Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Soloist

  I have been wanting to see The Soloist ever since it came out in theaters, and finally got a chance to see it last night with wonderful friends of mine. 

*Spoilers ahead*

  The Soloist stars a LA Times writer, Steve, who is trying to find a good story for the paper. He stumbles upon, Nathaniel, a homeless man, who is playing the violin with only two strings. Steve starts writing about Nathaniel in his column, and a reader sends a cello to the office of the LA Times. Steve tries over and over again in the movie to coax the musically-talented Nathaniel into playing the cello at a homeless center, and eventually the LA Philharmonic. Steve comes to find out that Nathaniel was once a Julliard student in the 70's, but dropped out
due to bouts of schnizophrenia. Steve witnesses Nathaniel's schnizophrenic behavior when Nathaniel is asked to play for the LA Philharmonic.

  A deep friendship between Nathaniel and Steve forms throughout the film bringing Steve out of his comfort zone and into the world of the homeless community. Steve learns that he can't "fix" Nathaniel despite mutiple attempts to get him to play his music at the homeless center or at the PhilHarmonic. The best thing he can do for his as his ex-wife said is to "just be his friend." 


  It is hard for me to put into words how I feel about this film, quite honestly. There are so many deep truths that I see that I need to put into practice after watching the movie and the friendship between Steve and Nathaniel.  

  We often try to "fix" our loved ones. It is hard for us to love the unlovable. It is hard for us to love people totally different from us. It is hard for us to love people we deem weird, awkward, strange, etc. It is hard to love someone who look different from us and come from backgrounds we know nothing about. We like to stay in our comfort zones with people who don't make us feel uncomfortable about ourselves or what we do. 

  It makes me think of the verse in the Word, "If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the taxcollectors doing that?" (Matthew 5:46 NIV)

  We were not called to stay in our comfort zones, but most of us do. I do. It reminds me also that we as a whole, need to stop trying to "fix" our loved ones and be their friend. It doesn't mean we never confront, or admonish one another in love when their is a need to. 

  It means listening, and sometimes not always giving advice or trying to fix the problem or the person. Sometimes, people just need someone to talk to.  Sometimes, it means going to places that make us uncomfortable deep down inside because maybe we have things we need to deal with as a result of stepping out and befriending others. It means loving those that are hard to love.

  The only way we can truly love a broken person in the way we ought to is to remember Jesus and the way He loved others. He gives us the ability to love the unlovable. To love the person we think we can "fix". 

  Jesus is our example and the One we should look to on how to love. Jesus befriended those who society deemed as outcasts: prostitutes, lepers, and the like. People who looked different, came from different backgrounds, and had physical disabilities.

  If we are in Christ, should we not do the same? What benefit is it to us to stay in our comfort zones, and never venture out into the world in which we are called to be lights? It is of no benefit to us at all because we are missing out on some wonderful friendships and missing out on sharing His love with them.

  Only God can "fix" us through the power and blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. Creation can not fix creation. Only the Creator can "fix" and restore the creation to where it should be. 

  I was so blessed by the film and think you should watch it with an open mind and heart. Sometimes we get caught up in how great the acting may be or other things, but we can miss out on deep meanings by doing so.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Into the Abyss

I see myself as a tiny ant in this mass universe... but what am I building upon for my future? I have been blessed with a job. It's not my dream job, but God provided this job for me almost two years after I quit my job in March 2005. I was at a job I really despised before this job came along and when I went temp-to-hire, I was so happy.  I'm really grateful for the job I have and being able to provide for myself.

I can sense God leading me in another direction. I sense His Spirit strongly. He has a plan for me and I'm seeking Him and asking questions. I'm still not sure about school even though I paid for my online Intro to Sociology class for Summer II. It starts 06/08/09 and ends 07/16/2009. I definitely needs prayers for wisdom and understanding. I'm not the best student. I learn by doing, but I'm poor at directions. Like if someone gave me directions on how to put something together like a desk, I can't do it. I'm hoping that I will be able to take this online course and read and actually be able to apply these directions and pass this course. I know I have learning disabilities, so I mainly try to observe and pay attention. It just seems like my mind blanks out information as soon as someone tells me something and so I have to re-read things over a thousand times, and sometimes I still don't get it. What's also frustrating, is trying to remember what people tell me and not misinterpret how they said how to do it. We will see how school goes... Learning disabilities aside. I'm going to give school another go.

I sick of just wading in the abyss of my life. I'm sick of being a "Doubting Thomas" and asking God all these questions of "When, Where, Why, What Time, and How?" I'm sick of the monotony of my life and how things seem so stagnant and boring. I'm sick of these migraines that affect my life so much and the medications and doctor visits I have wasted money on that I could of used that money for something else. I'm sick of feeling held back by financial woes. I don't want to be mad or angry at God for the things I don't have and remind myself often not to compare or envy others.

At bible study the other night, the one thing I remember most is how we were talking about God's plan and how God had a plan for Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary didn't know that she was to bring the Saviour into the world by virgin birth. She could of easily married Joseph and lead a simple life in those days, but she brought Jesus into the world by the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph even though to divorce her, but God sent an angel to explain His plan and what was to happen. Mary is will always be remembered for being the mother of Jesus. 

Since God has a plan for each of us, we need not try to plan our lives. A lot of people have goals in mind of how old they want to be when they want to be married and have children, but God has a different plan in mind way better than we could ever conceive of. I think we get  so focused on what OUR plans for our own lives are, we totally miss out on what God is speaking to us through His Spirit. We have tunnel vision. I even had a timeline, but that timeline has long been disbanded. I will be 29 in a few days, and I am still unmarried and do not have any children. 

It reminds me that God is timeless, but we as humans can be consumed with time because we are only here a little and some of us want to accomplish so much before we leave here. I know I do. I want to know that my time here was spent well, and I lived within obedience to God's will by praying and seeking Him and listening to what He is speaking to me in my everyday life.

That's what I'm trying to do right now. Seeking God and asking Him to lead me down the right path and convict me of when I need to not concern myself with certain things or focus so much attention elsewhere and He has.

I'm dedicated to the college ministry in my church in Sunday nights. I'm dedicated to my Tuesday night bible study. I am enjoying how we are taking time to really pray for others. Prayer is so imperative to my life. I'm so thirsty to be in prayer for others, especially now with so many of my loved ones having major stuff going on.

I pray for wisdom and understanding for school and that if this is where God wants me to be, then I will remain where I am and press on with school and these classes I will soon take next month. That I will be content with where I am in life, but not that things won't change. 

It is hard balancing relationships, school, job, and serving in the church. My other prayer would be that I would place my relationship with God above all. He is the center of my universe. He is the Beginning and the End. Without Him, everything falls apart.

God, Be my all. Be my everything. You are everything. Lead me to the everlasting.