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.

 

 

 

The Purse Lady

I was in Church last week.

Placed on the seat next to me was a purse. The lady  who owned the purse was two seats away.

The choir started singing and just like that Church had started. Maybe, ten minutes into the start a couple walked in and the usher pointed to the seat next to me and the seat with the purse. Immediately, the purse lady  waved her hand to stop the couple saying she was saving it for someone. Everyone in the Church was staring. They were starting to make a scene. The wife told her husband to sit down next to me and she would sit somewhere else. She was obviously very annoyed at the lady so called “saving the seat.”

I talked with the lady about to leave her husband and told her to take my seat. I moved and just like that all was okay with the world. However, throughout my time in Church I watched as the purse remained on that seat.

No one came.

I could still feel tension between the couple and the lady sitting with the purse. We were all probably thinking the same thing. Was someone actually going to sit there? Or was she just being rude? Even if someone was going to sit there Church had already been going on for quite some time. This person could have just found another seat.

Then I had a realization. 

My immediate thought was that the purse-lady was a mean person.

My default was that she was selfish

My instincts shouted at me that she was not to be trusted.

Why do we do this?

Everyday our default in this world is that the OTHER person is wrong. The OTHER person is rude. The OTHER person is not smart. The OTHER person is causing trouble.

I hate that.

I want to see people the way Christ sees people.

So I challenged myself.

Why might this purse-lady have been saving this seat?

I made a mental list.

  1. She was waiting for a friend who promised to be there.
  2. She is claustrophobic
  3. She is too old to pick up her purse from the floor
  4. She was waiting for her husband who never comes with her. Praying this time would be different.
  5. She was too overweight/had bad knees so it was difficult to bend down and get her purse.
  6. She had something valuable in the purse and did not want to let it out of her sight.
  7. She had medications in the purse she needed to access quickly.
  8. She was fearful of getting sick so she wanted some space.
  9. She was waiting for her son/daughter to come for the first time.
  10. She was sick and didn’t want anyone sitting so close to her.
  11. etc. etc. etc.

That is when it hit me.

Look at all those justifiable reasons why she did what she did.

Friends, let us start making these lists.

Taking a deep breath.

And changing our default setting to something more positive.

And even if this women was just plain rude.

Maybe, by treating her with love and respect it would change her heart for the better.

Hand Sanitizer: Only 99% Effective

Every Sunday, a homeless man sits a few pews behind me. This man has stained clothes, long greasy hair, and hands speckled with dirt. I was very unsettled with how I first viewed this man. The dirt on his hands and feet immediately put up a barrier between myself and a fellow brother in Christ. My first instinct forced me to focus on myself. Not the needs of this man. Not the desire to help. Not the desire to worship with him. But every thought geared to separating us.

A part of me wanted to sit next to him.

Shake his hand.

Ask him about his life.

Another part of me was afraid.

Saw the dirtiness.

Was unsure if I could connect.

I came across the passage in John this week where Christ washes the feet of His disciples. I have read and heard this passage hundreds of times in my life. Yes, it seemed great and all but I never REALLY thought about it. I never asked myself what this REALLY means for my life?

How can I live it?

Lets break this down real quick:

Our Creator.

The God of the Universe.

The Alpha and the Omega.

The Eternal.

The Everlasting.

The All Powerful.

Humbled Himself.

And.

Scrubbed dirty human feet.

Wow. 

Yet, here I am hesitant to shake a hand?

In Max Lucado’s work Fearless he points out:

“Prudence washes with soap. Paranoia avoid human contact.”

In order to serve just like Christ we must be willing to get our hands dirty.

We must remember the importance of human touch.

In reality, I do not think it is the dirt that unsettles us.

I think it is our fear to attack head on…

Our lack of courage. 

Our heads swollen with pride.

Our ungratefulness.

Christ commands us so simply!

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”-John 13: 14-15

Can our loving Creator be more direct?

Friends, I encourage you this week to look at your own hands.

Are they too clean?

If so, does this outer cleanliness make you believe your soul is squeaky clean?

Hug a friend. Grab the hand of a homeless man or women and pray with them. Feed the poor. Visit the elderly. Do service work in your community.

Get your hands dirty.

Because in reality.

Dirt is nothing to fear.

But a pride-stained soul should be our greatest fear.

And I can assure you.

