Monday, February 17, 2014

Love: It's a Do Thing

"Being devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves."
        -Romans 12:10

How do we do that? What does that look like? A little while ago, we talked at school about who our neighbor is. I think by thinking in those terms, we can start to know how to apply these verses. When I think of applying these verses, I instantly picture my family or my sisters in Christ on the basketball team. But, these verses aren't only for the ones we already love. They don't say "Honor your family..." or "Being devoted to your Christian friends..." (although of course you should). I believe they're more open ended. They say, "one another." That's whoever you're around or could ever be around. It's anyone but yourself.

These verses call us to love our neighbor. When we start to see past ourselves and start looking at others as our brothers and sisters, it becomes a whole lot easier to honor and love them. It doesn't mean it will be easy- you still fight with your siblings. It does mean, however, that you'll be quicker to forgive, quicker to help, and quicker to encourage.

Sometimes you're going to really dislike someone. They'll get on your nerves; they'll do and say things that aggravate you and hurt you, but we're called to be devoted to them all the same. Just as you (hopefully) keep on loving that silly brother or annoying sister, you need to keep loving those around you. Keep actively loving your neighbor and pursuing those around you with Christ's love, because that's what love is: it's a do thing.

Can't Wait?

I can't wait for the future! I'm so excited to start my dream job of being a pediatrician! I'm excited to get married and have a family! I'm even excited for summer to come in a few months! I'm excited and so hopeful for the future that I often miss the joy of today. I anticipate and daydream about an upcoming event so much that it often doesn't live up to my expectations or dreams.

On the other hand, I also haunt myself with the past, with both good and bad things. Replaying events over and over, analyzing every detail, instead of simply enjoying the memory or letting go.

So what about today? It's where I am right now after all. Shouldn't my focus be on the present? While I do think it's good to have goals and plans for the future, I don't think we should let the view up ahead cause us to lose sight of the path directly under our feet. By constantly looking forward, trying to see what's just around the bend or over the hill, we might stumble over something directly before us. And if we are constantly looking over our shoulder to what was, we might run into a tree.

I love the movie, Kung Fu Panda, and while it's cheesy, it is true that it offers some good life lessons :)

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the 'present.'"

So enjoy this beautiful gift, enjoy today!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Worn Out

I don't know about you, but I've certainly been feeling tired lately. It's hard with all of life's demands always bombarding you; from staying up late doing schoolwork to spending time with friends, there's so much that seems to zap your energy.

The other day in chapel, our chapel director reminded me to find refreshment in God. I might be tired and have nothing left to give, but Christ always has an abundance. He may not take away the stress, but He will give you the strength and joy to get through it. Matthew 11:28-30 has been incredibly uplifting to me:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

All we have to do is come to God. That's all He asks of us in order to find rest. Yet often times when I get weary, I tend to feel sorry for myself and forget to run into Christ's loving arms.

I've been listening to a song called "Satisfied In You (Psalm 42)" by The Sing Team and the bridge has been reminding me where my heart should be even when I feel drained.

"Let my sighs give way to songs that sing about your faithfulness 
Let my pain reveal your glory as my only real rest
Let my losses show me all I truly have is you."

I hope you aren't worn out, but if you are, may you be refreshed!