It has been about 1/4 a year since I published my second novel The Wolf of Class 1D and I have reached the nerve-wracking, yet exciting time of hearing feedback from those who have read it. The most common feedback I hear is questions about my use of the fourth dimension. Where did I come up with the idea? How does it work? How extensive is it?
Seeing as I was fairly limited in how detailed my explanation could be within the book (because even with me cutting out most of it, my base explanation still ended up being the longest chapter!) I decided to write a post to better explain the full extent of my dimensional theory for those fellow lore lovers out there who want to get a thorough explanation of how the world of The Wolf of Class 1D works!
Some Base Disclaimers:
- I am a Christian. Anyone who knows me or follows this blog should be very aware of that. Because of this, Dimensional Theory is very much inspired by my faith and beliefs. Asking me to come up with a scientific/logical theory without God would be like asking me to write a fictional novel without my imagination. I just can’t do it!
- Dimensional Theory; while interesting and arguably very applicable, is still just a theory. It was a concept I came up with trying to explain the things I saw in this world which I couldn’t explain, and then I expanded upon and made more fantastical to become the plot point of The Wolf of Class 1D. While I believe the theory holds a lot of merit, and can help people understand this world better; it is ONLY a theory. There is no research or scientific evidence to back it up. I would argue that due to the very nature of the theory it may be impossible to prove or disprove, but it was just a potential conclusion formed from several decades worth of observations and should be taken as such.
With those two disclaimers out of the way; Let’s begin!
What Are Dimensions?
Dimensional Theory can be a daunting theory at first because it talks about things “Beyond our existence”. If it were a concept easy to wrap your head around, quantum physics would most likely be considered a primary course as opposed to PHD worthy.
That being said; I strongly believe that theories like these are more like a magic trick than a laborious task. While first attempting to wrap your head around the concept seems impossible, once you learn the trick behind the concept, it becomes fairly simple. Even moreso the more you use it!
A Basic Breakdown:
In The Wolf of Class 1D I described the concept of dimensions something like this:
Let’s say you had two worlds. One world is two-dimensional, the other is three-dimensional. If you were to take a cube (or any object) from the three-dimensional world, and place it on top of the two-dimensional world, the two dimensional world would clearly see and interact with the cube, however they could not see ALL of the cube. They would just see a square. A shadow of what the whole item may be.
In the same way with all dimensions; each dimension is connected to and influenced by the dimension above it, yet cannot fully see all there is to that dimension as it is beyond it. There are times it may see more or less of that dimension, or even a warped version of it based on how the two interact (imagine a cube on it’s edge or corner vs a cube on it’s face) but at the same time, the two are interconnected and not separate.
Now if you’re still following with me; That’s great! The rest of this shouldn’t be too much of a jump! If you’re a bit confused… Keep hanging on; it might make sense as you see it in play.
The First Dimension — Information:
In math; the first dimension would be a dot or a line (depending on who your math teacher was… personally I agree more with the line) There is only one way it goes. Often described as left or right, there is no up and down.
In the same way, in Dimensional Theory, the first dimension is information. Just pure data. While this may be counter cultural to our fact-based culture; if you study statistics it makes a lot more sense.
Data on its own is pretty useless. It can be misinterpreted. It overlooks a lot of inexplicable things. In writing and drama you learn that text makes up about 10% of communication. Context (what led up to this) makes up about 27% and the rest… is subtext (What isn’t said but is felt). It is the same reason why one can so easily find loopholes for laws, but morals are a touch more durable.
For these reasons, information achieves the position as the lowest of all dimensions. But that doesn’t make it useless! No! Information is all around us. It’s a part of everything. Information is essential! But on it’s own it is not enough.
The Second Dimension — Imagination:
If the first dimension is information, the second dimension would have to be imagination. And no… I am not saying this as the bias of a speculative fiction writer, though indeed, imagination is a huge part of my life. I say this because imagination is not limited to what information is found. In fact, often times, imagination can lead to the discovery of new information. Just as a lot of information can inspire a new bent on imagination. *cough cough* says the guy who wrote a book inspired by counselling and quantum physics
That being said, imagination is limited to the second dimension as… in all honesty, reality has stuff that imagination can’t come close to. While your imagination can often seem more extreme than reality or even with less conflicts and issues… this imperfect reality still seems to blow you away in ways you never though possible!
