This friend is for a lifetime

Die old flame, die

July 14, 2009 Leave a comment (Edit)

Is it true that every girl has a special someone in her life that her mind can never seem to discard? Someone whom you’ve known forever, dated, loved, at times wished you were still with him, and the reasons why you broke up in the first place seems to be vague. There are so many of my girlfriends who tell me of such a person. It’s often the high school sweethearts or the college sweethearts that make this cut but it’s the person you knew the longest, had enough time to see their dirty laundry and is unsure if you want to deal with it; but even though you’re still in another relationship, you still wonder, was he the one?

It’s not that you want to sell yourself short, or endure things that you know isn’t right. It’s just that the mind seems to be boggled up on this one person. From all the things you know about him, he is a nice person, he genuinely cares about you, he knows you well- enough to write a detailed summary of your whole life and paint a vivid picture of who you are.

The problem is, you’re unsure if he’s sincere, if you can endure the minor things about him that gets you aggravated which leads you to secretly wish for him to change. But will he change though? Has he shown any steps of improvement? Is this enough? Is he doing it now to get back with you, but when he knows he got you, he’ll return to his old self? This is the problem. You have forgiven his past behaviour but your mind can never overcome the past. It remembers what happened when you let your guard down the first time, and the second time, and even the third time. Now, is your heart wrong to feel unsure about this person? What makes him better this time? Why is he still sticking around? Is it you? or it is him?

As girls, we are trained to love and to care, to not give up on our relationships- we are emotional beings. We think that if someone authentically wants to be in our lives then why should we say no? We empathise with people on a whole. So this guy who can never seem to just disappear, who always tell you these ”nice” things that woos you everytime you talk to him, and makes you feel special for those moments is always lurking around. It’s not all his fault however, it’s your fault too. You are often the one to solicit this behaviour. More often than not, if you choose not to call or ever to correspond with this guy, the relationship dies. So the question is, why can you do that with every other relationship, including the one you are currently in, but you are so strung up on this old flame? What is it about him?

The answer to that is a mystery. Maybe he is too. The one confusing one that you can never wrap your hearts or mind around. The one that is so similiar to you, you’re starting to hate yourself for it. The one that does things to you that pisses you off and he is so comfortable in doing the pissing off, it makes you uneasy. You have to ask, how can this even work? If we live together, won’t we kill each other? Why are we arguing over stupid things? And how does the arguments start and stop so abruptly. What is it about him that my heart just cannot get enough of?

For me, it’s the fact that I know that he is the only one I have ever met that would be a perfect partner. The only one that would blend in with my family, the only one I’ve dated that comes from a similiar background as me; enjoys the same dishes as me, has similar interests as me and overall, communicates the same language as me, literally and figuratively. He is the only one that knows me so well. And inspite of our squabbles, he will still adore me because he cares. He is the only one that has stuck around the longest and still has strong feelings for me. Yet, I am still afraid that if I trust him, he will let me down. If I suggest to him that I want him, that he will turn around and flee in the opposite direction. I’m afraid that I won’t have this good of a relationship with him if I agree to date him again. So, I keep it less complicated by keeping him around. Dating others, but still feeling happy to know he is still there in my life. Is this wrong? I have no idea. But the truth is, I really don’t want him out of my life. There are some things I don’t like about him but I love what I know. And the more I think about it, I’d hate for him to marry someone else.

I cannot say why there’s always that one guy, and sadly to say he’s not always the one for us. I guess it’s just a waiting game- on life. This way, the flame won’t ever die, but it will burn slowly until one day in our lives, when we finally arrive on the same page, it might ignite with passion again. Until that day, if it ever comes, he’ll remain close and dear to your hearts. But should you choose to move on with your lives, you will also have the ability to move on without being marred emotionally.

Singleness vs the Brady Bunch

After a late afternoon bath, I feel ready to call it in for the night with only four hours of wake time. My facial creams are already on totally skipping my morning regimen, and I’m eating what feels like my bedtime snack. At four in the afternoon I’m depending on artificial lights, which totally makes it feel like night. It’s warm and cozy and I’m alone wondering whether I’d ever want to trade my current life for the Brady Bunch.

