Nothing Matters

On my Instagram, my first photo from 4 years ago, is of me on campus with a nice soft smile. The caption reads, “Ready to start the journey.”

College was more than a journey. College was more than just a rollercoaster.

At times it felt like I was getting run over by a semi.

At times it felt like I being hugged by the world.

At times it felt like I just missed joining the Olympics by a few seconds.

At times it felt like I forgot how to breathe.

At times it felt like I won the lottery…twice in a row. 

I have done a lot of reflection the last few weeks. As I sell my furniture. As I finish my last class as an undergraduate. As I pack my suitcases.

Reflection always comes when life gets real…real quick. 

So, here I am. Staring at this photo. Trying to remember what was going on in that 18 year olds head. How am I different?

I like lists.

Here are 100 things college has shown me. 

  1. Live your life. Not someone else’s life.
  2. If you choose to follow #1 do it boldly.
  3. Find mentors
  4. Listen to your mentors
  5. Be grateful
  6. Call your family
  7. Call your friends
  8. Smile until your cheeks hurt
  9. Kill the world with kindness
  10. Vulnerability is scary, but so worth it
  11. Foster friendships
  12. Don’t be afraid of strangers
  13. Don’t let fear hold you back
  14. Purchase an umbrella
  15. Be spontaneous
  16. Follow your gut
  17. Treat your gut well with healthy food
  18. Exercise as much as you study
  19. Don’t live in books
  20. Be present
  21. Find what you are good at
  22. Listen to the world speak
  23. Empathy, empathy, empathy
  24. zeal, zeal, zeal
  25. Haters gonna hate
  26. No excuse is good enough
  27. Action expresses priority
  28. Prayer is active
  29. Crying is okay
  30. Emotions are okay
  31. Frustration is okay
  32. Call people by their name
  33. Look people in the eye
  34. Hug people
  35. Sometimes just being is enough
  36. Be creative
  37. Sacrifice
  38. Find a Church
  39. Never miss a Sunday
  40. Find a quiet place
  41. Reflection, reflection, reflection
  42. Find woke people
  43. Fellowship with woke people
  44. Wear the clothes you want to wear
  45. Fall asleep in weird places
  46. Life is fun if you make it fun
  47. Life is boring if you make it boring
  48. Tell people that you love them
  49. Tell your crush that you like them
  50. Embody courage
  51. Patience isn’t something you learn right away
  52. Your future is so bright you need shades
  53. Serve the poor
  54. Listen to the narratives of the underserved
  55. Buy someone a coffee
  56. Buy someone a gift randomly
  57. Write a friend a letter
  58. You may think no one understands you, we are all human
  59. Because I am human, I have limits
  60. Only God can give me peace
  61. The world is dark, be a light
  62. Be the salt of the earth
  63. Don’t wear green shorts and a green shirt
  64. Being silly is a good thing.
  65. Laugh at failure/mistakes and move on
  66. Some people come to your life for a reason
  67. Other people need to leave your life for a reason
  68. Be consistent
  69. Don’t say you are if you haven’t shown it
  70. Dance like everyone is watching and kill it
  71. Humility, humility, humility
  72. Take deep breaths
  73. Make sure you have a towel on the rack before you jump in the shower.
  74. Take cold showers to wake up.
  75. Don’t be idle
  76. Don’t live in your own head.
  77. Heartbreaks heal in time
  78. Don’t be jealous
  79. Ask for help
  80. Organize your desk
  81. 4 years goes by like lightning
  82. Stop the vanity
  83. Run in the rain with your friends
  84. Kiss someone like spiderman
  85. Be someone’s superhero
  86. Don’t buy what you don’t need
  87. Don’t clutter your life, throw stuff away
  88. Jesus Christ anchors
  89. Get nice hats for bad hair days
  90. Don’t feel obligated
  91. Put down that cell phone
  92. Pick up that Bible
  93. Live away from home
  94. Find your home
  95. Take a random elective
  96. Push yourself to always be better
  97. Yes or No, don’t live a life of maybe
  98. Take action
  99. Read between the lines of textbooks

100. Nothing matters but loving God and the people He has made. 

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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

 

 

You Are So Ugly

Ugly- (adj) unpleasant or repulsive, especially in appearance 

 

There are a lot of bad words in the English language. Many of these words will leave a sting if they are directed at someone else. The word ugly has developed into a very hurtful word. I can argue that it is one of the worst. If someone has ever called you ugly you probably never forgot it or ever will.

To have our appearance attacked feels like an attack on identity. It feels as if name callers  dislike of your outer shell determines what kind of person you have been to the world. I pray that if anyone has verbally attacked you on your appearance to your face or behind your back that you have recovered from the pain.

