The Not-So-Soft Truth

One thing that you should know about me is that I’m not a girly girl. I don’t like wearing dresses, putting on makeup, or carrying a purse. One thing that I do, for whatever reason, is paint my toenails. Yesterday, I was painting them and noticed scars from blisters on the bottom of my feet. A couple of weeks ago, Katie and I went to Daytona Beach for the day. It was really hot, but that was expected because it’s Florida. After sitting on the beach for about 10 minutes, we decided to walk down the beach to the boardwalk. After about 10 minutes of walking, the bottom of our feet started to hurt. It felt like shells were cutting into our feet. As it turned out, the sand, though soft to the touch, was actually giving us blisters. No matter what we did, whether it was putting our shoes on or walking in the water, our feet still hurt. We finally sat down for lunch and our feet were sore. Even though it took our food forever to get there, we were content to let our feet rest for a few minutes because we knew we still had to walk all the way back to the car. It was a rough situation.

The thing about our feet getting blistered was that we thought the sand would be soft, so we never expected our feet to get roughed up. The truth was that it seemed harmless, but it wasn’t. Our lives can be like that. Some things we do may seem harmless, but in reality, they are harmful and will leave us broken and injured. We often do things like say little white lies about small things, refuse to confront someone we love about the sin that they’re in because we don’t want to impose on their lives, or even listen to music that promotes questionable topics because it has a good beat.

When we do things like those I just mentioned, we fall into the lie that it won’t harm anything. Those things seem harmless, but in the end, you’ll get hurt and there will be scars left. Now, you’re probably wondering how listening to a song with questionable topics can possibly hurt you. I’m glad you were wondering. If you constantly listen to the words in those kinds of songs, those kinds of things will start becoming what fills your heart and your mind. If you listen to songs about making lots of money and doing whatever it takes to make that money, you’re going to start thinking that way and will end up hurting the people around you because you will stop at nothing to make that money.

When it comes to not confronting people we love about the sin that they chose to live in, we chose to not help them out of the sin, but remain in it. I don’t know about you, but if I were doing something that I thought was fine, but could harm me and the people around me, I would want someone to talk to me about it. I would want to lessen the possible damage that I could inflict on myself or the people around me. If we confront those that are in sin, we need to do so with a loving attitude, an understanding heart, and a forgiving spirit. By doing things with these attributes, we can help reduce any hostile or “in your face” type of reactions or feelings. It also helps show what Jesus was like. He never got in the face of those whose lifestyle He didn’t agree with and He didn’t make people feel unloved or lower than Himself. He helped them see the right way to live and love.

We should be like Jesus and lovingly help people try to get away from the sin and circumstances that weigh them down. It is our job as disciples of Jesus to help them avoid and get away from the seemingly good things that turn into blisters and scars and point them to the one Whose own blood was given to heal those scars. If we don’t do this and just stand by and not attempt to help them, we are knowingly letting them get hurt and scarred. What does that say about us or the God we serve? Let’s be the hands and feet of Jesus and do it the right way: as loving, understanding, and forgiving human beings.


One Letter…That’s the Only Difference

I was listening to a song the other day while I was driving in my car. If I recall correctly, it was Dirty Water by Lecrae. One of the lines said “If I ain’t ‘bout that life then I ain’t really livin,”. It caught my attention and with the way that my thought process works, I started thinking about the word “live” and how closely it relates to the word “love”. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that their only difference is one letter.

Living is something more complicated than just breathing and consuming water and calories. It’s something that we all strive to do through the things we do, places we go, and people we connect with. Loving is something that we do through our actions and words. At the root, live and love seem pretty similar. One letter doesn’t seem to make that much of a difference.

When I think about the ways that I show love and the ways that love is shown to me, I don’t think of just feelings or just words that are spoken because we all know that words and feelings can fall short and can be comprised of temporary things. I think about the things I do for people to help show them my love. When I think of those things that I do, they’re associated with the way I live. I’m always trying to sync up the way that I love people through my emotions and feelings with my actions. If I say that I love someone but never show them that I do, after a short while, they start to doubt that I love them. The saying “Actions speak louder than words” rings very true.

