Found

I looked under the rocks but found nothing there

I looked beneath the sea and through the ocean air

I searched the tree tops and across the jungle floors

I searched the wheat covered fields and behind wooden doors

I went into new towns and across state lines

I walked for miles and miles and saw no signs

I ran marathons in all different directions

I scoured my memory for any recollection

I rowed across lakes and from river to river

I climbed icy mountains and was filled with shivers

I made it through dark caves and volcanos ready to burst

I crawled through deserts dying of thirst

Then one day I felt hope no longer

My legs gave out, my lungs no stronger

I could not look anymore, time to give up the fight

The world told me I was crazy, maybe they were right

I sat still for the first time in years, and listened to the sound

Of Him who was always with me

And never needed to be found.

-nJb

 

 

 

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God Gave Me a Shot

I walked into the patient room, he looked at me, and immediately screamed with all his might.

This was horror film type of shriek.

It may have been that I look like a monster being sleep deprived and without any coffee, or the fact that I was wearing a white coat.

This patient was a child and he associated the white coat with needles.

This pediatric patient and us have a lot in common.

We are faced with a lot of pain in this life. Pain that does not make any sense with our childish view of how things should be. We question God’s motives and at times question His goodness.

We are the child in the doctor’s office petrified of what is to come.

God tries to remind us with a poster on the office wall, with words such as:

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him….”Romans  8:28

Yet, we don’t focus on the truths, we tend to focus on the reality: we might be getting a shot today.

Vaccines are scary for not just kids, even adults. If the shot does not hurt when it is given, it can hurt for days afterwards.

Though the pain may be there for a few days, we are now protected from a deadly illness for life.

But little kids do not understand this truth. They do not understand that now Polio is no match for them. They have eternal armor on against measles. Hepatitis can scram.

All the children dwell on is the pain.

We are very similar in our understanding of the pains we go through in life.

We must continue in our efforts to trust the Divine Physician and remember just how small our minds are compared to the love of God.

In this life we are going to be receiving a lot of vaccines.

What matters is how much we trust when we know the shot is coming.

Now is your shot.

 

 

 

 

Tagging Out of the Fight

The sweat is pouring down your back. You feel like the fight is never going to end. One minute you think you have it pinned but a second later you are trying to break free. You break out of the choke hold but a minute later you are caught in it again. You fling it off of you and run as fast as you can to the edge of the ring. You tag out by tapping His hand. You slide under the ropes. You walk passed the stands. You leave the arena.

And never look back.

Why?

Because He will handle it.

 

In life we are all fighting something. This is your “it.” I don’t know what it is but I know you have an “it.” It may be a bad habit. It may be a sinful desire. It may be struggles with anxiety and depression. It may be a painful past. It may be a fearful future.

The reality of this fight is you cannot win by fighting. Weird right. But, isn’t that how victories happen? When the going gets tough keep fighting?

The fact of the matter is you are too weak to fight. You need to tag out. In “tag team” wrestling there is another fighter on your team. You have given it your all but unfortunately its just not going to work. The opponent is just too much for you. But you have your Teammate waiting. You have Christ’s outstretched hand. The same hand that picked Peter up as he sunk into the stormy sea. The same hand that lifted up bread and wine and gave you His body and blood. The same hand that was pierced for your sins out of love for you. The same hand that cured the blind and raised the dead.

What are you waiting for. Tag out of the fight. Look to your Teammate.

Tell Him, “Jesus You will Handle this.”

And leave the arena. You don’t need to watch. Leave the arena.

And you may need to do this everyday. You may need to do this every five minutes.

But eventually you won’t go back into the ring.

You will find someone in the parking lot, and tell them all about the fight your Teammate is winning inside.

Joy under the rocks

When I was a kid, I liked going to the Long Island sound. I would walk along the beach and pick up large rocks. Some of the rocks weighed about 5 lbs other “giant” rocks were about 15-20lbs. It took a lot out of a scrawny 9 year old to lift them.

But there was a reason I did.

After lifting up the rocks and throwing them to the side. I would find tons of crabs running about. The crabs really liked hiding under the rocks. I would catch them and at the end of the day let them go.

Finding joy is a lot like finding the crabs along the beach.

Most days, it takes effort.

There are many large rocks/obstacles along the way.

It takes a lot of strength to lift the rocks of our lives to find the treasure of joy.

Somedays the weight of the world makes it impossible to see the beauty all around us.

But we must not give in to the weight of the rocks.

As Christians, choosing joy in the midst of the crosses, is our mission.

St. Teresa of Avila said, “The lukewarm do not embrace the cross; they merely drag it along.”

