Personal Confessions

I have never lived this life before.
For most of my life, I was somewhat of an underachiever who never failed to get the phrase "bright but lazy" on the teacher's remarks column of my report card every year. I thought of myself a rebel who refused to be judged under the norms and criteria of established society. Sure, even then I was opinionated and equally verbose, but I'd rather have died than compromise my perspectives, dance to the tune of the graders for a good grade. I didn't want anyone to judge me by the numbers on a page, be they red or blue.
These past two years at Arizona have been somewhat of a new life. For once in my life I did not have to tone down my opinions or fear asking questions. Unlike the "you don't need to know at your level" answers I got from teachers in Singapore, the professors here have been more than happy to see that a student expressed interest in their field of study. It was such a liberating experience, much like soaring, I would imagine. It was such a high.
Unbeknownst (gotta love the word) to myself, the whole rat race began to get to me. I often reminded myself that it was not the object of education. I believed that I had it all under control, yet somewhere deep inside I knew I had betrayed all those who were like myself in my youth. I had sold out and gone the other way. Some deep part of me focused on getting the grade, getting the grade, getting the grade. My sense of self-worth began to be tied to academic success and the fruit of pride began to blossom in my life. I didn't like where I was headed.
During these few nights of final exams I found it hard to sleep. I wasn't consciously obsessed with grades, but obtaining those good grades have never come down to this fine a line in my four semesters here, and it all hung on how I did at the finals. I tossed and turned about in bed, my mind prancing about like a racehorse on steroids. Website layouts, things to pack, people to meet….whatever material my mind could attach itself to it did. I knew that I had become something I had dreaded. I had become a drone to the system. I had become someone who was more concerned with what people and society thought of me than what God thought of me.
I knelt down to pray last night. I needed Him so much. I needed to be saved from the latent pride that was building inside of me. Like my previous entry a few days ago I pleaded "more holiness give me, more strivings within". I wanted His assessment of me to matter more than anything this world could throw at me. I wanted to get my priorities straight. I wanted to be able to see clearly again.
Today I stare at the chance that I might get four less than satisfactory grades out of five. I am relieved, not that the burden of accomplishment has been lifted from me, but that I feel like myself again.
I have learnt a lot from this whole struggle within myself. Despite my inner reluctance, God has removed what I treasured, and gave in exchange more of Himself. I have never been more fulfilled. I can only stare in amazement and whisper my thanks.
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