I Am Not My Past – The First Reflection of 2013 (Part 1 of 2)

First of all, I would like to say “Happy New Year!” for everyone who read this essay. This is my first actual writing after I went through a process I call “completion of repentance” – which I will explain in the further paragraphs. This completion itself – which God planned and made done for me – encouraged and made me to think more about Christianity as it confirmed what I suspected to be my fate: apologetic, theologian, author and servant of God.
When I started to write this, I had a feeling I was a bit too late to reflect. I was indifferent with what I had accomplished, what I had failed and what I would like to be in 2013. I also have to say that these last three days had been hard times. I became my past-self again; someone who is bitter, reckless of the environment, full of hatred and do sins, a glutton who wants to fill the void in his heart, etc. The repentance I had had was like a passing breeze. I was apathetic to God.
But, thanks to Lord Jesus, again, I was awakened in the right time. As my predecessor C. S. Lewis said, “Faith disappeared only to return stronger.”, so is my faith now. But this can’t be used as an excuse so that I can fall again; this time, my faith has to prevail until my death. And I realized that this reflection was not too late. I was right in the place to return to my present-self. There will be no “Why didn’t I realize this earlier” question for He always makes a great timing for everything and everything has a reason that sometimes only God knows.
So, I recounted 2012 as the greatest year – so far – of my life. Lord did not only complete my repentance and tell me about my fate; He also evolved me to be what and who I am now. He has taught me a lot than I could ever imagine through lots of falls I encountered in 2012. I met new friends, became a better person in Him, participated in a lot of competitions and wrote many great essays and stories. But the most glorious of all – thanks to Him – I met lots of greatest moments of happiness I couldn’t find if not in Him.
Despite all of that, I was not very successful at all. As I had predicted, I failed in romance, competitions, school, social life, and most importantly, faith. As I have said before, I slipped of the path of Light a lot of times during 2012. Here are how it went.
January started as a milestone for me. I had repented before in 2nd November 2011, so I decided to try to live my life as a full Christian completely. My parents haven’t known of my repentance that time, thus I couldn’t fulfill that resolution until last December, when I joined youth commission in GKY PIK. In that month, I had to accept my rank as the 2nd in my class with Evan as the 1st for the first semester. I also went to my first high-school competition, representing my school for Tarumanegara University’s math competition. I failed in the elimination round and Evan – who was appointed to – proceeded to the quarter-final.
You might think that I was not grateful and that I had everything. No, I didn’t. I didn’t achieve anything. I only tried to satisfy my thirst of glory and top-rank. I strived that far only to receive nothing, because – as I’ve written in the previous essay of debate reflection – my target was to glorify myself, not God. As a result, that month I already defected from Lord Jesus; I failed Him in that very moment.
This fortunately, didn’t continue longer. I reflected and returned to Him. However, the lonely nights and memories of old life began to haunt me. Yet, I ignored them and continued in Him.
February and March elapsed, until I finally received Times Bookstore’s 100,000 Rupiah voucher from The Student Globe for my review of Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist”. I also published an article of four temperaments in the newspaper as one of the student reporter. So, basically, my writing had got some acknowledgements from the experts. My mid-term report was also satisfying, hence the two months passed without any defect and with glory for God.
April came, and I faced another competition. This time, it was Olimpiade Sains Nasional (OSN) / National Science Olympiad. Of course, math was my subject of the competition. Evan and my teammate in Tarumanegara’s competition – who is also my senior – Kenny joined me as the three students to go to North Jakarta’s selection in 6th of April. I managed to answer 11 of 20 essay questions, 5 of them being logical combinatorics. Other events I noted are my passage to high fantasy through Christopher Paolini’s Brisingr, my resignation letter as a student reporter and IPEKA’s Easters church service where the whole IPEKA senior high school were remembered about the deathly sin of adultery and lust.
But, the event I remembered the most is when Lord Jesus Christ let me to proceed to province’s level of OSN as one of the big 125. It was after a study tour to Trans Studio Bandung, which I didn’t enjoy very much. During the waiting time for announcement, I surrendered myself to Lord Jesus Christ. It’s up to Him. I didn’t care if I proceed or fail. I have done my best, I have been to the Olympiad, and that alone have satisfied me. That news of proceeding surprised me a lot!