Hand sanitizer is not going to work. A dirty soul falls in the 1%.  

i.just.don’t.know.

Where am I going? What am I leaving behind? Did I mess up? Have I finished all that I started? Have I even started? Why do I feel so alone yet so loved? Am I scared? Is fear ruling my life? Did I tell her all I needed to say? Why do I imagine my problems weighing me down? Aren’t uncertainties just part of the adventure? Am I overthinking? Where am I going? What am I leaving behind? Am I good enough? Did I tell him I don’t agree with what he is doing? How can I help him? What is in store for me in 10 days? 1 year? 10 years? When is the next time I will see my friends? Am I living the will of God? What is God’s will? Why do I have a headache? Why do we cry? When is the last time I cried? Why don’t I just man up? What does it mean to be a man of God? Am I a man of God? Why don’t I pay attention and stop writing in class? Will I even remember this class in a week? A year? Why do I see the truth when it’s too late? Is it ever too late? Why am I late for class? If I trust God, is my life not in His timing? Where does God want me? Where am I going? What am I leaving behind? Why am I so thirsty? Why am I blessed to have clean cold water? Why me? How can I pray for these people? Do I pray enough? Do I talk more than I listen? What is my solid ground? Who is my solid ground? Do I love God only when I feel Him near me? Why are some conversations so hard? Is deep conversation between persons lost? Why can’t I express how I feel? Why does it take so long? Am I impatient? Why don’t I stop being so emotional? Is it emotion or just the world screaming at me to act? Is emotion a bad thing? Where am I going? What am I leaving behind? Why are my sneakers tied yet I don’t know where to run? Why am I so self-centered? What is humility? Can it be taught? Is pride my GPS? Do others feel the same? Is heartache like bench press for the heart? Will it give me stronger love? Am I even confused? Why do we meet people at certain times? Why am I not hungry? Why am I famished? Why am I tired? Why am I hyper? Why can’t I focus? Why does this coffee taste like dirt? Why am I still drinking it? Why am I complaining when people are suffering eating dirt? How can I see the hurt in their eyes when I’m comfortable? Can I help heal the world? What is my purpose? Where am I going? What am I leaving behind? Am I ready? Ready to do what I think is right? Ready to commit to my morals? Ready to trust? Ready to take initiative?

Ready to act? 

Maybe?

I think so.

No, I don’t think so.

I know so.

I’m ready. 

___________________________

Dear readers, 

      I will be taking a break from my writing. I have a lot to reflect on as the end of the school year is approaching. I ask that you send prayers my way and ask Christ to send me peace in uncertainty. I have some difficult choices to make and I am praying that my choices are attuned to His will. 

     The above post is part II of the “I.Just. Don’t. Know.” series. If this work resonates with you I encourage you to check out my older post. Once again thank you all for your kind words and encouragement. Keep the faith. I’ll be praying for you.  

Love you guys,

Nick Bellacicco

 

 

Noticing You Noticing me

The last few weeks (more like months) I have been really stressed/anxious/fearful.

     Why?

I have no idea what my future holds.

I have no idea what state I will be living in next year.

I have no idea if I will find good friends.

When I talk to others about my future I appear confident. I act like I have everything under control.

But.

The more this semester goes on the more I realize control is something I never will have in this life.

Waiting to hear from medical schools has been a painful process for me.

Waiting for a phone call.

Waiting for an email.

Thinking….

Am I good enough?

Did they like me in the interview?  

Maybe, I should have done more?

While this idea can be applied to my medical school process, I’m sure many of you understand this feeling. Waiting makes us think. We see so many roads we could travel on and look to God for guidance. We pray. We ask for help. We seek peace.

When I was younger I would ask for the good ole fashion sign from God. I wanted a hand written note sent from Him, preferably delivered by dove, to land into my lap.

The older I have become the more I understand that God does not work that way.

However, throughout the last few months I have noticed something.

Because I have been so down.

Because I have been so uncertain.

Because I have been so confused.

I have looked to God so much more. Because of this I have noticed things that I have never noticed before. I would not call them signs…but reminders. Reminders that He is there.

I have noticed Him noticing me.

Let me explain.