Friends, I encourage you to seek joy with all your heart today. God loves you more than you can even imagine. No matter the obstacle along the way, choose to lift the rocks and find joy.

There is a reason to be cheerful. Christ has overcome the world.

 

 

trust creates saints

Trust in the midst of adversity is what creates a saint. 

Trust is a gift and a choice.

It cannot be formed without a constant breaking of oneself.

I find trust to be one of the most fascinating/difficult ideals. 

Alongside with its brother humility, it is fundamental to the life of the Christian.

The deepest trust is the gateway for the grace of faith.

Trusting though magnificent, is extremely difficult.

In the past it felt easy. I proclaimed to God how much I trust in Him. Yet, when adversity came I watched my knees shake and allowed myself to become paralyzed. This was not trust at all.

I think we all have fallen victim to this at times.

We proclaim our trust in God, yet our actions speak otherwise.

We are like Peter before he walked out to Christ on the water. As the trials come we shout to God how much we trust Him, yet we never step out of the boat.

Why is trust so difficult?

We live in a world where we always feel like someone is out to get us. In our social media/email generation we can never turn parts of our life off. I know for me, I always feel like I am forgetting something. As students too, we are primed from a young age to be sure we never forget any assignment or else we will get in trouble. This has instilled in us the habit of wanting to control ever single aspect of life.

We have become a generation of trusting by looking in not by looking outside ourselves. 

Recently I took some board exams for medical school. In the middle of the studying, I could feel another test occurring in my soul.

A test of trust. 

These exams determine a lot. They can really help or hurt me in my process to residency programs (what type of doctor I can be.)

Throughout the process of intense studying, I didn’t really have anyone to rely on. Sure, I had my family and my fiancee. But come test day, it was God, me, and the computer screen. And deep down I knew that truth.

Have you ever had a moment in your life where you felt fully alone?

These moments, where control is impossible, is the moment for trust.

Trust is unique because it is only built in our souls when times of struggle come.

Struggle and suffering is the concrete that builds the brick wall of trust.

Trust is built in trial; therefore, we must not waste our trials with anxiety and distress.

This does not mean you must not feel anxious, scared, upset, sad etc. You will of course feel these emotions. You are in fact human. To be immune to feeling these emotions you would cease to be human. However, the choice to remain paralyzed is ours. The choice to choose trust is written on our souls.

How can we show Christ how much we trust in Him?

When the storms are rough, we do not run away, rather we run into the rain. 

When the tears fill our eyes, we carry on and let them water our trust. 

When anxiety consumes us, we move our quivering limbs step by step. 

To trust in Christ is to show our Lord how much we love Him.

To trust is to acknowledge that Christ is the Truth.

It is that simple.

Trust is a prayer which the world can witness daily.

It is cracking the egg from the inside only to witness the beauty of a new life.

It is time we crack the shell of control and become saints.

 

 

 

 

 

 

humble me Lord, but not yet

Humility is an antidote to so many of our problems in life.

It is the enemy to pride, which causes us so much internal pain.

Pride leads us to be ever fearful. Pride causes us to constantly watch how we are perceived. It prevents us from loving others selflessly. Pride is a telescope pointed at oneself.

Christ shows us that humility is the answer to following in His footsteps.

As He washes the apostles feet, He models humility for us.

It takes a minute for me to wrap my head around. God Himself, washing the feet of humanity.

There is so much love in that thought it hurts.

Tackling pride in a world that constantly tells us to watch our backs is extremely difficult. From the time we are in elementary school we are told that success in school, life, relationships makes us great. We become so afraid of not achieving success and finding stability that we fear so much. This fear morphs into pride rapidly and instead of washing the feet of our neighbor we commit our eyes to only staring at our own feet.

Humility is hard. To be humble is to be a disciple of Christ. There are many ways in which we can go against the tide and find true humility.

1.We can let it go. Any grudges or resentment from the past we can choose to release it to the foot of the cross. Humble yourself in accepting what has happened and choosing love and not resentment. Your focus on your self is just like adding salt to a wound. Give it up to God and choose to live with a selfless joy.

2.Do the small things. Help around the house. Help a friend with something that may be tedious. Don’t think you are above the small tasks of life. Choose to take time out of your schedule to help someone out, even if it is just for a moment.

3.Live with joy. There is a humility found deep within joy. When we are joyful we are filled with a deep trust that God is who He says He is. Though we are small and powerless, through Him all shall be well. Live with joy and prove your trust in Him. Trust that He is God and you are not.

Humility hurts because there is a dying to oneself. 

Out with the old and in with the new.

A new self who chooses to follow in the footsteps of Christ.

zeal

You have the zeal of God written on your soul.

