Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Meditation in a Toolshed

In the article, Lewis talked about the difference between looking at and looking along.

In my opinion, looking at is observing while looking along is undergoing. In fact, the two things are very distinct. People will usually change their opinion after they experienced something.

For example, how is the life like in the United States? Before I actually came to this country, I tried to find the answer through media. “American’s high school is easy!” I thought that was true after watching plenty of American movies. My friends in China always talked about how relaxed those American kids are; they party every night; they only have six classes each day; they don’t have any homework during breaks. Plus, it is said that people can go to college easily with even a very bad grade. As a student who has to work very hard to get into a Chinese college, I desired to go to American high school. When I really came to US, I dreamed to have an easy-going life. However, when my life changed from observing into experiencing, my dream was shuttered. American high school was not easy at all. Especially as a foreigner, I had to study English while I was taking regular courses. In order to get a good grade, I aimed to read every single page of my text book. Because there were many words which I didn’t understand, I read very slowly. I never finished my homework before 10:30 each night. Plus, it was not that easy to get into a good college like Calvin. I had to keep my GPA high above 3.8 and got a good ACT score. This summer, when I came back to China, I told the truth about American high school. Even though some of my friends still couldn’t believe that, I can’t agree with them anymore.

If people are trying to convert people to believe in God, we can not only teach them the Bible but also instruct them to experience God’s grace. I would like to use myself as an example again. When I started to go to school in US, since my English was very bad, many students just ignored me. However, there were some Christian students who came over and helped me a lot. They walked around the school until I was familiar with all the classrooms; they ate with me everyday; they taught me English with patience instead of laughing at my heavy Chinese accent. I didn’t know why they were so nice to me at that point. I asked them, and they said, “We think God wants us to help people.” Later, I went Church with these friends, and began to accept Christianity gradually. I read the Bible when I was in China, but I thought it was totally stupid. However, by experiencing it, I decided to believe this religion.

People can learn more by being inside a matter than being outside. Even according to Lewis, people can be deceived when they are inside something. I still want to say, “If you are not experiencing something, never say that you ‘totally’ understood what happened.”

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