Often times, we associate living with taking a walk on the beach, riding crazy roller coasters that make you scream so loud that you damage the ears of the person next to you, seeing Big Ben in London, going to the championship football game, or even going to an loud, crazy concert. While those things are incredible and I encourage you to do them all, they aren’t what makes you live. Living is when you surprise someone you love with a trip to their favorite beach, go on a roller coaster you hate to see your best friend laugh, take a trip to London to see the sights that you don’t care to see, but to see the smile on your little sister’s face when she sees the place she’s always dreamed of visiting, and so on. It’s doing the little things that are might seem little to you, but are huge to the people around you. It’s buying someone dinner when they otherwise would go hungry. It’s staying up until 3 in the morning to help a friend from school through a life problem. It’s taking someone flowers when they’ve had a rough day.  My point is that living is doing things for other people..loving them through our actions, words, thoughts, and emotions. There is no greater feeling than doing something from someone other than yourself. It’s cliché, I know, but it couldn’t be more true.

Now, I know you’re probably thinking, “This chick thinks that love is all daisies and roses.” While I wish love was that simple, it isn’t. Love doesn’t come without it’s hard times. While you might have to do some unpleasant tasks such as clean up blood off of the floor when your child gets injured, stay up late until your sister gets home to make sure she got back safe, confront a friend about a concern you have for them, or even try to work out a big problem with a spouse of friend. Those things can be unpleasant and difficult, but love isn’t just shown through doing good things for people; it’s shown when we go through hard times, tasks, and situations for them, too. Doing good things for others, helping them through rough times, staying up late for them, going the extra mile to see them smile, or just being there to listen when they need someone to talk to…all of these things display love.

For me, living a life that is modeled after the life of Christ is something that helps me love deeper. Christ showed me love when He saved me, thus, I have no other drive in life but to love others. Without that love and sacrifice that I was shown, I couldn’t have even a portion of the love and willingness to sacrifice myself and resources for others. It’s all because of the example I’ve been shown that I’m able to love on others in the biggest capacity.

I’ll stop talking, now, because I’m sure you get the point I’m trying to make. From what I’ve come to understand, living is loving and it’s just that simple.

No Good

So as I’ve gone places, hung out with people, and observed different things in life, I’ve noticed one thing in particular that has always intrigued me. When someone likes something or approves of something, they say it’s good. When someone sees a movie and they enjoy it, they claim that it is good. When someone reads a certain book that thrills them, they say that it is good. When someone turns on the radio, they hear a song that has a nice beat and sometimes great vocals, they say that it is good. I’ve noticed that no mater what the subject of the movie or book is or what the song says in its lyrics people say that it is good. Why is that we say things are good when, in reality, there is practically nothing good about them?

I think that in order to discuss this topic, we need to define what “good” is and what its intentions are meant to be. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, good is defined as “of high quality” and “correct and proper”. If we use these definitions of good, not much that we say is good is actually good. In Genesis, when God made things like the light, water, land, plants, and animals, He saw that they were all good things. They were in the purest form and free from sin.

Why is it that we call things that are covered in sin, good? The answer is quite simple. We are sinful people. Because we are sinful, we engage in things that often aren’t pure or of high quality. We love to watch chick flicks and action movies with cool actors because of the plot, but we fail to realize that often times those movies blatantly equate God to Satan by taking His name in vain. How is this in any way good? I refuse to engage in movies that pair God’s name with a curse word. For me, it isn’t worth it. There are other ways to hear great stories and be entertained.

We love to listen to music that has sick beats and terrible lyrics that don’t encourage anyone or has anything of substance. We call music good when it has a nice beat, but fail to realize that there isn’t much good to be found in it. If we give those not-so-great things the value of truly good things, something is missing. It’s like saying that on a scale of 1 to amazing, cockroaches are amazing and sprinkles are a 6. It devalues the thing that is actually good when we equate it with something bad. I think that we throw around words when we don’t stop and think about what we are actually saying.