1. Dining Hall

A few weeks ago, I was feeling really lost. It was one of those days when you roll out of bed already confused as to what you need to do that day. I was behind on work. I had 5,000 different scenarios about my future running through my head like a movie reel. I made my way to the dining hall to grab food. Maybe, sitting down and eating would give me peace of mind. Food always does make me feel better. All of a sudden I was walking past a quote I have seen at least once a week for two years now. It had meant nothing to me. To be honest I do not think I ever really stopped and thought about it.  However, this time I was taken a back. I read it over a few times. Smiled. He noticed me.

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2. Angel Pin

I was ready to make the drive to DFW Airport. It was the start of spring break. I had not had the best night’s sleep for the past couple nights. I got in my car and hoped their would be no traffic and I would have a safe drive. As a northeastern boy an almost two hour drive is kind of long (it’s nothing for my Texas friends). Doing that drive alone, can get really really boring. Furthermore, doing that drive alone provides a place for a lot of overthinking. I started the car and made the two hour drive. I prayed that everything would go smoothly. As expected I was stressed out the entire ride lost in my own thought. Even the new Ed Sheeran album was not helping (surprising right?!). When I finally made it to the airport I shut off the car thankful I made it there safely. I took a deep breath and looked up. At that moment I noticed a pin stuck near the light inside my car. I have had this car since August and have never noticed it there. I smiled. He noticed me.

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3. Church

Two days ago I went to Church with my family. This is a Church I have been attending since I was about five. After Church, we had a coffee hour in the Church hall. I scarfed down a few donuts (maybe more than a few) and drank my coffee. After a while I saw my family heading out the door. Looking for the garbage, I walked over and threw out my trash. I saw a sign right over the garbage that said,

                           PRAYER CHANGES THINGS

This small sign had been there for years. Yet, now it means so much more. I smiled. He noticed me.

____________________________________

God does not send carrier doves with our futures written on scrolls.

God does not give us a call on our phones.

God does not send us emails.

However, he does send us mini rainbows everyday. To remind us that He is there. He notices us.

God, I notice You noticing me.

And because of that, I have peace.

I Am In Love.

Love.

Such a powerful word.

#Romantic

A few months ago I was listening to a talk on love. I am pretty sure it was a sermon from Francis Chan. Anyway, throughout the talk Francis Chan said something along the lines of:

“When we are in love we do crazy things for others. Girlfriends, family, friends, etc. So, what about for God? If we love Him, would we do crazy things for Him. Would we give up our current comfortable lives?”

Then I felt the punch in the gut feeling coming…

I thought:

“What radical things do I do for God?”

“If He called me to do things that appear crazy to the world…would I do it? Has He already…and I haven’t listened?”

 

I consider myself a pretty adventurous person. I like taking risks. I like showing my affection for others by helping them in times of need. I like doing acts big or small to show my appreciation.

What would I do if someone I loved/admired/cared about needed me now?

If one of my siblings called me and said they needed me. I would drive two hours to the airport. Get on a plane. And be home for them. I’d skip class. I’d miss tests. 

If my upset friend needed to talk to me at 3:00 in the morning…and I was dead asleep. I would get up, drive to their apartment, and we would talk. 

If a girl I had a crush on lived a few hours away, I would drive those 2.5 hours just to see her for a few hours. (true story by the way). 

 

So....what radical things are you doing now because you love God? 

As I reflected on this question I was not really sure. I felt as though God was calling me to love him deeply.

But how? What does radical love look like?

I think it is really interesting that when we do radical things out of love it is considered romantic, selfless, and pure awesomeness. For example, think about all those crazy marriage proposal videos. Guys go out of their way and put so much time and effort in order to make it perfect. Why? Because they love their soon to be bride so much. There is nothing wrong with that at all. Quite frankly, I plan on being one of those guys one day. Get ready future Mrs. Bellacicco.

Furthermore…

We need to remember that as a Christian sometimes doing things because we love God appears crazy. Loving God does not look romantic at all.

Calling on him in prayer, helping someone that the world has said don’t go near, talking with strangers, maybe even going across the world to help the poor.

Loving God radically is through vulnerability.

 

Loving God radically is by sacrifice.

 

Loving God radically is by prayer.

 

Loving God radically is by service.

 

Loving God radically is by listening. 

 

We need to remember, that unlike marriage proposals loving God can be viewed under a negative light in the world.

So, how do I do radical things to show my love for God. Well, radical does not necessarily mean big acts. Each time we do something for our neighbor we are loving God radically. Friends, today I encourage you to do something a little radical to show your love for your neighbor and the Big Man Upstairs.

