Hi! My name is Victor and this is my first GWBlog post, in which I will be briefly introducing myself and my interests.
I recently graduated from Princeton as a biology major and am currently in the midst of the medical school application process. Like a young middle-school boy, I easily get distracted by whatever is going on around me and have a wide variety of interests, whether travelling, trying new foods, or spending time outdoors.
For me, seeing the world through the lens of the gospel has meant exploring and considering how the gospel appears in the little things in my life. Maybe it’s because committing to delving too far into a single topic sometimes makes my head hurt, but I like thinking about a wide range of topics relating to my life and examining how the given situation in my life is touched by and changes because of the gospel. I am very interested in trying to find ways that my daily experiences relate to my faith walk.
For example, I truly believe that it was not simply through hard work and luck that I recently finished my medical school secondary applications in a timely manner. For the past three weeks, while being on a mission trip in Taiwan, I was writing tens of essays and consequently got very little sleep on most days. It was definitely through God’s grace that I had so much energy during these two weeks. One of the students I was working with commented that their first impression of me was that I always had so much energy. Maybe the milk tea in Taiwan was extra caffeinated, or the kids were just that fun. But regardless, I believe that it was truly God’s grace that I had the energy that I did given how little I was sleeping.
Recently something that has been pressing on my heart, especially as I tried to explain to medical schools (in my applications) why they would want me as a future student, is that I can never be enough.
I am constantly reminded about how I am not enough. Not smart enough, not good-looking enough, not [fill in any positive adjective] enough… Being on the swim team at Princeton, I was constantly reminded of how I wasn’t fast enough, not strong enough, etc. With friends, I’m not nice enough, not patient enough, not understanding enough. As I worked on my medical school applications, I realized that my grades could be higher, I could have published some papers, I could be a more eloquent writer, I could be more insightful and have a more interesting life. As a Christian I wonder why I still get so nervous and anxious in the face of adversity even though I believe in God. The list goes on…
But I am encouraged that God loves me for who I am and that if my identity is rooted in Christ, I am enough because my identity is rooted in something far greater than me. Christ never changes and thus if my identity is rooted in Him, I have nothing to fear. Of course, this is much easier to have as head knowledge than to actually believe wholeheartedly and live out.
I was recently very encouraged by this verse:
Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
-1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Despite our weaknesses, God makes us enough.
On a somewhat related note, I think in our quest to try to be enough, we also try to change ourselves to become something other than what has God has created us to be. We try to conform ourselves to being happier, funnier, more outgoing, smarter, etc. (or maybe we try to adjust our personas in the other direction). But recently I was encouraged as I watched Pixar’s Inside Out (a film about how our emotions work inside our heads…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kArxASiw3Y). For some brief background, Joy (the yellow colored “emotion” character) and Sadness (the blue colored “emotion” character) are two of the emotions that inhabit the mind of the main character Riley (the middle-school girl in the trailer). I was touched as I watched the film and realized, with Joy, why Sadness was a critical component of the main character Riley’s mind. Sadness was just different, not better or worse than Joy, and I think so often we are tempted to think of ourselves as not enough because we focus on who we are compared to others. But really we’re just different from those around us, not necessarily better or worse. I believe that God has created us to be enough with a very unique, important role in His plan and that we just need to find out what that role is.
I’d really encourage you to dig deep and look at where the foundation of your identity lies. Can you say it’s wholly based in Christ? Ask the hard questions. What’s the worst that can happen because you aren’t enough in this way or that way? Will God still be there with you even if you utterly fail? Like it will be for you I’m sure, I am only slowly understanding what it means to have my identity fully rooted in Christ.
As you can see, my thoughts sometimes wander as I try to incorporate too many different parts of my life into a single post. Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your thoughts!