When I first woke up at 8am I thought about the errands I had for the day. Two hours later, I looked at the time and thought I really should get up. 12pm I finally rolled out of bed and went to the bathroom. As I walked into the bathroom and looked over at the overflowing laundry I thought, really, I don’t have to do this today. That left me with two things to do for the day, write an article for an online newspaper and go to the mall. The former was done in no time since I had been working on the article all weekend, but I didn’t feel like leaving my cozy apartment for anything, not even the mall. Today was going to be that day. When I’m single with no children I can do nothing. This is the pay-off after many years, 20 to be exact, of schooling. And I didn’t want to trade it in for the world. Why should I? When you’re the children in the Brady Bunch life may me great, but when you’re the grown-ups and have to provide for all 6 plus a dog, not cool!

Stress, taking on more than one can handle, is the beginning of a slow death. Being fervent on taking good advice I feel that Icouldn’t have found out sooner. I already had enough on my plate, myself, and I’m not sure if I want more. This lesson rang clear when I had to babysit on the weekend. For over two years, I’ve never had someone wake me up, yet these two little humans were knocking at my door telling me that the puppy needed to go outside. Really?! I was an hour short of my eight hours rest time. That reminds me of the kitten I decided to bring home one Sunday. I seriously thought I would love having a kitten in my home, as they say cats are low maintenance and great companions. Well that was a lie. My kitten was sitting by my room door crying because I guess she wanted companionship, and overlooking the fact that I still needed my sleep. It was only 6 in the morning and I stayed up til 2 that morning trying to play with her. I was drowsy at work for the 12 hours and worrying that the poor kitten may die from lack of companionship and would keep me up another night. Before all that would happen, I stuck her in a little bag as soon as I got home and drove her back to her owners. I was happy and I’m sure she was too. I understand that taking on too much is a stress killer, and I’m just not ready to die.

People sometimes knock adulthood, and so quickly want to get married because “they don’t want to be alone”, but if they knew what they were missing they would drop the marriage and family thing and enjoy ten more years of happiness! Why wouldn’t anyone want to be happy? I went to a single session early this month, and the pastor specifically said, “If you want to be happy, don’t get married!” Ringgg ringgg.. There goes the bell of truth. There is no better time in life than being young and single. I can drive to the U.S border in two hours or I can pamper myself at a lavish hotel with spa treatments. I can take time off from work if I want, and travel to exotic locations; coworkers do it all the time! Why would I give this life up for a lifetime with a spouse and children? This baffles me.  I set my rules and I do what I want. Ahh, freedom is rejuvenating. If all of life could have been this way I would have been happier especially as a teenager. So until I hear God calling me to marriage I think I’m just going to bask in my happiness and see how long it’ll last.

Love, the drug

What if it’s not you, it’s me.

You keep coming, yet you should’ve flee

I’m not good for you, but love has blinded you.

I’ve told you, love is a drug, but you didn’t believe

This time, I’m not the one who is addicted

I’m warning you, stay away.

You don’t listen, you keep panting

I’m playing hard to get, you keep saying

I’m not playing, I’m avoiding the drug

This time the drug is me, not you.

Democracy or Dictatorship rules?

Often, we can never truly say what we really want. What we really want is clouded by what society says we should want, what our families, friends and even the church says. It’s like a democracy in our heads- everyone gets a vote, except for us. Because, we tend to overlook our own votes. I’m more into the dictatorship kind of rule, but that’s just me. I already know what we North Americans have to say about that, because we want to believe in freedom of speech, and all the other freedoms and rights we have as a people. We want to believe that our votes should count, but do they always get counted? If we can overlook our own votes sometimes, who is to say that our government isn’t doing the same thing?

The truth? In large societies, the commoners never get what they want. Maybe if we were to shrink the population to what it used to be when democracy first existed, then maybe, but not now. The people who get what they want are those who shout the loudest, those who are seen the most, and those who aren’t afraid to step on other people. As for you and I, the commoners, we don’t matter. Not unless we are willing to scream, fight, and be selfish. But, many of us are too shy, too modest, too sensitive so we allow others to dictate what goes on in our lives, and then listen to them justify their actions with the term, “democracy”. Since, democracy hasn’t spoken out for me yet, I figure I’ll have to speak up for myself.