Write a note of appreciation to a friend, coworker, stranger.

Call someone and tell them how much they mean to you.

Hug a friend who has been down lately.

Send a small gift of appreciation to a parent.

Listen with an open heart to the story of a hurting stranger.

Smile at a stranger.

Pray for a friend.

Pray with a friend.

As St. Mother Theresa said,

“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”

So, yes. Today, I shout from the rooftops. I am in love with God. 

Will you shout it with me?

If so….

Now it is time to show the world you are on fire with His love. 

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The Day the Light Turned On

On January 29th, 2017 my life changed dramatically in a mere 30 minutes. How is that possible? Did something terrible or amazing happen?

Not really. 

So what gives?

I was on a plane headed to an interview. I checked my watch and it was 5:00 pm. I had another hour on board. Sitting in front of me was a book, “The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.” The first few hours on board I had been skimming through the book. The Spiritual Exercises, for those unaware, is a way to look inward.

Reflection on steroids if you will.

The Exercises (consisting of prayer and reflection) are to be completed in a month in order to strengthen one’s relationship with Christ.  Through the exercises one examines one’s life and the life and passion of Christ. I didn’t start the exercises on the plane. That is not what changed my life. However, I did think a lot about the topic of reflection.

I thought, “Have I ever truly sat down and reflected on my entire life?”

No. I had never done it. So that is what I did.

I went from my earliest memory to the present moment sitting on the plane. In complete silence. No headphones. Just me and my memories.

I have to tell you…

It really hurt. But I learned so much.

Here are a few excerpts from my journal that I wrote immediately after my life reflection which lasted for about 30 minutes (the fastest 30 minutes ever).

Today is 1-29-2017 and I reflected on my entire life. I now know why I feel certain ways at times. I know why I act in certain ways. I know now that I was hurt. When I was truly broken. I know now that Christ calls on me to hand him all of my burdens. In Him they are gone. I am made new. Not injured by the world…

You have taken a lot of beatings from this world. You have been so hurt. So now what? Don’t let this pain break you down everyday. Stop carrying it. Put it all on the cross. He is carrying it all. Let it go. He is holding it all. Let it go. Your Creator has taken it all. That is precisely what love is. God is love because he has taken it ALL.

My calling makes so much more sense now. I understand why. 

I can’t really explain to you what happened on that plane. All I can let you know is my life though still confusing and uncertain made a little more sense. I can tell you I was tearing up (I haven’t cried in a very long time).  I can tell you that I felt at peace. I can tell you that I finally understood the love God has for me. I can tell you I finally understand the power of the cross.

Towards the end of my reflection an image popped up in my mind. I pictured myself on a mountain holding a wooden box about the size of a shoe box. Inside was the weight of my past. I walked up to Christ and handed him the box. He gave it back. I looked inside and it was empty.

Friends, I encourage you to sit down in a quiet room and reflect. Think about your earliest memories and work your way to the present moment. In this maze of the mind a lot of things will start making sense. You will understand why you have certain fears. You will understand why certain moments make you happy. You will understand God’s will a little more.

As night hit, the plane became dark. As I came out of my prayerful reflection, I noticed that pretty much all the lights on the plane were off.

I looked up and noticed mine.

It was on.

I never turned it on.

 

Quote Me On This One

Powerful quotes are my favorite. When I say powerful I mean something that causes a KOMA moment for me.  I use this acronym a lot to describe moments where I was awoken to a new perspective. A moment where I was sitting in my daily coma and all of a sudden I was AWAKE. #WOKE

 I’ll write a blog on it some day but what it stands for is (Knocked On My Ass).

Yes, I said ass. It was necessary to use this word or else the acronym would have been KOMB (which I feel does not get the same message across hehe).

Anyway, I have so many motivational quotes plastered all around my room. On my phone I have probably screenshotted over 200 quotes…no joke.  To me a quote whether it be theological, philosophical, or even humorous can shed a lot of light on some hidden truths. The thing I like about a good quote is that it is a perfect summary of a specific truth. Sometimes a quote on the topic of hope for example can pack a greater punch than 20 books combined.     

I recently came across this quote attributed to St. Augustine.

“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek Him the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest human achievement.”

KOMA moment right away. The second I read this quote it brought a change in perspective for me. It allowed me to see that loving,seeking, and finding God is everything I (we) will ever need.