My junior year of college, I lived in a dorm with my twins sister, Deborah. She had the top bunk and I was on the bottom bunk. If you have never met me, I’m 5 feet and a half an inch tall. My bed was up higher than I wanted it to be, so I required a footstool to comfortably get into my bed. I purchased a plastic footstool for like $10 from Target. At this point I had been using it for about 3 months or so. One evening, I got up to put my laptop away. As I returned to my bed, I stepped on the footstool like I had done many times before. Suddenly, it broke. My leg slipped through and got all cut up from the broken plastic. My sister kept telling me that it was going to break and that it wasn’t a good, quality stool. I failed to heed her warning and ended up paying for that decision. The point of the story is that sometimes we think that things are good, quality things, when in actuality they aren’t. This is just a silly, true example of something that seemed good, but wasn’t. When I talk about things that are good quality, I’m not necessarily talking about a physical product. I’m referring to things like what we watch, listen to, and say. We might think that things are good, but they end up hurting you in the end by giving you a false sense of reality and putting bad ideas into your head and heart.

With all of this being said, let me clarify something. I’m not bashing on anyone for watching certain movies, reading certain books, or listening to certain music. For me, I like to look at things for what they are and what they were meant to be. If something is good, I want that definition to have all of the meaning in the world and not be weighed down by all of the other things that appear to be good, but aren’t good.

This topic may not seem relevant or important, but it’s been something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time, now, so I figured I’d share it and see what others think, so please, let me know what you think! After all, if we aren’t willing to hear what others have to say or hear their point of view, we’re missing out on a big part of life.

Stunning Imperfection

Have you ever seen a sight so stunning that it takes your breath away? Have you ever seen something so beautiful that you think to yourself, “This is so perfect!”?

The other day I was at the beach with some of my best friends. We just returned from the grocery store where we purchased our Chicken Tender Subs and Cuban Sandwiches. As we walked out onto the beach, I quickly shuffled the sandwiches and souvenirs I purchased minutes before to find my camera. We picked a spot to settle and as soon as I had the chance, I dropped everything in my arms and ran towards the water. The sun was setting and we got there at just the right time. As I took similar pictures of the sunset I couldn’t stop but think of how stunning it was. The orange rays of the sun meeting the blue waves of the cold ocean waters was amazing. As the sun settled over the horizon, I walked back over to where we decided to sit down. As we devoured our sandwiches, we had great conversations. From talking about things that happened while enjoying the beach just hours before to talking about different scenarios and dreams we had for our futures, we enjoyed each other’s company and enjoyed the conversations. As we watched the sunlight fade, a couple of questions popped into my mind. How crazy is it that the beauty of a beach sunset is imperfect creation? If what we see is imperfect creation, what will perfect creation look like? We all sat there for a moment before someone brought up another topic to discuss. It got me thinking, though. If everything we see and think is stunning is imperfect, what will perfection look like? I can’t help but try to imagine what perfect creation would look like. But the more I think about it, the more frustrated I become because I can’t imagine perfect creation.

God made so many beautiful things for us to enjoy here on earth. Because this world is a broken place, the things in this world are not perfect. Because we are broken people, the things we see are seen through the lenses of imperfection. The bright pink and orange skies, while beautiful, are seen through shattered eyes. The sound of the rushing waves is muffled by the earplugs in our ears. While our physical eyes and ears may not be actually shattered or have plugs in them, because of sin, we can’t see God’s creation the way that it was intended to be seen.

A brightly colored sunset at the beach is one of the most beautiful things we can see on this earth. If that’s imperfect, imagine the sights and sounds that will be perfect in Heaven. It’s hard to imagine anything more stunning than a sunset or something like the Northern Lights or the view from the top of a tall mountain. While we can’t really imagine it, we have something to look forward to when we pass on from this Earth. When us as followers of Jesus get to Heaven, we have nothing but perfection to look forward to. I believe that we will see sights, hear sounds, and smell smells that we can’t even imagine. We will finally be in a perfect place with God and that will be the most stunning thing we can ever experience.

Stand Up, Turn Around, and Sit Down

In life, we face a lot of challenges. It’s inevitable. As Christians, we aren’t exempt from going through hard times. In fact, we probably will face more difficult situations as Christians. People will always try to tell you that if you need “religion” you’re weak or that following what the Bible says keeps you in a box of rules. While I have my reservations about these statements, we’ll discuss why another time.

As Christians, we are called to be in the world and not of it. We are supposed to live in the world, but not do the things that the world tells us is acceptable.

Sometimes facing the world means turning your back on it.

What does this mean? It’s kinda simple. While we want to face the world and stand up to its ideals, we shouldn’t let ourselves get so obsessed with it that we neglect our relationship with God and neglect our call to serve others. While I think that it’s good that we stand up for what we believe is right, I also think that we need to sit down and spend some time with God. It’s important to know what we believe in, but it’s also extremely important to know Who created and gave us those beliefs and convictions.

