mystery as to understanding the complete gravity of this sacrifice.)

To help me bring this to something I can personally understand, it’s like this:

My father loved his children, despite our shortcomings and flaws, he loved us from the very moment we were born. He’d work himself to his (quite literal) death just so that we were not in want, and gave us whatever he could. He did this, knowing we’d misbehave, we’d do bad in school, or talk back to him. Yet each day he woke up at the same time, over and over again, heading to that same job, over and over again, and driving the same 2-3 hours forward and back, over and over again, for our sake. For the sake of those he loved.

And if one man can do this for his family, I imagined Christ doing this for everyone in this world.

Going deeper than just our words and actions, our thoughts and secrets are not hidden from Him, and yet He still chose us over Himself. Like my father, Christ wouldn’t even hesitate to do what needed to be done for those He loved. I would even go so far as to say, His love for God and for us is what inspires His actions and ultimately, drove him to carry that cross to Golgotha. To look down at us from it, hanging by nothing more than his own flesh and faith, and say to His father, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Now, I’m certain that there are millions of people who’ve already understood this, whereas I’m just barely catching up, but that’s just me. In terms of Faith, and things like Love, I’ve always been the one dumbfounded.

Heh, I guess God got tired of waiting for me to understand on my own, so He gave me this. In either case, I feel joyful at this revelation. As hard as I try to understand God, Christ, and His wonders, I oftentimes need to just stop thinking about it, and take a good long look at what’s being presented to me.

So now, I have to try to be strong in my faith, so that I can give of myself for others, especially for the ones who’d never even think to do the same for me. Heh, because that’s what Christ would want, right?

The Impact of Being Remorseless

Or “How I got fired for not being contrite”

So.

I was recently fired from my job as a Fulfillment Associate from Amazon (manual labor) and I was fired on the premise that I violated safety protocol and upon explaining myself I was viewed as apathetic, while I thought I was being professional.

After roughly 10 minutes of question and answer, if I was aware of what I was doing and so on, when I was handed my final paycheck, I smiled, shook hands, grabbed my stuff and walked out the door. Didn’t even look back once. I sat in my truck, in the parking lot, and… I tried to think about what just happened. ‘Did I say something wrong?’ ‘I thought I was being honest.’ And the strangest thing overcame me… it was…

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I was mulling over the preparations of explaining this to my family, I’ve never been fired before, and didn’t really know what to expect. But I did and it felt easier than I thought. My brother-in-law convinced me to go to my Muay Thai class later on that day and I did. when I got back, I ate and heard that my sister wanted to talk to me before more time had passed.

Her tone was a mix of anger and disappointment, I thought she was trying to attack me at some points, but I didn’t retaliate. And again, my tone, my expression, my very presence was blank. During the lecture, it came up that I didn’t actually feel anything about what I did (although in my mind, I knew I didn’t do anything serious), that I should be feeling remorse about the whole situation. For one, my family did depend partly on my income for food and whatnot; it provided a sense of relief for my family members, me having my own income; and ultimately, I believe that it showed that I was growing up and on the path of growing into my own individual.

So at the end, I asked her, “How do I feel remorse?” and she listed reasons that were similar to what I listed above. And it was strange hearing these reasons. They made sense, my having a job was important, if not for myself, for my family. And yet… I wasn’t truly happy. I felt stuck, especially on my path to Medical School, which was always on the back of my mind. I didn’t know what to do, how to close that gap between where I currently am and where I want to go.

But why didn’t I feel anything? This was my very first official job and I got fired in less than a year! Why am I not feeling anything? Am I so disconnected from my own emotions that I can’t feel the impact of something as significant as being fired from a job?

So I started reflecting…

‘I’m not that disconnected, I couldn’t be. If I was, then I wouldn’t have behaved the way I did when my father died.’

The next day, I learned that it wasn’t just I alone who was fired. It was 3 people total, all of us who happened to be within 10 feet of each other…

‘Wait a minute… Three people? In one day? Each of them with their own reasons and one after the other? That’s not right. That couldn’t be right…’

After a while, pieces start coming together, and I get a clearer image of the whole situation. And in hindsight, I trusted people at their word, without question, and without any common sense.