The topics of romance, adventure, and achievement are constantly sought by humankind. These topics are the main points in our dreams, movies, books, etc. It is very easy to see how these topics can be tied into our earthly life. Whenever I think of these topics my immediate thoughts are not tied to God.

When I think romance….boy meets girl…they fall in love…married…babies….happily ever after.

When I think adventure….get on plane…travel world….eat new foods…meet new people.

When I think achievement….finish school…get degree…be good at what you do…be respected.

However, after reading this quotation I was able to view these topics in the light of God.

1. Romance

Wow, to fall in love with God. To some that might sound crazy, but to me that sounds like the epitome of Heaven. Christ showed his love for us when He gave Himself for us on the cross. In each of his wounds is an eternal outpouring of love. Therefore, the romance that I associate with my future wife does not even come close to the love God showed me/shows me everyday. Everyday I must strive to love Him with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my might. In order to do this what must I do? Every great romance involves sacrifice. I must look to do whatever it takes to show Christ an ounce of the love he showed me as he hung on the cross. Heaven is where we will be united with our Creator. Seeing Christ face to face is the ending of the perfect romance.

Next time you feel a desire to fall in love, I encourage you to reflect on the love your Creator has shown you on the cross.

 

2. Adventure

The greatest adventure…sounds rad. Ever since I was a little kid I have had a heart for adventure. I used to stay in my grandmothers woods for hours adventuring around. To this day I want to adventure by traveling the world. I decided to go to school halfway across the country from home…why….FOR THE ADVENTURE. I am reminded today that adventure does not necessarily mean to travel. Adventure can happen in the solitude in our very home in prayer. When we go on an adventure we are seeking something. It could be a new experience. It could be an adrenaline rush. It could be the desire to connect with others. Seeking God is the ultimate adventure. As we are drawn closer to our Creator through different practices such as prayer, fasting, service we are receiving the love of God in our hearts.

Next time you are seeking adventure, I encourage you to walk to your local Church, your bedroom, your desk at school, and pray that God continues to be by your side on this journey of life.

3. Achievement

Finding Him…the greatest achievement. Achievement is drilled into our heads the moments we are learning how to read and write. What do you want to be when you grow up? What are your goals? What are your dreams? These are questions that I still wonder about today. I am reminded today that although it is important to ask ourselves this question it is also vital to ask, “Have I found God today?” It is very easy to allow the ideas of worldly achievement the reality that pursuing God in all we do is the ultimate good.

Next time you are pushing for achievement, I encourage you to reflect on whether or not you have made God the center of your day. Is pursuing God your ultimate goal?

 

In conclusion, God is everything we need. He is romance, adventure, achievement and so much more. To view God in such a way is exciting, interesting, and thrilling. Why do we not view God in such a way more often?

St. Augustine wrote this quotation about 1,600 years ago. The beauty of God’s nature has not changed one bit.

You can quote me on this…

If you reflect on the quotation—I can assure you that it will continue to fill you with joy and a new perspective on the awesomeness of our savior Jesus Christ.

 

 

A message to that person I kinda sorta know but don’t really know because we haven’t been introduced but like we both know each other and what not

Everyone knows these people. The people we see on campus all the time, at the store, in line at Starbucks ALL THE TIME. Yet, they are strangers. But, are they really? I always have trouble in situations when dealing with “strangers”.

The extroverted side of me (so 99% of it) wants to say something.

The extroverted side of me wants a new friend. 

The extroverted side of me wants to put an end to this mutual awkwardness. 

 

However, I usually don’t do anything about it. The 1 percent holds me back.

 

That 1 percent is scared that the individual is not as observant as me. 

That 1 percent is scared that maybe the person will think I am weird. 

That 1 percent is scared that I won’t know what to say.

Basically, my lack of action is all derived from fear.

I remember reading an interview with JK Rowling. She was asked about her favorite virtue. JK Rowling said that it was courage. If you read the Harry Potter series or watched the movies you know that courage is embedded throughout the entire work. At first I was really confused as to why JK Rowling picked this virtue. Lately, it started to make some sense.

After thinking about it, courage is truly one of the most beautiful virtues. Why? Because it is an agent for change.

Courage DOES.

It is an active virtue. It is a virtue that attacks fear head on and says…

“YOU DON’T CONTROL ME.” 

