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.

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. 

 

 

 

 

Bad times or Your time?

Bad times, hard times, this is what people keep saying; but let us live well and times shall be good. We are the times: such as we are, such are the times.”

-St. Augustine

 

Life is overwhelming. Most of us have so much going on right now we feel pulled a million and one different ways.

Did I send that email? My test is coming up better study! Why are people being treated that way? Did I forget to call that person back? Why is there so much hatred? 

We can’t seem to catch a mental break. So what do we do? Well I know the first thing I seem to do is blame the times.

Because my head says, “If I blame the environment; it’s definitely not my fault.”

It’s easy to blame the times in which we live for how we live.

Yet, this is not what the Bible tells us nor what our hearts remind us of on the daily.

“Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.”

Romans 12:2

Today, I encourage you to not blame the times for where you are at. Focus on using your free will to change the times for the better.

When the world seems unjust; show others mercy.

When the world is cruel; shower others with love.

When the world breeds fear; live with courage.

 

 

 

Don’t Drop the Key

I went on a run today. When I run, I usually have to hold onto my key. My pockets are usually not deep enough, and quite frankly they would definitely fall out.

So I clench my key in my sweaty hand.

We, humans, hold onto a lot of things tightly in our hands.

A lot of things that don’t really matter…

Such as anxiety, fear, mistrust, doubt. We clench onto all this stuff.

We need to let it all go and open our hands.

However, while running and holding my key for dear life, I was reminded of the fact that there is one thing we need to hold onto.

The Key that opens up Home.

When we are born we are all given a key. Through Baptism and our choices we decide if we want to hold onto this gift.

One day we are gonna have to hand over our key to God and He will open the gates and call us Home.

This key is the ability to enter into the Kingdom of God.

We must never forget that when life gets tough and we feel like we cannot go forward anymore.

Our purpose is to make it Home and enter through the gates.

We were given a key in our hearts.

So keep running, and don’t drop the key.

 

 

Ants in Your Pants

A couple months ago.

I was walking around my apartment when I saw it.

An ant.

The tiniest little guy squirming around on my floor.

So I got rid of him and went on my way.

A few moments later I look at the floor and see another one.

Then another one.

Then another one…

I can feel my blood pressure start to elevate.

Where are they coming from?

What are they doing in my apartment?

Why now?

Long story short, I had a lot planned for that day but I wasted it.

Those pesky ants effected me so much physiologically that I could not concentrate.

I slept thinking I felt something crawling on my legs.

I went out and bought traps.

When I studied in my apartment, I would see one, and that would be it.

The other day I realized something about my ant experience. It is very much like how I am effected by the small annoyances.

You see the big things don’t bother me. Medical emergencies, I envision myself pretty cool, calm, and collected. Speaking in front of a giant crowd? What a rush. Getting lost in a city, not a problem.

But a few ants, and I can’t think straight. Missing one question I should have gotten on a test and I feel like a failure. Saying the wrong thing to someone, and it spins around in my head all day. Thinking negatively about someone and I beat myself up with the guilt. Needing to get gas on a busy day, and I get really stressed. It’s the little things…the little ants, that can drive many of us away from peace.

So, what is one to do about it?

Recognize that the ant is there and move forward.

Put it into perspective.

It is just a minor annoyance in the grand scheme of life.

You have work that needs to be done.

If we start allowing the ants of daily life to grab our attention we will live our lives staring at the floor.

We have to make a choice. To choose our purpose rather than our distraction.

Recognize the power that you have; given to you by God.

You have a mission friend, don’t let the ants in your pants prevent you from living it boldly.

 

 

When you hug God

You walk towards Him.

He reaches out His arms to embrace you.

You lunge forward and hug Him with every ounce of your being.

Your fears melt. You are eternally safe.

Yet, you feel a sharp pinch on the side of your head.

You notice a thorn from His crown is hitting you.

You feel a pain in your side.

You feel just a bit of the lance which pierced Him.

Your feet resting on top of His, begin to sting.

At the touch of the nails driven into His feet.

Your hands holding His become red.

The burn of the nails in His hands, melts into yours.

The tighter you hug the more of His pain you feel.

You begin to know God and His love.

Yet, you call it suffering?

My friend, this is a gift.

To walk the way of the cross with God.

 

I Hear, But I’m Not Listening

We all have those fears.

Fears that seem to rest in our ears, which play over and over again as if we put them on repeat.

They impact us. They cause our skin to crawl. Our blood pressure to rise. And worst of all they paralyze our limbs and make us feel inadequate.

The other day I came across a quote attributed to one of my favorite spiritual guides St. Padre Pio. I feel as though I am meant to share it with you all.

“You need to act according to this guideline without hesitation or argument. You need to move ahead, doing your work without listening to the voice of your fears. Note, I said listen, that is, to give heed to, to pay attention to, and so on. I am not saying hear because it is impossible not to hear those fears, but do not pay attention to any of them.”