You can imagine all you want about standing at the edge of a giant cliff; hundreds of thousands of feet in the air…. but it won’t come close to the awe of standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon, or the precipice of Mount Everest. You can imagine the perfect match for you and fantasize the wildest things that aren’t even humanly possible with them… but it won’t impact your heart to the extent of that imperfect real world love of yours trying to impress you.
In fact; the most impactful works of fiction are often the ones that draw from things we have really experienced. To remind us of them instead of forcing us to imagine something we cannot comprehend.
The Third Dimension — Physical Space:
Next we come to the third dimension; the physical world. These are the things we can see, touch, hear, taste, smell. The things our five senses pick up on. Our physical bodies are tied to this world. Matter is tied to this world. This world is impacted by energy. Physics exist as we know it. Majority of science is made from observations which have been turned into information from this third dimension. Majority of theories and fiction are inspired by the information gathered from this world.
If my third dimension body were to punch your third dimension body would you not feel pain? If my third dimension body were to massage or heal your third dimension body, would you not feel comfort? Our third dimensional bodies secrete chemicals which affect how we feel. How distracted we will be. All the information gathered from our five senses take place here. All our physical limitations also take place here. This is the third dimension. The place all should be most familiar with. There is really not much more to say than that.
The Difficulty Spike:
Finally we reach the point where it starts to get complicated. When I was younger I came up with a theory I called “Laws of Reality” inspired by the “Deeper Magic” talked about in C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. This theory were simply a list of rules that had nothing to do with what SHOULD be or what COULD be…. they were simply laws that HAD to be for anything to make sense. These rules included things such as;
- You cannot have light without darkness, for darkness is simply the absence of light.
- You cannot have good without evil as evil is simply the absence or warping of good
- A choice without consequences is meaningless
- Sentience without free will is a torturous existence
- There must be absolute truth because even saying “There is NO absolute truth” would be an absolute truth
And of course, most relevant to this theory:
- Something cannot fully understand or create something equal to or greater than itself.
This is why we struggle to understand the human brain. This is why who we are is such a philosophical question. This is why purpose and theology seem so abstract. This is why AI, though faster, is still so incredibly far from human reasoning. And most importantly, this is why you shouldn’t feel bad if the dimensions to come don’t make perfect sense… they aren’t supposed to. They are supposed to be beyond us.
The Fourth Dimension — Us:
In The Wolf of Class 1D, the fourth dimension was described as the place where our personalities and emotions truly were. Separate from, yet tied to our physical bodies. This was why you can have such an impact on someone’s thoughts and emotions without even physically making contact with them, such as in a text, a memory, or even this blog post.
“Sticks and Stones may break my bones but Words Will Never Hurt Me!”
We all know this isn’t true… the fourth dimension is why. Call it your spirit, your soul, your identity, whatever you want… but there is something in humans that goes beyond body and mind…. as most people seem to (even if begrudgingly) agree to.
While maybe not as fantastical as The Wolf of Class 1D where the fourth dimensional selves of people gave them animal ears, amazing powers, or even turned them into giant monsters… there was a point I wanted to get across with the exaggerations in the story.
First: Though who we are at our core remains; our fourth dimensional selves do change!
As we grow in confidence. As we understand who we are and what we can do. As the events which take place in our lives impact us deeply. As we choose to hold onto or let go of events which happen to us… our fourth dimensional self changes. We either grow or shrink. We either become empowering or destructive. But we WILL change.
Second: How you react to events in your life IS important!
Life is tough… Life is cruel… Life can often teach us the furthest extents of despair… but even still, we need to keep moving. I say this not just so you will be less of a burden, but also for your own sake!
When events negatively impact us… we are given three choices.
First we can hold onto it. Let it fester and boil within us. Refuse to let go. We’ll never forgive and we’ll never forget! This then turns that event into a trigger… a stumbling block. It grows within us, filling us with fear, pride, rage, or more…. We begin to lose sight of the things around us, and it slowly begins to warp us as we do things we never intended to do. We become someone we never intended to be.
Second option is to bury it. Ignore it. Attempt to pretend it never happened. Again… this is a dangerous choice. Because it did happen. You can’t change the past by ignoring it. It did happen, and no matter how much you ignore it that pain will still be there. And as more pains come and you bury them, it will get tighter and tighter in there. You’ll become ashamed of your life… of who you are… you’ll expend so much energy attempting to keep all the hurts in your life hidden and you’ll learn nothing from them… until one day… finally… something small will come… something you never even thought to guard against…. it will come in under your radar, and it will hit you hard. It will hit you so that all the hurts you kept buried will come flying out at whoever hurt you… and then you will be the one who caused pain. And believe me, you don’t want that.