It is a funny thing to think about how we all start out as strangers. Even to our own parents…we come into the world as a stranger. Over time we begin to meet new people and build relationships. Our friends were once just another kid in our class. Our professors were once just heartless lecturers. Our romantic interests were just dreams.

I write this letter as an encouragement to anyone out there to talk to a stranger today. Do not let your fear prevent you from finding a best friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, mentor, etc.

By acting on the virtue of courage we are building relationships. By our interactions with others on our campus, community, and the world we are showing love to one another. Through introducing ourselves we are saying, “I notice your existence.” By talking with a stranger you are saying, “Let me hear your story.”

In the era of the smart phone it is so easy to look down, to look away, and to fake a call.

Today, I encourage you all to slip your phone in your jean pocket, take a breath to fill your lungs, turn towards the person you kinda sorta know, and say….

“Hi I’m___________.”

Now, the story begins. 

Shoutout to Nicki Minaj

Have you ever been walking somewhere and all of a sudden a random song lyric comes into your head?

Yesterday, out of no where I started hearing the lyrics from Nick Minaj’s “Moment 4 Life” featuring Drake. The line that really stuck in my head was…

 “No, I’m not Lucky, I’m Blessed…”

Back in 2010, when the song came out, I probably sang that lyric a hundred times. My music choices have changed quite a lot since 2010—sorry Nicki your songs are just chilling in my old iPod nano.

However, I want to thank Nicki for that lyric—which I haven’t thought about in years.

After reflecting on her words for a minute or two I was reminded of a theological lesson.

Ever since starting college, I have had a way of getting through tough obstacles and challenges. It just seemed natural to me. Many of these obstacles are academic, but there are others which are not. Every time I get through it, I always respond,

“It’s just luck.”

What do you mean by this Nick? Well, I can’t really describe it but if you ask my friends they will tell you. There are times in my life where failure is inevitable. Mostly due to procrastination, laziness, and uncertainty.

However.

Against all the odds.

I prevailed.

One “academic” example happened to me last semester. Last year, I took a final exam for one of my most difficult upper level science courses. The test covered 27 powerpoint’s, which had many bullet points of information on each slide. If I had to make a rough guess I needed to memorize 2,700 slides. I had other finals the days before, which I also needed to do well on. I didn’t give myself enough time AT ALL to study for this upper level science test.

I crammed and crammed the night before and remember walking into the test flipping through my Mac only on powerpoint # 16.

That is 1,100 slides I had not looked at.

Frantic, I took a deep breath. Said a giant prayer. And hoped for the best. It is in God’s hands.

I ended up doing really well and getting an A in the class. What was my response? What did I attribute my success too?

“It was just luck.”

Today, I am reminded of the verse  Matthew 19:26.

“Jesus looked at them and said,’ With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Though my situations may seem impossible by looking towards Christ everything becomes possible. My fear and anxiety transforms into success.

Therefore, I will no longer attribute my success to luck.

Nothing I accomplish is pure luck. But everything—is a gift given to me through my Lord and Savior. I, just like the men healed from leprosy in the Bible, forget to come to Jesus and thank Him. I forget to talk to Christ saying

“Wow Lord, I felt so much fear in that situation and You held my hand through it all. Thank you for this moment. Help me to always remember to thank you for your gifts—both in good times and bad.”

___________________________

The typical response from others when I make it through an impossible obstacle like the example above is:

“But Nick, its just because you are smart.”

Maybe, that is the case. Maybe, an individual who is “smart” seems to get “lucky” more.

However, even if that is the case, intellect and wisdom it is a gift from the Holy Spirit.

I can tell you that at many points in my life I felt as though God guided my hand, thoughts, words, etc. During that final exam, I know being “smart” was not going to cut it. I know that the Holy Spirit gives me the strength and hope to persevere.

To be blessed by God does not mean completely surrender and not persevere to one’s goals. It means to give your academics, personal life, and goals 110 percent effort. Through your action and determination you are giving glory to Him.

Remember today, that YOU are not doing this thing called life on your own. If you focus on God His will is going to prevail. Is that not an awesome thought? We are running this race towards God with the best running partner—Jesus Christ.

God’s blessings are disguised— we so often forget what He is doing for us every hour, minute, and second of our lives.

I am reminded today of all the blessings in my life—my family and friends who support me.

I am reminded that with God all things are possible.

I am reminded that I am not lucky but very very blessed.