When it’s time to make any decision about my life, I find that I have to ask myself, “What would my pastor say about this, what would my mother say? Would my friends approve?” This is getting tedious and decisions never get made in these situations. There are too many people to account for. The problem is, what happens after the decision is made? If we’re not happy, then what? Doesn’t it matter? I will complain to my mother who will say, “You know baby, you made a good decision”. But if it’s such a good decision, why am I not happy with it?  I’m coming to the realization that ultimately I am the one who lives with every decision I make- good and bad, not the members of my church or the pastor or my family, so does it really matter how they feel? And more importantly, why should they get a vote when it comes to my life? Why am I overlooking my own vote to please others? This is what I want to know. To heck with democracy then. When it comes to my life, there is no need to scream or fight; but yes I’m sure going to be selfish, because this is a dictatorship we’re talking about.

Dictatorship is the way to go because as the word indicates, one person is in power and gets to decide on the end result. I may consider advice from the important people in my life and ensure that the decision that I make will not cause harm or sadness to those I love and care about, but in the end, it will not suffice me to make choices that will cause hurt and pain to myself. I will make my decisions in respect to other people, but I will not have others decide for me. I wish the government functions this way too because as we see in most countries that call themselves, “democracy”, there is always somebody or a small group of people that benefits, and a larger group that suffers by the decisions made by the government.

It seems to me that most people’s judgements are clouded by their current situations of stress, poverty, unemployment, and taking care of our children,  that it is so hard to see what’s really going on. We are satisfied that we live in a democracy and feel comfortable that if we choose to- we can exercise our rights and freedoms. It’s like living with a gold tooth, assuming that one day we can sell the gold and be rich, but all the while, the gold is causing pain and cavities.  While we sit comfortably in our own sufferings, others out there are getting their voices heard. Democracy works for those who aren’t shy and sensitive. It’s a big bad world out there, and in general the rule of thumb is: Nobody out there really cares about our needs. If we want our votes to count, we have to do a lot more than cast a ballot, that’s all I’m saying.

Odd co-incidences

Some call it, “God Winks” while others call it “cosmic choreography”; but regardless of the names we use to connote these mysterious co-incidences, most will admit that these are the best moments in life.

There is not a definitive term that has been coined specifically for events such as these, no one knows who or what is involved in allowing situations to naturally occur without the attempt of anything we have done ourselves. It happens to all of us, once we let go and agree to follow the path that has been made known to us. As W. H Murray (Scottish expeditions) explains, “The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too”.

Thus, the only work that one does in these events, is commit oneself to the task at hand in “faith” or “fate” trusting some unknown voice that only we can hear that tells us to go ahead and do what seems unreasonable to others; yet it all makes sense to us. It isn’t easy though. Trusting something beyond ourselves is a far more complex decision than sticking with the logical world, where everything makes realistic sense. No one chooses to quit their job in pursuit of a hobby or a desire; yet that’s what Will Smith did in “Pursuit of Happiness” and that’s also what Jill Goldsmith did. She was a public defender who decided to quit her job and become a television writer for shows like Ally McBeal, Law and Order, and NYPD Blue. For both characters, both had to give up the comforts of what they knew and lived an uncomfortable life. As for Jill, she went for six months of unemployment, close to being broke, before she found herself in a “cosmic choreographic” situation. Hers happened at a chocolate factory. As she was waiting in line, a random stranger walked up behind her. The stranger agreed that Jill should go in front as they must have walked in at the same time. Jill thanked the stranger and explained that retrieving her chocolate even ten seconds earlier would make a huge difference in her happiness as she was very depressed. It turned out that who Jill was talking to was the writer and executive producer of the NYPD Blue series. The story unfold from there as the stranger wanted to hear about why she was depressed and she explained the part where she left her lawyer job in hopes of becoming a writer.