‘Of course, they’d fire me if I gave them a statement saying I did what I did, I didn’t ask for the evidence they supposedly had, I didn’t defend myself in any manner, I just plain agreed to whatever they said… Idiot.’

And now, because I refused to feel anything, remorse or otherwise, I’m now unemployed and kicking myself for letting my guard down and believing them to be honorable people. But something isn’t right…

Something isn’t letting me feel down. If anything, I feel somewhat… Liberated.

How can this be? Why? And then it hits me…

‘Father, I walk the path you set before me, although I do not know where it leads.’ ‘Father please guide me, in your infinite grace, for I feel lost.’

These words, and many, many more, are words that I have said in prayers to God. Maybe I didn’t feel remorse at the time because God didn’t want me to, maybe in the back of my mind, He told me, ‘I have a plan for you.’ Maybe, this was supposed to happen, to place me where I must go.

It was modest hope, but then I was looking at studentdoctor.net and found something rather interesting: my local University has a post-bachelor’s program, a chance to re-take science classes that I didn’t do so well in, to re-take the MCAT and get a higher grade, to right the wrongs I’ve done to myself academically, and to be a stronger applicant for Medical school.

All this time, I felt like I had back-up plans, but I didn’t really put any stock in those plans, until I saw this. This is where I must go, I immediately thanked God for this. I may not know what remorse is, but I definitely know what gratitude is! And I definitely know when an opportunity knocks on my door!

I think I’ve found my path, more importantly, the path that God has placed before me.

… Oh, and for the record:

re·morse

rəˈmôrs/
noun
  1. deep regret or guilt for a wrong committed.
    “they were filled with remorse and shame”
    synonyms: contrition, deep regret, repentance, penitence, guilt, compunction,remorsefulness, ruefulness, contriteness; More

Purpose

These last few days, I’ve been in somewhat of a haze. I was there, but at the same time, I wasn’t. My attention shifted and my mind zoned in and out of the present here and now, and then miles away. It was brought to my attention by my sister, heh, because I was supposed to pull out some chicken for us to eat, and I instead separated them and put it away, much to her disappointment.

I’ve always been one always aim to improve himself, and when this came to my focus, my mind instantly flooded with instances in which this claim might be true. Soon after, the causes of this.

We were driving to the stores at the time, and so she asked me questions to help me sort out what exactly it could be that I’m feeling, and one idea is that, I’m in some sort of an Emotional State of Depression.

Not the stereotypical “I hate ___.” or “There’s no point to living.” On the contrary, I love my life. But it’s a state of apathy, or lethargic that I’m in. I’m comfortable where I’m at, with nothing really important to wake up for, and nothing to strive for, my path to medical school is hidden from me, and I’m just moving in and out of each day.

It’s a horrible, soft, grey feeling. It’s not like I lost a limb or feeling something like a wall, it almost feels like I’m not feeling anything at all, like I’m becoming numb to the world, and to this life. Just thinking about it, angers me. I hate this feeling, because I’d rather feel something than nothing! And that’s what this is, an all-consuming, wave of numbing nothingness.

And what this feeling takes away above all things is Purpose.

Purpose is what causes us to wake up in the mornings, what inspires us to move forward, what we base the foundations of our lives upon. What drives our enthusiasm and what brings us hope to believe in faith. Purpose, the silent whisper that echos in the darkness, “Keep going.” What nearly every protagonist in every anime/manga/story has in order to conquer their inner and outer demons.

Purpose is the singular definition of our lives, it is integrated into every aspect of our being, even to where it becomes a part of a checklist in searching for a mate… Hmmm, that’s probably why this whole thing with Celena didn’t pan out, because I was still purposeless at the time, but that’s for another time.

No, Purpose is what I’m missing from my life. That drive that causes me to move forward, to strive and dig deep in any situation I come across, that which sparks the internal flame that burns within me, the name of the light I cast upon the darkness.

But before Purpose can be introduced into my life, I need to discover what it is that is my Purpose in this life.