Third option finally is to accept it. Accept that the pain hurt. Accept that it was wrong. Cry your eyes out. Admit you can barely handle it. There is no shame in feeling weak. Anyone who tells you that is most likely trying too hard to hide their own weakness. Accept, mourn, and then move forward. Don’t try to pretend that what happened never happened… it did. Use it. Learn from it. Let it turn you into someone more sympathetic. Someone who can better help those around you. Someone who can create a place of comfort and healing in this world.
You will never save this world by destroying the things in it. You will only save it by building in it!
Third: There are no monsters and saints. We are all human.
I watch the news after a tragedy, and I hear words people use. “They were a monster.” “They weren’t even human.” “Such a demon.”
We post the most hideous photos we can find about them and treat them as something other than human…. but all we are really doing is covering up what we don’t want to accept.
Anyone could do that…
As mentioned in The Wolf of Class 1D, If you don’t deal with the issues in your life. If you hold onto hurts, lusts, negative things in general… even if you do so for the best of reasons such as justice… you will find yourself beginning to change.
Chances are you won’t notice the change as it is slow and as was stated in the book, “There is no one harder to clearly see than yourself.” But you will change… and slowly turn into what you never wanted to be.
The first victim of a monster is always the monster…. I truly believe this. People don’t go out into this world in an attempt to be evil. That level of ludicrousy is limited to the black mustached villains of children’s shows. Everyone lives their lives doing what is justifiable in their own eyes. Doing something horrendous to someone is as easy as telling yourself “They aren’t like me… They aren’t even human! They gave up/never had that right!”
Which leads us back to how we view those who do wrong… or those we disagree with in general… and why our hatred of them can often turn us into what we hate the most.
We are ALL just human. ANYONE can become a monster.
While this thought is terrifying in itself… realize the reverse is also true.
We are ALL just human. NO ONE is beyond redemption.
The consequences of your actions will remain. As mentioned earlier. You will have to live with those consequences for the rest of your life. But YOU are still redeemable. As I said at the first point. Though our fourth dimensional selves change, the core of who we are still remains the same. It may get buried. It may get tortured. It may get bound, beaten, or bruised. But the core of who you are… your identity… it’s still there. It’s why you can see someone years later to have discovered they became someone completely different from who you ever thought they would be…. but they are still them… you still recognize them.
Shed off the parts of yourself you shouldn’t be. Build up the parts that you should!
I went long on the fourth dimension; partially because it is what The Wolf of Class 1D is based on, but also because I believe it is an important concept to consider.
“Who Are We?” This question may sound silly and childish to ask up front… but how many of our world issues spring from this?
- What is my identity?
- Are our personalities decided by our chemical breakdown? Our choices? Something else?
- When is a human a human?
- Does race matter?
- Does beliefs raise or lower your value?
- What about the mentally disabled?
- What makes someone “human”?
We ask these questions daily… our news stations are saturated with them. Thousands of causes are started about them. The question people want to know is…. “What am I?”
The Fifth Dimension — Angels and Demons:
The fifth and sixth dimensions are two I often speculate on the order of. That being said, I place them in the fifth dimension due to a few things I noticed in the bible.
A lot of people describe “a god” as simply a being of immense power… This is a definition I choose to disagree with. If a god was simply a being of more power than humans could have or comprehend; there would be many gods… in fact, some humans would probably be considered gods in their own right.
That being said, while I disagree that beings of more power are all it takes to be gods…. I do believe there are beings of more power than humans out there. The bible speaks a lot about them.
- That God created angels
- That some angels rebelled and became demons
- That angels were often used as messengers of God
- That there is a spiritual war of angels and demons happening at all times around us even though we (usually) cannot see it
- That when humans met angels, they fell down in awe and worship because they were greater than they could comprehend (though the angels in turn desperately begged them not to worship them when they were so low and unworthy of prayer)
- That demons would offer power, miraculous signs and wonders, things that no human could do, but in turn the human would begin to lose themselves to the demons
- That there is a deep attraction in humans to both angels and demons which make them dangerous to think too much about or pay too much attention to lest we end up worshiping them and not the God who made them.