God doesn’t want you to be the biggest or the loudest at defending what you believe. He wants you to be the most loving and understanding person you can be. By doing this, people will see Him through you. He also doesn’t want you to let your charity work for others get in the way of your relationship with Him. It’s so great to love others and spend time helping others, but if you let that become your image and let it take precedence over your relationship with God, you’re missing the point. I think it’s great that people spend a lot of their time helping others, but it’s also vital that you take time every single day to sit and spend time with God.

So, stand up to the world and don’t let them sway you in what you believe. God gave you people around you and His word to hold you up. Don’t be shaken. Turn around and sit down and spend time with God. The whole point of being here on earth is to get to know and appreciate God and all that he is capable of. He wants a personal relationship with YOU. He wants you to get to know Him and reap the benefits of knowing Him. Don’t become complacent in your relationship with Him. When we become complacent, serving others and doing the right things are just things we do when we go through the motions. Don’t become complacent; spend time with the Creator so you can do what he created you to do; love God and love people.

So, to face the world and all of the craziness that comes with it, we need to turn our back on it and face the One who made it. We need to dig deep into the Word and grow deeper in our relationship with God so that we can face the world and not be shaken. When we do this, we will without a doubt face hard times, but what makes us different is that we have a God who can change our circumstances in an instant. He created us to know Him. When we get to know Him, we get to understand our calling and what it means to live a truly successful life.

Simply Complicated

I’ve noticed that many times when we are in tough situations, we somehow expect things to be simple. Like if you are driving (or if you’re driving with me) and we get lost, the solution should be as simple as pulling out a map or GPS and plugging in the destination or looking at the different paths on a map to direct you to where you need to go. While it can seem simple, there are complications that arise. There might not be any signal for the GPS to connect to, so while trying to find a signal, you go further in the wrong direction. While looking on a GPS for directions should be easy, it can be complicated.

Have you seen the Exxon Mobil commercial…the one about boiling an egg. Here is a link if you haven’t seen it or want to refresh your memory.

The idea behind it is that something as simple as boiling an egg isn’t as simple as we think. I love this commercial because it makes a statement about an ideal that people don’t often think about. We think that things are simple when they are actually quite complicated. This commercial demonstrates how much time and effort people put into making things easier for others. We don’t take the time to appreciate all of the time and effort that was spent to make our lives simpler. It makes me wonder; how often are things easy for me and I don’t even realize it?

While complexity can be frowned upon at times, I think it can be a very good thing. Without complex things, we couldn’t paint a wall or enjoy the rushing waters of a creek. You paint a wall with paint and paint is made of complex colors combinations and chemicals. Then you need the brushes that are made of different materials. You couldn’t enjoy cool waters of a creek if there was no source of that water or no ecosystem to maintain the condition of the water. If complicated can be good, why do we freak out when life gets complicated? Don’t we know that good things come from complexity?

Sometimes we expect simple things to be simple, but when they turn out to be complicated, we get frustrated and question what we’re doing and if we’re doing it right. We have proof that good things can come from complexity, but for some reason, when we think of complexities, we get a headache.

Why is it that we expect our relationship with God to be simple, too? Our relationship with God sounds simple, but it is far beyond that. It takes time everyday spent talking to God, reading the book that was inspired by Him and written for us, meditating on what that book says, and genuinely worshipping God with the things you do and say to build the relationship with Him.

Why do we expect life to be simple if it wasn’t created by a simple God?

God isn’t a simple being. He is far too complex for anyone to understand. That’s alright, though, because we weren’t meant to understand even the beginning of who He is.

We expect hard situations in life to be simple. But God is a very complicated being. We could get into a whole theological discussion about the complexities of God, but we wont for the sake of time. My point still stands, though. God is very complex, so when we try to simplify the things the He intentionally made complex, we lose the opportunity to learn some valuable lessons about ourselves, the people and things around us, and God himself. Complex things such as relationships and our purpose in life are things that we want simple solutions for, but we can’t get them because they are not simple concepts.

