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 Beat Yourself Up, Bring Yourself Up

It’s easy.

Looking at all the little things in your life that drag you down.

The procrastination.

The slipped words of anger.

The anxiety of life.

It’s easy.

To hold these insecurities, sins, fears, in your palm.

And clutch onto them like your life depends on it.

It’s easy.

To bring these vices up to eye level and stare at them all. day. long.

Today, I went to confession.

The priest talked to me about refocusing.

He mentioned that focusing on the sins is not going to lead me to holiness.

“Focus on the bigger picture,” he said as he pointed to the crucifix in the confessional.

“He died for you.”

These words were very simple, but moved my heart.

It is true that focusing on our faults is quite easy. It is like an artist focused on that one tiny crack in his or her sculpture and forgetting the masterpiece already created.

Friends, don’t beat yourself up, bring yourself up.

Focus on God. His mercy. His everlasting love for you.

The only way to grow in holiness is letting go of the perfectionism.

“God knows your heart.” said the priest.

He truly does.

So it is time we start living like it.

With hearts not focused on our faults, but aimed at loving God and others.

Throw Me in the Furnace 

I’m struggling with something. 

And to be honest I never thought I was. 

In today’s society being a male comes with a lot of expectations. 

One of which is never being afraid. I have told myself my whole life that I am invincible, but deep down I know that is not the case. 

I was given a wake up call. Quite literally, the last few weeks. 

For about two weeks now, I have had numerous nightmares a night. Sometimes waking up in cold sweats. Sometimes trying to catch my breath. Sometimes immediately calling people I care about to calm me down. While I do hate nightmares, I am grateful because they have reminded me that I am not okay. My subconscious mind is restless and the dirtiness is rising to the surface. 

So what should I do now? Pray for courage. 

In Daniel 3 we see three men going against the King’s orders of worshipping the idol. They tell the King that if they are thrown in the furnace so be it. This is a Bible story that has always stuck with me since I was young. I think it has to do with the boldness. The ultimate trust. The three men’s ability to speak from their hearts. 

I think the coolest part of this whole story is not when the men say that God will save them, but rather that they will still love and serve the Lord even if He does not. 

Mic drop* 

How rad is that? They are so accepting of God’s will that courage naturally follows. They don’t have to ask for courage. It is right there waiting. 

I want me some of that. 

For courage to flow so easily from my mouth and my deeds. 

This isn’t to say I have no courage. I believe there have been moments in my life when I did not know where the courage came from. When I acted so quickly and without thought to do what is right. The point is I want that in every moment of my life. In order for that to happen courage needs to become a habit. 

This habit begins and ends with our relationship with the Lord. 

That was the part I was missing. I thought courage came from myself. Society has told me that all along. 

If you want to be courageous.

You need to be tough. 

You need to look fiere. 

You need to be physically strong. 

Friends, today I remind you that courage is a gift from God. A gift that only comes from our relationship with Him. 

Today I am asking God for courage to live my life according to His will. To not care what the people of the world tell me to do, say, or think. 

But to say back, “Throw me in the furnace. I am not afraid, for Christ is always with me.”

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.