His Story in Me Part 11

That box may have been rudely burst apart, but I loved what I was learning.

This Jesus was so much more amazing. I began to see threads running throughout the Bible. I realized that the Garden of Eden is the unconstructed City of Jerusalem we see in Revelations.

I began to realize that Jesus is pivotal. It wasn’t really about us at all. Or at least not as much as I was led to believe. I had been told over and over that God was all about rescuing those who were dead in sin. That he created the earth for us, and when we fell he came to earth for the sole purpose of rescuing us.

The Christianity that I had been raised in was one of human focus. One where we were the center was us.

That was my mistake, and unfortunately the mistake that a lot of us make still.

But it’s not about us. It’s all about Jesus. Everything points to Him. Everything is consumed with Him.

Focusing on Jesus rights everything. It is through Him that we can properly interpret the scriptures. It is through Him that we can understand who God is.

It is not by knowing the Old Testament that we learn who Jesus is. It is by knowing Jesus that we understand the Old Testament.
Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God. He is the reason we can know what God is like.

And to think I learned all this while going to class! That semester was brilliant both academically and spiritually.

As for classes (I suppose I should at least mention them at some point) I continued on with math courses. But my toughest courses were still to come. I finished up that semester the one type of class I wasn’t a big fan of.

Computer programming was and possibly still is my worst enemy. I don’t like coding, definitely don’t love it, but I can do it. But I can say that taking it with Alexis Maciel made me enjoy it more. I began to enjoy doing it just a little. I managed to get through all of my classes rather well. I wasn’t a 4.0 but hey I’ve never been a 4.0 student.

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His Story in Me Part 10

Apparently you could. Apparently just deciding to change works.

I decided to change and as I did so things began to happen. But that’ll will come in time.

Heading back to Clarkson for my fifth semester, fall of junior year, my roommate and I ended up in the same room we had the year before. It was a little annoying, but we managed to make it work.

Ben and I continued to lead a small group, studying somewhat random things. When we came back, we went through the almost obligatory “what are you expecting God to do this year?” period.

I didn’t really have an answer. There was one thing that happened to me though. I decided that while I didn’t know what God was going to do this year, I realized I had one desire, one burning question.
Who was this Jesus I was following?

And so that became my question. That became what I was seeking to answer.

Who is this Jesus I claim to follow?

I had lots of head knowledge, listened to tons of sermons and took notes sometimes.

I came to realize I didn’t have a lot of heart knowledge though.

So that’s what I set out to do. I purposed that amidst classes and such I would come to know this Jesus that I was following. What I discovered shocked me completely.

I discovered that the Jesus I knew before was extremely small. I had unknowingly put the Jesus I knew inside of a box.

That box was rudely burst apart.

His Story in Me Part 9

That summer I met two people who I would end up mentoring. Two of the students. We were distant cousins, and they ended up becoming good friends with me and I with them.

The relationship we began to share was one I never expected.

We began to just share life. Who knew that was possible? If you just hang out with people you just begin to share life with them. I got to learn their hopes and dreams. The things they struggled with, the things they succeeded in.

They talked to me about the girls they liked, the way their parents bugged them sometimes.

These two boys became like little brothers to me. And then they became more than that. They became best friends. People who I would thoroughly enjoy hanging out with. I would end up doing things with them like going to play laser tag, taking them out to dinner, I never thought I’d do that.

In return they did something even more precious for me.

They inspired me.

One of the boys told me about how when he was in 6th grade he saw that he was heading towards being fat and decided to change.

He didn’t want to be fat so he decided to change.

Was it really that simple? Could you just decide to change?

His Story in Me Part 8

The summer of 2010 was the biggest summer of my life so far. I worked with Upward  Bound as a program assistant and had no idea how much it would affect me.

I showed up and ended up meeting a host of new kids in the program, but also ran into a group of students who were freshman when I graduated from high school. I was incredibly nervous, and knew one thing, I had no reputation among these kids. Was I a pushover? Was I a strict person? They had no idea, and to be honest neither did I.

As it turns out, I was the cool kid. Never expected that. But anyways, I digress.

I taught two sections of my own class, which admittedly was not the best that first summer. I was fresh to the classroom, and ended up tackling something that I wasn’t entirely sure how to work with. By the end of the summer though we had made a movie for the class.

Throughout the summer we had gone on several day trips, and at least two overnight trips. One of my favorite summers. I enjoyed every second of the summer. I enjoyed the short 5 maybe 6 hours of sleep I got on the overnight trips. As painful as it may be I enjoyed the boys asking me to get some of them up, for some reason they wanted to get up at 5am so they could all shower, not really realizing that getting up at the same time wasn’t going to resolve the issue of waiting for the shower. I enjoyed the late nights waiting for the kiddos to go to sleep while the staff just sat around and talked. I enjoyed the staff meetings everyday. I enjoyed walking to and from different classes with the students,

A lot of the students became friends with me. I ended up being someone they could talk to, they could look up to, they could hang out with.

There’s one major reason I think this happened. I decided that I was not going to say anything about Jesus. I was instead going to live Jesus. I was going to live as a Christ-follower not talk like one. In doing so, I affected many more students in ways I never expected, nor they. It was an incredible summer. But it got even better.

His Story in Me Part 7

Christmas ended up being a spectacular time, and I went back to Clarkson for my fourth semester. Spring 2010.

This was the semester when I realized that I didn’t want to be a physics major. I had had a difficult time in classes, and I was perfectly capable of doing the math, it was all the theory and memorizing equations that was difficult. But the math. I could do that.

So I changed my major. I became a mathematics major, and within the first week changed my entire schedule for the semester.