And I think I have an idea. You see, I never completely thrown myself into the world of Medicine, I’ve shadowed a doctor, and volunteered for a couple of hours, but these were really just side things while my attention was focused on other things like school and work. My only medical hero is Dr. Giuseppe Moscatti, and I don’t even know his life, save for the saint DVD my mom bought. I never became passionate about doctors and medicine, fascinated, from time to time, but my enthusiasm never reached the point of “Passionate/Obsessed”. And maybe that’s where I should start, after all, I do want to be a doctor, I should learn about them and their paths, I might find some that have histories similar to mine.

Upon writing this entry, I’ve happened upon an article written by a man named Mark Manson, here.

And within it, I found these words resonating with me:

“When people feel like they have no sense of direction, no purpose in their life, it’s because they don’t know what’s important to them, they don’t know what their values are.

And when you don’t know what your values are, then you’re essentially taking on other people’s values and living other people’s priorities instead of your own. This is a one-way ticket to unhealthy relationships and eventual misery.

Discovering one’s “purpose” in life essentially boils down to finding those one or two things that are bigger than yourself, and bigger than those around you. And to find them you must get off your couch and act, and take the time to think beyond yourself, to think greater than yourself, and paradoxically, to imagine a world without yourself.”

Maybe that’s why I’m feeling lost, because I haven’t found what’s more important to me than my own life, and not just my life, the lives of everyone around me. Wow, that’s pretty big. I’ve often placed the lives and well-beings of others above my own expense, but to value something even bigger than that, heh, it’s something I haven’t thought about before.

Well, in Mr. Manson’s article, it emphasizes that one can never discover one’s purpose by sitting in front of the TV, or by playing video games constantly, or by just ignoring it. No, you discover your purpose by going out there and actively looking for it, doing what you think is right, what you know is right, and what you’ve never done before.

It is going to take me a while to get myself out there. but I’d rather be out there stumbling and discovering than constantly in this one spot being slowly devoured by this numbing feeling, wondering where my life and passion went.

… Heh, all this talk of Purpose reminds me of The Matrix Reloaded, the scene where Agent Smith talks to Neo about Purpose.

Challenging the Universe

It was a warm afternoon. The sun was setting and the drive-in movie was going to start in half of an hour. David and Greggy have gone to pick up some food at the food stand, while Norm and I went to the local grocery store to pick up some sodas, Canada Dry, Sunkist, and Mountain Dew. And as we were walking back to our truck, there was a voice that cried out to us. “Hey man, you need help? Let me get some of those orange sodas!” I looked over my shoulder, there was another person sitting in their car just relaxing and waiting. I replied, “No thanks, man, we’re all good.” After we got back to our car, I whispered to Norm, “The hell is that guy’s problem?” Norm stood there and gave me a puzzled look, “Why not?” He asked me, “‘Why not’ what?” I replied. “Why not give that guy some sodas? He asked. Why must we always observe these things in a negative manner?” 

I listed several reasons as to why, but I couldn’t find anything for the last question. Soon enough, I asked him, “What made you think like this?” “I’m going to challenge the Universe.” He tells me. “I’m going to test whether or not that ‘being Good’ thing really works.” “You mean ‘Karma’, but you can’t do this for the sake of trying to get better things for you, that’s not how it works.” I explain to him. “Oh, I know, and trust me, that’s not why I’m saying this, I’m just going to challenge the Universe, see if I can change something, try to be positive and good towards other people. Why not give to that guy?” 

I reply, “That’s not challenging the Universe, that’s challenge yourself. Or if you will, challenging the Universe within yourself.” “Yeah yeah yeah, something like that.”

Moments later, I took 2 orange sodas and walked towards the man who called out to me, “You still want those sodas?” As I stretched out my hand, he starts sounding surprized, “Hey man, I didn’t think you’d do it, I was only playin’.” “It’s all good, man.” I say to him. And as I walked away, I didn’t feel the Universe changing or shifting to the challenge presented by my brother, but his words of changing the way one views things stuck with me.