Overall, I think that complexities are great. We end up learning a lot through hard times and through complex situations. If you think about it, when was the last time you learned more about life through an easy situation rather than a hard one? I can’t think of one in my life. Everything is complicated at some point and to some extent. We all go through hard times in life and are surprised when things get tough. We try to figure out how we got to that point and try to figure out what went wrong.

The truth is that we live in a broken world, so things that we don’t expect to happen are going to happen. Because of free will, we go through complicated situations that don’t have simple solutions. God didn’t promise us easy situations or an easy life, but He promised to never leave us. I think that both of those things are equally as important to remember in complicated situations.

Capguns, Coffee Mugs, and Winding Roads

As I sit here by the fire with a Sioux City cream soda in my hand, I relish in the amazing blessings that I have in my life.

The crackling of the firewood that is being broken down by the heat of the fire reminds me that even the most ancient and seemingly old-fashioned things, such as a fire, can be such important things. In these days, people are always trying to come up with the next best thing that will help improve our lives. While it’s great to do those things, it’s important to remember where we started and where we came from. Fire is such a basic thing, yet it’s vital to our survival. Without it, civilization wouldn’t exist. Remembering that we were created to light up the lives of the people around us and help create atmospheres of warmth and joy is crucial for us in order to live a truly meaningful life.

The smooth, tasty cream soda that sits in the 12oz glass bottle that I hold in my hand is something that I have learned to cherish. Since I was young, I have always loved the rare treat of enjoying a Sioux City Cream Soda. Sitting here with the bottle in-hand reminds me that things are only things, but it’s the memories and feelings associated with those things are what make them special. If we cherish the little things, life becomes more enjoyable. I remember the very first sip of this particular cream soda that I tasted. It was instant enjoyment. Because I’m only priveliged with the opportunity to drink it when we visit our family cabin in the mountains, I don’t drink it often. When I am able to enjoy it, however, it is enjoyed with my family. It is a tradition that, while seemingly insignificant or silly, holds a special place in my heart. This is not because of the contents of the bottle, but because of the people that I share the soda with. It’s not about the liquid in a cool, glass bottle, but it’s about the people that surround me in my life that mean the most.

Over the past 5 days, I’ve spent almost every waking minute with 5 of my best friends. We road tripped to Tennessee to surprise my sister, Sarah, with a trip to Nashville for her 16th birthday. We stayed at one of the coolest hotels. Six of us packed into a room that was only meant for four and loved every minute of it. From the somewhat creepy crack in between the bathroom door and the wall, to the crazy sparks that we were able to create with our freshly washed pjs and fuzzy fleece blankets, to flipping from one bed to the other, hoping to jump higher than the previous person; we grabbed ahold of every moment and held on as long as possible. As we walked as innocent tourist down the streets of downtown Nashville, we observed the wild nightlife that longed to entrap us in its enticing scene. As we shivered and walked down the sidewalk, we gazed through the windows of the bars and open stores. We were amazed by the place we were in. The lights were glowing, the skyline was enchanting, and the air was crisp and cold. We had been planning this trip for months and the moment we planned for was finally upon us. As we walked around people waiting in long lines waiting to enter the “coolest” bar, we headed towards an unknown destination. We were unsure of where we were headed, but we knew that as long as we were together, we could walk for miles and not care because we were with each other. We finally reached our destination; a sliders place that wasn’t extremely busy or even closed. We searched high and low for a good place to eat and, alas, we finally found one. Sitting at that table with my friends, watching football, and trying to keep our minds off of our impending hunger, I realized something. In spite of what we have done in the past or where we’re headed, all that mattered was the present. I was there with 5 of my best friends. We were on an adventure and nothing was going to get in our way. As long as we were with each other, it didn’t matter what we did.

Sometimes the greatest moments in life aren’t about what you’re doing, but whom you’re with.

Our journey, then, lead to a trip the next morning to downtown Franklin to browse the charming little toy stores and the not-so-entertaining clothing stores. While we were thinking of the different stores we walked around, our minds weren’t always focused on the things on the shelves that were screaming to get our attention. We were focused on embracing and capturing the moments we were so blessed to spend together. Because while buying cool capguns and coffee mugs put smiles on our faces, what put smiles in our hearts was the people that we were with. Our adventures didn’t stop there. We arrived at my family’s cabin in the North Georgia Mountains and the next day our adventure continued. We danced around on train tracks and took goofy pictures on the steps of city hall. We walked to waterfalls, stood in the middle of an almost dried up river, and sank in the mud of the outskirts of a shrinking lake that was deep enough to jump from cliffs just the summer before.