Life is truly interesting and fascinating to say the least. Life is a story that is yet to be told, but first we have to live out this awe-inspiring story so that we can tell it and re-tell it, as it is our personal story. When we allow the still small voice to direct us, the stories plots and climaxes become more interesting. Unfortunately, for this story to be this Hollywood motion picture, we have to stay in the dark until the movie is made.  In the end though, all the roads of our lives merge to form a superhighway, where everything makes sense, where all that we have learned along the way finds a place.

What Worriers we are!

When the bible said, “If God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers … he will care for you”. What did the bible really mean? I interpret it as; we should never worry about anything, neither the smallest nor the largest. God has to ensure our safety or satisfy our needs, whenever we have them. This is my view of the scripture and since its God’s word, and His words aren’t empty, then it has to do as it says, God’s duty it to ensure that I don’t have to worry.

Speaking about worrying, last night after my shift was over I decided to use the gym at work. I wanted to get my 20 minutes work-out in and get out so I could go home. I was very happy with the fact that I motivated myself to work-out and burn some sweat. It was about the time I wanted to leave so I hurried to the door, already foreseeing myself driving and being home. But the door was locked! I literally could not get out as I did not have my work keys anymore. Moreover, the locks must have been changed as the door was never able to be locked before. My mind was growing frantic, as it entertained thoughts about having to sleep in the gym overnight. But I adjusted my frame-of-mind because I spoke the same words written in Matthew 6, “Don’t worry about these things…your heavenly Father already knows all your needs”. I know without a doubt that I would be rescued, it was just a matter of time.  Time, I didn’t want to waste though so I banged on the door repeatedly for someone to hear me; no one heard. I stood there and waited while twirling my hair, wondering should I be shouting like this? Or should I act professional? Do I have to wait for another 15 minutes when others will be ending their shifts and may wish to use the gym too? I banged and shouted even more. But I heard the bible verses in my mind again, “don’t worry…” So, I decided to get calmer and listen. It was then I heard someone’s keys, and I shouted, “Hello!!” And there a manger came to my rescue! God provided like He said He would and I must have waited for a maximum of 2 to 5 minutes.

God provides. Nothing is too hard for God. I could have easily worked up fear and anger within my heart but I refused to allow the negative thoughts to seep through and had an effect on the outcome. Such a simple lesson to learn, but when it comes down to the moment, it is often the most difficult to practice in our daily lives. In the spotlight, we are nothing but big worriers. We worry about tomorrow, the day after that, the week after this one, and the next year. We worry about our finances, we worry about being lonely, we worry about the outcomes of our children; everything becomes problematic and often we don’t try to do anything about it. We just enjoy the thing God says not to do.

Why are we like that? When God says no, we say yes. Is it because we think we’re smarter than God? Or we think He doesn’t know how we’re feeling? Does God see how frustrating it is for me to be a single mother coming from work with three children waiting for me? If God sees that I need a husband, why doesn’t He send one. That’s how we speak about God “behind His back”.   When I get like that I go to God in “prayer” and I shout at Him, sometimes I cry and sometimes I display my anger to God. I remind God what He says and I tell God that I’m starting to worry as I can’t wait anymore. The last time I did that, God did provide exactly what I wanted. Yes, I had to wait. Yes I had to preoccupy myself with other things to ease my mind from worrying. Yes, I had to constantly remind myself that God knows what He’s doing, He is in charge and I had to ask myself, “Am I not okay in spite the fact that I lack the thing I need?” And of course the answer is yes! God is still providing until He actually provides the thing we need! Ha, what an amazing God.

All in all, I know God doesn’t want us to worry, not for anything. He will provide the simplest thing we need and even those things we perceive as difficult and out of our reach. He just knows. And should He allow us to wait; it has to be for our own good. In fact, when I received my personal request from God, I started to wonder what life would have been like had he provide it for me a year before.  It just wasn’t what I would have wanted and so God also has to ensure that it is the right time for us. So, why don’t we just leave everything to God? Pray and do only those things we can and just leave the rest to Him!

