Tonight, I could not help but reflect on the past 25 years of my life. There used to be a season when I lived high; almost always – in reality and in spirituality.
In June 26, 2011 (age 20), I wrote this:
“I desire to live a righteous life before God and men, and to grow in wisdom and in the daily meditation of His Word; to be a strongman, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to break down strongholds and to preach The Gospel; to have Jesus Christ live His life through me.”
And in May 26, 2013 (age 22):
“I desire to live a life worthy of the Lord Jesus Christ – increasingly, day by day, from glory to glory – in His strength, according to His Word and by the power of His Spirit.”
In those days, when I had those desires, it would almost seem like I had it all:
- Finances for my Education – I wanted to pursue a career in teaching at a College level.
- Finances for my Transportation – Insurance and Maintenance of my 2009 Infiniti G37, 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 400, 2012 Honda Civic. I also had the opportunity to travel to different parts of North America.
- Freedom of Personal Space – A house at Hillcroft Street for personal use and in preparation for marriage.
- Finances for Food – Freely experiencing a lavish food experience on a regular basis.
- Finances for Clothes – Freely experiencing updated fashion trends and sporting well-known brands on a regular basis.
- Finances for Gadgets – Ownership and enjoyment of world-renowned technological devices (Apple, Sony and Microsoft Products).
- Prestige – Regular experiences of Luxury, whether in association (Infiniti Group) or in possession (Louis Vuitton Luggages).
- Ministerial Position in Church – Freely serving in the Ministry as Head Musician, 2nd Service Pastoral Coordinator, and National Youth Leader in the Eastern Canada Region, as well as, in the Eastern America Region.
- Physique – Physical training on a regular basis for strength and stamina.
- Time – The luxury of time to accomplish what I wanted (hobbies) and all else I deemed necessary (Biblical Studies)
- and many more (Gretsch and Fender Guitars, etc).
Now, in March 21, 2016 (age 25), I genuinely feel that I have lost it all:
- I am struggling to pay off my Educational Expenses for the General Arts and Science Health Preparation Program that I am currently in and for my necessary books.
- Although the 2009 Infiniti G37 is “mine”, I cannot use it because I do not have the finances to insure and maintain it. I also made a really bad decision of selling my Kawasaki Ninja 400 so I could go to Rome, Italy, and take part in a nonsense Youth Conference that did not preach The Gospel, but rather, planted seeds of hatred for other churches to its participants. I also sold my 2012 Honda Civic to my sister, one that I am still paying the monthly fees to, even though it is no longer mine – and unfortunately, I could not even pay the $306.71 lease payment for the Civic for this month.
- My Father now lives with my wife and I. I am very much blessed with a wife who had been so understanding about my familial situation, and agreed to help me take care of my dad who needed to be separated from my mom and sister because of violent behavioural concerns, and mainly, because my mom simply did not have the capacity to cope with my dad’s evolving violent behaviour. Because of this, I have decided to look after my dad full-time and quit my merchandiser and pharmacy assistant position at Shopper’s Drug Mart. My source of income comes from my mom, as I take care of my dad. It is mostly frustrating to live with my dad because he makes the loudest noises when my wife and I are trying to get some sleep, as well as, his addiction to coffee and food, drives him to take ahold of them even in the middle of the night, causing a disruption in our rest on a daily basis. Also, after telling my mom that, maybe, with all her time and finances, she should have learned and studied to cope with my dad’s behaviour for the past 14 years instead of spending all her time and effort on building up possessions and a position in the church. This has caused her to be wrathful towards all of us – me, my wife, and my sister.
- I also do not have the finances to spend for Food – Thank God my wife has a job and she could afford to buy food for us. It is also helpful that my dad lives with us so we could, from time to time, use his finances to purchase groceries for the three of us.
- I also do not have the finances to spend for Clothes – Just this week, my wife insisted that she buys me a new pair of shoes Aldo because my Zara Red Wings have holes at the rear bottom. She had to insist, because I am aware in my mind, that I simply could not afford to buy a new pair of shoes.
- I no longer have the Finances to maintain my Gadgets – it was a couple of months ago that I decided I could no longer keep my iPhone 5 because of the DATA Plan, so I opted for an ancient Blackberry-like phone without Data (I still almost cannot afford the $39.95/month fee).
- Nowadays, I could only dream of experiencing luxury when I visit the BMW Dealership when I bring my wife’s Mini Cooper for maintenance and service.
- Since January of this year, God has placed me to play a small role of being the lead guitarist in the Young Adult’s Ministry at Calvary Baptist Church for the Thursday Night Bible League. I, sometimes, get to have the opportunity of playing the guitar in a congregational setting during Discipling Communities on Sunday nights.
- Because I am now pursuing a career as a pharmacist, I have been very focused on achieving excellent grades. This has caused me to lose a lot of sleep, leading to months without any physical exercise. I have been loosing weight and have lost my good physique over this period of studies.
- I no longer have time – not even time to clean and tidy the house up. I always seem to be running out of time with all that I do; I no longer enjoy life, and have lost motivation to keep going.
- I really feel that I have lost it all. (this is definitely an over exaggeration because my life is definitely not as bad as it seems; it definitely shows that I have been so disgustingly attached to the things of this world, and separation from those things proved to be very painful in my experience.)
Reflecting on my life now is definitely a depressing ordeal, and I am aware this is not all that I have lost – there are many other things that I have not mentioned in the lists.
In all of this – in the chaos of all that is going on in my mind, and in the series of all these unfortunate events – I still remember and know one thing to be true. In fact, I am convinced that it is one of the main things, and it is this:
The LORD is faithful;
He has forever demonstrated his faithfulness towards me IN CHRIST.
I am very downcast in these very moments that I write this. The reason why I feel this way must be very obvious – my treasure is not found IN Christ, but in the world. I grieve over the many things that I have lost, and the future that I thought I could have.
Still, somehow, I have some faith to believe that this could be the beginning of God teaching me a very fundamental, ‘hard truth’:
To have Christ is to lose everything, He then becomes my everything.
My only hope in these circumstances is Christ alone.