Thursday, May 26, 2011

Not A Waste

I looked back and understood why God made me take this route.

My Business degree, Psychology degree, Japanese degree, Public Policy degree - typing these degrees out really makes me feel like I'm crazy. But now I understand, or at least partially, why I was to go through all these degrees.

Academic world is a safe and predictable place to grow. I learned about numbers and entrepreneurship from Business school. I learned to listen and be observant with my Clinical Psychology degree. I learned to be analytical and objective through my Public Policy degree. My Japanese degree is a bonus!

So let's just say that I am a little slower than others in terms of character building and learning about life. Looking back, it's funny how God used my love of school to guide and shape me. But this convinced me that whatever I've done, am doing, and will be doing, I'm definitely not wasting my time. There is a sense of relief in knowing that God is making an investment in me through all the experiences and encounters that He has and will place before me.

I hope you too, when you feel stuck in a moment, will have faith that you are never wasting a moment. All is due in God's time.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Words of Encouragement

I remembered last year, I was bogged down with so many activities that life required of me. I was juggling 2 schools, research/dissertation proposal, practicum, and of course, other things in life.

Life was so busy that my apartment was a mess, and I was in an extreme stress that I thought I was borderline depressed. I was missing my lunch almost everyday, lacking sleep even during the weekends, and work was piling up no matter how much I buried myself in work.

A dear friend from school who was doing his practicum together with me at the same site, said this to me, "You can do it, Karlin. If there's anyone who can go through this, I would think it will be you".

Those simple words gave me an enormous strength to finish well. I'm not saying that I will do that all over again, after all, that was not a wise decision to be filling up my life with so many activities at one go. But the words of encouragement from a friend who understands what you are going through, and words of encouragement that came at a time of need, is more precious than gold.

So dear friend, thank you. I hope to be that friend to someone else who needs words of encouragement. Let's all practice speaking blessings to each other!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Spirituality of Hiking

Spiritual Lesson #1
When the going gets tough, a good company can turn an 8-mile trail into a short walk.

Spiritual Lesson #2
At the beginning, the uphill slope may be unbearable, but as we go on, we build the stamina and become used to the hard path we walk on.

Spiritual Lesson #3
We know that there is an end with a beautiful reward, but we can't see the end with our eyes, only with our faith, and through guidance and marks along the way, we are able to know which direction to head towards.

Spiritual Lesson #4
As much as we want to reach the end as quickly as we can, enjoy the hike and the beauty of what comes our way.

Each Encounter is Meaningful

We often do not realize that every person we encounter in the public is not by coincidence. It has been designed. To meet a person on the same day in the same hour, minute, and second, especially when you have personal contact and exchange with that person, is not an easy thing to do. If we think about it, almost all our meetings have been intentional and planned. That is how difficult it is to meet someone.

April 28, I was in LAX on my way to PDX at night. Since I am addicted to Foursquare, I posted my location. After I arrived in PDX, I received a text from a friend. She said that she was in LAX when I was there, and another mutual friend was also in the airport. Imagine 3 people who know each other being in the same location but was unable to meet, even after one of them knew my location.

That struck a chord in my heart. Every person that I encounter, speak to, or exchange smiles with, is there for a reason. It is not that easy to accidentally meet someone. Perhaps I could have said a word of encouragement, or give a friendly gesture, to help brighten someone's day. Perhaps I am placed there because they need a word from me, or they have a word for me. Imagine that vast network that God can use to save souls and to speak His word into our lives.

Being the not-so-friendly person I am in the public, perhaps it will be difficult for me to reach out my hand and start a conversation, what more to evangelize. But perhaps I can start with a kind smile, a positive attitude, and a joyful heart that may bring others the kind of peace that they need from someone who knows God.