Sunday, November 20, 2016

Mirror Images, Autumn of 2016, Chapter II

We worked on one of my favorite assignments in our classes last week. Back in October, one of our written memory verses was James 1:22-24:
"Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.''
We discussed the meaning and I brought up that Mom, in her late stages of Alzheimer's, did not recognize her own image. I told the kids that sometimes at the end of the day, I look at myself in the mirror, and don't always like what I see. The kids finished this statement: 'When I look in the mirror, I see....' Every student was allowed complete confidentiality and I did not even read any that requested privacy. My students were very honest. Over the next few nights, I'll run some of the responses of those who wanted to share.  Some will choke you up. All are used by permission. Boys are in blue and girls are in pink.

When I look in the mirror, I see a guy who works hard in everything he does. I see a person who strives for greatness and has it within his reach. I see a guy who loves and is loved by his friends and family. I also see a man who is too eager to grow up, get older, leave home. I see a young man who wants nothing more than to wake up and get to decide what he does without all the consequences of such actions now. I see a man who is always happy and loves to make other laugh, but I also see a man who is very vain and is commonly insecure about himself. I see a man who can not handle it well when others do not like him, and a man that is often distracted from the important things in life. I see a man that is determined to be great.

When I look in the mirror, I see a girl who is smiling but has tears in her eyes. I see a girl who has too much expectation on her from others. I see a girl who does not know what she really wants. This girl always wears masks and then pretends that is her real face. I see a girl who wants to change herself and try to do things in a different way.

To be completely honest, when I look into the mirror I see a pretty happy dude. I also obviously see brown hair and the soap which is almost empty to the right of my sink. But to be more serious, I see someone who is generally positive and refuses to give up or fail, especially in school. I also see someone who is open and honest and who does not understand the cliche statements other say about themselves, like “the pain inside…” I generally see someone who does not really try to to see things from another person's point of view, but instead jumps to conclusions based on what I already know. I see someone who is selectively compassionate, as I love the hurt, the sick, the poor, the homeless, the outsiders… Slightly less positively, I see someone who gets frustrated easily, particularly with either broken internet or other people. I also see someone who will never believe something can ever truly be good enough. So, I know myself pretty well, get frustrated easily, forget easily, am positive, and most of all, love God, but can never have a good enough relationship with him. Also, I see a guy who loves his family.

When I look in the mirror, I see a girl who has been blessed with a supportive family. I see a girl who is lazy and that only works hard when she wants to. I see a kind and humble person who will do almost anything for her friends. I see a girl who has been tempted with all the latest trends and gossip. I see a girl that has the potential and ability to work hard but again, she is lazy. I see a girl with a hard working mom and dream pursuer dad. I see her with a crazy, musician as a brother. I also see a girl with a dog as crazier as her. I see that girl with friends that will always be by her side. I see a girl who rarely gets angry but when she does, she keeps it all inside. I see a girl who likes who she is and knows who she wants to be.

When I look into the mirror, I see a young man who is struggling in many different areas. I see a boy who gives too much of himself to others and who lets people walk on him. I see a boy who longs to feel loved and accepted by family, friends, and girlfriend. I see a young man trying to figure out his way in life and live it to the fullest. I see a guy who needs more self confidence. I see someone who needs attention from others. When I look in the mirror, I see someone who is a mess but I also see a boy who wants to fix it and become a better person and live up to his potential.

When I look in the mirror, I see potential. I see a girl who can be as great as she wants to be but has been put down so many times, she’s afraid to get up. I see a girl who dreams about going out to do spectacular things but just has to stop dreaming and start making them a reality. I see a girl, turning into a young lady becoming  a woman. I see a girl who is lacking the confidence and independence she needs but is learning how to do it. I see a girl becoming a women soaring past the stars with God on her side.

When I look into the mirror, I see someone who I can not recognize. I see a fake version of myself, wrapped in lies and masks I present to other people. I see someone who is afraid of the past. He won’t let himself truly be in the present, only the version he pretends to be. I see a trickster, someone pretending to be perfect, pretending nothing is wrong, pretending there are no problem out of fear someone might notice. The person looking back at me isn’t myself but a hollow shell only good at lying, tricking, and hiding away. I watch this hollow version of me try to excel and hide everything under achievement and let no one know that anything is wrong. I see a man who is too wrapped up in others perceptions and perfection that he has forgotten how to be himself.

Applicable quote of the day:
How we think shows through in how we act. Attitudes are mirrors of the mind. They reflect thinking.

David Joseph Schwartz

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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