Emotions, Emotions…

Just finished Zettai Kareshi (the “Absolute Boyfriend” drama).  For the record, I totally called the ending of the series way in the beginning.  Actually, I got pretty emotional near the end–maybe as emotional as I was the entire series of Densha Otoko (that says a lot).  Still, I kept getting frustrated because the whole thing could have been avoided if Riiko would have only used her brain a little bit in the beginning.  He’s a robot.  Duh!…  I feel so sorry for Soushi.  I’m surprised that he didn’t hit the road after he found out Night was a robot (that’d have been waaaaay too awkward for me– a robot?  seriously…).  And Soushi’s ex-girlfriend, ooooh, don’t even get me started on that–that reminds me.  I also just realized, since I’m starting Densha Otoko over but w/o subtitles, the girl who plays Soushi’s ex-girlfriend is one of Hermes’ friends that you see in the first episode of Densha Otoko.  And Hermes herself  is a friend who works with Yankumi in Gokusen.  And Yankumi, along with the head teacher from Gokusen, is in Trick.  Oh yeah, and then you know Night from Zettai Kareshi?  Well, he’s Hermes’ older brother in Densha Otoko.  Weird, eh?  It’s a small, dramatic world after all…Okay, I’m done now…The whole point of that was just to tell you that these J-dramas are really starting to take their toll on my emotional life.  

Okay, besides that, I’ve also told you recently that I’ve been a bit emotional lately because of letting go of French.  Well, Thursday  (two days from now) is my final.  Wish me luck.  And that reminds me.  When I was watching Zettai Kareshi, there’s a part where a French chef comes up and starts talking to them them.  But after a little bit, a voice over comes on to translate into Japanese.  Talk about messing with someone’s mind.  My brain didn’t know which way it was going.  Since I could understand the French and a lot of the Japanese, I honestly couldn’t tell which language was “happening” for like 10 seconds.  Weirdest sensation EVER.  In the past, the french/nihongo mixture has messed with me a bit, too.  I used to say stuff like 。。。Xがbesoin。。。

So, basically, that was a huge digression just so that I could tell you that this emotional state in which I’ve been in addition to end of semester madness has been messing with my motivation.  

Yeah, here’s the part where I start talking about stuff that relates to my faith (or religion, as some people like to call it).  If you’re not really a Christian or you don’t have that much knowledge about this stuff, you may just end up getting confused since this kind of deals with my motivation for studying Japanese.  

Here goes.  I was recently having a discussion with a mature Christian whom I trust and respect very, very much.  If this person ever reads this blog, I hope this person isn’t offended by what I am about to say.  We were talking about the upcoming winter break.  I have a few weeks off between semesters (I’m gonna Kanji it up, baby!), and this person has off for several weeks from work.  This person (let’s call this person “he”) said he was excited because would be able to get a lot done (around the house and with another great project which he is working on for our church).  I agreed with him and said that I was excited too because I would finally be able to get a lot done too (with Japanese)

This is where it got messy.  He said “Yeah, but that’s different…”  He went on to say that I have to be careful of those types of things because if they “take over your entire life” then they’re not of God.  After that, he shared a story about something similar, but that’s the gist of it.  

Whoa.  Time out.  I was really shaken by what he said.  After thinking about it for a while, I’m going to have to respectfully disagree.

Here’s what I think.  I’m not just studying Japanese for peanuts and giggles and because I like learning languages (confession: I really do like learning language(s), though; I wish I could know like 500…).  I actually have prayed about learning acquiring Japanese for a (relatively) long time.  I still pray about it.  I’m almost positive that God wants me to learn Japanese at this point in time.  

However, in addition to looking to the future, I believe that the most important thing for any believer is to be faithful wherever the believer is right now.  Right now.  We live in the now.  We have to be faithful, right now.  Our lives and attitudes aren’t going to magically change sometime in the future when we get into that “one ministry.”  Want to hear a secret?  Everybody already has a ministry.  You’re ministry is being faithful where you are now.  I’m not saying this is where you’ll be for the rest of your life, but you’ve got to be faithful right here.  

