i’m waiting for image files to transfer (pictures for Jeremiah’s 5th birthday [new url]), so had a few thoughts i could jot down here.. amazing that Jeremiah is now 5 years old, time does go by fast, when you look at hindsight.. all these years, since I was a child, I had wanted to grow up, to become an adult, to be ‘respected’ as a peer.. and now i’m about to turn 36 (this summer), and life is near half over (or there abouts, I’m in touch with my mortality; in reality it might be sooner, and that’d be okay by me).
Now more recently, I think about what my personal need (or weakness, I’d be blunt enough to say it’s my personal flaw) is, and it is to be friends with everyone.. the most painful thing for me is to be rejected by someone who doesn’t want to be a friend with me. I know in reality, you can’t be friends with everyone, but boy do I sure try really really hard. I’m pretty sure I don’t give in to people, cave in on my scruples, or be any less than myself, when I try to relate with different people.. I do feel the pain of personal rejection the most deeply. It doesn’t sting as much as it used to in years past, but I know it still stings, and grieves me so when someone is so closed to new friendships. It probably is me, that I have a large capacity for relating that is untypical for many people, and perhaps most unusual for being a guy, and in addition, to be misunderstood by a small percentage of people who cannot get past their first impression of me. This is to say that I don’t have the smiliest of faces, so some people don’t feel I’m friendly and warm.. yet practically anyone who interacts with me beyond the initial small talk can realize in me the friendly philosopher that I am. Hmm, therein lies the key (spontaneous insight, as I type)– getting past the small talk. Some people have to have small talk to warm up to someone else. For that niche market, I’ll need some extra help.
Returned from last week’s college retreat, and have been mostly busy catchin’ up with stuff.. some changes at work happening, but shouldn’t affect me, we’re keeping the ball rollin’.. retreat was a fun time, went hiking up a steep hill, to reach an observation tower, and then climbed up 150 feet above that (and I did NOT like the height, but humbled myself and climbed it, one step at a time, hands clingin’ tightly to the railing).. from that tower we could see most of Central North Carolina, quite a site… wasn’t sure what I was lookin’ at, but could see a lot. Fell down on the way down when trying to take a group photo, damaged 1 of 4 cameras (mine), and was bruised and scraped up.. and then on Saturday, we went rock climbing on a climbing wall, plus rapelling (sp?) on the other side of the tower after we got to the top, and that was my first time, and it was quite a test of faith for me; with the cheering on of 25 other people, I eventually made it to the top. And boy was my heart-a-thumpin’! You can read the messages I shared, at www.djchuang.com/vitality/, and also pictures from the retreat. If you get to near the end of the album, you can even see pix of my scrapes and bruises. I’m always the learner, and one thing that stood out for me is that spiritual growth happens at different rates for different people.. it actually happens rather slowly; and with that perspective, I did not expect changes overnight by my saying a few words over a weekend. I hope a few things I shared were meaningful, and that a few would make a turning point in their thinking for their own life change.
a truckstop for the soul
collection of wacky and odd Christian web sites
..en route on my drive from metro DC to NC.. no, I’m not typing while I’m driving, and not dictating on my wireless devices.. I stopped in here at Petersburg, in their public library, to make a pit stop, and to drop a line here, to say that it’s easier to find a public library than a cybercafe.. every city has one, and most of them (if not all) have Internet access, for free at that. Big difference is the occasional line, and no coffee at the keyboard..