It’s true, I took the guy’s random request as a problem with him, “Who is he to ask this of me? I paid for this, not him.” But how often are we asked by God and SO many others to give, I mean really, what are two soda cans to me? Heh, looking back, I feel pretty stupid being stingy for something as trivial as not sharing soda with someone else. Now, I’m thinking about what else I haven’t shared that are worth more than two cans…

Heh, ‘challenge the Universe’… I often tell the girls in response to them telling me that they’re bored, “There are two Universes, one, outside your window, and the other inside you. Pick one.” I’ll never know what would become of the guy who asked me, come to think of it, I didn’t even get a good look, thanks to the setting sun, but at least for me, this is something shifting in my Universe, I’m going to try to give more. Of what little I have in my possession, I need to learn to give freely, because in the end, “God giveth and taketh away” so who am I to horde for myself when God has given everything to me?

Sometimes, I wonder how hypocritical I am…

And this is my challenging the Universe. I will let go of these negative emotions, and give whenever someone asks it of me. Who knows? Maybe the next person asking me for something is Christ himself. Heh, if that’s a possibility, I better make sure I give freely to everyone, otherwise I’m in trouble. 

Know Thyself – Or Maybe I Don’t

One thing I’ve always tried my best at is to know how I will react when faced with a particular situation. I’d imagine myself being the talkative drunk, or that blank situation is where I’ll be silent until some outside force compels me to speak, and so on.

But time and time again, I’ve found myself surprized at my own reactions, lately. And it’s got me thinking, “Maybe I don’t know myself as well as I thought I did.”

I mean, I often imagine and have prayed for courage and when I had that Presence about me, I was scared, genuinely, to the point where, I switched from praying the Rosary to praying a normal prayer, just so that I wouldn’t feel that pass by me.

Branching off of that, I never imagined myself having the Faith, but not believing in it. All these years and I’m just saying the words, rote and completely hollow. I know this to be true, because I should’ve remembered that God is with me, especially when I’m scared, so when I was fearful of the Presence, I didn’t let God take control, nor did I ask him for courage or strength during this time. All I did was tell myself that I wasn’t afraid.

Taking it one step further, I asked myself, “How is it possible to feel fear and lose to it?” and thoughts of V for Vendetta came to mind, “There is more than flesh beneath this mask, there’s an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof!”

And it hit me. I felt fear, lost, weak, all because of the simple fact that at my center I didn’t really have one singular idea or concept to set as my core. I’ve written my own manifesto, and I have ideals and morals that I uphold, but to have one stand above all else, a Motto, so to speak, this is what I was lacking, something intangible, that I would risk everything to uphold.

Various resources often tell me that my best phrase is “I am” so this is something that must remain ‘ahead’ of that phrase, so I chose something that doesn’t start with “I am”.

I was never given the gift of paranormal sight from God, and I’m perfectly fine without it, quite honestly, I’d probably scream like a 5-year-old girl should I have the ability to actually see the Presence that haunted me for a time, and to truthfully write that, is a sad thing in of itself. So I blending a mixture of my beliefs and values to make this idea:

“To see the face of God.”

This is perfect for someone like me, because it’ll resonate with me on various levels:

  • Should I be faced with a life-or-death situation, I’ll remember to be good until the last moment
  • Should someone need help, to any degree, I’ll offer what I can, due to the fact that by helping them, I’m helping Christ, in Christ’s name
  • It’ll remind me to stay strong in the face of various temptations, fear, anger, lust, and so on, because if I give in, then I won’t see God’s Face
  • As of this moment, I don’t have the ability to see God’s Face whenever I pray, so it’s a goal to aim for, even if I never achieve it, but I don’t plan on to, I just plan on keep going forward

So this will be my Center. A rhetorical idea that cannot be altered due to it’s unending nature… Almost like a labrynth, yet, it holds true to what I hold dear to my heart.

So now all that’s left is to make sure this idea, this concept to life, is burned into my thoughts, and becomes the center of my being, my flame.

For God, for my family and friends, and for myself.

And The Waltz Goes On

Man, it’s been while since I’ve typed an entry, so I’ve got a few things to update with.