The first part of being faithful right now is being faithful in your relationship with God.  This means meaningful prayer (at the very least) and, hopefully, reading your Bible everyday.  This also means that sin has got to go.  After all that, the second part of being faithful right here is dealing faithfully with the people around you.  

Anyways, where I’m going with all this is that I’ve been working hard on this “faithfulness where I am now” thing in addition to looking to the future for a while now.  I don’t want to say I’ve got it all down pat because there’s always room for improvement, but I’m finally at the p0int where I’m sort of consistent and making progress.    I believe a part of this faithfulness, for me, is learning Japanese.  However, this faithfulness, I guess, still implies things like church, family, and friends.  I’m working on that.  Though the jobs that I have in our church are small, I try to be as faithful as I can.  I spend a reasonable amount of time with family and friends.  

This person, when it comes right down to it,  seemed to have a problem with the fact that this Japanese project is cutting into the spending time with family and friends bit.  I have several things to say about that.  

First, I do spend a reasonable amount of time with them.  I eat meals with my family.  Now that the holidays are coming/here, I spend time with them for that stuff.  Sometimes I watch a movie with them (even in English!  Though I did get my little brother to watch the Death Note movies with me the other day…).  Still, the fact that I’m often secluded at my computer because I’m doing Japanese bothers them.  (BTW, about that. Some people have a problem with me being at my computer a lot.  For the record, people, I’m really not just surfing the web aimlessly.  I have a purpose and good reason in EVERYTHING I do on the Internet.  It’s not a mindless monster that’s stealing my life, it’s a tool.  Noobs…)

Secondly, are they giving this project (which I have prayed about) the same amount of respect as other projects that I have? How about college?  College is a great example because A) it concerns learning, just like the Japanese project, and B) it’s important because I have prayed about it and am confident that God wants me doing it (I even questioned the whole “going to college” bit before I made that decision because I thought God couldn’t use it and it was a waste of time and money–apparently, after a bit/a lot of prayer, I was wrong).  College is more than a full-time job (especially now, at the end of the semester).   They don’t question the hours and hours and hours and hours and hours I’ve spent doing school stuff instead of wasting time in front of the TV with them (though they actually do sometimes, and that bothers me too…).  They don’t question college because it’s a socially accepted institution and many other reasons.

Basically, don’t be hatin’ ‘cuz my project (language learning acquiring) takes a lot of time when it’s done well.  If the fact that it takes up a lot of time means it has “taken over my life” and is a sin, then things like college would, in fact, be a sin.  Work would be a sin.  Nope.  I can’t agree with that.  And anyways, since it’s language that I’m learning, I can use it to maintain these other important projects that I’m supposedly “neglecting” right now like my relationship with God.  I can (or will be able to) do things like read my bible and pray in Japanese…

Therefore, Back.  The.  Sesame.  Street.  Off.  

And I mean that in the most respectful way.

So, that ended up being really long.  And it felt kind of out of place.  I hope it didn’t sound hateful because it wasn’t meant to be.  I just had to share my feelings on the matter.  There I go with that feelings crap again, lol…Oh yeah, and don’t get the feeling that I’m one of those “God told me X, so it’s my way or the highway!” people.  I’m not.  I’m not asking for your blessing.  I’m not even asking for your agreement.  I’m just asking you not to judge me because of a decision I made when I took a step of faith.

Like I said, that was way too long, lol.  For real this time.  End of rant.

Hmm, let’s see…Other random updates…

Pretty exciting: I’ve just passed the 700 mark with Kanji.  Not as much progress as I’d like, but I’m still pretty happy.  I’ll get more (if not the rest) done over break.

