Struggles and Conviction


I have a confession.


The past few days have been full of self pity. Actually, the past few weeks have been full of self pity. I have been really struggling with my extreme and sometimes surprising desire to go home. It is the first thing I think about when I wake up, and the last thing that enters my mind before I drift off to sleep. I have been counting down the days till I return home since before I left… kind of to keep my spirits up, to remind myself that these feelings of loneliness are temporary and that I WILL be coming home. But within the past few weeks it has become my focus. I no longer walk to school thinking about how lucky I am to be living in Japan, I am thinking ” I can’t wait to go home so I can go_____.”


I know I am in Japan for a reason… and I am desperately trying to remember that. I know God is with me, and that if He is the one who sent me, I should be looking to see where He is working, not checking my calendar every few hours to make sure another day has not passed without me knowing.


So last night I took a real walk. I have been walking since the first of October almost every day, but yesterday I took a real walk. I focused on my surroundings and not on myself. I felt like I had forgotten I lived in  Japan, which is crazy I know, but if you stay indoors a lot, it can happen. And then I came home and read the devotionals from the past three days. (Yeah I have been a bum and hadn’t done them) And here is what I read:


   Grace For the Moment- October 7


‘As we get older, our vision should improve. Not our vision of earth, but our vision of heaven. Those who have spent their life looking for heaven gain a skip in their step as the city comes into view. After Michelangelo died, someone found in his studio a piece of paper on which he had written a note to his apprentice. In the handwriting of his old age the great artist wrote: “Draw, Antonio, draw, and do not waste time.” Well-founded urgency, Michelangelo. Time slips. Days pass. Years fade. And life ends. And what we came to do must be done while there is time.’ – Max Lucado


WOW!!! What a convicting passage for me! I don’t know what I figured I was letting myself do, by getting into a mental state of biding time. It’s like wasting water by letting the shower run, even though you are already clean. Sometimes it feels good to take an extra moment… but in the long run it’s just wasteful. I have been thinking “If I can just make it till Christmas, then I can come back and make an impact.” No… I can look forward to Christmas, but I have this time right now to do what I came to do.


As if that passage wasn’t convicting enough, here is today’s:


      Grace for the Moment- October 13


‘Jesus says the options are clear. On one side there is a voice of safety. You can build a fire in the hearth , stay inside, and stay warm and dry for what you don’t try, right? You can’t fall if you don’t take a stand, right? You can’t lose your balance if you never climb, right? So don’t try it. Take the safe route. OR, you can hear the voice of adventure- God’s adventure. Instead of building a fire in your hearth, build a fire in your heart. Follow God’s impulses. Adopt the child. Move overseas. Teach the class. Change careers. Run for office. Make a difference. Sure it isn’t safe,  but what is?’


Another WOW. This passage made me look at what I have ALREADY done! I must have forgotten the risks I took, the insecurity I faced, the loneliness I KNEW would come… to follow where God wanted me. I forget what I do sometimes… and since it is myself… I always tend to belittle it, even if it is a really good thing. The hardest part is OVER! Now I am here, doing what I do. Waiting on God to call me to my next adventure, while not forgetting that I am here now for a reason. And it isn’t my time to waste.


I am looking forward to coming home… but now, I don’t feel upset that that time isn’t now.


6 thoughts on “Struggles and Conviction

  1. good words of wisdom, aris.  i miss you.  and i know what you mean.  i am doing the same thing here at school.  “if i could only make it to thanksgiving break”, “if i could just make it past this week with the midterms and the concerts and stuff.”  geh.  i should be shot.  this year’s been tough, aris.  i know God’s trying to teach me something through it, but i think i’m just hard headed and am not getting it.  well… now i’m going to go write an email, play some spades with an amazing friend and partner, watch fight club with the amazing people across the street and then i’m going to go to bed.  i’ll talk to you later, dear friend.  thank you for being who you are.  you amaze me.


  2. *deleted* 🙂 Yeah, Sunday would be best to call, I have a practice then 2 gigs on Saturday, busy day! But sometime Sunday except in the morning…I am going to church with Evan to see my friend Blake sing 🙂


  3. Way to look at yourself impartially and really be honest about the way you feel right now. It inspires me to look at myself and my behavior more. It’s hard to be in a strange place when you don’t feel the hand of God specifically on you telling you exactly what to do and you just keep asking, “okay, now what?” My prayers are that you can begin to open your eyes even more over the next few days.


  4. yes!  i did get mail from you and i am such a slacker that i didn’t send you a letter back.  i’ll get right on that. your letter was hilarious and i about died laughing when i read it.  hehe. you’re awesome.


  5. heh.  i’m sorry i’m a bad friend. i’ll make sure you get copies of both this years and last years. sorry about that!  and yes, the letters were definitely as hilarious as you tried to make them…or more so.  i think what made it the most funny is that i could read it and see the expression on your face and hear your giggle and that got me to laughing. yeah. it was great.


I would love to hear what you thought!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s