Live. By Faith.

Dearest Reader,

Growing up in a Christian family, I have learnt countless of lessons about life. I have learnt to be gracious, to be kind, to live, and to live by faith. However, over the years, the latter two seemed counter productive. To live means to have an absolute vision and desire to achieve something, while to live by faith means to put your trust in the God who is in control of all things – good and bad. To me, I wanted to find a balance – if there is one – so that I can both live a life that is desirable to me, while also keeping my Christian faith intact.

This is a fallible perspective.

Over the years, I have been through what I can honestly call an interesting life. I will admit that it hasn’t been ‘difficult’, compared to that of people who live in worse conditions as I, but it has proven to feel like I’m always emotionally under tension, from the world’s expectation of me, my family’s expectation for me, and my own expectations for myself. Under these expectations, I have always felt like I was always late, always a late bloomer, and I desire to be in a position where I know I am capable of standing on my own two feet and call myself independent. My family has raised me to be great, and I feel like I am yet to achieve this standard. I felt like I needed to ‘live’ more and ‘live by faith’ less as I find my way to establishing myself.

Given my recent graduation from my first masters, and not liking the prospects of the field, and my most recent heartbreak, I realised that I am not as ‘far’ into life as most people would give me credit for. Though I have been working while I was studying, have been professional twice, and have quite a significant knowledge about the complexities of the healthcare system, when I encounter people and inform them that I am back to studying, their initial reaction is to respond with a sense of “you’re not an adult yet” – as if indicating that to become mature, to be the adult that people respect means to be earning money, regardless of whether that be $10,000 a year through to $100,000 a year. It’s infuriating.

Added to this, when in the prospects of relationships, people do not appreciate what I know and what I am striving for, but rather look at the immediate stability of the financial means. They want the ‘fun’ associated with being able to splurge in whatever they deem necessary. People don’t see the intangibles – the care, the knowledge, the passion – a person has, they just see the money. And to me, that’s fine now, as I know that those kinds of people are people who I know I shouldn’t meddle with.

This, then, given my situation, begs the ultimate question: Is there a way to live so that I achieve what I want to achieve, and live by faith so that I also make sure I understand that God is still in control? Yes. It’s simple. Combine them. Live faithfully. Live in such a way that you understand where you want to go and how you feel you’re going to get there. But, in doing so also understand that no matter how much energy you put into that vision, the road to that goal may change and, sometimes, prevent you from getting there – and that is okay. Adaptability, I feel, is the best quality a person can ever have. It allows them to adapt to change, whether that be minor or catastrophic, and flourish in that new environment.

Given it is 2017, I’d like to ask you two simple questions. The first: Have you got a vision for your life this year? And the second: Can you adapt to another vision if that vision doesn’t come to fruition?

-D.V.

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