 

____________

 

We live in a society where we are so quick to fix our outer appearance when others find it distasteful. We do all we can to control it and change how people perceive us.

“I don’t like that shirt on you”….“I’ll change it”

“You are so pale”….“I’ll go tan”

“I think you would look cuter as a blonde”….”I’ll dye my hair.”

“Her nose is giant”...I’ll fix it.

“He is so scrawny”…I’ll go work out.

 

The way we talk about others illustrates how much we as humans place appearance on a pedestal.

Is he or she attractive?

What do they look like? Tall? Short?

 Locker room talk: scale of 1-10?

 

When others dislike our external appearance we want to please them. We want to have no blemishes.

If that is the case…

 

Why do we choose sin?

There will always be people in the world that perceive you as ugly. They will not find you attractive. They will call you names. They will laugh at you. You have no control of this fact.

However, each time we sin we are turning very ugly. Each time we turn our backs on God we are leaving the beauty of the light and falling into the muddy pit of darkness. We are staining our souls.

If your neighbor could see your sins painted on your body like muck would it matter how attractive you are? Would it matter if you are tall, short, fat, skinny, etc?

When we talk about others let physical appearance not be the bulk of conversation.

How about?

What has he or she done for the community?

What makes this individual unique?

How has this individual brought you closer to Christ?

When we look in the mirror we critique our appearance. Prayer is very similar. Through prayer God allows us to see the sin in our lives we can STOP.

The question I pose to you today is this:

 

When you leave your body behind will your soul be beautiful?

 

Friends, we are all so ugly at times. We are humans in a flesh-centered world. The good news is that through Christ we are made clean. Our stained souls are washed anew.

Here is a quote from baseball great Yogi Berra after someone made fun of his appearance.

“So I’m ugly. So what? I never saw anyone hit with his face.”

Our looks means nothing. Our external shell is short-lived. Let us focus on the appearance of our souls.

We need to build souls that do not strike out.

We need beautiful souls that hit home runs for the Kingdom.

 

Do I Trust You?

I was driving back home from a spring break trip to my friend’s university in Pennsylvania.

The drive from home to my friend’s school was easy. It was pretty much a straight shot. I set the cruise control and jammed out to my music for 2.5 hours.

However, the ride home was a bit different. It had been snowing all night and was still snowing when I started driving. The roads were slick. My car was sliding. My GPS said it would be about a three hour drive.

At one point during the drive the GPS took me on a different route. I was driving through cities in Pennsylvania and New York that I never knew existed. I was scared I was headed the wrong way, so I looked at the GPS a few times. But, overall I trusted the technology. It would guide me home.

After about three hours the towns started to look familiar. The snow had stopped and I made it.

_________________________________________

 

When I reflected on my trip a question arose:

How could you put all your trust in the GPS to guide you

but not God.

I let the GPS take me to places that were unfamiliar. Quite frankly, I was out of my comfort zone. But I trusted. The robotic voice was my serenity. The more I heard the voice the more relief I felt.

When God takes me to places unfamiliar….places that take me out of my comfort zone

Do I trust Him? 

Do I listen to His voice and feel peace? 

Do I thank Him when I am guided home?

 

Who or what do you place your trust in…

 

When the roads are slick.

When the snow of this earth blinds you.

When you feel lost.  

 

Maybe, the reason we are so quick to trust technology and other things earthly is because it is easy.

We plug in our location and follow the directions.

Technology is a matter of our convenience.

However, with God we must let go of our own desires. We must persevere in prayer and train our ear to listen to the language of God. We must take hold of the wheel, press the gas, and ask God where He wants us to go.

I can assure you that if we do this, He will guide us home.

“Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love, and the future to God’s providence.”-St.Augustine

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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 Can’t Be With You Yet

 

Dear Future Bride,                                                                                                                

You see, I have been pretty patient; at least I think I have for the past 21 years. Patience is definitely not my best quality. My Mom always told my siblings to pray for our future spouses (I think she’s been praying I find you for a while lol). I think today is a day where I really start doing that. I don’t believe that you need to know someone to pray for them. I pray that God gives me the courage to pursue you. I pray that God protects you until we meet and makes your days bright. Whatever choices you are making, I pray you are kept safe from all the evil of this world.

I wonder what color hair you will have? Blonde, brunette, black, or maybe even red? But does that stuff really matter anyway? I care more about how many adventures we will go on. I care more about how many times we will stay up until the sun rises just having deep conversations. I care more about having someone by my side to watch the stars at night.