I believe the best way I heard to describe it was that “God wants a relationship with you because God loves you. The Devil wants a relationship with you… because God loves you…” in other words. The Devil and demons don’t care one way or the other about you… He just wants to destroy what is precious to God.
So that is why I place Angels and Demons above humans… but why do I place them below the next dimension? *Spoilers* the next dimension is time!
The Sixth Dimension — Time:
Current quantum physics places the physical realm and time within the same plane. (AKA the fabric of spacetime) I stretch them apart in order to fit our personalities and Angels and Demons between the two for two reasons.
- Neither who we are, nor angels and demons seem to be tied nor fully perceivable by our third dimension senses. While there are senses which do seem capable of noticing these dimensions. Empathy and intuition for the 4th dimension. Faith and spiritual awareness for the 5th) There is still so much which seems completely undetectable in the third dimension save for the impact they have on it.
- While both who we are and angels and demons seem to be in a realm above the third dimension; they both seem to be (temporarily) bound to the realm of time. The Bible does talk about after the end of the physical world, the demons will be cast into the pit for all eternity, and the souls of those who ask to be saved will spend eternity in glory… While this suggests that both are capable of being outside of time… it also suggests that we WILL get there (hinting we are currently bound to time)….
This being said…. Time is two dimensions above us! It is hard to fully understand!
A lot of people spend most of their lives arguing about predestination, fate, free will, and more… but the best way I can describe how I view time is like this:
The Bible states that God is “OUTSIDE” of time, and quantum physics as well suggest that time has form, which would mean there would need to be an outside to it. But what would “Outside” of time look like?
Imagine if you were looking at a comic strip, or an old fashioned film reel. You are OUTSIDE the realm of time for that comic. You can see what is coming. In the case of reality (or the artist) you can add things to the story to make things easier when the time comes that the event will happen. You see the ending, but the characters are still the ones who decide what will be done.
This is abstract… very abstract I know, yet it’s a kind of joke most of us have grown up on. Such as the Looney Toons episodes where the artist would interact with the characters. Take some time to think about it. I’m not saying this IS the way, for how could I possibly even fully understand it??? But it’s a method I’ve yet to prove wrong… and I think it would explain a lot. When you’re ready it’s time to move onto the next dimension.
The Seventh Dimension — Good and Evil:
“Angels are good and Demons are bad!” ….Okay… but why?
“Charity is good, and murder is bad!” …..Ya… but again why?
“I feel like this is good, and I feel like this is bad!” ….Still… why?
Why are some things good and some things bad? Because we feel like they’re good or bad? But what intuitively is in there to tell us that this is good and this is bad? Because society tells us this is good and this is bad? Society has corrupted itself, fallen down, then returned to old values countless times in the last 7000 years. Why does the cycle repeat? Why do we keep returning to the same values? Why do we keep falling for the same pitfalls?
It’s not about what we feel, because let’s admit it. Being bad can feel really good! It’s not about society, because society changes based on the values we strive for (for better or for worse). It’s not about religion, because someone still had to write that religion, and if everyone disagreed with it it wouldn’t have stood the test of time. It’s not about what’s efficient, because let’s admit it. There are many inhumane things which are VERY efficient!
Good and evil just… are. They’re concepts we seem to constantly return to. They’re concepts we don’t even need to fully be taught about. A child will instinctively know to hide what they did, before even being told it was wrong. They may not understand why, but they know they can’t tell anyone about it.
Now of course there are things that we have put into place. Things in the first dimension of information. Rules, laws, taboos… I’m not talking about those however. I’m talking about the things that remain. The things that still keep coming back. Because as you read history you realize, we really haven’t done anything new. The values we held were held long before. The radical causes we fight for have been fought for before. Technology may change, languages may change, cultures may change… yet the core argument of good and evil remains the same. Why?
The ???Eighth??? Dimension — God:
I put “Eighth” surrounded in question marks as the number here does not matter. If I were to add more dimensions later on, this number would change it. What it really is, is the top dimension.
I mentioned earlier that I did not believe a god was simply a being of great power. To me a god is simply this.
God is what determines what is right and what is wrong.
Now you may notice from this example that I underlined “is”. I am not talking about “God is what you use to determine what YOU believe to be right or what is wrong.” Though that WOULD be what YOU consider to be your God.
