Monday, November 29, 2004
welcome back

So it's almost been one week since I've returned home to Seattle... a whole week. When I was younger, I'd always mark both the beginning and the end of the week by the coming of Sunday - 'cause when you're the pastor's kid, life seems to naturally just center around church.

Coming back to CBC was nice - seeing all the familar faces, the same people whom I've grown up with. Everything seems the same on the surface, but of course, everybody is a one year older. I went to first service with my mother, and noticed that size of the service had shrunk significantly... so much in fact, that I was quite noticeable. The worship leader, Uncle Ben Chew, saw me and said "Welcome back from Japan" during the worship service and looked straight at me, which of course, caused everybody in the congregation to look at me. I always feel a bit embarrassed being called out like that.

Looking around the sanctuary during first service, I saw that most of the people in the service were the older people and married couples. There were some kids, but there was large missing gap of people my age. It reminded me a lot of Japan - many Japanese Christian churches that I visited are filled mostly with the elderly and married couples. There are very few young people, such as college / career-age.

Hmm, there's probably a lot of factors for that... some specific to CBC, others common to churches in general... but that's a different post.


food, fam, friends, fellowship

In the evening, there was a potluck party for me at my house to "welcome me back". I knew some people would come, but I was surprised by the turnout. It felt nice to be appreciated, yet strangely, at the same time, I'm not sure if I can ever get used to being the center or focus of attention. Luckily, it was very informal... people sat where they wanted, some guys played 4-man Halo 2 in the living room, etc.

Eating and talking with my friends, my mind was mediating a lot on how the surface, everybody seems the same, but for people my age, the changes that we have all experienced in the past 4 years seem to lay on a deeper level. Some of my friends are now married... some have started full-time careers... some have moved to cities or change churches.

Our lives are filled with all these drastic changes, yet each single change in our lives came in small steps or leanings... never a sudden sprint or metamorphosis, just a slow meandering toward a point in which the place where we stand now is so much farther than were we were standing before. And for myself, it's true too.

I can cheer for my friends and feel very happy that the changes in their lives have moved them toward someplace else... yet, living here in Renton/Kent with my mom again, having no car again, having no job again... part of me wonders about the apparent immobility of my own situation. Maybe it's naive of me to have faith that God would immediately guide to what the next step is... my cynical side is quick to point out to me: what's the point of having a different perspective when your circumstances remain the same?

I don't have the answer to that yet.

My time in Japan shaped me in ways I'm still trying to fully comprehend and process - I think another writer once wrote that after more than a year living in Japan, his personality had shifted completely away from who he was before he went to Japan. That statement resonates with me a lot, however, even if these differences have happened to me too, is 2004 Garrett in really that of a much better position than 2003 Garrett?

I don't have the answer to that, either.

As of now, I just a small bankroll of cash, and as usual, a lot of unfulfilled hopes and dreams. Things that need to get copped soon:

Jobby-job. Duh. Gotta pay dem bills and earn my keep. Long term security, and something I enjoy would be nice too.

Cellphone. As courtesy to the fam and friends, and staying in contact with those who... ummm... need to be contacted. Can't whine anymore about how sucky American phones are compared to Japanese phones.

A Ride AKA A Car. Strictly for transportation. A consequence of West Coast living until the City of Seattle gov't gets off their collective arses to give me MONORAIL / LIGHT RAIL.

Computer. My old Frankenstein mish-mash of parts died. Now it's a question of notebook/laptop vs. desktop vs. compact/shuttle box.

Pad. It's not that I don't love my Mom... it's just that it's sometimes hard to love living with my Mom. Plus, if I want to even consider getting shacked up...

I've made plans, trying to take steps... I want to explore the possibility of going back to school (or seminary), I want to find a job... but there's a hard truth, there's my perpetual feeling that none of these things are going to fall in my lap. They never do, at least for me, and I suppose, that's just my fate. I truly want to believe that God has purpose for everything and that all experiences in my life are in accordance with His greater plan... I just wish the waiting for everything would be easier.

If hope and patience disappear again, I'm not sure how I'd deal with the fallout... again.


welcome back, even though you're on the other side of the country.

remember when Joseph was wrongfully prisoned because of potiphar's wife? why did it take 2 years before Joseph was freed from prison? i think it was because it took that long for Joseph to look away from his circumstance and look only to God.

good luck and welcome back man.
Thanks everybody.
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in?scrip?tion (n-skrip-shun)n.
1. The act or an instance of inscribing.
2. Something, such as the wording on a coin, medal, monument, or seal, that is inscribed.
3. A short, signed message in a book or on a photograph given as a gift.
4. The usually informal dedication of an artistic work.
5. Jeremiah 31:33

the facts.
name. Gar AKA "that Chinese guy" "Sleepy.McSleeping"
ethnicity/nationality. Chinese/American, 4th gen.
location. Sea-Town, WA, USA Kawanishi, JAPAN
occupation. less-cynical poor grad student
age. younger than you think, older than you know



UnseenGC @ AIM
(myname) @



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