Sunday, September 11, 2016

Thoughts This Week: On the Complexities of Life

Thinking on a Sunday Morning
Yesterday, I saw a film with a friend, which I highly recommend called Hell or High Water; the movie reminded me of how complex life is. The screenwriter and director are certainly masters in narrating perspective.

The movie opens with two brothers, whom appear cruel and rob a bank, but as the plot unfolds, you begin to understand why they do what they do. Basically, the bank robbers had a dying mother, who was desperate to live, and signed a reverse mortgage with the bank. After she dies, the bank then attempts to take her house, and the brothers are basically doing everything they can to save the family farm. (If you think I'm spoiling it for you, believe me there's a lot twists and turns that will leave you in satisfaction of watching a worthwhile movie.)

As I reflected on the film, it made me realize how complicated problems and people are and why they do what they do, which brings me to another, related, memory I had this week.

I had breakfast with another friend this week, and I talked about the lives of people around me, he said he said he couldn't handle hearing anymore. Too much pain. Too much suffering. Too much drama with great loss.

But as for myself, I was still hopeful for each situation. I told him, "I deal with it by doing the best I can do. And I pray every morning to God for each of these people.

"I just started doing it. It makes me a lot less self-absorbed and helps focus my day."

It was then, I was reminded about how stressful it is to try to control everything. And that's probably why I'm handling everything with a better peace of mind, than I previously would have.

I'm not trying to control everything. I'm just trying to direct my thoughts, actions, and responses, and I leave the rest up to God.

On that note, another important event that happened this week, is that I shared some of my stories and insights form my life. In that talk, I opened up to that person about what I was taught when I lived in New Zealand.

I suppose one of the things I had to learn then was how to let go of the dreams I once had for my life. After graduating UCLA, all the graduate schools I wanted to attend rejected me. Although I was hitting finalist levels for my fellowships, I failed at that too.

It was in New Zealand, I had to untie my life to achievement and instead, train myself on how to base it on the values of faith, courage, integrity, honesty, generosity, and love. I don't always live up to those values, but I really try.

During the three and a half years I lived in New Zealand, I learned (and still learn) to give up controlling what happens in the future. (The irony of it all was AFTER I gave my hopes of ever going to law school, UCLA Law School invited me to read there.)

(Perhaps, it was in learning to die and live again that I understood how to endure. Is it true that what has died, can never die?)

So, those are some leaves from my book.

I leave you with a verse of Scripture that really impressed me: "Abram put his trust in the Lord, and because of this the Lord was pleased with him and accepted him." (Genesis 15:6 GNT).

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