I’m nearing the end of a weeklong stay in California with my dad, stepmom, and 9-year-old brother. My brother has his first swim meet this Saturday. Even though he can swim 50m in around 30s (if he’s rested, he says), he was reluctant to sign up–he says he likes to swim “just for fun.” I was taken aback. Continue reading
I’ve mentioned in the past that my pastors quote a lot of books, so any single book which gets more than one mention automatically goes on my “To Read” list. One of the most frequently mentioned books is Miroslav Volf’s Exclusion and Embrace, whose ridiculously pretentious-sounding subheading is “A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation.” Continue reading
It’s Sunday night, it’s the end of Holy Week, I’m sick of studying. All great reasons to start something which I hope will keep me on my blog even when I don’t have time to develop the list of actual entries I want to write– a weekly roundup of thought-provoking, funny, or interesting snippets from my “real life” and my just as real online life. Here goes!
Christianity is not just an optimistic pile of stories, but a power that emerges. (Pastor Um, Citylife Easter sermon)
From our church bulletin today.
(It’s amazing to me how voraciously and omniverously our pastors read, to be able to dig up these random sources that most of us have never heard of, and be able to quote them for whatever topic is being addressed in a particular week)
“The simple fact of the matter is that trying to be perfectly likable is incompatible with loving relationships. Sooner or later, for example, you’re going to find yourself in a hideous screaming fight, and you’ll hear coming out of your mouth things that you yourself don’t like at all, things that shatter your self image as a fair, kind, cool, attractive, in control, funny, likable person.
Something realer than likability has come out in you, and suddenly you’re having an actual life. Suddenly there’s a real choice to be made: Do I love this person? And for the other person: Does this person love me?
There is no such thing as a person whose real self you like every particle of. This is why a world of liking is ultimately a lie. But there is such a thing as a person whose real self you love every particle of.”
Jonathan Franzen, paragraphs and emphasis added
And as a corollary to that, albeit we appreciate it for mere snatches on this side of heaven, there is such a thing as every particle of your real self being loved. This is very uncomfortable in our meritocratic culture, but this is the love of Christ.
Also said, and slightly paraphrased from today’s sermon: God bears all of you, God hopes in you [even when you give him every reason not to], God believes the best for you, God endures all of you. God never fails.
I stopped going to class during the first week of class.
I was surprised at the extent to which this fazed some of my friends and classmates. I’m still kind of surprised, in retrospect, because now over 75% of my class no longer goes to lecture on any sort of regular basis, and the professors have a hard time even enforcing “required” sessions because everyone has realized how much more time-efficient it is to study on your own, especially if using active recall software like Anki or Firecracker.
I gravitated toward other hardcore skippers, and we worked well in parallel and became fast friends. It got to the point where I found myself annoyed whenever I had to go to a lecture or listen to it at “1x,” without the 1.5x, 2x, or 2.5x speed-up option we had for video-captured lectures. Why am I wasting my time, I’d think. This is unbelievably inefficient.
It was only a matter of time before the distaste for lecture-style learning extended to church as well.
Right now I don’t really feel weak at all. Which is, maybe a problem? Continue reading