It’s a difficult task. To hear the fears so clearly yet refuse to listen. When we hear the fears we feel as though they are a part of us. Our physiology is impacted so we immediately fall into the trap of dwelling on them.

Friends, I encourage you today to allow the fears to be there but refuse to give them any value. Step forward confidently knowing that Our Lord is with you even when you do not feel His presence.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

 

Why I Love Her

Relationships teach you a lot about yourself.

The good one’s teach you about where you fall short and what to do about it.

A solid relationship is built on growth.

Not on personal growth, but on helping the other to be the best version of themselves.

A year and a half ago I was blessed to start dating someone who would do just that for me. Someone who has killed off my vices day after day.

Most of all, she has brought me closer to my King.

Reminding me of His goodness, in every single moment.

Here are 3 reasons why I love her.

Hopefully, you have found or will find someone that can love you in this way.

1.Christ in everything

I had a tendency. To get uncomfortable when Jesus is brought up in conversation’s that are not really about religion. Give me a beer or a coffee and a table and I can talk theology all day and night. However, when asked about my day I never seem to bring up what God has done for me. It was uncomfortable for me to recognize Christ in the littlest of moments. Why? Because I was hiding from the reality. The reality that my prayer life needed changing. The reality that my focus needed shifting. The reality that life was not all about me. She reminds me daily that the words of the mouth, come from the heart.

2. Smile Through the Pain

Life is hard. Most days I have fishing weights attached to either side of my lips, preventing my smile. She taught me to smile in all circumstances. To be even more grateful in the pain. To be transformed by the joy that is God. We are called to rejoice always. Always. In all circumstances. It is a skill as well as a virtue. One must foster the gift of gratitude.

3. Unconditional Acceptance

I have a lot of flaws. I might need a whole room of people to count on their fingers and toes. I am human flaws and all. However, the feeling of inadequacy runs deep in my core. She reminds me daily that no matter how much I mess up I am stilled loved. This unites me with the message spoken through the Gospel that I always neglect to hear. God loves me unconditionally. He cares for me. He always accepts me as I am.

If you are just starting a relationship or looking for someone I encourage you to seek an individual with these qualities. Someone who makes everything about God, proclaims gratitude, and accepts you unconditionally.

Now, it is your turn.

To do the same.

Happy 1.5 B

Don’t Look Back

How many times in your day do you look back?

I’m not talking as you backup out of your parking spot.

How many times in your day, do you think about the past?

It might be the immediate past.

Questioning ourselves like:

Did I say what I needed to say?

Was that weird?

Did I get that question right on the test?

Why did they humiliate me like that?

Scanning the past in such a way is pure rumination.

The majority of the time it does absolutely no good at all.

It solves nothing and just leads to anxiety, uncertainty, and confusion.

In the Gospel of Luke Christ explains what to do about what we have left behind in time.

“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

 

In this passage Christ tells us that in order to move forward we have but one choice. Stop turning our heads back to our past and focus solely on the work to be done in the future. Uncertainty and fear about the past is a weapon the devil uses very slyly. The enemy is like someone tapping you on the shoulder so you are forced to turn around. You feel the tap and out of instinct begin to ruminate.

The difference rests in the choice. The choice to tighten our grip on the plow and focus on doing everything to reach the kingdom of God.

Not all looking back is bad.

Reflection differs from rumination.

In reflection we are able to look back on what we have done or how we have been hurt in the past and make a choice. In reflection we are looking back to gain a greater understanding, which pushes us forward.

Trench, Twenty One Pilots new album (which is awesome btw), touches a bit on rumination.

In the song “Cut My Lip” we are told,

Though I am bruised, face of contusions
Know I’ll keep movin’, know I’ll keep movin’

We do not need to look back at what has given us the bruises.

We need; however, to keep moving.

The lyrics continue…

I keep on goin’ back

Even though it’s me I abuse

How true is this?

The rumination needs to stop and a surge of zeal for the future needs to be the goal.

So, this week.

As the past creeps up and taps you on the shoulder.

Don’t respond.

Keep your hands on the plow.

Focus on the Kingdom.

Even though the bruises hurt, the cuts are deep, the sweat is stinging your eyes….

Don’t look back.

The Sun in the Sad Times

This morning I had class at 7:30.

Last night, I stayed up way too late, so naturally I felt like my sheets were bricks as I woke up this morning.

I basically crawled my way to the shower, got dressed, and left.

Leaving a little early to beat the traffic, I saw the most beautiful sunrise.

The picture at the top does not even do it justice.

I was blown away by the beauty.

God was present. I was present with Him. What an awesome start to the day.

Then I started to think.

In order to see such a gift, I had to wake up feeling like death.

I had to push the feelings of my humanity away, and move forward.

By doing this I was able to be a part of the sunrise.

This is exactly what we are called to do with our suffering on this earth. We are to use it as a stimulus to grow deeper in faith, hope, and love through utter perseverance.

In the darkness of the morning we must remain hopeful for the rising of the sun.