Archive for ‘Society’

October 24, 2012

The First

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What is love?  What does it mean to love someone?

After watching a recent video posted by WongFu Productions, entitled “The Last” (posted above), I was forced to ask myself the same questions.  Many people love people for different reasons.  And as alluded to in the video, a lot of those reasons center around the age-old, Five Diagnostic W’s: Who, What, Where, When, and Why.  But either from watching the above production or from first-hand experience, we eventually notice that loving anyone for any one of these reasons exclusively is not enough.

You can’t just love someone for “who” they are or how high a pedestal you place them on.  You can’t just love someone for “what” they are, because even though all your best friends can’t all be your lover, admittedly your lover must be your best friend.   You can’t love someone simply because of “where” you are, or else the lines of commitment and circumstances begin to blur together.  You can’t just love someone for “when” they are, because then we would all be formulated to our 2nd-grade crushes, 7th-grade summer camp flings, or high school sweet hearts (while that has worked for some, it’s not the overwhelming majority).  And you can’t just love someone on the “why,” lest your love gets diluted to a generalized reason with no unique attachments of reciprocity geared towards that specific one person.  What’s different about that love than the one you show to others?

In an ideal world, the goal is meld all of these reasons together.  If you can love someone for who, what, where, when, and why they are, you’ve found your perfect match… your soul mate.  Once you find “The One,” you’re supposed to hold onto them so that they are the Last.

But even this sentiment is flawed.

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Gospel Connection:  We all fall short.  As much as we would like to love someone encompassing all five W’s and more, we will fail to do so on the constant level our lovers demand.  And even as much as we would like to have someone love us in this way, past scars remind us that, that almost never happens.  So where is the hope in love?  If no one can fulfill the need for us, nor can we satisfy that for others, why even bother trying?  The world will tell us to continue searching for that love.  At one point or another, someone will end up being your Last.

The Gospel tells us that the love we are searching for is already here.  When we place all our hope and love in someone who is just as flawed as we are, the status of that savior-figure will, at best, only remain as “surrogate.”  But when we place our identity in the One who came restore everything that is broken in this world, we realize that the work is already done.  We no longer search for the Last, but believe in the First who chose to love us before our search even began.

We love because he first loved us.
– 1 John 4:19 (ESV)

November 11, 2011

Disorder #2: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Disclaimer: refer to previous post here

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Cellphone in the right-front pocket.  Keys in the left-front, with lanyard hanging outwards.  Wallet in the right-rear pocket.  Miscellaneous item in the left-rear pocket (e.g. pack of gum, piece of scrap paper I wrote a memo on, tissue, etc.).  The only exception: when I’m wearing a blazer or suit, wallet goes inside the inner-left jacket pocket (makes my butt look less lop-sided).  That’s the way it’s always been, at least since sophomore year in high school, when I had a cellphone or set of keys to carry around.  If they’re ever not in that order, something feels “off” and I won’t be able to go anywhere unless it’s fixed.  If any one of them is missing, I feel naked.  Before I leave to go out, I do the “Four Pat Method”: pat on right-front pocket, pat on left-front, pat on right butt cheek, pat on left butt cheek, in that order…*pat* *pat* *pat* *pat*… check, check, check, and check, ready to go.

All my books on my bookshelf are organized by either last name of the author, genre of the book, and/or the semester I used them for here in seminary (I didn’t own many books before coming to Gordon besides all seven Harry Potter’s).

All items on my desk are placed in a manner so that all straight edges are parallel or perpendicular to one another, in proximity for level of productivity with my chair as the focal point.

All my cash bills in my wallet (not many) are ordered from least to greatest, facing the same way in the same direction.  I don’t like having my presidents’ faces kissing one another.

“Trip A” on my car’s odometer is for gauging between oil changes, while “Trip B” is used to gauge between gas fill-ups.  After every trip to the gas station, I always make sure to fill up the tank to full.  That way, when I print out the receipt, I record the number of miles traveled during that stint, divide that by the number of gallons filled, and come out with an “Actual/Observed Miles per Gallon Ratio” for my car.  Toyota telling me my Camry averages 20mpg in the city and 30mpg on the highway is too big of a range.  I am currently averaging 25.6mpg.

For many other people, OCD may manifest itself in the form of superstition.  Baseball players are notorious for being some of the most superstitious athletes, if not human beings, in the world.  Curses and pre-game rituals are a way of life.  Baseball fans flip their caps inside-out in the late innings when their team is losing, thinking that these “rally caps” will make a difference in the outcome of the game.

If you’re Korean, you might celebrate the manufactured holiday of Pepero Day (today being the ultimate Pepero Day of 11/11/11).  I have a friend who sets a daily alarm for 11:11 so that he can make a wish.  See a shooting star, toss a coin into the fountain, blow out your birthday candles… then make a wish.  Don’t walk under a ladder, break a mirror, or see a black cat… that’s bad luck.  If relate with any of these, you adhere to some form of superstition.

Gospel Connection: Human beings were given a divine mandate to rule over the Creation (Gen.1:27-31).  It’s in our nature to exercise control.  But often times this spills over to more than it should, even when it comes to circumstances we have no control over.  We begin to micro-manage every facet of our lives, and then add superstition on top of that.  We want to be able to say that we had some part of whatever happened that was considered significant.  We want to be in a position of power.  We want to play God.

The only man ever to claim to be God and prove it was Christ himself.  In a society where power rules and control is the only currency with which to bargain with, Jesus humbled himself to the point of utter humility and powerlessness on the Cross.  To everyone’s surprise, the Resurrection ousted Death; the ultimate equalizer was equalized.  Where no man could ever have dominion over, Jesus Christ did by means of weakness.

In what ways do you need to relent your control?  In what ways is God calling you to exercise control?  Does this apply to you at all?