Relationship Woes

There are some people who can never be out of a relationship. They tend to have steady long-term relationships and they are the ones you’re certain will get married sooner or later. But, there are those of us who can never hold a relationship down. The sooner we get into a relationship is the sooner we get out of it. We are the ones who may never get married.  I used to think I was just picking the wrong guy, but now I’m starting to wonder, could it be me who is the problem?

John and I dated for exactly three months. We had a great relationship in the beginning; it was filled with my favourite word, fun. He had a lot of energy and we did all those interesting date-like events: movies, dinner, and going for walks. Somewhere before the three month point he wouldn’t call as much. I would be the one to initiate the calls. And by the three month point, my calls didn’t seem to go through. Of course, for me, that symbolized the end of another relationship. And I moved on. I’m left livid of course because I feel disrespected and I wasted my time with another idiot.

Other times, I find that I’m the one who is just not into the guy and I also don’t answer the calls as frequent as I would. The guy becomes less appealing to me in conversations on the phone or in person. I’m not impressed by the clothes he wears and I don’t feel engaged in our interactions. When I talk to him, the conversations become mundane for me, and I’m wondering how I can end this call without being rude.  When it gets to that point, I save myself the hassle by impolitely refusing to answer his calls, and of course, like me, he gets the picture.

I wonder if it’s karma though, I’m basically sowing what I reap. Because I know my relationships have all been short-lived, I’ve come to dislike dating all together. In my last few years however, I’ve made it a duty to change my approach. I’ve been putting more efforts in all my relationships; and not just with guys only. What I’ve found was a startling difference.

Jason and I were together for six months! I invested my time and energy to build our relationship. I took the time to meet his friends and family. I went out of my way to clean his apartment and to make dinner for him on weekends. There were things I didn’t want to do, but for the sake of the relationship I did it anyway. Although our relationship ended, and I was broken-hearted, what I learnt was that it’s better to put my whole heart in the relationship than not. It added more depth and meaning to both of our lives.

Now, when I analyse myself and currently building what seems like another wonderful relationship; I feel scared. Not because I’m worrying that it might end, I’m used to that, but because this might last longer than three or six months. I’m with a guy who is actually taking everything seriously. He seems committed to building our relationship and he is leaving me no choice but to do the same. I feel that I have to call him before he calls me or I have to cook for him because he drove all that way to see me. It’s not the feeling of obligation necessarily, but rather of desire.  I feel appreciated when I do those nice things because his response is encouraging. Although we’re at the beginning phases of our relationship, it feels like I’ve already achieved what I’ve spent three months building with other guys.

But while the interactions have all been nothing short of amazing, like he is everything I imagined in a guy; I’m starting to feel afraid. What if he really is the one I’m going to marry?  Will that mean I can never date again? I will never be in another three-month relationship. I can never dump another guy and get a new one. I will actually have to commit to this one relationship for the rest of my life. Other women find this to be a relief in their lives, but I’m feeling jitters in my stomach. I’m not so sure I want this kind of commitment. Where will the excitement go? What if the fun ends? What If I’m tired of waking up with the same guy on my bed? What if he snores too loud and I can’t get rid of him because it’s his room and his bed too. What should I do then?

So when I look back on my short-lived relationships, I’m thinking that this may have been my mechanism for getting out of what could become a long-term commitment. Though the separations leave me upset, I normally bounce back in no time and regain excitement from the next new guy. Now, I realized, it was never the guys who were at fault, it was me all along. I have been undeniably feeding my own fears of commitment all these years. And I’m wondering will I do the same in this ecstatic new relationship I’m in?

Oops, I did it again

Three months exactly, and he didn’t see it coming. I gave him an ultimatum and now it’s over. Is it my fault? Well it usually is. I don’t know how my subconscious mind detects timeframes. What I do is make changes that the guy just cannot live up to and expect him to change himself. Is it that I think I should get whatever I want, whenever I want? Do I think I somehow possess superpowers, so that any frog from the pond will magically change into a prince? When will I get it? At twenty-seven years old, you’d think I would learn.

