The past few weeks have been unlike others because of one thing: I went to my old university twice. I know it doesn't sound as grand and as "ground-shaking" as you would hope it to be, but it really was for me and one of my best friends.
We both were tired from work and life in general, so we needed some fresh air and company. Which meant, it was supposed to be a normal Wednesday night out. That is, until we decided to go for a 40-minute drive, all the way to our university for dinner (Can you believe it?! Just for dinner? We still can't!!).
It was one of the best night-outs ever! Like I'm not kidding. We ate all sorts of street food that we used to eat when we were still students and they tasted so good! We explored places we used to walk around to, just to see how much they have changed or stayed the same. We met janitors and workers we used to say "hi" to everyday. And there were so many other things that got us going "Oh my goodness!", "Look!" and "Didn't we used to....?". I don't even know how to list them all. It was like every step felt familiar and foreign at the same time, as if this was possible. It was crazy!
So many things stayed the same. I bet the food tasted the same. The streets, though they were renewed, fixed and upgraded by better building materials, they were still the same lanes. So many pieces remained as they were, but the experience was the complete opposite of how we used to feel about college. How could it be, the things that we once hated, desperately wanted to be over with, has now become a source of a joy so pure and so overwhelming?
Did we miss something?
Or perhaps they changed, but we were just oblivious to the fact that they did change?
I think it wasn't the things that changed. We were the ones changed. It had a lot to do with us. It had everything to do with seeing the glass half full or half empty. Reflecting on it, God reminded me of a verse from Romans 12:2 that said: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
The way we think changes a lot of things. The way we think can turn a tragedy into the best lesson ever learned. The loss of a loved one into the best healing process God has ever allowed to happen. A broken past into the most valuable testimony of God’s plan and purposes. The way we think can turn mundane, seemingly pointless things into things that make a difference. It can turn things we hate into things of joy.
It’s amazing what a healed heart can see. It’s almost as if we were too clouded by our own discontent that we missed out on all the joy we could have experienced, if only we let God in and embrace His process earlier. But then again, God knows what’s best. There’s a reason why we are where we are now, and why we become who we have become now; not then, not later.
I say cheers to our memory lanes and to God who always, always, make every part of our lives work together for our good!