Here I am with pants and a sweater on, and I’m freezing cold. I woke up today and felt horrible, with a headache, very sore throat, and a stiff neck just thrown in there for good measure. I have to work tonight, so I was hoping that this stuff would go away by then; however, it’s all still here, and there’s only three hours left for it to disappear. I think perhaps I caught a cold or something. I took some Tylenol at lunchtime to see if it would help, but I didn’t even notice a difference. Then, after lunch, I took a little nap for an hour or so; however, I just basically ended up laying there for about 45 minutes and getting about 15 minutes of sleep. It wasn’t much of a help, in other words. I’m just trying to figure out where I picked this up from. Maybe it was from getting thrown in the pool at Steph’s house, but I would have thought that it would have shown up the next day instead of two days later. If it’s not from that, then it must have been something from yesterday. Either one of the Staats kids was carrying something (as little kids often are), or another one of the people in the youth group was. I guess I might have picked it up at McDonalds as well, but that’s not as likely.
With that said, though, I’m trying my best just to keep myself going. I have to work tonight from 8:45-11:45 PM, and then I have to wake up the next morning quite early to play my bass at church. So that should be murder. I’m not looking forward to it at all. Right now, though, I’m quite bored. That’s the reason I’m writing this right now – because I have nothing better to do. It feels weird starting work at 8:45 PM. I’ve had all day to think about having to work tonight, and yet it seems to be taking forever at the same time. I just want to get it over with so I can be done with it and prepare to die tomorrow morning from exhaustion. I’ll get home at 12:00 midnight, have at the most about seven hours of sleep, then wake up nice and early to be down to the church to practice my bass before the service starts. Apparently there’s a youth service tonight as well. Worship should be interesting, considering that we haven’t practiced in a couple months now, and we’re missing Jordan as well. It’ll just be Lawrence, Kyle, and me playing, with not much time to practice beforehand. Oh joy.
There are things to be happy about, of course. Angelie’s home from New Zealand, and is now occupying the hole in the youth group that she created when she left. It’s good to have her back. She mentioned last night that it’s been a while since we’ve had a heart-to-heart. I had to agree, since I quite missed that. It seems like she’s grown a lot spiritually as well while she was gone, so that’s awesome as well. And of course, there’s the whole thing with Melissa and me. I’ll refrain from talking about it too much just because it’s not that interesting to the people who aren’t involved, but that situation falls under the category of “things to be happy about” as well.
Speaking of relationships, it was quite strange. On MSN today, Kayla and I actually had a decent conversation – something we haven’t done for months and months now. It all started when she reminded me that her birthday was coming up. I, for some reason, still remembered that fact, and so we just sort of started talking to each other. She didn’t even make fun of me, which was strange. I asked how things between her and Kyle were going, and apparently at the end of this month, they’ll have been going out for six months. I was quite astonished by that fact; she’s had numerous boyfriends (somewhere around the number 15), and few of them have lasted that long. I commented that hey, just maybe she was growing up. But anyways, it’s been a long time, and though I’m completely over her, it was nice just to be able to have a respectable conversation with her. After all, I’ll likely see her in the halls at North Park every once in a while, and I’d appreciate it if I didn’t have to protect myself as I walk by. She even congratulated me on my new official status without once making fun of me. I was impressed.
I suppose you could say that I’ve been pretty mellow today. I mean, with a headache, it’s hard to do much of anything either than sit and think, and with the influx of memories that came to my mind as I talked to Kayla, that put me even more in a contemplative mood. I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since we broke up, and yet at the same time, I’m glad that part of my life is behind me. I’m glad to be moving forward and getting started on something fresh and new. I mean, that’s not to say that I’ve been living in the past for the entire year – I got over her quite a long time ago. But I’m glad that we’ve both gone and found someone else who matches us better than we did each other. And I’m also glad that I can see the growth within myself since that point in time – that’s what keeps me encouraged when I get down on myself. I just remember what I used to be like, and then I take an honest look at how I am now. God’s certainly been working in my life, and although I seem to try and counteract His growth at every turn, I’m glad He’s patient enough to keep working in me.
For the past little while, I’ve been reading through a book in my personal devotions called The Seven Checkpoints. The “checkpoints” are basically important spiritual principles that get expanded on each week. Today I started on the final checkpoint, which talked about having a servant heart. It really just challenged me to think about how I react towards others. I can’t say that I have too hard of a time doing things for my friends; I don’t mind driving them around or putting aside something that I think is important to me for someone else. It’s not too hard for me, although sometimes I suppose it’s still a struggle. But it’s when it comes to strangers or enemies that this principle really gets hard. I mean, I won’t classify my parents as “enemies,” but too often I just don’t want to do what they tell me to do. This is, for one thing, not submitting to authority, but is also not displaying a servant heart. Way too often I’m so selfish that I don’t even see something that could help someone else out. The way it usually works with me is that I go about doing what I please until someone asks me to do something for them. That’s when I take a moment and remember that I need to put others before myself. But if they don’t ask, I’m almost never sensitive enough to realize their own needs.
I’m being brutally honest with myself right now about this whole thing. I’m a very selfish person. I know that I often do nice things for others, but at the same time, I usually have selfish motivations behind those too. It can be as simple as wanting others to notice that I did something nice, or just getting attention. I won’t say that I’ve never done anything selfless at all, but those moments are few in the midst of a sea of selfish actions that I do every day. Today I asked God to work through me and to make me more like His Son, so that I would develop the servant heart that He had. Not only did He come down to earth and serve others, but His focus was always on people. Even when He was nailed onto a cross by hardened Roman soldiers, He forgave them and died for their sins. He died for the people that killed Him, and gave His life as a sacrifice for the evil actions that put Him on that cross. If that’s not an example of selflessness, I don’t know what is. The sad thing is that I have to struggle each day to even do one thing for someone else. What a pitiful comparison when held up to the example of Christ. I can only hope and pray that God would have enough love for someone such as me to be able to change their heart from one of selfishness to one that values people. Because after all, people are what’s important. God didn’t send His Son to die for a new car, or to die for fame or power. He sent Him to die for people, and if I truly and completely realize the magnitude of that for one instant while on this earth, it will truly be a miracle.
I guess this blog entry has been all over the place today. But that’s okay, because it’s stuff like this that helps me think through the important things in life. When I’m forced to write down or voice my thoughts, it really helps me to clarify just what the truth is. It’s almost like a seive, filtering through and pinpointing what is truth is and what it is not. I can’t say that I have perfect truth in my head, but throughout my life I’ve been taught biblical principles, so as I draw on those, I draw on the truth from within the pages of Scripture. It’s long entries like this or long, serious discussions with my friends that really help me to define what I believe and remove a lot of the clutter within my head. Then, there’s also the added benefit of this being around for later, so that when I lose track later on in life, I can come back and read what I wrote here and be encouraged once again. It’s happened before already, and at times like those, I’m sure glad that I decided to start writing here. But with all that said, I’m going to finish this off. I’ve been writing for almost an hour now, and it’s time to take a break now.