All these years I’ve been dating frogs and it seems I haven’t grasped any of the lessons. I replay the same dating situations over and over again. How could I expect John to suddenly sleep elsewhere when all along he sleeps in my home when he visits? Why do I think he is now going to spend his Sundays in church with me when Sunday is the only day he gets to sleep in? After he received the ultimatum he said, “It seems like I’m being punished for all the other guys”. He found it hard to adjust to a life with me; because it would mean that his life would have had to change. He already travelled over two hours to visit me, “how much more will I have to sacrifice?” he said. I don’t blame him. I can’t tell him that I’m going to marry him when I don’t know that. So, truthfully I think John made the right choice to stay in his comfort zone. Frogs like the pond, why would they move into a castle?

I want a prince, not a frog. Why then do I keep walking to the pond hoping to find a prince? If church is so important to me, for God’s sake why don’t I just pick a guy that already goes to church? If marrying an intelligent and educated man is so important to me, why do I keep picking the ignorant? The decision seems easy but I don’t often get the details about the guy’s life until the three month point, and that’s when I realized, he wasn’t the prince I thought he was. It’s not my intension to date frogs or to change them, it’s just that while hoping for a prince and thinking I found one, I realized, he’s nothing but a frog.

At three months though, I never cling to the frog when I realize that’s what he is. I throw them back in the pond and I move on. The mistake I make is that I always find a different pond to look. So it is my fault, not John’s. John was wonderful, better than any other guy I met. Sure there were a few things that I disliked, but all together he was ideal. My only requirement was that he needed to commit to God and commit to going to church. And knowing what I know about him, he would have gone to church with me and enjoyed it. But when you add the fact that he doesn’t live in the same country as I do and it was getting expensive to see me, choosing to be with me would just be too much. John wasn’t just a frog, he was closer to being a prince and although we ended it, I’m wondering if a divine presence could work things out, for I now know that I do not possess any superpowers.

When I do start searching again, I will use my own intelligence and do more of an in-depth examination of the man; to be sure he is not another frog. Now, I know my prince is not going to magically appear, I’m going to have to find him in a castle and not the usual ponds I like to frequent.

Highway Troubles, A look in the Spirit

There is a popular jargon which goes, “life is like a highway” but in the life of a Christian our spiritual life can also be contrasted to this saying. I taught myself how to drive on the highway but it came with many wrong turns, frustrations, and constant advice. I would have loved to have a personal navigator sitting in the passenger seat every time I needed to go somewhere; but would I have felt confident as fast as I did? I doubt it. In fact the first time I took the highway and made a wrong turn, late at night, I learned my lesson; or when I went in the Express lane when I shouldn’t have; I never made that mistake again. I was cautious when it came to signs and I was proactive. I commend myself greatly though, because there are many people out there that can drive but fear prevents them from taking the highway. Instead they drive the one hour instead of the thirty minutes it would typically take to get to their destinations.

On my first 20 trials on the highway, I had to get direction going to my destination and back. When I did not get direction and I thought I could do it on my own, I’ve found myself in countless places. There were times that I found myself headed towards the airport when my destination was work- and I don’t work at the airport. Most recently I was headed east of the city and I wanted to try taking the DVP (Don valleyParkway), but I went south instead; and found myself downtown. I arrived at my destination after two hours of travel!

What I’m alluding to is that the highway can be a really scary place and its worse when you’re not a risk taker. Tonight I fascinated myself because I was taking the Collector’s but then I read a sign that one lane was blocked so I decided to go into the Express Lane knowing that I should be able to get off easily at my exit. I later read a sign that the exit that I needed to take was closed and of course months ago I would have been crying because I would be going on a wild goose chase to get home. At the hour of 11pm I didn’t have time to roam the city when I needed to get to work early the following morning. Lucky me, I followed my heart and continued driving in the Express lane on the 401 W and found an exit that I had gotten lost on. I knew that road would take me home safely because I tried it before and it worked. I was not scared or worried because I knew what I was doing. I did not need to call anyone for direction advice because I knew the roads or the ropes.

Our spiritual life can be like that. While we’re new to the highway it comes with fear, challenges, and struggles. It’s a really scary place when you think of it. All kinds of scary vehicles are on the road with you and they all just want to get to their own destinations. The issue is that you have a specific destination and you have to know it. You can’t pick someone on the highway and follow behind them thinking that that person’s path will take you where you need to go.