I think my fascination with outer space all started when my Dad showed me a meteor shower when I was very young. I remember he got me up in the middle of the night. I threw my big puffy jacket on and waddled out the front door. I stood in the middle of our front yard. My eyes were glued to the sky as each meteor passed overhead.

I counted 44 meteors that night. How do I remember a number like 44 when this was 14 years ago?

No clue.

I imagine that when you see something so beautiful you cannot get it out of your head.

You will be my meteor shower.

There are many things I do not know about you.

I do not know what you will look like. I do not know what your laugh will sound like. I do not know when or where I will meet you. I do not know if I have already met you. I do not know if I will ever meet you.

There are some things I know about you already.

I know you are smart. I know you are curious. I know you care about serving the poor. I know you are adventurous. I know you are trustworthy. I know you love others. I know you put God first.

I do not know what the future holds, but I do know that I will hold you in the future.

 

With all my love,

Your Future Husband.

___________________________

 

Dear Future Husband,                                                                                                                   

            You see, it hasn’t always been easy for me in the relationship world but when I met you, it made all the tears, the heart break, the awkward breakup conversations go away. Because if I hadn’t gone through those, I wouldn’t be in the position I am with you now. I know that God has handpicked you for me and I, for you. I thank Him for giving me that courage to say yes when you asked me on that first date, just because my heart has been scarred one too many times. I pray that you continue growing into the man God has created you to be and I pray that you will continue to pursue and grow in your relationship with him for the rest of your life as I have already seen you do.

            You are handsome, funny, witty, but do those things actually matter in the grand scheme of things? No, I’m more excited about the things we will pursue together when we are married. The numerous adventures around the world, the many movies we will watch in our little home, especially snuggling on the couch after coming home from long day of work. Most importantly, I care about the support and love we will feed into each other for the rest of our lives. Something we will vow to do before we embark on this chapter of our lives.

            I remember when I was young, around the age of 12, and my parents were yelling at each other downstairs. I was frightened, scared, that something was wrong with their relationship; that it was going to end in the worst-case scenario. I emerged from my room when the fighting seemed to have ceased. I walked downstairs expecting to only see one of them but instead found my parents lovingly sitting together at the kitchen table talking and laughing. They had said their apologies and realized they were both wrong, for yelling at the other and overreacting over some little issue. It was this moment that taught me the resilient power of love.

            Sure, they may fight but one thing is for sure:

            They never and will never stop loving each other.

           

            I pray that when we too have our lows, because life isn’t perfect and neither are we, that we stay irrepressible; that we grow from the tough moments and not fall apart because when I say my vows it means that I never and will never stop loving you.

      

            There are many things I know about you.

            I know what you will look like. I know what your laugh sounds like. I know when and where I met you. I know that I am lucky to have met you and lucky to have you by my side.

            We learned that it wasn’t easy, that love gets tough sometimes but one thing is for sure. We are steady, we are here, and this love is here to stay.

            I pray for our future together. I pray for our future family. I pray for you, because sometimes I still can’t believe that God has actually put you in my life.

            With infinite years of love,

 

        Your Future Wife

 

In collaboration with @itisnosecret@wordpress.com

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Tear Up My Textbook

 

It was late. I was really tired. Maybe it was 1 am or 2 or 3. I can’t remember. What I do remember is that I was stressed out. I could feel my heart rate thumping like fast paced EDM. I had to get out of the library.  Maybe a change in scenery would help? AKA the biggest lie I could have told myself.

My test was the next day, but the more I read the textbook the less prepared I felt.

Come on. Focus. You can’t mess this up. 

I threw open the library doors and sighed.  It was a beautiful night, but I did not really care.  I did not see the bright stars just an imaginary digital clock lighting up the sky.

11 hrs 30 min LEFT

Having no time to lose, I ran over to my bike and tried to unchain it. With my biology book in one hand and my “freshman year of college lack of muscle tone” I could not get my bike off the rack. It was wedged between the bike’s of fellow late night procrastinators.

I tried a few more times and it was useless. I just couldn’t finagle it out of there. All my anger, fear, frustration, and uncertainty consumed me at that moment. I thought about all the school work I had. I thought about all the laundry I had to get done. I thought about that girl I wanted to ask out. I thought about where I was going to get food the next morning. I thought about making more friends. I thought about….o yeah…THE TEST.

I had the textbook in my hand and I…..I was ready.

 

Ready to destroy it. 

 

So, I gripped it tightly ready to bash it against the asphalt.

I was done.

I was fed up.

I was nervous.

I was scared. 

I was frustrated. 

