Go Get It

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14 

The most difficult part of the race we are running is remembering we are running a race.

We have a goal.

Go get it.

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

Literally. Just smile. 

At Church the other day a priest said something I thought was awesome. He was describing how everyone acts so bitter and down trotten all the time. There is such a lack of joy in the world. 

He said, “people walk around like they were baptized in vinegar.”

I laughed. Why? 

Because it is so true. 

And I know I am one of those people. 

We need to remind ourselves that we are baptized in living water. This is water that refreshes us. Wipes us clean. Gives us new strength every. Single. Day. 

So stop it. 

Yes. Just like that. STOP. 

Pick up your head. 

Put a smile on. 

And start believing in what you believe. 

Start loving others and living in the joy. 

Let go of self. Now. Not later. NOW. 

Have you ever jumped into a freezing pool of water? It is scary at first but after you feel so alive? Yeah? You need to jump in everyday. That jump is the courage to have joy in all things. 

I read an article today that said 20 minutes of positive thinking in a short amount of time can drastically change your brain chemistry. Guess what I am doing in my long shower tomorrow? 

Living water people. 

Not vinegar.

It begins this second. 

I’ve probably read every self-help book out there. I can spare you some time and let you know a little secret about all of them. They can give you tips but can’t do anything for you. If you want joy you must start living it. Being it. Remembering He is it. 

This world needs more joy. No excuses. It’s up to you now. Spread it all over the beautiful earth we are so lucky to be a part of. 

Joy is not feeling happy 24/7. 

 Joy is allowing yourself to be a window of Christ’s love and seeing that light transform the world. 

Nails Along the Road

When I was a little kid I always thought my Dad was crazy when he would say….

“This car doesn’t feel right?”

“How can you tell Dad?” I would ask.

“I don’t know….you just…know.” he replied.

This happened to me yesterday. However, after a few more minutes of driving the uneasy feeling became normal. I stopped noticing.

I shushed my thoughts by telling myself, “You are just being crazy, its a new car. It’s all in your head.”

After stepping out of the car, I locked it and walked away. However, while looking back over my shoulder, I noticed that the passenger side rear wheel was flat.

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME….”

I went over to the tire, pressed it with my index finger, and sure enough it was flat. It was ironing board flat. It was so soft it was like touching the pillsbury dough boy’s stomach.

I called AAA and was lucky enough to only wait a little over an hour. While the guy was helping me fix the tire, I noticed a shiny nail stuck into the rubber.

That little nail took down my 2 ton car?!

Why is this story important? I learned a few things from this experience.

  1. The fact that you can complain about “car trouble” is a privilege in and of itself. Therefore, stop complaining and be grateful.
  2. AAA is bae.
  3. Is this what sin does to us?  

If we are the car sin is the nail. At first we start telling ourselves that something just does not feel right. Whether we are acting on our lust, envy, pride, etc something just feels off.  There is an inherent feeling of uncertainty. Over time, that “this doesn’t feel right” feeling goes away. We become our sin.

Our sin becomes normal.

In due time, the air deflates from the tire and sin prevents us from moving forward. We are stranded on the side of the road. Sitting in silence unsure of how this even happened. We felt so confident. We felt so secure.

Friends, today lets reflect and determine what nails are sitting in our wheels slowly causing our tires to leak. In order to make life the best road trip of all time we need to make sure nothing is going to slow us down. When we truly care about reaching our destination (Eternal Life) we will be sure that all our tires are free from nails.

“But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the Blood of His son Jesus cleanses us from all sin. If we say, “We are without sin,”we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins,he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.”- 1 John 1:7:9

Let us not deceive ourselves, but rather understand that there are many nails along the road. But it is all good, because God is sitting right beside us in the passenger seat. 

 

 

 

THAT kid

Everyone knows THAT kid in Church.

You know…the four or five year old toddler who always laughs during moments of quiet reflection?

The kid who likes to throw animal crackers at his or her little brother taking a nap in his mother’s arms?

The kid who runs through the pews as if the Church is a track?

The kid who pokes at his Mom’s face like she is made of play-doh?