At first when you start out you need advice to get you from point A to point B. But it’s amazing because after a while we grow up. We take the highway so many times that we understand how to plan our trip, when to go in which lane and at what time. We become savvy at paying closer attention to the signs because we realize that those signs actually are crucial in the journey. First you need to pay attention to those signs that dictates the road you turn on and so forth, but then there are other signs that tell me where the problems are and those are also important to follow. Construction can cause you to take a different lane.

God also gives us signs that we need to watch for. We’ve been in the Christian walk for a long time and as Paul says we are no longer babes that desire milk but we need to eat strong food. We can’t be depending on someone else for life’s directions, there are times when we need to mature and help ourselves. Be the big people we are. And we can’t be following someone else’s path because that is not our own. We also need to be quick with our decision making. The Christian life really is like a highway. When we overcome and pass every test and jump over every struggle we face, it is a joy and a testament. We are ready to do more for God, we’re wiser to help others, and better equip to get to heaven someday.

He says he wishes he was a Christian… (the counterargument)

He says he wishes he was a Christian… for the few benefits that comes with Christianity: “the feeling of belonging and being part of something bigger than (himself)”, and “because (he has) apparent riches waiting on (him) in the afterlife”. Or is he critizing Christianity because he only sees it from the outsider perspective looking in?

If I must begin to enlighten you about Christianity, it might be too complex for you to grasp. It entails having faith for starters. Faith, is a concept the bible defines as, “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). This alludes to the fact that no man can come to Christ lest he has faith. That is, faith to believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Messiah, died for our sins, went to hell to take the keys of death, so that death cannot hold us bondage, has risen from the dead, and will come again to save our souls. Sorry, that might be too much to grasp but that’s where Faith comes in.

The Second complicated aspect of Christianity is that, it is not about the carnal nature (that is the skin and bone, fleshy body) that you see in and around you; rather it’s about the Spirit. On this point, the bible says “those that are in the flesh cannot please God… and if you do not have the Spirit of Christ you are not of his” (Rom 8:8-9). In essence, you can’t let your carnal nature dictates and do those things you wish; such as “hav(ing) dirty sex with a hot girl or indulge in some recreational drugs or get drunk as a skunk”. Those things are not of God. While you may believe that blaming things on the devil is irresponsible, you have to believe that if it is not of God then it has to be of the devil.  Christians do not carelessly “blame the devil when (we) display aspects of (our) sociopathic and destructive nature”; but when we are tempted we know that, temptation does not come from God. 

“For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death”. (St James 1: 13-15)

The Third complex issue about Christianity pertains to the Spiritual war that is going on. Some say it is the war between good and evil. This war resulted in Lucipher (Satan) being kicked out of heaven and continues to reside on earth. Since then he has tempted both Adam and Eve by deceiving them. He did this by turning the truth into a lie. Lucipher continues to do this today. We are being deceived in our minds about all that God had said was true; which is causing God to be angry at us: “For the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness to men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom 1:18).

Romans 1:19- 23

“… what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,  because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools…”

As a result God has given them up to uncleanness, the lusts of their hearts, to dishonour their bodies, and vile passions, and even the women has exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Thus, if you understood the world of the spirit then you will understand that there is a war going on. This Spiritual war is happening in your mind, when we wrestle against good and evil every day.

However, as you state, you now understand the difference between “living and existing”, do you? While there is a difference between the above, there is also a difference in “living” and living for Christ. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own…and they will hear My voice” (John 10:14-16). So while you’re watching the other “little sheep follow the script” and living for Christ, why don’t you continue to “live”.

To conclude, as a Christian we also take responsibility of our lives, contrary to what you think. We acknowledge that it is not ours and that is why we need to live for Christ. We are the sheep and we know our Shepphard’s voice. So whenever He calls we learn how to pick up our crosses and follow him. We understand that our body is a living temple of God for the 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 states, “…do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s”. Therefore as Christians, our responsibility is to glorify God with our heart, our mind, and with our spirit.