Konnichiwa! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’m sorry for the impromptu absence: being a freshman in Biomedical Engineering has been quite the new (and busy) experience for me. I didn’t expect my schedule to get quite this busy quite this fast, but now that I’m settling into a rhythm (kinda), I’m starting to find more time to do the things I need to do. Well, outside of school stuff, I mean. Unsheathed is where I empty my head, manifest my thoughts, and open the door to talk to the rest of you weea..er, my fellow otaku, so don’t feel that I’ve forgotten you.
As much as I love people, I’ve never really had much of a social life. I was homeschooled through high school, so my pool of friends has been somewhat small. College has been just the opposite, and it’s been scary and awesome all at the same time. Even though I’ve had a blast making new friends, the investment of time I’ve needed to put into both relationships and schoolwork has slowly begun to bleed me dry, and learning to balance everything has been my main struggle lately. In a lot of ways, I kind of feel like Subaru from Re:Zero: I want to help everyone and do everything and be the hero, but there’s only so much I can do before I have to reset.
I too wonder if I’m truly the protagonist of my life at times.
Trying to do everything tends to give me an excuse to use my free time to do a lot of nothing…which ends up making me feel guilty about not spending my free time on more important things, and the vicious cycle continues. What’s worse is how I’ve been neglecting my Bible study and time with God. I find it easy to claim the busy excuse, but if I manage to find the time for an hour of Overwatch with close friends, I don’t really have an excuse, do I?
The problem I seem to struggle with the most is treating God like an obligation, rather than an experience. When I’m with my friends, I want to know about their likes, dislikes, the way they think and feel. I want to know them; I want to get into their heads and understand them so that my love for them can grow all the more. I should feel the same way about God, shouldn’t I? If the Christian walk is a relationship, why aren’t I as interested in loving God as I am getting to know my classmates?
Best way to invite your friends to anything, for real.
Like Subaru, I’m wondering why the love I claim to have doesn’t seem to solve my problems. I join small groups, I try to volunteer, I’m trying to reach out to people who don’t believe in order to help them for the better, but I seem to be falling deeper and deeper into my own pain. Why?
And then it hits me.
Like Subaru, I’ve been doing everything for myself.
I want to love God, for sure. But my reasons for loving Him are always connected to me feeling good, to me finding something that I can use to get ahead, rather than a genuine interest. When you don’t truly love someone, your efforts to please them are going to fall flat simply because they’ll be able to see through it. In the same way, my attempts to live a godly life apart from God Himself have led me to a lot of self-inflicted pain and regret.
So how do I change?
Getting over a problem means recognizing you have one.
Like Subaru, the only way I can begin to change is by recognizing my own weakness, and fully embrace that I can’t do everything by myself. I can’t be everyone’s best friend. I can’t save everyone’s project. I can’t be part of every school org. But what I can do is to be the best, most God-fearing version of me that I can be. I can submit myself to God, and allow Him to work through me to help other people. He promises that He’s continually perfecting me, and that He’ll continue to perfect me as long as I’m on this Earth. It’s not gonna be easy, and it definitely won’t be a lot of fun all the time. But it will definitely be worth it.
Featured image comes from Episode 2 of “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared”.