As I Grow Older
- By Indu Shanmugam
- Published 12/3/2008
Indu Shanmugam is a 20-something, college student from Oregon, USA. She is majoring in English literature and language. She also studied Theology for a short period. She wants to be a teacher. As a literature enthusiast, she enjoys literature of all types and from writers of various backgrounds from the classics, French realists, Christian writings like C.S Lewis and South Asian literature. As for her own writings, "I am still trying to find and develop my own voice." She sees the art of the written word as a way to speak about Christ and explore truth. Before she met Jesus Christ, she has been searching for the meaning of life through experimentation of other religions, philosophies and ideas. At the age of 17, she accepted Christ after a powerful encounter with God through a miracle. God's presence and deep truths in the Bible fuel her creativity. She is involved in church activities and has a love for the church and would like to see every believer grow, become closer to God and live fruitfully. She loves traveling, sipping bubble teas, theatre, music, films and hanging out with friends and has a weakness for cheesecake.
I think the sign of growing older is when a person's perception and view of the world becomes more refined, sophisticated and shaped. He or she tends to view things more realistically. For me, it seems all the sudden something struck my mind when I was somewhere in my mid-twenties. My perspective on life is radically different than when I was 18. As I grow older, I'm realizing that faith is not at all equivalent to naive idealism, emotionalism and based on superficial things. I have put away those things. I am still passionate about the things that have been put in my heart. I am a visionary and a woman of passion that knows her interests, desires and dreams. Those things still exist and continue to be a driving force in my life. This does not mean that I am not open to change, the supernatural and pleasant surprises. Sometimes, the most powerful presence of the supernatural can happen when it fuses with the ordinary things of life.
In the spiritual journey, there will be times of joy but also times of deep discouragement, pain, struggle, depression and unpleasant things. Sometimes, things won't happen right away. Patience and time is necessary.
The so-called "being on fire" or zeal vanishes like a vapor if it isn't based on anything substantial. Empty zeal is meaningless and absurd. If faith is all about feeling edgy, I could easily walk into a pub and after a round of drinks I'd feel edgy, "the anointing" and great. Does that mean it's necessarily a good thing?
Discovering truth beyond the superficiality of church culture is liberating but also painful. It is also a daily battle against cynicism.