So this weekend is one of those weekends. And by “one of those”, if you haven’t read my blogs and are not quite sure what that means, it means it was a weekend that really helped me grow and mature as a Christian, and as a person.
So, just as a prelude to the story, Randy is an exchange student from Chengdu, China. He is a freshman at ISU, majoring in business, and is a textbook of knowledge for hardcore music. We randomly met when he came into our room because we were listening to Haste the Day, and playing WWE Smackdown vs. Raw. Two things that he is very interested in. We had talked a couple of times, just about music, nothing more. How freakin sweet is that? Sweeter than sneaking a fresh, warm, homemade cookie when you are supposed to be on a diet.
Also, I have been somewhat stagnant in my spiritual growth. I haven’t been reading the bible (esp. the book of Proverbs that I love), and haven’t been going to church. I do not feel that I am any less, just that I am nothing more. God has an awesome way of giving opportunities. Lucky for me, I have taken advantage of such circumstances.
So I was driving Randy and myself to a show at Blinks, a hardcore show of course, and he says to me,
“Hehy aZach, can weh talhk somtime tonight?’ (I must type how he speaks so you get the full experience)
So I told him absolutely, I would love to. I already had a lot of respect for him because I really do admire what he is doing. He’s in another country, speaking a foreign language, but still has enough character to leave himself vulnerable and reach out for help to someone he has just met.
So after the show, Randy and I walked around campus, and sat down by the bikes behind Oak Elm.
He was telling me how he was wanting to transfer to another school, and how he can’t get used to the slow pace of life here in Ames, IA. I helped him out with that and supported him, and invited him to our trip to Chicago, because he defnity needs to see a real city in the US. And he knows Victory Records is in Chicago, and he loves that more than he loves eating hotpots back in Chengdu.
Then I explained that he was just going through a tough time because whether or not he liked it, he was adjusting. Not just as a freshman and being out on his own, but being in another country,and living another way of life. Just stop and imagine what it would feel like if you were in China your first year of college. I told him that it was completely normal and that he should embrace the uncomfortable feelings and learn and grow from them. He agreed with this, and we talked about the ways we view living our lives here on earth. Randy and I have more in common that I would ever have thought.
He, like me, is very optimistic, believes that everything happens for a reason, we learn and grow from the bad times more than the good, and that we all have a purpose for our lives. He believes that he can make a difference, and change whatever he puts his heart to. I couldn’t be more proud. It is much like the feeling I will feel when I hear my child say the word “Dad”. Randy is the epitome of the definition of character. Not a character, but character.
He told me a story about how he wouldn’t cut his hair at his school back in China, and he was sent through different teachers, untill he had to meet with the headmaster. He asked his headmaster what the image of a good student was. Short hair, uniform, backpack. Then he told the headmaster that just because his hair was long did not make him a bad student. He could still perform just as well in school, so why should it matter if his hair is longer. Randy said he could care less if he had to finally cut his hair, but just so long as the headmaster would listen to the idea that he was trying to get across. How ballsy is that.
He wasn’t arguing his long hair, but was arguing that just because he wanted it longer did not make him a poor student. He was the same long hair or not. He was thinking outside of the box. He was a walking talking metaphor for the argument against communism! (thanks Steve for that one).
So to me Randy is a very special guy. Here is a dude, from the other side of the world who lives his life the exact same way I do. Wow. For all the things that I do wrong, I must be doing something right.
While we were talking about our outlooks on life, I explained to him that I had mine thanks to Jesus Christ and that becase of him I was saved and was going to heaven. That is why I can look at the good and bad in my life and appreciate every last drop of it. This was the first time I have ever talked to someone about being saved and how much it changes your life. I told him if he ever decided to(I never asked him to, or even in the smallest way obligated him to) admit he was a sinner, and know that Jesus died to save him, the next day he would wake up and his life would never be the same. Couldn’t be happier.
Also this weekend, I was having the dreaded living with your best friend troubles. I will not explain that here, but I’m sure you know the general scenario.
Today at first, I was super super pissed off. Felt super bad. Felt super guilty. But then of course God showed again that everything happens for a reason.
I was able to talk to one of my newer friends about life, church, God, and giving up certain habits. Because I was having a tough time she asked me if I wanted to talk about it, I did of course, and then before you know it I got to hear about her life, her dreams, and her convictions. That was awesome. Very meaningful, very heartwarming.
Also, I talked(aka vented) to two of my other close friends and we also had a very good, meaningful conversation.
Then, what the heck I was talking to another friend (aka venting my frusterations) and she is going through a period of restlessness that I went through last year. Some things were bothering her, convicting, her and I couldn’t be more happy for her. Sure she is restless and somewhat miserable because she is unsure about a lot of things, but that means she is growing, pushing forward and changing for the better.
God is great, and I couldn’t be more grateful the trials of life, and my much loved friends that help me through it.
Life sucks sometimes but I wouldn’t have it any other way.