Spam Thoughts

I was driving back home from a day of working in the hospital. The 45 minute commute is a time where I can relax and focus on the tasks ahead of me. All of a sudden, I get a call. My radio lights up with a number that is from the surrounding area.

Oh, maybe I need to get this.

I answer the phone and I am told I’m missing out on a great deal to update my healthcare insurance. SPAM.

Other times, the calls get a bit more sneaky. On these calls I am told if I don’t comply with what is requested the government will arrest me. SPAM. 

And other times, I answer and all I hear is dead silence. SPAM. 

These calls can be frustrating but most of all distracting. 

While spam calls are one of the most annoying daily events, right after an itch on the middle of your back you can’t reach, they teach a pretty valuable lesson.

A lot of times we have thoughts that are just like spam calls.

Thoughts that tell us things like:

you aren’t loved……you can’t get that grade……you are doing everything wrong……you won’t ever find peace……nothing matters….life will always be hard….etc.

The list goes on and on. 

For many people, these constant spam thoughts make it hard to live a joy-filled life.

What are we to do with these spam thoughts? Well, exactly what we do with the spam calls. Do not allow them to catch you in their spider web.

If we start answering these spam thoughts and having discussions with them, we begin to get caught in their trap.

Our emotions are sent up and down by the thoughts. We become confused and lose sight of our goals.

When the thoughts come, you will hear what they say, however you must immediately hang them up.

Do not question the thoughts.

Do not ask yourself why you are having such thoughts.

You must realize that these spam thoughts are just obstacles trying to derail you from your mission on this earth. God placed you here to remain focused and at peace. Do not allow spam thoughts to take your focus away from you.

In this life we will face much trouble trying to live a life of love. Allow yourself to rest in the presence of God, and the only way to do this is to focus on Him.

Recognize the spam in your mind, sharpen your focus like a sword, and live the life God has laid out for you.

Love is the energy

I have yet to find the perfect balance. You know, the balance between just enough caffeine and having my hands turn into cell phones as they vibrate from the tremors.

 

 

I honestly don’t even know why I drink the stuff. Well, for the “energy.” I guess thats one way to see it. Or maybe its just that I’m addicted to the feeling of the warm coffee in the morning.

Energy. Getting things done. Moving forward with work. It’s freaking tough.

Sometimes, life can just get drab. Yes, I like that word “drab.”

In these drab moments it’s hard to pick ourselves up and move forward. It takes so much effort to see the end goal in sight. Our legs become beams of lead and our eyes seem to drift off away from precisely what we need to be doing.

How do I get more energy?

Where is my zeal? 

Why can’t I get this done now?

These are questions I ask myself and I am sure you ask yourself. We get so frustrated in ourselves because the tasks we need to finish are not getting done. Our goals, our future, our responsibilities are in our hands and we are not succeeding. Discouragement comes next. Then maybe a social media break or two or three. It’s a vicious cycle.

This is a common problem I have noticed in my life. It shows it ugly face when I am focused on myself in my tasks. When looking in I have zero energy. Meaning, when My schoolwork, and My tests, and My homework need to get done I lose all the zeal. There is no love in the task. It just feels like a waste of time.

However, when changing the focus, it becomes easier to focus.

This is a simple habit we can develop when studying for exams, doing homework, or really anything.

 

We need to put love into everything we do and the energy will come.

It might be as simple as offering up the pains of your studying for a family member or a friend as a prayer. If you are a healthcare student, it may be thinking about all the patients you will help in the future.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Dorothy Day. It may seem intense at first but really meditate on the truth of it.

“No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.”

Friends, it is time to rid yourself of the lie of discouragement. Focus on the love in the task and offer it up as a prayer. Do not be hopeless, but in all that you do exude zeal.

 

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.

 

 

Are you giving it your all?

“Are you giving it your all?”

This question comes up during many different times in my day.

When I’m studying…am I really giving this my all?

When I’m working out…am I really giving this my all?

When I’m at Church…am I really giving this my all?

When I’m talking to a family member…am I really giving this my all?

A lot of the times, this question arises because I am not. I notice that I am losing focus and procrastinating. When working out for instance, I notice myself choosing the lighter weight or taking a different path on the run.

To be honest, this question plagues me.

This might be you too?

There are many positives to being bombarded with this question.

Like, the hope of improvement.

Or, the constant search to be like Christ in virtue and love.

However, the flip side is many vices can dwell in this thought.

When giving it your all, is focused solely on you, it may transform into pride.

As usual, the Big Man Upstairs, gives us an answer to the question.

This is what Mark’s Gospel teaches us:

“He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.” Mark 12: 41-44

What can we learn from this?

This poor woman, in her poverty, gave all she had. Notice, the Lord mentions her poverty? We too like this women are poor. Maybe not financially, but what about the poverty of our daily life.

The poverty of focus.

The poverty of endurance.

The poverty of zeal.

Christ teaches us that when we give our all in these moments of poverty, we are giving even more than if we had abundance.

We must remember; however, that our “giving” must be aligned towards Christ and not ourselves.

So when you can’t focus and you just want to put that book down, offer the moment up to Christ and continue reading.

When you don’t want to run that extra mile, offer the moment to Christ and continue running.

When you are having trouble focusing in Church, redirect your eyes to Christ and allow Him to fill you even if just for a millisecond.

Friends, you can give it your all, if you give it to Him.

My Only Trophy

Above my fridge I have a trophy.

 

It is my only trophy.

 

The only one I kept.

It is pretty big and was for a soccer shootout competition I won.

Let me tell you the story:

When I was 13 my parents told me about a soccer competition that would take place at a nearby school. It was a penalty kick competition. I was really nervous to go but I decided it would be worth it. So my parents drove me to the field. I remember walking up to the older man running the competition and signing in for my age bracket. The people running the competition then placed me at the penalty kick marker and gave me a few tries.

All I remember was how hard they had filled up those soccer balls.

My pre-pubescent little legs could barely hit the ball very far.

I remember all my shots either missed the goal completely or slowly made there way into the net. I probably made about 1 shot. After I used up all my tries, I wanted to get out of there fast.

I knew I did terrible.

But all of a sudden something weird happened.

 

A giant trophy was given to me. 

 

The man told me that I was the only 13 year old boy in my division. So, by showing up I automatically won. He then told me there would be city vs city competition and then a state competition, which I would be eligible for.

 

I can still picture my stunned face as I stared at the biggest trophy I had ever received.

 

So, for the next couple of years I stared at this trophy sitting in my room.

It was the least valuable in my “collection.”

“I didn’t earn this,”

I would always repeat to myself when I saw it on my shelf.

 

So why nine years later is it the only trophy I kept?

 

Because winning life is all about

showing up.

 

Now, I keep this trophy above my fridge to remind myself constantly that life is all about showing up. Participating. Taking that first step.

I won that competition by putting on my cleats and heading to the field.

This is exactly what we need to do everyday.

We need to step out into the world and kick that soccer ball.

I can assure you.

One day someone will hand you a big trophy out of nowhere.

And all it took was showing up.