There are many things we place as the god of our lives. Science, celebrities, our own intuition, the government, luck, civil rights, tumblr…. It does not matter what you say your religion is or is not…. whatever you feel is your purpose in life is your belief. Whatever decides what is good and what is evil in your life is your god.
But that being said; I had just mentioned in the seventh dimension that what IS good and evil is completely separate from our beliefs. We may cannot change reality by wishing it to be so. We can not keep things from happening by ignoring them. What is, is. If God is the one who determines what is right and what wrong; who could create such rules?
A power-hungry mad deity who demands people worship Him or else He will smite them? No wait… that can’t be it. Because those would be rules and laws… not what is right and wrong in itself.
What is right and what is wrong go beyond rules and punishments. Rules and punishments are made to keep us doing right and prevent us from doing wrong. A rule is a warning sign, a punishment is a fine. But should you do what is wrong you will face more than a fine. You will face the consequences of your actions in how they affect everything around you!
So who can determine such things? Who can determine how something is supposed to run in order to avoid it from breaking or causing damage? Who can intuitively know what the optimal conditions are? And how to get you back to them when you’ve run so far away?
The only one who could know a creation that well through and through, is the creator. God. The one above all things.
Thank You For Listening!
I know this spiel was long, abstract, and possibly confusing at times; but I hope I explained it in a way that made you consider what I was saying. It is not my place in life to tell you to think one way or the other; and as I said at the beginning, this is only a theory. I have no proof or research to show that it is true. But if I caused you to think… to consider things you never would have otherwise and honestly ponder the world as you viewed it… I would consider this post a success.
If you found this concept interesting, and would like to read a fantastical adventure with such concepts visualized; I would like to invite you to read my latest book, The Wolf of Class 1D. It is available in E-Book and Paperback as well as available on Amazon, Nook, Ibooks, and several other places around the world!
It was a very deep book for me to write, and I would like for it to one day help encourage others just like it did for me.
Again, thank you for listening to my ramble and rant. I hope it was good for you. I hope you have an amazing day and know you are important. Your choices matter, and you have impact. Keep being the amazing person you are!
M.D. Tolman ~Mac~
It’s been over 5.5 months since I injured both my legs, and I still have over a month to go before my appointment which will take me (potentially only one step) closer towards finding out if I’ve really had Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or not (which the more I research it, the more I’m surprised of, if nothing else, how many people have lived through surprisingly similar stuff as me) and there has honestly been a lot that I’ve learned. Some positive, some negative, but all of which can be used to either make you grow kinder or harder hearted.
- It’s Surprising What You Can be Secretly Confident/Proud Of:
I have never considered myself to have that strong of an upper body, (though a lot of people apparently thought I did since I’m short and stocky…) but I had always been proud of my leg strength. They honestly always felt like they were made of solid iron. I could leap several feet away with a flick of my ankle, I could jump off walls, my sense of balance was pretty awesome, and mixed with a quick reaction time, there wasn’t much I felt I couldn’t do with them.
Ever since the injury however, walking on them has felt like they were being supported by bones of shattered glass. They randomly start shaking and give out on me. I tip over, or roll my ankle quite often, and quite honestly, merely stomping, jumping, jogging, or bracing myself feels like a series of tiny fractures popping all the way up my leg at once.
Where once my legs were the force I could rely on, their strength now pales in comparison to my upper body strength… and I’m not gonna lie, that’s hard to take.
- You’re Gonna Still Feel Like You Should be Able to do The Things You Once Did, And Will Feel Like a Wuss for Failing:
There are so many times these days that I go to lift something that originally was barely even noticeable, only to find me having to put it down 4 steps later lest your legs collapse underneath you. And you mentally kick yourself for it.
Because you know “It’s not heavy” that “This isn’t hard.” that “If I just push myself I could do it.” But that’s your muscle memory talking… not your body.
I honestly thought that if you suddenly lost half your strength, trying to lift 25lbs would just feel like lifting 50lbs did. But that’s not the way it works. 25lbs, still feels like 25lbs, but your body will NOT carry it long before screaming at you for being an idiot trying to carry it across the yard.
- The Pain is Not the Worst Part:
People don’t like pain… I have come to discover this… I don’t like pain… this is why, when I discovered people don’t normally live in chronic pain 24/7 I felt kinda jipped/furious! But the fear of pain will always be worse than pain itself.
