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Monthly Archives: October 2008

This will be a short one — I think. My sister texted me ((Don’t you find it peculiar that a lot of the up-and-comings communicate through text? It can be so cold in that fashion, but when seen in a different lense it can be so vivacious.)) that my parents decided to put Kay, the oldest dog in our family — maybe some 16 odd human years old — to sleep. She had suffered from a stroke this past morning, and it seems that my parents thought it best to let Kay go.

There’s an uncanny coincidence here. Early in the second semester of my senior year, my dog — my loyal pug, Muffy — fell victim to what we supposed to be a coyote. Furthermore, she was on her back in a Wisconsin winter for an entire night. The afternoon before she died, when I was coming home from school, I remember walking into the patio and watching both Kay and Muffy run over to me like they hadn’t seen anyone all day (and they really hadn’t). I remember looking at Muffy because there was something different in her stare; taking that into consideration, as well as the fact that I hadn’t had quality time with her for the entire week, I flirted with the idea of having her sleep with me for the night.

As the evening dragged on, that idea slipped my mind, and instead of my snoozing on my bed, Muffy rested — literally and eternally — outside. Sometimes I wish I had brought her in, but I think I know that it really doesn’t matter. There’s no sense in toying with what-ifs.

Her death was the first death I had ever experienced on a personal level. I see that as God’s way of easing me into dealing with death. In my pursuit for a career in medicine, I had better learn how to deal with death. Now with the death of two dogs — two dogs who I literally grew up with — I feel like I’m ready to deal with human death. If someone very close to me had died before Muffy and Kay, I think I would have become psychologically insecure.

I said before that there was a coincidence in Muffy’s and Kay’s deaths; before each passed away, I had a small urge to want to be with them. Earlier this week I was thinking about Kay and how blessed I was to have her in my life. I wanted to bring her onto my bed, pet her, and just think. I wanted to do that this weekend.

My sister texted me right before orchestra rehearsal began. When I read the words, my heart sank the slightest measurement. The impact of death bounced, and I’m predicting that it will continue to bounce, right off of me. Generally, I find that a good quality. I don’t mean to say that I have no emotion or sympathy for when someone passes away. I only mean to say that death doesn’t seem to wreck me — not the slightest bit; at least, it doesn’t initially.

Now on a brighter note, I’m aiming my next blog to be one of hope and inspiration. In a nutshell, I’ll be presenting the last project I ever completed in high school. Let me share this verse as it seems to capture the idea of this post, and projects some insight of my next post.

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us . . . Romans 5:3-5

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I brought this up at either lunch or dinner the other day: People don’t realize how special their teeth are.

Think about it. The only demographic that MIGHT be able to be excluded are those with their baby teeth. They still possess the opportunity for another tooth after losing their first baby tooth. Now those with adult teeth — permanent teeth — should pamper their mouths.

Brush twice a day, and, from what I’ve recently learned, 10 minutes after you’ve consumed food. ((Seven out of 10 dentists . . .)) Don’t eat too much candy, even though it is quite delectable. Take care of your teeth.

Isn’t that a really shocking thought? I’m on my last set of teeth — ever! If I lose one to disease or to a basketball from my blind side I will be without an authentic tooth for the rest of my life. I don’t believe in any of that cosmetic stuff either. If I lose a tooth, I’ll make like Michael Strahan. ((Michael Strahan, recently retired defensive end of the New York Giants had a gap between his top two incisors.))

On an aside, I’ve started reading, and I’m halfway through after two nights, ((On the first night I was 3/4 of the 1/2 way through.)) “The Shack”. It’s a theological narrative, and it’s so good. I’ll write about it after I’ve finished reading.

Prayer, to me, has been one of those things that are sketchy. It is supposed to be an activity with a divine characteristic. Despite that, I viewed prayer as merely putting us into a mindset, and practicing our relationship with God; I never experienced the divine or spiritual part of prayer. On a small aside, I suppose you can view my experience with prayer as a testament to the idea that what we know is more than just what we’re taught, but also what we experience.

I had never experienced the divine nature of prayer. There were many times, and I’m sure there will continue to be many more, that I had prayed in asking, and what I had asked for had not been answered in the fashion I wanted or was expecting. ((It should be clarified that prayer isn’t asking for things. That is a child’s form of Christianity, if one may even call that a form of Christianity. Prayer is an intimate time and reflection with God.)) Let me share the one profound experience I’ve had with prayer.

When I started college, I was worried for my spiritual life. I made it a purpose to integrate my faith into my daily life: The cliche says, “Use it or lose it,” and I didn’t want to lose it at all.

During freshman orientation, I quickly became involved in InterVarsity, a Christian fellowship group. In addition to IV (InterVarsity) I attended the affiliated freshman Bible study. Prior to this Bible study, I had never been in a Bible study before. These studies can be very tantalizing, but I suppose my fervid interest in theology skews the objectiveness of my opinion.

I brought up the statement that I felt like I was failing spiritually. I hadn’t been to church in the longest time, and the fellowship with other Christians didn’t seem to do much for me. ((When in fact the reality is that we gain more when we give more. Jill Briscoe wrote a revealing and little book about a story of a little pot of oil from 2 Kings in the Bible.)) So I brought up my “failure” and asked if my Bible study would pray that I regain my “spiritual fitness”.

The most amazing thing is that the prayer worked. Write me off right here as a lunatic — that’s what I would have done prior to this experience. How can words possibly do anything? ((Words are very powerful, but I meant this sentence in the context, “How can words directly alter future events?” Even in that rephrasing, words still can alter events in the future.)) They did, though! They did!

The night of that prayer I naturally slipped into my quiet time with God. It was just like my quiet times during high school — right before bedtime, and I would spend at least an hour or more just focused on God. It wasn’t premeditated at all. It just happened.

This was a very powerful experience. Prayer is a very powerful tool. Imagine if every Christian could pray authentically and everyday — maybe even every hour of the day! Imagine how much the world could be changed through prayer. Now I don’t mean to rely on prayer as the sole means for solutions. That is a fool’s and a lazy lard’s hope. God didn’t craft us with a brain and limbs to sit around and pray all day. We have prayer, but we can also be pro-active.

I meant to make more of this post — especially on the effectiveness of prayer, and jointly the skepticism of it. I suppose prayer is one of those things where you have to experience it. People could give testimonies on their own experiences for ages, and one could still remain a skeptic in concern to prayer.

It is a most exhilarating feeling to stay awake for most of the night, and yet still feel so energized for a greater part of the day. What work a cup — 20 ounces! — of coffee does! I didn’t wake immediately, though I was expecting too. Rather, it was like peeling open a door into a room filled with surprise; it was a gradual, but confident awakening. The coffee, this time with a substantial amount of French Vanilla creamer, kept me on my toes until maybe around 1:00 p.m.

Now, I was still awake, but my hands began to tremble. It was like Saving Private Ryan; I watched my hand shake on its own. It was like body was detached from mentality; physically I was exhausted, but mentally I was pumping calcium ions.

I don’t think I really crashed. My day ended at 2 a.m. after my roomie and I talked.

In the future, I don’t know if I’ll ever drink coffee again. The entire day I felt like I was someone else. I don’t know if caffeine does that to you, but I think it is safe for me to account my differences to coffee. It works wonders to keep me awake, but I’m not sure I like many of the other side effects.

I’d talk about how I felt I was different, but that is too much analysing for me. ((Do you like how I spelled analysing with an “s”? I absolutely love it. It’s so textbook.))

Maybe next time I just won’t get the hypercaffeniated blend.