Every breath is but another chance to dust off your past and begin again.

Life only begins when you take action.

You have a goal buried deep within you.

The only way to reach it is to dig. 

You tell me, “I don’t know where it is buried.”

It doesn’t matter where, all that matters is that you never stop digging.

I want to see your sweat water the tilled dirt beneath your feet.

I want to see callouses on your hands.

I want to see a sun tanned back.

You were not made to be a potted plant, who spreads roots for stability.

Your faith thrives in the unknown. 

Your talents are not yours but His.

The only way to show gratitude is to give them to the world.

Pour yourself out, there is a world that needs many new flowers.

Flowers, that no weather can scorch and no weed can drown out.

Let the zeal sing in your heart like a morning Dove.

Never close its beak.

But uncage the Dove. Allow the change to take place in your mind.

Do not allow the zeal to rest in you, but give it permission to change you.

Every single part of you.

The broken parts and the beautiful parts.

It may hurt.

It may not be easy.

It may sting a bit.

But we aren’t asking for easy.

We are asking for a mission. 

 

 

 

 

Rewind Kind of Mind

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come.  We have only today.  Let us begin.

-St. Mother Teresa.

Lately, a lot of my posts have focused on not allowing the past to impact your future. The idea of letting go and moving on is so fascinating mostly because it is so difficult. 

 

robert downey jr sigh GIF

Recently, I just took one of the biggest tests in my medical school career.

9 hours and 400 questions later I walked out of the testing center feeling like I had been wandering through a desert. I was super thirsty because I was dehydrating myself (barely any pee breaks). I was hungry. My eye sight was all blurry from staring at a bright screen all day. Most of all….I felt lost.

desert GIF

My mind started doing that rewind thing it likes to do. A feature that I am sure many of you can resonate with.

What was that question again? *Quickly Googles topic and face palms*

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Right. Wrong. 

My rewind mind took over and I started googling my little heart out…only to be hit a whole lot of wrong choices.

DANG IT. DANG IT. DANG IT.

So naturally I started mentally screaming at myself.

“Why did you pick that you KNEW that was wrong….gosh come on you just reviewed that…..WHY…”

The test was over but my mind and body had not realized it. I was struggling so hard to break the vicious cycle that my rewind mind was salivating towards.

Just look up onnnnne more. Come on

will smith rewind GIF

In that moment there is a choice, a choice that I am still working on, to allow yesterday to not stay in yesterday and to begin to live in the present.

I read a quote from St. Faustina this morning that talked about her desire to live in present. In the present moment that is where we find God. It seems like common sense to recognize that we cannot change our past nor control every aspect of our future. Yet, the human condition makes it appear that we can. This is a daily choice we must strive to make.

It is time to not turn back the clock.

Friends, I encourage you today to live out the quote St. Teresa once said. Yesterday is gone. GONE. Tomorrow has yet to come. We have ONLY TODAY.

 

It is time for you to begin. 

 

He will take care of it.

Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.”

Luke 9:62

 

Choices are a part of life. They can free us or they can enslave us. Choices can bring us peace or anxiety. What we choose ends up shaping our mind and hearts. Our habits are formed by our minute by minute choices.

At first this seems pretty frightening.

We often ask ourselves, “Why can’t I change my choices, why am I so stuck.?”

The beauty of Christianity rests in the mercy of Jesus Christ.

His mercy overcomes our past choices and allows us to put our hand to the plow and never look back.

Life is very good at making us turn around.

We check everything…. think over all our past mistakes….ruminate on our interior struggles….

Christ tells us that we cannot be fit for the Kingdom of God if we look back, because through this decision we are allowing the fear to become our focus.

By focusing on fear we are paralyzing ourselves. Our God-given gifts cannot be utilized. Instead of doing good we become idle.

If we are to be fit for the Kingdom, we must trust that by focusing on Christ everything will be taken care of.

By no means is this an easy task, but it is a necessary one, if we are to grow closer to holiness.

I encourage you to set your hands on the plow today.

Whatever the plow is for you.

It may be your responsibility as a father or mother, a student, a member of the military, a  priest, a teacher; whatever it is…

Fulfill your obligations with love.

Grip the plow tight until your knuckles turn white.

Strive to glorify God through every minute of your life.

When you feel the temptation to look back in any form.

Move forward and trust that Christ will take care of it.

Because He will.

He will.

He will.

He will.

I am going to keep repeating it until it breaks through the barriers we have set up in our minds.

If we have confidence in Christ miracles will happen. 

If we trust in Christ our lives, though difficult, will have an interior peace. 

If we keep our hands on the plow, we will bring the light of Christ to a very dim world.