As we licked ice cream on the back porch of Pappy’s Trading Post, while watching the rain fall into the river in front of us, we imagined what it would be like if we were in the 1950s. What will people think of us and our customs and traditions in 2045? What will they think of us? I hope that they will think of our generation as one who knew how to embrace the journey. I hope that they will embrace the moments in the adventures that they will experience.

I hope that they will cherish the people that surround them because without special people in your life, life can be mellow, shallow, and feel as though it has no significance.

If we embrace the people that surround us in this never-ending journey that we call life, our lives will reflect the grace of God and the abundance of His love.

Remembering that God has blessed us with these people for a particular reason, whether it is for a short season or lasts a lifetime, reminds us that life isn’t about the things we own or how many people that know our name, but how we use the things we own to help others and how to love the people that may or may not know our names.

Being Oblivious To the Obvious

There is something that has been bothering me a lot lately. I’m going to let you read a letter that I wrote to one of my best friends and I’ll explain why this is pertinent in just a moment:

“Dear Katie,

Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me. Katie, you are so awesome and I’m just so thankful for that. Dude, thanks that I can just come to you when I’m hurting and you’ll be right there to listen. Best friend, I’m so grateful, Katie, that you don’t judge me for the things I’ve done wrong, but for who I am to you. Katie, I’m so thankful that our friendship goes deeper than most friendships do. You and I, Katie, are like sisters and no matter where life takes us, Katie, I know you’ll always have my back. Thank you for making me a better person. Friend, I’m just so grateful that you are one of my best friends.”

Ok, so you might have been wondering what was going on with all of the names being thrown in to each sentence. You might have just tried to ignore it and continued to read it or it might have annoyed you to the point of not being able to finish reading it. Sorry about that (kind of, but not really). Let me explain.

The letter was obviously to my friend, Katie. I wanted to thank her for everything she has done for me and for being one of my best friends. You, as the unfamiliar reader, do not know what all that entails and that’s okay because Katie and I both know what all she has done for me and that’s all that matters considering the letter was written to her.

Does the letter remind you of anything? I wrote it and made it sound similar in nature to how many people pray. Most of the time people overuse proper nouns when they are praying. One of the Ten Commandments states that we should not misuse God’s name. This not only means that we should not pair God’s name with inappropriate words, but it also means that we should not insert His name in places they should not go. Many times when we pray, we insert the words “God, Lord God, and Father God”. A lot of us don’t even realize that we insert those words in our prayers, but we do. When we use terms that describe God or even say His name when we are praying, we need to do so intentionally. If we insert God’s names into our prayer when we don’t even need to, we are misusing His name. He already knows what His name is, so there is no need for us to remind him 20 times in a thirty-second long prayer.

The letter that you read at the beginning wasn’t a real letter that was written to Katie, but hopefully you can see how it ties in. If I say the terms “Katie, best friend, friend, etc.” a bunch of times in a letter or in general conversation with Katie, I would sound like I don’t know who I’m talking to. When people use the terms “God, Lord God, Dear God, etc.” many times during a prayer, it seems like they don’t know whom they are talking to.

I feel that often times when we pray, we go through the motions and don’t really take the time to be intentional with our words. We use a lot of filler words. The purpose of prayer isn’t to sound like we know what we’re talking about or know what we’re trying to say. The purpose of prayer is to know Whom we’re talking to. By talking to God, we get to grow closer to His heart and we start to understand a tiny bit of who He is.

Talk to God and let Him hear what’s on your heart. You’re talking to the Creator of the universe. As scary as that sounds, He is also your Heavenly Father who loves to hear you talk to Him. Just be real with Him and act like you’re talking to your best friend. He knows you better than you know yourself. You don’t have to address Him a million times in a conversation and you don’t have to be formal. Just talk to God and be sincere. He knows you and your heart.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great when people actually mean it when they address God multiple times when they are praying and they actually know that they’re saying it. I don’t think the problem lies within the words themselves, but how they are being used. My point is, don’t use God’s names as filler words and be intentional about what we say.