If you live in pain long enough, your body will start to try and mask it out. On a lower level this works fairly well… you may notice you have less headaches if you take a painkiller instead of having your body try and compensate (though you will instantly regret that decision once the painkiller wears off) but when the pain grows to certain levels, it turns into a maddening numbness.
If you have ever pulled an all-nighter, you may know what this feeling is like. It essentially feels like your brain is too big for your skull. Like the parts of your body are layered on top of you vs actually being a part of you. This mixed with the feeling like your body is honestly hollow (Like mentioned above) creates this very surreal and rather unpleasant feeling that honestly, I would rather live without.
The worst part of all though, is when your body just “Gives out.” it’s not that you’re tired. It’s not that you notice your muscles aching because you’re pumping so much stinking adrenaline… but you’ll be walking along and suddenly *BAM* it just tries to collapse under you. You try to pick yourself up again only to find it doesn’t work… it is such a helpless feeling and honestly you feel ridiculously vulnerable during it. It is hard to take.
- There Really is a Bias About Guys and Manual Labor:
This one’s gonna get me in trouble… but I’m sorry… it’s real. And it’s frustrating. The amount of times people look at you like you’re the scum of the earth because you can’t be the uber strong guy doing uber strong things is ridiculous!
Not wanting to touch on this too long because I feel the angry mob forming outside with every word I type, but all I can say is this… the same way it’s frustrating for a girl to be told they can’t do ____ physical job, it’s frustrating to be told they’d rather not hire guys for _____ mental job. I mean I have a diploma in business, am acing a BA in business, taught myself to hold a basic conversation in Japanese, am teaching myself programming, write essay length Facebook statuses on rather advanced topics that was asked to be turned into a blog (check out www.macyaks.wordpress.com for shameless plug), can write professional business letters off the top of my head, am able to manipulate large amounts of variables in my head at one time, basically think in Gant charts, am a certified Excel Specialist, and more! I have abilities! Please stop judging my worth by how many heavy boxes I can move in how short a time!
- There are Many Ways to Keep Moving:
Life changes… you find yourself struggling to do things that you couldn’t do before. You’ll find it hard to carry down your laundry, to carry in your groceries, to drive for long periods of time, walk on uneven ground… there are so many things that change so quickly… but that doesn’t mean you just roll over and die.
There are many ways to move forward. If you can’t push past something, look for a way to work around it. Put it on wheels. Go down one step at a time. Cruise Control is an amazing invention. Park benches are as well. You may have to give more thought, but you don’t have to give up!
- It is Alright to Admit It Hurts:
This is one of the hardest parts for me. It’s one I’ve struggled with for a long time. However, reading through life stories and testimonies of people suffering from EDS I’ve come to realize I’m really not alone on this.
It is alright to say you hurt…. in fact, if you don’t say you hurt, no one is going to know.
Some people will roll your eyes. Others may try to tactfully trick you into “Growing up.” but realize these people can’t live in your body. Nor can you live in theirs. We can say “I’m in pain.” but what does pain feel like? Do we all feel it the same way? Are we all used to the same level?
The concept that someone can live with a distracting level of throbbing/stabbing pain in multiple parts of their body 24/7 without having a visible injury or doctor’s note saying “Their bones are broken.” is ludicrous to some people. Their bodies have never worked that way…
But the thing is, if they just continue believing your body feels as healthy as theirs is, you’re just going to frustrate and confuse them when they wonder why you can’t keep up with the same activities they do.
Admit it’s hard for you. If they can’t accept that from you, they would’ve never accepted you in the first place.
- You Will Get MANY Mixed Reactions:
We live in a world of polarized extremes. “Invisible Disabilities” seems to be a word that drives people to their respective pitchforks and torches.
Half the people you talk to will cry out “You need to go to your government! And demand that they give you supplements! You need support workers! And medication! And we will rally with signs to protest for you! (which not gonna lie is kind of encouraging to have people fight so hard for you… even if in some cases it’s more they want to have a cause to get behind)
The other half will cry out about how “Kids these days are such wusses! You just need to get out and exercise! Get desperate! Light a fire under you backside and put your nose to the grindstone! Then things will look up! You just haven’t really tried yet!” (and admittedly there are times you want to slap these people upside the head and yell “IF EFFORT WAS THE PROBLEM THEN YOU GUYS WOULD BE FAILING MORE THAN I AM RIGHT NOW!” but honestly, they do mean well, and there are a bunch of people taking advantage of the system, but ya… tact people, tact)
The truth though is… you are what you are… they are what they are… people will either accept that or not accept that, but reality is reality…. Keep fighting to give your best, not to keep up with them, but because that’s how we grow as human beings! You are neither entitled to an easier life than most, nor condemned to a miserable one trying to keep up with others.