That very Monday, I started my training at SMAN 3 Setiabudi in South Jakarta. I was very grateful that I couldn’t stop praising God. This laud was emphasized when I ranked 46th in province’s first elimination and I proceeded to another two weeks training in the same place, which took place two weeks after the announcement.
May came, with the final exams week of grade 10 in its very end. But, thanks to my status as a province-level OSN competitor, I didn’t have to attend the first half of the exams due to my training’s completion and OSN’s national selection. However, I incurred some losses to, because I technically didn’t finish some of the lessons.
I would have to say that I couldn’t remember the events during June, July and August chronologically, so I would just write what I remember. My last rank in grade 10 was 2nd but I was not really upset with that position because I was one of a pair of grade 10 students who proceeded to province’s last selection in their sophomore year and first attendance in OSN.
My old sin clutched its fingers over me, but Lord helped me to get free from it in just two days. I began grade 11-science in a new spirit because I am in the same class with my best friends. I confessed to a girl I liked, which of course failed. That prompted me to make an oath that I would never get involved in any romance until I am 18. Of course, I still had affection for that girl, but I never really confess to any girl I like anymore. I scored a straight streak of 100 in math about five or six times until the end of semester.
September began with a debate competition. My school’s debate prodigy, Winsen, moved to Bina Bangsa School in PIK and I was chosen to be his replacement in Binus debate competition with William Liman and my senior Nathania. It was ironic, considering that I strived to be part of the team for Student Globe’s competition when I was a SG’s ambassador. That didn’t stop me to be grateful, for once again Lord Jesus has shown His kindness and let me to compete in this prestigious competition.
We competed in five rounds which were held in two days. I tried my best to fill Winsen’s position as the third speaker, but we lost four of five rounds. I couldn’t accept defeats easily, even though I knew I was a first-timer. So, I struggled until Ms. Yessica – the English teacher and debate competition coordinator – promised me and William another competition. However, I unintentionally kept the struggle in my heart and survived my days until I could release it. This was the umpteenth time I defected from God. I didn’t realize this until the time came because I only defected in my philosophy in competitions and it didn’t really affect my life.
October arrived, and I was surprised by my homeroom’s teacher’s announcement: when our class gets the turn, I have to be a worship leader in a school’s worship service that month. Of course this appointment triggered disagreement from most of my classmates. This hassle happened because I speak too fast, I stutter a lot and I am inexperienced. In spite of my classmates’ protest, my teacher chose me anyway.
Aviyani – my worship leader partner – and I devised the chronology and materials for the speech. We asked the theme to religion study teacher, picked songs, practiced, etc. At first, I was not too panicky because we would only lead the worship for grade 11 only. When the amount grew to grade 10 and grade 11, and finally straight three generations of the school, I felt like fainting. The first time I spoke publicly, and in front of about 300 people!
Yet, I decided to be a worship leader anyway. I am not a quitter and it was time for me to accept my fear and speak confidently in front of people. Aviyani decided that it would be the best for both of us if I took the sharing part before Word of God was brought by the preacher, so I began researching of what I would say in front of that great amount. Contemplating has been one of my specialties – prior to my mentality’s early adolescence when I was 13 – so I chose to be honest and told the people of this decision from the perspective of spirituality and theology.
The day arrived, and the theme was “the spiritual armor” taken from Ephesians 6:10-20. I was very unlucky that day, because I was the only one who had to wear a microphone in my ear, not the handheld one. That gave me an impression that I was a professional speaker when I was about to embarrass myself in front of the whole school. Aviyani and I also had to use a school table as our podium because the real podium was not used by the headmaster when he gave a seminar for parents before. That gave us a tiny countenance compared to the attendant of the service, which made a bit scary. I was like facing a tidal wave back then.
When it was my time to give my sharing, I silently regretted my early adolescence because I was like preaching back then. However, I tried my best to keep my sharing away from the limits I considered would make my speech a sermon. I confessed that I was not ready and unintentionally joked. I told the people that this decision of mine to not back down was based on my faith that if I tried my best in God, I would never fail. This was linked to the shield of faith, one of spiritual armor mentioned in Ephesians. After that service, some teachers and friends complimented me that despite of my still-fast talking, the material was good. I was grateful of that.

(continue to part 2) – http://wp.me/p2xKsV-4G

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