 

700 Kanji!  RARRRRR...

700 Kanji! RARRRRR...

 My Japanese progress is pretty good I guess.  I’ve learned lots of random words, phrases, sounds, and other things, and I’m understanding more and more all the time.  I think once I finish all the series that I’m going through right now (j-dramas) I’m going to officially turn the English subtitles OFF.  Kinda scary, but it had to happen sooner or later.  This also means that I’m going to have to get some more Japanese movies and stuff on DVDs (that excludes ALL J-dramas on DVD since those are all, without question, 250$ or more).  My first planned movie is the Japanese dub of Matrix.  I’m pretty excited.  And since you’ve suffered till the end of this ridiculously long post, I’ll reward you with this awesome link: do it.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    2nihon said,

    Want to hear a secret? Everybody already has a ministry. You’re ministry is being faithful where you are now. I’m not saying this is where you’ll be for the rest of your life, but you’ve got to be faithful right here.

    Amen. That’s awesome. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    I’ve heard someone’s relationship with Christ described as a ‘bathroom relationship’: nobody can do it except you. Nobody knows what you’ve heard from God except you. In the Bible, God had His people do all sorts of things that seemed weird at the time. March around the city seven times? What a waste of time! Wash in the river Jordan? Bah! Couldn’t be bothered. Show myself to the priests? Stupid hick preacher. And on and on.

    I can’t speak to whether you have heard from God or haven’t–that’s something that you have to know inside. I do know that if you ‘know that you know that you know’ that God has said something, then no matter what, you’ve got to stick with it like a bulldog on a piece of meat: ‘nobody’s taking this away from me, bucko’.

    There will be a reward for all of this, even the tiniest bit of obedience on our parts, and not just in learning Japanese. There will always be a reward. It might not come now. Heck, it might not come until the World to Come. But obedience to God will always, I repeat, ALWAYS be rewarded. It doesn’t matter how successful we look in the world’s eyes. If we hear ‘well done, good and faithful servant’ in everything we do here on earth, if we have that peace and confidence through the Holy Spirit that we’re doing what’s right, then we will end up finishing well. I think C.S. Lewis said something like, “I’d rather hear Jesus say ‘well done’ than ‘well…'” I want to finish well.

    I am slowly learning to ignore people who mean well but don’t understand.

    One other thing I just remembered, and I’ll give the pulpit back, I promise. Chances are, if we don’t know what our purpose is, we’re going to waste a lot of time in our lives on things like watching TV, playing video games, and so forth. If we hook up with our calling, or something that we know has to do with our calling, such as, in our cases, learning Japanese, then we will start to focus the unoccupied time wisely. Sure, I spend several hours a day on Japanese, between kanji reps and adding new kanji. But what else would I do? Surf Myspace? Youtube? Blogs? Play Solitaire? I’ve tried living an empty life before. It sucks. Once I hooked up with Japanese, something ‘clicked’. I knew, and know, that this is right. This means something. It fits with who I am, and by golly, there’s nobody who’s going to take that away from me.

    God bless you, man.

  2. 2

    igordesu said,

    No, man. Go bless YOU. OMGosh. That was like the most encouraging thing ever. That seriously made my day. Like, I don’t even know. I couldn’t thank you enough.

    Yeah, on the “God told me this/wants me to do this” thing. I agree with you. I don’t wanna sound like one of those people who are 100% positive God told them to do something b/c when/if stuff falls apart for those people, it’s kind of a bad witness. That’s why I just take it all on faith. I really do believe it’s God’s will. But…I don’t think I’ll be 100% sure in the reasonably near future, so I just took a step of faith.

    And I totally get the “life with a purpose/calling” thing. Now, I couldn’t imagine ever going back to spending my days aimlessly pursuing weird/time-consuming hobbies like video games, Facebook, stupid movies/tv shows with my family, etc. It really is empty. Even without Japanese, I don’t know if I could ever go back to that.

    Man, I don’t wanna sound sappy or anything, but that was so encouraging. Thank you so much!


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