Get the picture?  I’m sure you know THAT kid.  Right?

It does not matter what denomination you may be a part of, everyone seems to know THAT one kid in his or her Church.  If you are not a Christian, you still know THAT kid.  He or she likes to giggle loudly during the death scene at your favorite Broadway play.  He or she takes Mom’s phone and decides to watch a whole episode of a Spongebob next to you on the plane…without headphones.

So what gives kid?  Just from observing the expressions on the faces of people around me,  I notice that may people can get pretty frustrated with the havoc THAT kid creates.  It always seem to occur at the wrong place and at the wrong time.  

One seemingly wrong place is Church.

When the pastor, minister, or whoever is speaking that day, THAT kid decides to be the biggest distraction. E.V.E.R.

They start giggling.  They start jumping up and down.  They start making faces at you.

Usually, I start thinking thoughts such as:

  • “Hey parent? How about you just bring THAT kid to the back of the Church? Everyone is trying to concentrate!”
  • “Our Church definitely has a program to watch little children for this hour?!”
  • “Kid, can you just contain your random excitement for just a few minutes…let me just reflect for a second…seriously just a second”
  • “Ok, sweet, THAT kid seems pretty calm now.  The drawing looks great, keep it up!   NOOO NOOO STOPP get that marker away from my new shirt.

So obviously THAT kid is just not mature and does not understand what is means to worship Christ.

Actually, not quite.

Over the last couple of months, my frustration with the deviance little kids caused while in Church has shifted.

I have come to the conclusion that…THAT kid is above and beyond a more devote Christian than myself.

Wait, but THAT kid doesn’t seem to be living like Christ taught us?

In Matthew 19:15 Jesus makes this clear.

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

After changing my perspective I noticed the ever presence these children have with the world.  I become frustrated because I need to concentrate…but do they?  No, they show Christ’s love just by being fully alive.  A key lesson I’ve taken away from all this is that maybe sometimes we just need to stop concentrating.  Maybe, just maybe, in order to listen to God and be surrounded by his presence we just have to sit back.  Not force it.  Let it come.

So what are some reasons that THAT kid is so special.

1.Constant Joy

The ups and downs of life never seem to take away THAT kids ever-present joy.  Happiness and joy are distinct.  Happiness is earthly so it comes and it goes.  Joy is eternal and is given to us through the Holy Spirit.  THAT kid is constantly emitting joy for just….existing.  I’ve seen little kids light up the room with a smile for absolutely no reason at all.  Nothing special happened to them.  They didn’t get a present or eat their favorite food.  They just smile.  This is the type of joy that should radiate from us with our faith in Christ.  Something we all need to strive for is seeking JOY in all areas of life.  THAT kid seems to have joy figured out.

2.Not Caring What Others Think

THAT kid does not care what you think.  He does not care what his friends think nor does he care about what his parents think (sorry parents).  He or she will do whatever they think needs to be done in that moment.  This is a key lesson to takeaway.  We are people that care so much about how others see us.  Sometimes we are to afraid to act in fear of embarrassment.  As Christians we are called to not care.  We are called to do what is necessary in the moment to be representatives of Christ’s love to the world.  This takes courage.  This takes strength.  THAT kid does not worry about the future.  He or she lives in the present moment without any doubts.  THAT kid shows us what it means to be fearless in action.

3. Loving Unconditionally

THAT kid is always loving unconditionally.  It may not appear that way at first, but if you look closely you may notice something remarkable.  Though he or she may constantly poke their little sister…a few moments later they will hug them so tight Mom gets worried.  Though he or she may run up and down the pews at Church, if they see someone who appears sad they will stop in their tracks and ask them what is wrong.  In these little acts, children seem to lose themselves.  The other individual becomes their whole world.  They are focused on others not themselves.

Jesus makes it clear to us in the Gospel passage that this is the way to live.  So, does this mean I can start acting like a little kid again?  Yes and no.  Instead of getting frustrated next time THAT kid makes a loud appearance during Church, remind yourself:

“Honestly, I should be more like THAT kid”