I realize the post I have below this is quite technical and not a lot of heart-felt introspection. More like mind-introspection with a lot of negative comments and thoughts. I realize books that I read REALLY affect me, so I need to be a bit more careful about the books I choose to read. I don’t want some nasty, mean author to get into my head and come pouring out of my heart when I’m around other people. Anyway, on with the topic.

Tonight, we had bible study.

When I decided to lead 4th year girls bible study, I did not know I’d get as touched in my heart as I have and that I’d receive more answers to questions than originally thought. Today, Cecilia Jiang, a friend I really admire very much and sometimes am jealous of, shared the lesson tonight since I’m making the girls pick a week to teach/share a short testimony. The title of the lesson was “I Want To Be Used.”

I think I’m starting to realize this game called life. Well, it’s not really a game, but I’m starting to see that if I divide my life up, it is really just a sort of confused life I am leading. On the one hand, I want to put my efforts in the camp of “being cool.” Being cool means maintaining an image, like pretending to have good friends who are ethnically diverse and beautiful and pretending to lead a life that is exciting every second and meaningful and that I look good at every moment. There’s also a Christian camp of “being cool” and this means looking very holy and pious and religious and doing a lot of things to make people think you and God are tizzight.

Another aspect I want to invest in is music. I imagine a life much like KT Tunstall’s, strangely enough. Roaming around with my guitar strapped to my back, playing random odd shows for the next night’s dinner money, finding shelter with kind strangers who would let me sleep for free. Hanging out in smokey bars and living the gypsy life.

Yet another camp I can shove myself into is one of baking or cooking and other hospitality sort of things. I can picture myself flying to Paris, France, and taking culinary and patisserie lessons, all the while picking up the language, living the life in the city, and being refined and artsy and European.

And then I picture myself going out, full-throttle, as an experienced nurse, helping the poor, pot-bellied children in Africa or caring for the malnourished, starving people in North Korea, doing underground political and spiritual ministry.

Lastly, I see myself married to somebody I desperately love, having enough kids to start my own ultimate frisbee team, and living on 600 Park Street behind the downtown mall, peeking through antique lace curtains, waiting for dinner guests as the hydrangeas come into full bloom.

But if I sit down and think about what it is I want to BE USED BY GOD as, I realize all these things are pretty meaningless. I realize a lot of fantastic dreams and romantic wishes are meaningless, because once I’ve found my savior to the meaninglessness of this life, what else can I do but consecrate everything I am to him? As quoted in the movie Into The Wild I watched recently, happiness is a shared thing, baby. I really don’t think I could be happy partying it up with people who don’t share the same passions as I do about love, about Jesus, about praying for others and helping others. I don’t think I’m really happy when I AM HAPPY. I think I’m truly happy when I want God to be happy, or people I love to be happy. America stresses so much independence, it can make a person feel left in the dust. In some ways, I really like how Koreans are so tribal– they really like to stick together in their communities, and there’s such a STRONG sense of community. I went jogging with some Korean-American friends of mine, and I felt an inexplicable ease when I was with them, like I didn’t have to impress anyone or sound smart or cultured, and I could just be stupid and goofy. “I like being Korean,” I told one of them happily. While I am living the independent life, I think I am thankful that I have people I can feel a sort of kinship to.

I was talking to my friend Laura today in the car. Laura is a Caucasian girl, very hilarious, and very into different ethnicities. She immediately asked me, “Why do Koreans stick with other Koreans? It’s not a bad thing, I just wonder why people tend to gravitate towards other people who are similar to them.”

Fair question. I don’t know. I appreciate the immediate sense of acceptance I feel from some of the Korean-Americans I know, and instead of cursing it and being ungrateful and saying “Why can’t everyone just mix?” I think I count it as a gift, and want to expand my skills on making real connections and friendships with people who are different from I.

Whoa, got off topic. Back to the being used by God part.

So I realize that my life just won’t be fulfilled unless I am having some real, authentic purpose to it. And I really think that the only way people can find healing, meaning, and joy and love in their lives is through Jesus Christ. Jesus was on to something when he says this:

“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:25-26)

I was thinking a little bit about the VTech shootings that happened about 1 year and 2 days ago. The media coverage on it and the people remembered were incredible and quite sobering. When I die, I want to be remembered by two things. Firstly, I want the music I make and share to touch people. I want people to be moved by my music, moved by Jesus. And secondly, I want to die for my friends and family. If a shooter came and threatened the ones I love, I want to dive without hesitation.

I think whatever you actually do in life doesn’t matter. But I think life has always been about the heart condition and the reason why we do things. I think the ugliest things in life are self-glorification and selfishness. I think the most beautiful things are self-sacrifice and love. I want my life to be beautiful.