Saturday, January 14, 2012

What Does It Mean? Pt. 2

I sit in The Blue Note Jazz Club.  Music fills my ears, as thoughts flood my mind.  I take a long blink, as though I have just woken up.  Much to my surprise, when I open my eyes, I am still there.  It feels like a dream to me.  To be in New York City, all the way from Florida.  Thoughts run wild.  It's incredible how advanced technology is.  It's great how I can just hop in a plane and be a thousand miles away, in a couple of hours.

I had decided to talk to her parents about it.  I was nervous at the time.  I doubted they would ever say yes, although there was a slight possibility that they would.  I relied heavily on the fact that I was asking about four months in advance.  So, I sent an email.

Four months later, we were boarding a plane (my girlfriend and I).  We were headed to New York City for the new year.  It was her first time seeing the city, and my first time during the winter season.  

Chris Botti spoke into the microphone, "Does everybody have champagne?"  After a resounding response of, YES, he continued,  "raise your glasses in the air, as we count down to the new year..."

You know, I never could quite understand the idea behind celebrating a new year.  Was it used as an excuse to party and celebrate.  What about the new year do we celebrate?  Is it the cliche saying, 'new year, new me'?  And what does champagne have to do with it?  Who invented that bubbly stuff anyway!?  

"HAPPY NEW YEAR!!"  Another year gone by, another year here, I thought to myself.  All I wanted was to hear the music anyway.  You know, I don't mean to be so cynical.  I suppose I have some things that I could look back on and be happy about.  But I don't get why people write down a list of this that they need to improve.  What are these things, resolutions?  Intentions to better yourself somehow?  Maybe in a way that was lacking from the past year?  I have never made one of these lists, you know.  I would always fake it when I was younger, in an attempt to merely please my parent's request.  Lost in thought, I hear the finale, and the show is over.  I have to muster up some good speech to deliver, about the new year, and the resolutions that entail, once we reach the hotel. 

To my surprise, the subject was only grazed over.  Working out to my benefit, I thought.  

I lie in bed, with my head facing the ceiling.  My girlfriend is fast asleep, nestled into my body.  I hear her heavy breathing, as I attempt to rid my mind of these twisted thoughts.  I can't understand why I am trying to write my wrongs for the year in my head, laying in a hotel bed.  For crying out loud!!  Maybe the weight of them has just become too heavy.  Maybe I need to tell someone what I am feeling.  But wait, if I do that, then I am immediately vulnerable.  I will look weak, and in dire need of help.  Eh, maybe I'll just blog about it.

You know, there were a few things going through my mind that night, none of which has been previously discussed  with anyone, until now.  I suppose the thoughts, and my attempt to correct them, have become my 'resolutions'.  I should probably start with my most embarrassing, risque thought, then work backwards.

I have had a problem.  I couldn't help myself really.  I feel like it was almost uncontrollable.  I felt helpless.  Even though I was able to recognize the problem, and the issue, I wasn't able to fully conquer it.  I would go days, weeks (which is much improvement) without it.  I had an addiction.  To what, you might ask?  Masterbating.  This is touchy enough of a subject for all of us.  Whether open about it, or joking about it, there is always an odd vibe after a conversation where this is the topic.  It became a problem for me from the get go.  It then turned into a habit.  Following that, it became more.  I became addicted to other things.  Pornography and seeking other ways to further please myself.  Just this past year, I made a goal.  Rather, I made a point to stop my habit.  I decided the best way would be to eliminate the things that led to the actual act itself.  I took away the porn and I took away being creative.  Now it was up to me to just control myself, with myself, and stop.  I can't even begin to tell you how hard it is (no pun intended..ugh) to hold something back, when it had such a huge impact on your life.  But when I thought about it, it was simple.  It HAD to stop!!  I sit here writing this blog, confidently telling you that I have conquered this.  Do I still have thoughts, and urges?  Yes, I am a human being.  But what I know, is that I am done.  Although, I know that I did not do this alone.  Which is a perfect segue into my next thought [or resolution].

I made it a goal to love on God more.  To reach a point where I come to the fork in the road, and always choose God.  But wait, Matt, I thought you were already a Christian?  Indeed, I am a Christian.  But I challenge those to define what a Christian is.  I have done this here in my blogs before.  Here, I just want to be more than the church goer.  I want to be more than the typical tither.  I want to be the guy that is following Jesus so closely, that I am riding bumper to bumper.  [I'm tired of chasing His shadow].  I want to change the world (don't get that twisted...I do NOT want to rule the world).  I want people to look at me, and see something different.  I was at my church's study on Wednesday night.  They call it, 'huddle time'.  It is a time where the high school students are invited to gather at church.  There is usually a message, and some fellowship.  The basic message that gets repeated over and over again is simple: show that you are different.  To add to that, the students are told to be more like Jesus (which, if you break it down, is exactly being different than everybody else).  The questions then arise; What does it mean to be like Jesus?  What does being a Christian look like?  It was this past Wednesday, when one of the high schoolers put it into simple terms, and into a great perspective: Jesus shines.  At first glance to any Christian, this is a no brainer.  But to a believer; one who truly believes in God, and what He did/does for us; this is HUGE!!  I have heard Bible verses on it before.  The like Him; but it never sunk in like it did the other night.  In my struggle to show how I am trying daily to be like Jesus, two words that a 15 year old girl said hit home.  

Jesus shines.

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