Thursday, May 20, 2010

Am I human?

Today, the ridiculous amount of hard work and hours I have paid thousands of dollars to participate in has come to its culmination. Today I turned in my last take-home final and finished taking my last written final in class. After being hunched over my books, computer, music, and worksheets, meeting with groups for projects, meeting with professors, sending e-mails until my account limit was used up, scheduling every hour of my day, avoiding apathy, caring about grades, tests, papers, homework, portfolios, recitals, performances, forcing myself to be motivated and to make my mind go on when I was exhausted mentally already, I felt robotic, like I was just doing the routine, putting as much of my metallic heart and soul into my work that I could, often feeling like it was ineffective.

I finished my last final this morning (in fifteen minutes, if that tells you how much I was ready to be done), and while I was walking back to my apartment I realized it was a beautiful, warm morning. I decided that I would go rollerblading. I have not done many things that are active (or fun) this year, except intramural basketball, so I was pretty wobbly, but I made it around campus. Right when I was finishing my loop and going uphill, I fell. I wasn't even going too fast; I must have tripped over a stick or something. It hurt only a little, and I was able to get right up and continue on until I got to my apartment.

It was such a perfect reminder of my humanity, though. I was bleeding. I felt pain. I felt my leg muscles aching. I felt my pride hurting because I had fallen in front of the largest boys' dorm. The great thing about it all was that I FELT. I was feeling. I was a feeling human being after living like a robot for so long. Pretty consistently for at least the past three years, although I did have moments of humanity in there.

Thinking about it more, I displayed my humanity a lot. Having to pray through most of my college experience helps bring me back to the reality that I am not, in fact, a robot. I am a person who cannot do everything by myself, despite how much independence I have gained in the past four years. I am someone with emotion, with weakness, with needs, with limits, and God takes me farther when I cannot meet my goals alone. His strength has been my own, and I thank everyone who has been praying for me during my college years. Scripture says that the prayer of righteous man is powerful and effective. I'm definitely coming to understand the reality of that verse in the Bible.

After hard times pass, I usually have a hard time remembering them. Life lessons are often hard for me to learn the first time. You can ask my friends about that one. I come to them with the same complaints and worries about my circumstances and situations. It helps me to write about them in my journal and my blog. I know I have to remember that I am weak and need help, otherwise I will just continue to go through cycles of "I can do this by myself" and "Actually, I am really not in control of my circumstances, and it is a blessing to be where I am."

I know being aware of my vulnerability will always be something I will have to be working on because I can be so independent and self-determined. Pride in those things is a sin, and God needs me to rely on Him so that my life can be used for His purposes, which are obviously more noble and good than mine. His purposes for people's lives always will be better than any good lives we try to live on this earth. We could be doing all the good in the world, and we could get to heaven's gates and God could tell us, "Yes, but you were doing it all because you wanted to feel good about yourself, not because you wanted me to get glory and for people to come to me." So challenging. I hope that you can be challenged to think about this, too.

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