Tag Archives: Religion

Pressure

I was given a book over the course of my summer in Brasil. A very, very important book. A book that if you were to simply read the cover, it could change your entire philosophy about life. It was one of the best birthday presents that I have ever received.

Ostra Feliz não Faz Pérola. Happy Oysters don’t Make Pearls.

To the friend that gave me this book, I sincerely thank you. The title of this book alone changed the way that I look at my daily life, my mission field, my approach to my classes and my work, and the way I view human trial, suffering, and tribulation.

A comfort zone, a routine, a feeling of contentment. None of these things inspire change. None of them long for something more. They are utopian in the since that change is not seen as necessary. They are sickening and broken things in that they make you buy into that philosophy– that everything is as it should be.

Everything is not as it should be. Ever.

Pressure, suffering, trial, tribulation. These are the things that inspire revival, an awakening, a long for change, a need for something different, something better. All of these things are so misunderstood by so many people because they are seen as unnecessary. Why suffer? Why are we put through tests and trials and tribulations?

It’s because you shouldn’t be content with where you are. It’s because you shouldn’t be so set in your routine. It’s because you are trapped in your comfort zone with the idea that change is a bad thing.

The oyster. A simple, underwater, ocean-dweller. An animal that creates one of the most sought after products in the world. One of the most beautiful accessories that anyone can obtain; a pearl. The oyster gets ahold of one grain of sand and begins to crunch, crush, and painfully exercise that grain of sand until it becomes a beautiful, valuable pearl. All the while, the oyster is in pain. That oyster is not happy, is not content, is not free of pain until his work is complete, and what a wonderful, beautiful product results from that struggle.

It is not in times of comfort and ease that we as human beings create our most prized possessions. They are works of labor, tests of strength, endurance, and will. An artist slaves over his paintings for hours, days, weeks, months, sometimes even years, before he is happy with his final work. He becomes a slave to his work because he is pouring everything he has into that work. It is a labor of love. It is in these times, with these attitudes, that masterpieces are created.

It is only by pain and suffering that the oyster is able to create his pearl, his masterpiece. It is only under great pressure and with much time that a diamond can be formed in the earth.

Pressure, pain, and suffering inspire greatness. Comfort, routine, and contentment with one’s current position do not.

How will you react to your next test? Your next tribulation? The next time you are under pressure? The next time you suffer greatly for something you love?

Be the oyster. Go make a pearl. Next time you’re under pressure, be determined to come out on the other side with a diamond that you can be proud of. Be the change, aspire to greatness, and inspire others along the way.

Now go find some sand to crunch on.

 

Also, if you’re interested in reading the book that I mentioned, Ostra Feliz não Faz Pérola || Happy Oysters don’t Make Pearls, the author is Rubem Alves. He’s a Brasilian author and Presbyterian theologian. A truly brilliant man. To the best of my knowledge, the book is available in English. Go check it out!

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I Made It…

Alright so… it’s been a while since I’ve posted. In my opinion, it’s been entirely too long, and I apologize for that.

Today is my last day of class of my junior year of college. I finished at 2:40pm after turning in my last Portuguese 430 test. DONE. But not finished… I am so close to ending this semester that it hurts to think I haven’t quite gotten there yet. There are still papers to write, projects to do, presentations to finalize, etc. It’s a busy time, no doubt, but I still hold myself to this blog. From now on, I should be posting more!

The past four and a half months of my life have been pure mayhem. To say the least. Classes have (nearly) killed me, I’ve made some friends, lost a lot of people I thought were friends, and got played like an old 8-track for four and a half months by a girl I genuinely had feelings for (Highly uncommon for me– the feelings part). I’ve written a lot, I’ve read a lot, and I’ve learned even more.

Note: I hope she’s reading this right now. That would really be a kicker, wouldn’t it?

PLOT TWIST

It’s hard to put a finger on “The hardest *insert time period here* of your life,” but for me, I can honestly say that this has been one of the hardest years starting out of my entire life. There was loss, gain, failure, success– all in the extreme, and I’m grateful for all of it. That, however, does not mean I enjoyed it all while it was happening or even after the fact. Today, I can sit at my desk and type this and honestly admit that I am physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted from this semester.

The balancing act that has been my semester has affected me greatly, but one thing remains the same– my drive for Brasil.

I’m about a month and a half away from being back in the country that I refer to as meu lar. My home. I’m going back to Brasil to spread the Good Word. I’ll be there until mid-August, teaching, playing sports, interacting with the children in the community, and working and living on a farm. I couldn’t be more blessed or excited to have the opportunity to return to the most beautiful country on Earth.

What I find most incredible about my passion for Brasil is that it is unwavering in every way. Through all my changes in interests as a child, teenager, and young adult, I have always had a passion and interest in Brasil. Not only has it not gone away or faded into the background, it continues to grow. Daily. That excites me.

Losing friends, being led on, and dealing with school creates a lot of ups and downs– Brasil was never one of those ups or downs. It is a rising consistency in my life and becoming a true possibility for after I graduate. I have no doubt that I will be able to, and will, live there after I graduate from college. There is not a doubt in my mind. That brings peace to me.

I attribute that peace and unwavering nature of my interest in Brasil to God. It could be nothing but God. Unwavering. Unchanging. Ever-Inspiring. That is my God. This passion for the Portuguese language, for Brasilian culture, its people, its music, its food, even its futebol (SANTOS)– it all comes from God– I fully believe that. How exciting.

As this semester comes to its close, I hope you, my readers, have something to find peace in. That you have something to rest in– and I hope that something is God and the passion, the Calling that God has given you. We all have our own Calling, don’t be afraid to go find yours. It’s an exciting thing.

Changing Gears…

I haven’t had much time to work on custom mini-cars of late, but I have at least sanded down my 240Z casting, and I’ve also picked up multiple castings (Including a Toyota 2000GT!) to customize over the summer, so keep a look out for updates on Mini-Cars!

As far as Fly Fishing goes, I started this blog in January… so not much has happened in that arena, but in mid-May I’ll be headed out to Damascus, Virginia to spend some time in the waters of southwestern Virginia on the head end of Trail Days! Extra exciting! So please, check back often for updates, and keep reading!