2010

I know it is not New Years yet, but this is not a year in review post (I will save that for later). This is about the affect the this season in life has had on me. It just happens that this season correlates nicely with the calendar year.

Some of the biggest changes are from my girlfriend. She has taught me so much. A major thing is feminism. Guys, we are sexist. We don’t do it on purpose, it just happens. As I have grown closer to a girl I have learned about this embedded sexism. Also, I have drifted slightly from my absolute scientific worldview to add some more gray areas, but this change is only partially due to her.

Massah also changed me, so much it reshaped who I am at the core. How much? So much that I feel like people who don’t know much about Massah don’t know much about me (or at least the most current me). Massah taught me about God, people, myself, and the world. It reshaped my worldview. I learned how much God has gone through and how much He loves me and all of humanity. No post will do justice to this revelation (but I might try someday soon). I learned about my teammates, and how people interact. I also learned about cultures and how we all have our own culture. I knew this before, but on this trip I learned how much of ourselves really is from our culture. I learned how to stay true to myself while living in another culture. A major outcome of this “culture shock” was the hit to my absolutes. I found out that many of my absolutes were cultural absolutes, they are things defined as absolute by my culture and are not necessarily true in other cultures. This shook me to the core. But sadly the most violent shock was returning home. I left the place of new found knowledge and had to live in this change back at home. But home was no longer home. It was not what I left and I was not the one who left. Lets just say entering back into society was hard (especially school life). For instance it took months to be OK eating off a wet plate or cup or to put toilet paper in the toilet.

Also, friends have influenced me for the better and worse this last semester. Some have challenged me to be better. Some have taken time and emotional energy. I have learned what I need to do to keep myself going strong. I have learned who really knows me and wants me to be doing my best. With my friends its hard to say specifically what I have learned, cause each time I am with them I come out slightly changed.

This has been an interesting time of growth. I am still slowly realizing what all happened.

Pulga

This summer I traveled to  a little village in Northern India called Pulga. I was there to share stories with the Israeli travelers. You may ask why go to India to meet Israelis, but after the mandatory military service many Israelis travel. A popular spot is India, and a Kasol and the Parvati Valley are popular summer spots for druggies. So me and some friends went to one of those villages in that valley, Pulga.

We were all Jews who believed that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. And this came up often since spirituality is a popular topic among these travelers.

Also Pulga is right next to a forest that is nicknamed “The Fairy Forest.” It is set off limits as the home of a Hindu God, but many travelers go do acid. And on these acid trips they see fairies, but oddly enough they all see the same fairies. I don’t trust these fairies.

While there I felt oppressed and I just wanted to curl up and stop existing. It was a brilliant place, but I did not want to tell people about my story and what God has done for me. I felt attacked. Yet by the end, we were friends with everyone there and everyone know who we were and what we believed. I still keep in touch with them on Facebook. I will say that even though I felt horrible, I was never crushed and the story of what God has done in my life was told.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. – 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 (NIV)