Firstly, Upon taking my Mom to her Diabetics class, the instructing RN informed me of the progress of her son, who’s signed up for a Masters Program in Orthotics and Prosthetics. Days later, and I still can’t get that idea out of my head, “You better make sure you love working with your hands.” She told me. Oh lady, if only you knew. So naturally, I looked into it:

  • Prosthetics: artificial limbs custom-made for those who have missing limbs themselves.
  • Orthotics: Bone-setting and slinging of limbs to help their recovery

It’s interesting, I would be in the Medical World, but I’d be on an interesting side of that world, I’ve always dreamed of becoming a doctor, and yet, I can see myself completely immersed in this new world of prosthetics.  I’ve no idea I’d be so into this idea, not to mention that this would be a completely interesting route to Medical School, I even looked up the latest news on Prosthetic limbs, a Bionic Arm that can move Eggs from one carton to another without it cracking. My scientific interest more than piqued! ‘What if I can build an arm that can switch to a Power Drill? Or a Hammer for Nails? Or even something similar to Megaman’s Weapon Change ability!’ Heh heh, This is what I meant. Nena tells me that this interest is because God is trying to tell me something, maybe this is where my destiny lies. Well, I’ve gotta work to get the requirements fulfilled in this.

Secondly, I got this interesting email. It was from a girl who read a profile I had written on a dating website, since the website required money, I simply put an email address for potentials to get to me. Sure enough, she responded to it, we’ve been emailing each other since Monday. It’s going well so far, God only knows where this will lead, but I’m learning to be more open minded to any and all opportunities. After all, what’s the worst that can happen?

So that’s all I have so far, I’m currently in the process of making these goals come to fruition, but it’s going to take some time, and in my case, a Leap of Faith.

Also, I just recently learned that Sir Anthony Hopkins wrote a Waltz piece 50 years ago and only recently heard it here! I knew the man was great, and I love Anthony Hopkins, but I never knew he wrote anything like this!

Heavenly Things

I saw Heaven Is For Real, and I’ve gotta say, I really liked it. Not just the visualization of what Heaven is, but I also liked how it showed people who claimed to have faith, and yet, when faced with an innocent child echoing the truth about that faith, they’re filled with discomfort and resistance.

But one thing that stuck with me, is the idea that if God gave you something, especially something you’re deeply attached to, and simply touched it with divinity, how will you react?

So naturally, I asked myself this question… But that’s the thing. Nearly everyday, I’m faced with something that at least has some touch of divinity, granted, no one here claims to have sat on Jesus’ lap, but the faith is strong here, and knowing that God gives us what we need, I can honestly say, that this is enough.

For example, I took my mom to her Diabetics class and the Nurse who was teaching, after telling me about her 19-year-old, newly single daughter, told me about her son and he was in a program in Loma Linda getting a Master’s in Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics.

That sounded really cool to me, prosthetics more so than orthotics, my mind immediately went to a toy my brother had, a plastic robotic arm that had levers that you can pull in order to move the fingers. I loved that toy… I wonder what happened to it. Well, in either case, The nurse/instructor told me that you had to be good with your hands to be part of that program, and I was thinking to myself, ‘I wonder if she ever tried changing a transmission on a car?’ So naturally, I looked into it, somewhat, and it sounds very intriguing.

I was explaining it to my sister the day after, and after she gave me a scolding look about the daughter part, she told me that this is something I should look into, after all, I like working with my hands and that, this could be a sign from God trying to tell me something. Robotics, Science, Medicine, Working with Hands, Helping people, Creating things; it all seems to fit together.

Well, heh, in all honesty, I’ve no idea, when I pray the Rosary tonight, I’m definitely going to pray for guidance and direction. This sounds like a good option, to speak the truth, and I really like it, imagine me making a prosthetic heart for those who don’t have any, powered by your own blood, although I’d have to figure out how to synchronize it with the nervous system, it would need to pump faster when you need it to, and so on.

You know, one thing I have to admit, whenever I see someone with a missing limb, there’s something of a shock that waves through my body, almost as if I’ve been pricked by a thousand needles at once, I have no idea why this happens to me, but it’s something that always does happen. To give a leg to those who have none to stand on, To shake a hand when they’ve lost it, To complete an individual when they have come to you in pieces.

So here’s the question for me: Is God pointing me in a new direction, trying to get me to take this new route, or is this something else entirely?