About to lift it over my head…I was stopped.

I heard a voice.

A girl’s voice.

Do you need any help? 

 

I had not seen anyone around me. Where did she come from? Who was she? Does she know me?

Before I could ask any of these questions she came over and within seconds the bike was off the rack. And just like that…

she was gone. 

 


 

This story has had a huge impact on my life. It always reminds me how such a simple act can change the perspective of someone’s life forever.  The girl in the story had no reason to help me. She probably had a lot of tests that week as well. She was most likely nervous about something. She most likely missed a few extra minutes of sleep to help me out.

Yet, in that minute or so she reminded me not to let the anxieties and frustrations of life cause me to forget the people around me.

I once told a professor this story and he asked me if I believed in angels. I do believe in angels and maybe she was an angel. I can tell you I never saw her again on campus. The moment she left I could not remember her face.

Or maybe she wasn’t. Maybe she was just a girl that saw a young guy struggling and went out of her way to lend a helping hand. In my book, that is an angel as well.

I know this week is full of tests.

I know you are stressed.

I know you are frustrated.

I know you are scared.

However, I encourage you to always be on the lookout for those on campus, in the store, at home, etc. who are also feeling the same way. You never know how much of an impact you can have on them. The girl in my story not only stopped me from destroying a very overpriced Biology book but she did much more.

She showed me that when I am hurting people care.

She showed me what it means to love others no matter the time or the place.

She showed me to never lose hope.

 

Be someone’s angel this week.

 

“We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.”

-Luciano De Crescenzo

 

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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.

 

Pick A Resolution Day

 

Lets talk about resolutions…

As you all know today is also known as

 “Pick an awesome resolution and 9.9/10 don’t stick with it Day

Personally, I like hearing other peoples resolutions. It is interesting to me to see what people want to change in their life in order to so called “better themselves.” I appreciate the effort that people put in to reflect on their year and decide what went wrong/went right. I wish for the world’s sake that this reflecting happened more often.

To those people that have made resolutions I want to encourage you. I know how difficult it can be and I think it is great that you have already reflected.

For the past few years I have made New Year’s resolutions. The majority of the time it doesn’t look like an every.single.day habit for all 365 days.

Instead, it sort of looks like…oh I’ll do that today (Day 7).  Whoops I forgot about that, I’ll be sure to do that today (Day 85). Hmm it would probably be smart to do that now that I have time (Day 320).

Looks like I should try this again this year (Day 1).

However, this year I am going to

really really really really really

really really really really really

really try.

Scratch that not “try” but rather….commit. 

Over the years I have read almost all (well it feels like anyway) every self-help book on the market. I have downloaded so many apps to help beat procrastination, maximize efficiency, build habits, etc.

After my thorough research and countless hours of late night reading I have come to a conclusion.

A step by step process that I know will lead to success.

It appears so complex but it actually quite simple.

Ready for it?

Step 1 of 1:

is…….

ACT

 

 

In life there are no short cuts. There is no app that will magically make us read a book a week, read the Bible every night, exercise everyday at 6am, pray every morning, start an organization, be more thankful, take more risks etc. Believe me if there was I would have found it.

The only way to change your life is to take action.

Swim out of the stagnant water. 

Become a man or woman of action.

 

I want to touch on something I read a few months ago that always puts things into perspective for me. It reads…

“Instead of saying ‘I don’t have time’ try saying ‘it’s not a priority’ and see how that feels.”

 

 

I can tell you right now. It does not feel good to use this technique. It knocked me down flat on my back. However, by doing this I could see the sky.

For example, as a Christian I realized that I was not praying often. During college it is difficult to make time out of your day. This became my excuse. “I just didn’t have time.”

Really? Not enough time?

How many minutes do I spend on social media in a day?

How many minutes do I sit on the couch doing absolutely nothing?

How many minutes do I worrying about tomorrow?

How many minutes I have used to make excuses?

Therefore, I recently started to say, “Prayer is just not a priority”…which hurt me to even say. This allowed me to realize that prayer and my relationship with Christ is my #1 priority but my actions are not following suit.

Therefore, friends I encourage you in 2017 to decide what your priorities are in living the life you have been called to lead.

I hope that you are able to escape the stagnant water, commit, and ACT every.single.day. not just when you feel like it.

If you do, I can assure you, that 2017 will be the year of a lifetime.

 

*I want to thank all of my readers for following me along this journey in 2016. Thank you for all of your support, advice, and encouragement. I hope to continue to receive your support in 2017. I want to wish you and your families a Happy New Year!

IMG_8054.jpgLove you all. -Nick

 

 

 

 

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.