I had to take a computer programming course, and while it wasn’t easy sometimes it was fun. All in all, the semester was a flurry of changes. Many of them, if not all of them, good changes that I don’t regret at all.

I continued to go back and visit the Upward Bound office at SUNY Adirondack where I spent so three of my summers when I was in high school. When I went back to visit this time, I learned that there was a new director and a new assistant director. I also learned that they were looking for program assistants to work with them and run the program smoothly during the summer (I mean when you take a group of up to 50 teenagers with pent up energy and more drama than necessary and put them together every day for six weeks, well you might be able to imagine what could happen without additional help).

I enjoyed the program while I was in it, and decided I would apply. So I came back to Clarkson after one of our breaks, got right to work on my resume and cover letter and sent them in. I had an phone interview because I wouldn’t be able to travel home just for that, and a few weeks later got a letter in the mail. I had a summer job. This was also the semester that I decided something. Something that at the time I didn’t realize would be such a big decision.

I decided that I was tired of being overweight. So I didn’t really do much, I think I began running maybe two to three times a week. But by the end of it all, I was a math major, had a summer job, and an ambition to do something that may or may not turn out well in the end.

Life Update! February 5, 2012

As I continue to get deeper into writing my novel, I’m discovering things that I never anticipated running into.

Things like: naming, how to populate the world, languages, writing it out, ideas, and various other things.

You see, I have the plot. I know most of the events, and as I continue to write, I realize that I want to create this so that I can keep writing with these characters. Or at least these ideas, not necessarily the same characters.

As I continue to write, my time for writing other things, such as the writing prompts, goes down. I’m realizing this after I have been focused on writing. My creative juices have been sufficiently inspired, and so I don’t know that I’ll continue to utilize these writing prompts. But I like the idea. I’m going to keep posting a set on Sunday’s, and I still encourage you to send them in, I’ll post them.

So, my next big question is whether or not I type up my novel or hand write the first draft. I’m really torn. I want to type it up, but that requires the use of a computer, and my laptop distracts me with the numerous other things I can do on it. So do I buy a new laptop? Do I type and hope that I don’t get distracted? I don’t really know. What I do know is that I am constantly thinking about this story and want to write it so bad. I’m doing it slowly, unfortunately because I have other things to do such as go to class. But on that note, things are going well.

We’re now just over a month into the new year, my goal to lose my last bit of weight still stands, I’m making improvements, and recognizing what my weak areas are. I’ve begun to realize when I need to be careful, sometimes I eat more than I intend to.

My novel, as per the paragraphs above, is well under way. I love the characters and am constantly thinking about how it plays out. Probably one of my most guarded secrets I’ve ever had is just what is happening in it.

My classes are awesome, it’s hard to believe that I’m going to be graduating from Clarkson in 15 weeks from today. 97 short days. Holy cow. I only just showed up here as a freshman! Undoubtedly you’ll hear more about that as we get closer to graduation day.

Grad school. Yeah. I sent in my application on January 25, and I don’t expect to hear anything until at least February 15. It’s a state of waiting that I never really experienced with Clarkson. But whatever happens, I’m excited. I’ve been inspired to live a full life and following God, I’m certainly going to.

Overall, life is going well. My grandfather is doing better, there was a minor scare with a possible blood clot in his lung, but that’s been averted. Apparently it wasn’t there. So yeah, things are going well. Life is delightful.

His Story in Me Part 6

The summer of 2009 I spent learning about relationships from God.

In the Fall of 2009 I entered my third semester at Clarkson. I believe that this was the semester that I ended up leaving my shell a little bit. Somehow I had managed to make friends with people who started doing that to me. Suddenly I was slowly beginning to become friends with “random” people. I became slightly more sociable. It was nice. That was the same semester that I met Mike. Mike is probably the most happy person I have met. Plus his incredible sense of humor.

Ben was my roommate, and we had a suite with two random suitemates. He became friends with them, and I tolerated them (again in the sense of I didn’t like nor hate them). Ben was involved with the freshman seminar, and made friends with his students. I had continued to go to InterVarsity, and at the first meeting of the year new students showed up.

Ben spotted one of his students at the meeting and he came back to our room to watch a movie. Anchorman I think. We started it, and about half-way through Ben decided he was tired, and just started getting ready for bed and then went to sleep…leaving me stuck with the new kid. Between an introvert and a brand new kid…it was fairly awkward. But somehow I ended up becoming friends with him. His name is Matt, and since then we’ve been best friends. The one thing that always threw me off about him was and still is that he sometimes takes forever to reply to text messages.

After taking Organic Chemistry I, I realized that I would have to give up either chemistry or physics. There was no way I could manage a double major in Physics and Chemistry. So by the end of the fall semester I would drop the chemistry portion of my major.

There was another BASIC conference that semester as well. And God began to just cement in me the desire for relationship. For real, intimate, human relationships with my friends and family.

That semester was also the first time I got a C in a class. I retained a friendship with a kid from my floor freshman year, his name is Chris. A physics major, and a brilliant one at that. Quite possibly the smartest person I’ve known, at least in physics.

I remained involved with InterVarsity, and CFC, and even the cell group bible study I was going to. I also continued to feel guilty. Why?

I didn’t read my Bible every day. I didn’t pray constantly, I didn’t say grace at every meal. I didn’t evangelize to people that I knew. I wasn’t by any means a “good” Christian. I was one of those go-to-church-on-Sunday-and-live-a-good-life Christians, and feeling darn guilty about it too.

The semester finished up eventually, and I packed up, said my good-byes to friends, my roommate, and went home, enjoying a fantastic Christmas.