Life.

August 20, 2010

Life has a funny way of working itself out.

No one ever said life was going to be easy, however, we are in control of our own destiny. We only get out what we put in. To complain of misfortune is to tell God He doesn’t know what He’s doing. Things can seem so wrong when the path has been altered for us, but, in the end, we usually find ourselves in a more desirable position. Often times we ourselves don’t even know what’s best for us. As sure as we are that the current situation is not what it should be, our judgement may be clouded by our human nature to cling to temporary happiness.

Food.

Money.

Shopping.

Substances.

All are only temporary sources of happiness and may become addictions that cloud our judgements. We quickly will lose sight of what really matters in life. We retreat to what we know best, and that’s relying on objects to cheer us up when life throws us a curve ball. But to put our faith in greater hands would give us a lasting sense of happiness. To know we’ll always be taken care of is a beat we can all dance to.

Most often, we only come to God when we want or need something. Most of us would never even think to thank Him for being alive another day, for having food on the table, or any of the other things us Americans are use to. Think about it like this though. How would you feel if your best friend only came to you when he/she needed something? That’s what it feels like when we’re constantly asking God for things, but ignoring Him when life’s going good. He wants to be part of our lives, but many of us close that door.

We have to experience the bad to appreciate the good. When people ask “If there was such a thing as God, why would he let bad things happen to good people?”, that is the best answer I can come up with to explain it. If things were always going perfect, we’d have no reason to pray or trust God for anything. We wouldn’t know what hurt, pain, or sadness felt like. To always feel good wouldn’t feel good at all, because it’d be just average. By allowing us to feel pain, a small pain in comparison to his pain dying on the cross for us, we will then be able to feel happiness, an even greater emotion.

Life may have a funny way of working itself out, but to complain to God would be to tell Him He doesn’t know what He’s doing. We have to experience the bad to appreciate the good.

Advertisements

Something’s Gotta Give

May 3, 2010

As I approached the entrance, a teenage boy, about my age, stopped and offered to open the door for me. “Thanks,” I said, half smiling. Walking into the front doors of St. Benedict’s Church, I let out a sigh. I don’t want to be here. This was a weekly pattern, and it seemed to be getting old.

Slowly slinking my way down the two flights of stairs, negative thoughts shadowed me following my every move. I made my way to the table where I usually sit, and popped a squat. Making small talk with a couple friends and checking the clock by the minute, I counted down how much longer I had to endure. As I glanced around the chaotic room, I noticed the usual pattern. Kids laughing and smiling, enjoying themselves. Ha, what freaks. These people actually like being here? I would never associate with these type of people intentionally.

“Hey! Listen up!” he started out. He was Nic, and he was the youth minister. He announced his weekly ramblings, and stated in a few minutes we’d be going up to the church for stations of the cross. Wonderful, I thought. I knew the rundown; Silence, praying, kneeling, praying, standing up, kneeling, praying, singing, silence. Fourteen repetitive stations, all the same thing. I was interrupted mid-thought with Nic’s words, “Participate. I promise, you’ll get something out of it if you do. You won’t regret it.” I chuckled to myself as if to say, really? I refused to believe what he was saying.

As a group we walked up to the church in silence. We started with prayers in front of the alter, and then began at the first station. Still rolling my eyes at the amusement of how serious people actually took the stations, I sat there in silence. I didn’t speak any of the words, I knelt when I had to, I blended in with the crowd.

Station number nine is what i remember most from that night. I took Nic’s advice. I was so bored of myself and the whole situation in general, I actually participated. It wasn’t immediate, but after a few stations, I actually felt something. Through participating and praying the prayers, Christ was working through me. It all started making sense: why we were taking time out of our night to do this, everything Jesus has done for us, and most importantly why I should care. For once, it wasn’t someone telling me to do something. It was me choosing to feel something, and it was an emotion I cannot explain. At the end of the fourteenth and final station, I was saddened and also wishing it hadn’t ended. I wasn’t counting how much longer until I could leave the church, I was counting how much longer i was able to spend thinking and praying. No one told me how to feel that night. No one told me I was supposed to be saddened and feel something so dramatic I’d feel like dancing and singing. I chose to open up my heart to Christ, and through Him, I was moved. It was a story that was being told through the stations. A story I chose to start listening to when it was more than halfway over. Imagine if I had started listening to it from the beginning. Cover to cover. Each station a new chapter; how much more enjoyable that story would have been.