- Your Best is Good Enough…. (But it Will Rarely Feel Like It!):
You hear it a lot these days: “Just give your best! Don’t worry about the results! Just keep giving it your all and realize that things will always work out for someone who gives their best! Great things happen for those who give their best! You can accomplish anything if you only give your best!”
But here’s the thing… Just because you give your best… doesn’t mean you’ll hit the standard…
No matter how hard you try, a failing grade is still a failing grade
No matter how hard you try, if you go broke you go broke
No matter how hard you try, if you’re unemployed, you’re unemployed
No matter how hard you try, if you can’t afford food you starve
There is a reality that people rarely talk about… either the people who write these posts are lucky enough to never reach those points of worry, or they just try not to think about these parts. But these problems nag at you. And all the inspirational speeches in the world can’t compete with the frustrations you feel.
But here’s the thing. You’re still growing! You may not be able to deal with the threats that are stressing you out right now. But you are still growing! You’re growing wiser! You’re growing stronger! You’re growing more compassionate! Don’t underestimate what you’re earning through these times!
Our life experiences may not always be pleasant… they may be painful, and they may feel like we can’t get what we want. But if you just throw these moments away as “Wasting your life.” That is all you’ll have…. Years of your life that you’ve just thrown away, when you’ve learned so much through that time that WILL help you for years in the future! Don’t underestimate the value of what you’ve learned!
- God’s Still in Control:
You’re not here to please others. You’re not here to acquire great wealth or power. You’re not even here to survive as long as you can manage. These are not the keys to your success or failure! You are here to serve God and go where He leads. You are here to see the amazing things He can do through you.
Once again, this is a touchy subject because of the divide. Beyond the “Religion/IHATERELIGION” sides which seem to be growing more and more volatile these days, there is also, within the church the “God will give you everything/God wants you to provide for yourself.” Sides which grow further and further apart ever spurned by their fear of the other.
God will provide for you… I cannot begin to point out how many verses in the Bible point this out. Even the parable of the talents that many like to turn to as to say “LOOK! GOD WANTS US TO TAKE CHARGE AND MAKE OUR OWN WAY!” ….let me point out, that
- a) They did not “earn” money, they invested it
- b) The servant was not scolded for not earning money, he was scolded for doing nothing with his talent
- c) God was the one who gave them the talents in the first place, not them.
God will provide for us. God WANTS us to rely on Him. This is not to say, “Oh just C’est la Vie! Life will do what life will do, but God will save my butt no matter what I do!” no… the Bible is also very clear that that is ALSO not right…. But stop beating yourself up over what you will eat and where you will sleep… God literally says that He’s got that covered. (Full disclosure: I rarely sleep or eat for fear of these two so I am not condemning you as weak if you are worried about it, just reminding you of what’s promised.)
But realize as well, that God providing doesn’t mean He’ll prepare the path YOU want… in fact it usually means the reverse of that.
We like our control. Well… let’s be honest, I’ve never met a human in my life who is truly in control of their life so… we like our ILLUSION of control. Whether we’re being led by our emotions, our desires, our fears, or our idols, we like to believe we are the ones taking charge of our lives and plowing the way.
God doesn’t beat around the bush. He isn’t here to give you freedom and power to make your dreams come true. He is here to lead you down the path He has in store for you and grow closer in relationship with you in order to show you the good He can do through you as well as how much your dreams PALED in comparison to His reality!
Though the road may be scary. Though you may lose things you thought you could not do without. Realize He’s got you and He’s still looking out for you!
Don’t run off the road when things look scariest and you want to grab the wheel and run for where you think looks safest… those are the times you need to rely on Him most! Don’t make a dark situation even worse! He doesn’t just want to make you happy, He wants to make you mighty! He made you, He knows you, He loves you. TRUST!
- You Haven’t Lost Until You Give Up!
I used to say “You haven’t lost until you’re dead.” But this isn’t entirely true… There are many who did not succeed until after they died.
Don’t give up. The moment you do, it’s all over. But as long as you keep fighting, there’s still a chance you’ll succeed!
You’ve come too far to give up! We are far too limited in our perspective of the here and now to see just how the present will be used in the future… but nothing is wasted. No effort is useless. No life accomplishes nothing.
