Friday, August 25, 2006

Don't Quit

Author Unknown

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road your trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and its turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When they might have won, had they stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victors cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when your hardest hit,
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Essay: Finding the Rebelution

This is a school essay I wrote about finding the Rebelution.

""Changes ain't totally pleasant but they're excellent things," said Mr. James Harrison to Anne Shirley from L.M. Montgomery's fascinating Anne of the Green Gables Series.

I did not think so before. I disliked changes or anything else that would make my life - or even me - different. I wanted things to remain just the way they were. Apparently, it wasn't to be always that way.
Last February, I came across something that changed my life.

A "Rebelution"
I was browsing through one of the forums where I am a member, when I came across a strange name in a topic title that immediately caught my attention. I opened the topic thread and read its contents. There was a link to another webpage, and out of curiosity, I decided to click on it, and found myself in The Rebelution.

What is The Rebelution? It is "a widespread teenage rebellion against the low expectations of an ungodly culture". Its battle cry is to "Do Hard Things."
The Rebelution was started by Alex and Brett Harris, godly, young men devoted to serving the Lord in His ministry through the internet and beyond.

A Change
Simply clicking on that link changed my life. I learned to look within myself, and I saw the person whom I really was. I had never done that before. I had never looked at my life and my actions or ever wondered about myself before.
I saw the things I needed to change to become a better person. Within myself, I saw the selfish desires that had kept me from serving God wholly. I saw the faults that had hindered me from serving others. I saw the pride that had kept me from admitting that I was wrong and the impatience that had kept me from trusting God concerning my future. Within myself, I saw the "weight" that was keeping me from running my race freely, and I saw that I had to change.

How can we correct our mistakes if we refuse to change our opinions? How can we push back the obstacles in our paths if we will just turn back, discouraged? How can we strive for excellence if we will not correct our faults and look for a way to strengthen out weaknesses? How can we make any difference in this world if we will not change our lives?

It wasn't altogether pleasant, and the change was not immediate. It took long hours - days of thinking, and meditating on God's word. I had to pass through the fires of purging and refining where I was rebuked of my past thoughts, actions, and judgments. There, I confessed to God of my wrong ways and asked Him to change my heart and my life. It wasn't pleasant, but it changed me and made me a better person.

A Challenge
Until I came across The Rebelution, I had never ventured out of my "comfort zone" where I had grown used to serving God. I had never accepted the challenges that looked too difficult. I enjoyed things just the way they were. Until then, I had never fully surrendered my life to God.
My comfort zone was a 'place' where everything was just the way I wanted it to be; a condition where I didn't have to make extra effort to do something difficult. A state where I could sit back, relax, and enjoy myself.
Before, I did not want to step out because I was afraid of failing the challenge and failing in my service to God. It was some time before I realized that no matter how many times I fail the people around me, God will never consider me a "failure", and I can always trust Him to give me the strength and courage to get up and go on.
Coming across The Rebelution brought about a challenge to look deep within myself and see the person whom I really was, and what was in my heart. It also brought about the challenge of stepping outside of my comfort zone. It wasn't easy, but looking to God for help, I stepped forward, away from the easy, relaxed life that I was used to living.
Outside my comfort zone, I found that I could serve God more wholly, and use all my talents unreservedly for Him. Outside my comfort zone, I learned to lean on God for strength, instead of leaning on the small pleasures of this world for comfort. Outside of my comfort zone, I learned to "Do Hard Things."
"Why bother to do hard things?" people always ask. "Why can't you just do the things that you enjoy the most?"
For me, doing hard things meant doing the things I had never done before, the things I considered "too difficult", such as serving with a glad heart, looking for a way to learn from my mistakes, obeying wholeheartedly the voice of God. For me, it meant taking action and living more like Jesus.

Without doing hard things, there would be nothing to challenge us to become better people. Without doing hard things, there would be nothing to exert our efforts on to mold our character for the better.

A Call
After visiting The Rebelution, I thought, "Now what?" I felt that I couldn't just sit still after that. I felt as if God was calling me to do something.
My friend and I created Godly Ladies in Training as an answer to God's Call. Ablaze with the Fire of The Rebelution, we decided to create a joint Blog where we could write all about our spiritual journey and the lessons God taught us as we went through life, such as modesty concerning dress.

Why do I want to be a "Rebelutionary"? It is because I want to take a stand in what I believe is right in the sight of God.

A Purpose
I had wandered unconsciously into the website of The Rebelution, and the next thing I knew it had changed my life. It was an experience that I never regretted because it made me a better person. It was a stepping stone that helped me see the things I never saw before. It was a journey that taught me an important lesson that I shall never forget.
I've learned a lot, and I'm still learning, through God's grace.

I don't believe that it was "by chance" that I came upon the thread and decided to click on the link out of boredom. No, I believe that God led me there for a purpose.
I've made a commitment to spread The Rebelution in the East, starting with my country, the Philippines. It's not that easy - teenagers these days would rather "go with the flow" than go against it. That way, they would blend with the crowd and not be labeled as "odd" or "weird." Teenagers aren't that open to changes that would make them different.
Progress is slow. Culture is demanding. Teenagers don't really care. I won't give up though. I'll stand firm on what I believe, and with God's help, we'll start a Rebelution.