February 10, 2006

teci's thesis, episode 2: ask and you shall receive (techie teci version)

ask and you shall receive. :)
  • For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
  • If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
  • Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
  • For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
  • Until now you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
  • What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.
  • Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.
(Scripture verses in order of appearance: Matthew 7:8; Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24; Luke 11:10; John 16:24; James 4:1-2; 1 John 3:21-22.)

Jesus repeated it over and over. Eventually His disciples got the point and repeated it in their writings as well. ask and you shall receive. you do not have because you do not ask.

LORD! i thought. i can't expect Him to drop my hardbound typed thesis manuscript on my lap, eh? (hmm, why not..?)

all night, for several weeks my research output was nada. ah, yes, i was never the most productive in our dear lab, but the exasperation over the IMPRESSION that i'm not doing anything and that i'm worthless really bothered me. my dear coworkers knew i was working hard, but to no avail. me, i just wanted results NOW. then i get reminded of the manhours lost in this fruitless exercise...time that should have been spent eating (oops! my priorities are showing), and checking my students' papers!! plus the thesis draft deadline is within the month!!!!

why Lord why? i kept on browsing the net for info on how to make my program run. WHY isn't it running?!?! i've done all that's needed...i checked all the possible combinations...i read and reread the programming advice...


was waiting for the brilliant flash of inspiration, that TING! like a light bulb suddenly turning on...


i kept on it, and kept on it, and kept on whining to God like the brat that i am, and made sure i don't fall asleep. NEVER GIVE UP!

then i got sleepy. still no results as of slumbertime.

next day. wake up and leave dorm to take a bath and change before anyone (translation: my students) see me and realize that i was wearing the same outfit i had yesterday. (nope, am not ruled by any fashion police, it's just that the implications are i'm now smelly. which might be true!!!)

sigh, another yet unsuccessful overnight, working on (seemingly) nothing. and that day (thursday) is the day of our weekly research meeting with my adviser. how many weeks do i have to say that i have no results for that week? oh boy. in general i consider myself a non-conforming, independent (hahaha) individual who goes ahead no matter what the world thinks --- but not today.

so come research meeting i had to swallow my pride and say nothing. or rather, i said something: the word "nothing". haaay.

since our dear programming genius was present, i showed him the problem, my stationary program. (get it? it's not running, so it's...ah, never mind.) (in a more literal sense, i'm going around in circles, so...)

know what he did? he typed TWO WORDS.


to be exact, -lgsl -lcblas.

guess what happened? of course my program ran.

ask and you shall receive.

the lesson here, of course, is to ask God and be open to how He's going to answer. admittedly there are MANY times when it's easier to ask God than ask our family, friends, or strangers. (Example: if i'm lost in a big city, should i pretend to know where i'm going while frantically praying silently that i'll end up where i'm supposed to be?)

it's pride, follower-of-God version. while prebelievers would rather ask people for help than turn to God, a possible issue with a believer like me is that i won't or can't trust people anymore. (hey i'm not saying i don't trust our computer genius! :) just read on...)

it's also pride because i'd rather do things on my own than ask for help. oh sure i ask help from God. but how is He going to help me with my program? will the keyboard type the right code by itself? will my earphones suddenly pick up God's human voice telling me to type "-lgsl -lcblas"?

those are possible, but it's also possible that God is helping me by using other people to talk to me. why not? He surely didn't give me all the talent in the world, right?

But God has combined the members of the body...so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (1 Corinthians 12:24,25,27)

(by the way please read all of 1 Corinthians 12! all about gifts and talents. how inspiring that in our weaknesses we need each other and make the whole strong. :) )

even if i ask help from God, i still show my pride because i can't or don't want to ask help from others. i still want the image of self-sufficiency, even if it's far from the truth.

why can't i ask?

if i don't ask, how else will it be given to me?


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