You are strong.
You are influential.
You’ve got this!
Hang in there
What do you do when you’re in the belly of the whale?
I see a lot of posts, and hear a lot of advice from people who laugh and give nostalgic smiles, and say things like
“I used to be like you… full of dreams, full of passion. But I realized that life didn’t work that way. You need to buckle down and work hard. Put aside your passions until your can afford it. Put a fire under you and take on the jobs you don’t like… because even the best jobs are going to have days you don’t like! But God is faithful to those who work hard. Those who have ambition. Those who take life into their own hands and instead of waiting for him to do something make something with what they have! Remember the parable of the talents!”
But the problem is… what if your dreams and passions are to keep food on your table and a roof over your head? What if it’s not about doing work that’s unpleasant, but being overwhelmed from crying yourself to sleep as your body continues to break down one thing after another? What if you’re dealing with the sins in your life, trying to make responsible choices, but then thieves come, investments fall through, unexpected expenses keep popping up with health and things breaking?
5 years ago, I tried to live life according to my dreams… I took a job offered to me that would bring me closer to the person I was dating, I got an apartment that I could afford and seemed sturdy and safe. My plan was to work my way up and muscle through the grunt labour for a year or two so I could apply for better jobs and put my business diploma to use. Then when I was self sufficient I would marry my girlfriend, and we could live a nice, simple life, trying to help out those in our community around us by sharing with what God had blessed us with.
But as I worked there, I discovered something worrisome. I discovered that my best was below mediocre. I discovered my body was physically not capable of keeping up with the bare minimum requirements needed to keep working.
For an entire year I pushed myself. I lost about 60 lbs (40 of which were in the first 2 months), I saw my doctor, I exercised, I ate well, I pushed myself to the point that I would pass out for two days straight, and was often coughing up blood from the exertion barely being able to speak anymore… and yet not only could I not keep up with those who would simply be chatting or goofing off… my numbers were actually getting worse! I tried applying for other jobs, but my employee profile was tied to my ability to do my job, so my resumes would be instantly thrown out before they were even looked at. I was given a tough choice… quit with no job, or risk permanent damage to my body….
I chose the former and moved back home… then ended up working 6 hours a week for a year which put me into further debt. I wasn’t just a victim… I shop when I’m stressed… sometimes it’s for investments I think can help me move forward, sometimes it’s for distractions to distract me from reality around me. I got to my eyeballs in debt in spite of my applying everywhere and trying every angle I could get… Finally I fasted and prayed, and the next day I was offered a job as janitor at my church that I hadnt even applied for.
Around that time, I started studying Japanese. Originally it was just a step towards learning many languages (make your first your hardest and all other languages will be easy) but during that time, God slowly put Japan on my heart more and more. Till finally I asked Him to send me where He wants and He put Japan on my heart….. But I was up to my eyeballs in debt… and graduated college not university which makes immigration tough! And I knew my parents would hate the idea considering how much trouble I was already in!
So I backed out, justifying it by saying to God, “If you can provide the way there and win over my parents, I’ll study the language because thats all I can do!”
And I continued running… hiding and waiting for there to be less and less obstacles in my path… God offered many opportunities for me to follow… People who seemed eager to help me, contacts in conversation schools and churches… but I put them off… because I was scared… because I felt I couldnt do it… I was Jonah running from Ninevah. Though not because I feared Ninevah, because I feared the land I was in right now.
When I had the injury back in May, I realized I couldn’t run anymore (literally) I realized, it wasnt about trying to find a safe path to follow God… I needed to follow God so HE could lead me down the safe paths. And so I applied for University… I did serious research. I confronted my parents. I studied seriously…. I took myself from If God makes a way” to “I WILL follow Him!”
But now I am in the belly of the whale…. it must have been hard for Jonah… to finally decide to follow God and realize it was beyond his power to do so…. I understand that fully… But what do you do in those situations? When questions like “Where will I live, where will I work, how will I afford these next 2 years until I can go?” Fill your head.
You pray. You pray and you follow God.
The whale that prevented Jonah from going to Ninevah is exactly what got him there.
Pray and follow God. Trust in Him, not your own understanding. Human wisdom and pride are poor companions for following God. Focus on what you can do now. Let God worry about what you can’t do.
You are not making the path. You are following the maker!
You can do it. You are not alone. Amen