What are you here to do? Are you here to make money? Are you here to make friends?
Are you here to crawl or run? What’s your cause? What’s your purpose? Is it worthy of eternity? Is there an eternity?
Are you here to crawl or run? Will you run so you’ve got nothing left, so the sweat is soaking your face? Will you run and try to beat the wind, the speed of light? You’ll run to cure cancer, but will you run to cure death?
Are you here to crawl or to run? Will your legacy be apathy or making waves? Will you cast a pebble into the lake, knowing that’s how waves begin, or will you say ‘they’re just ripples’? Why are you here? Will you be known as the one who wasted time, or the one who fought a battle?
Will you do instead of try? Will you run? Will you run?
We forget so quickly that we’re human. We want to be machines who can smoothly and efficiently get up early, work, clean, and go to sleep again. Like robots. Like clocks, just ticking away the time. We forget that we have beating hearts and rushing blood and souls that need desperately to breathe. It goes against the way the world works to take time to be still and calm. To take time to rest. To take time to breathe life back into yourself, and more importantly, to have Life breathed back into you by the One who made us the way we are.
When you’re busy and tired – breathe. When you feel like you just can’t anymore – breathe. When you feel lost and confused and overwhelmed – breathe. Do the thing that makes no sense. That is what it means to love yourself, and if you can’t love yourself, you’re not going to be able to really love other people. The whole “love your neighbor as yourself” thing is a coin with two sides, and we like to ignore the second part.
So today, breathe. Just breathe.
I am not a trash can for your past.
It has been such a long time since I’ve felt like myself. Since I’ve given my soul the space to be who it really is. Since I’ve set boundaries in place so that no one else but God can influence the core of my identity. I let other things come in and take little pieces of me – chip them away and carry them off like thieves. But no more. I am Awake. And I am free. Nothing can tame me, because I stand on the solid rock that is Christ. To people who don’t believe in Him, I’m sure this sounds silly. I’m sure you’re embarrassed for me. But that no longer matters.
I’ve always tried to give the people in my life the benefit of the doubt. I’m not put off by differences or quirks. I like to celebrate who people are and I appreciate the differences and the huge variety in personalities and beliefs that my circle of friends contains. I truly love and appreciate the people who are in my life, even when I disagree with them. Can you do the same for me?
Sometimes I hide what I believe because I feel I have to make up for the bad experiences people have had with Christians. But you know what? If you walk around pinning all of your baggage with Christianity on the people around you, that’s something you need to work through. If your first reflex when speaking to me after you hear that I’m a Christian is to only take what I say half seriously, that’s something you need to think about. I’m not trying to undermine the hurt some have experienced in church or at the hands of Christians. I recognize it and I know it’s a problem. But:
I am not a trash can for your past.
And I can’t keep quiet about this very big and important part of my life, because it is exactly that. Whatever you might believe about the truth or lie of the Bible, God is the reason why I’m still here. He’s the reason why I’m free. He’s the reason why I have the courage to get up in the mornings and face the day. He is the breath in my lungs. He is the lava in my lamp. He is the coffee smell in my coffee. Basically, I love Him. And I shouldn’t have to apologize for that, or justify it, to the people who call themselves my friends – just like I don’t expect my friends to apologize or justify to me why they are who they are.
I lost myself when I started to try and hide Him away. I hate admitting that I even did that, because it breaks my heart to imagine how that must have hurt Him. But this is Attempting Authenticity, and here is where you’ll find raw truth. And there will be no more hiding. I am free.
Photo cred: Debbie Orolowitz.
Why do we have this weird culture of not telling each other how much we mean to each other (I mean platonically – don’t even get me started on anything else)? Why is it weird to care about people? To love your friends? We complain about being isolated and unloved but then we think it’s weird and mushy when someone is open about it. We breed a culture of ‘playing it cool’ and being aloof, and then complain about how distant everyone is. I mean, I tell the people in my life that I love them, or at least I try to. Because how stupid is it that so many people sit around thinking that no one cares about them, when actually they do, but they don’t say it because they feel weird about it? Nah fam. We’re not in high school anymore, you know? Spread the friend love. Because in this super insecure society, no one knows it unless you say it.
Friends are precious. And the older you get, the more you realize just how infrequently real friendship comes along. And you know…we’re all just people. Everyone needs affirmation sometimes. Everyone needs to know that they matter. That someone misses them when they’re not there. That in this world of super digital-ness, someone wants to talk to them and spend time with them because of who they are.
So say it. Life is short. Make sure the people you love know it.