Two Of the Biggest Unknowns

One thing that a lot of people think about is their future and what they feel called to do in life. We try to plan our life based on what we think we are called to do. Often times, we stress out about our future because we aren’t sure what our calling is. We worry that we will fall short of what we are supposed to do because we aren’t exactly sure what we are supposed to do. I’m going to try to give a different perspective on what I think “finding your calling” means and how that translates into our lives.

Instead of our calling being something that we do, I think it is who we are meant to be. God may have seemingly meaningless or random things for us to do or experience, but these things are only going to make sense for the person He made you to be.

God’s calling isn’t to do something, but to be someone.

If we focus on our future and what we think we want to be, we might miss out on what is going on right now. God has plans for our present and our future. If we aren’t careful, the future that we always think we are going to have will sneak up on us and we might miss out on different life experiences. The future isn’t always about tomorrow or ten years from now because we aren’t even promised tomorrow. We need to live in the present and don’t waste the moments we are given. God has a purpose for each moment. Find that purpose and use it.

Sometimes things we do might seem pointless or unimportant, but they all have a part in our story. We are meant for more than dreaming of our future only to realize that the future is barely more than wishful thinking or dreaming. We don’t have full control of our future or what happens to us. While it is incredibly important to have goals and dreams, I think our future and our lives are more than the dreams and goals that we set for ourselves. I think our future is composed of every single thing we’ve ever done. Our goals and dreams are things that drive us and motivate us to be the kind of people we want to be. Instead of focusing all of our energy on the actual tasks that reaching those goals and dreams requires, we should focus on learning from the situations and people around us. We shouldn’t let those goals and dreams define us, but let them inspire us.

Our future is now. Every moment is the future we have been dreaming of.

Growing up I had many different goals and dreams. When I was 17, I had no clue what I wanted to do and I was so scared that I was not going to find what I thought God was calling me to do. Now, at 20, I’m a senior in college and will be graduating this coming May with a B.S. in Sport Management. I spent a lot of time in high school trying to figure out what major I thought God wanted me to study in college. I was so worried that I would miss any little clue that I thought He was sending me, that I’m sure I missed out on opportunities to learn be content with where I was at. I failed to put my calling and my future in God’s hands.

I’ve noticed that a lot of times we are always living for the betterment of our future when our future, as important as it is, is something that we can’t predict. My point is that we should go where God is telling us to go and do what He is telling us to do regardless if it’s in our plans or not.  Be where you are and be content and when God tells you to move, you obey Him. When we obey God, we fulfill our calling. We shouldn’t focus only on building a great future because we don’t have a lot of control over the future. God can call us to different places that we may not plan for so be bold and willing to go different places and do different, unexpected things. Things happen in our lives to allow us to grow as people. Take advantage of those things and chase your dreams. God gave them to you for a reason. Just don’t let those dreams define you.

Your calling isn’t to go somewhere or work somewhere…that’s just part of the journey. At the end of your life, if you have loved God and loved others in the way that God has made you to do so, I think you’ve obeyed and lived out your calling.

What Does Goodbye Human Mean?

So what is the deal with the title Goodbye Human? It sounds kind of like I’m ready to kick everyone out of my life and go live with animals, but I assure you, this is not the case. Over the course of my short, 20 years of life, I’ve observed a lot of different people’s ways of life, how they think, how they conduct themselves, and what they deem is most important in their lives. Often times, people do what think society will accept or admire. This is why everyone strives to fit in. They want to be socially accepted by their peers and even people they don’t know. We are all guilty of doing things in order to be accepted by someone or a group of people. We often do this subconsciously.

What I want to accomplish in this blog is relatively simple, yet complex. I want to, in essence, say goodbye to what I know about the faulty side of the human race, while acknowledging that we all are faulty and make mistakes and that’s completely okay, and say hello to what God says should define human beings. People are made for more than just fitting in. If we were supposed to fit the norm, we all would be made the same. God has given us all different talents, likes, and dislikes in order that we all might be different and that we might glorify Him in different ways.

My goal for this blog is to not be demeaning in any way to anyone, but to allow myself and others grow as human beings in our spiritual lives, personal lives, and our perspectives about certain topics and situations. I believe that life is a never-ending journey of learning new things and experiencing new adventures and situations. All of these things combined will help us say goodbye to our selfish desires and say hello to the people who God has called to be.