Frustrations

I’ve been experiencing a wide range of emotions lately and it’s left me in this awkward and frustrated state of being. My friends from my past, because very few of them still talk to me and we all seem to hold little interest for each other anymore, are all getting married, having babies, getting new jobs and moving forward with the world.

It’s hard to remember that there isn’t really a set timeline for success and the way your life is supposed to unfold when everyone else is progressing and here you are, moved back in with your parents, working a job that has almost nothing to do with your field of study, and you have no social life to speak of. Let alone the potential for a future family. I sit here and watch all of these societal norms pass me by, and I ask myself why they’re even the norm while I still feel my heart sink because there must be something wrong with me.

I keep trying to remind myself that Abraham and Sarah were REALLY OLD when they had Isaac. Noah wasn’t exactly a spring chicken when God asked him to build the arc either. Moses had a stutter, David wasn’t the largest or most handsome of his brothers… and he ended up being both an adulterer and a murderer. Ruth wasn’t even a Jew. Rahab was a prostitute. Jacob lied to get his brother’s inheritance. Peter, arguably the best friend of Jesus when he was on this earth had a temper and could be one of the least faithful of all of the disciples. Paul persecuted Christians before becoming one of the most prolific writers and teachers of the gospel in all of history… and Lazarus was DEAD.

God doesn’t care about timelines or resumes.

He doesn’t care that I’m not the artist I could be. He doesn’t care that I’m not the writer I should be. He doesn’t care that I’m not married or having kids right now; He doesn’t even care that I’m living with my parents.

That’s not to say that God doesn’t care about anything. I mean, He knows even the smallest of sparrows, its every fear and need.

He sees the big picture and from my smaller piece of the picture it’s kind of hard to remember that.

Part of me feels like I’m some kind of failure living with my parents at 23. That part also feels like I’m broken because I have no desire for marriage, kids, or even a partner. I mean, everyone else is doing it, why don’t I want to? It feels like everyone I know is moving on to bigger and better jobs and places and adventures while I’m sitting here still afraid of my own shadow some days. Wondering if I’ll ever be good enough and afraid of putting my pen or my pencil down on the blank paper because I don’t think I can do it justice, but knowing that I’ll never improve if I don’t do it, that I’ll never get that awesome job related to my field if I don’t apply.

It’s terrifying and frustrating all at once because while I’m happy for and proud of my people for doing these things and moving on with their lives, I feel stagnant and stuck, but I’m also terrified to leave what is relative safety. I don’t hate my job and there is no real motivation to leave for me other than that stagnation, like my life is meant for more.

All I can do is pray about it and weigh my options, but other than that, I’m helpless and that frustrates me to no end.

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A Gift Misused…

Everyone has a gift they’ve been given in life. The ability to sing, cook, make people feel better, patience, kindness, the ability to understand science and to innovate and further the human race.

Me? I’ve always felt that my gift was storytelling. The ability to pull someone in and give them a hard dose of truth wrapped in an enchanting, at least I hope so, tale full of adventure and intrigue. But I don’t think I’ve been using that gift to its fullest. Not just because I barely ever post anything for you, but because even in my writing when I manage to get through the depression and the anxiety to sit down and pound out a few words here and there I don’t really use my ability to its fullest. I don’t share it with people. 

The worst part? I teach first graders every Sunday. I have a mostly willing and, quite literally, captive audience once every week that I don’t use my gift on. I follow a curriculum, I try to entertain them, but I don’t tell them stories. I don’t really teach them. I’m honestly more of a Sunday School Supervisor than a Sunday School Teacher and that bothers me. It’s an itch I try to ignore and just do what I’m told by teaching what’s given to me on a preplanned sheet and program, but I feel like I’m doing a disservice to the audiences I have by not telling them stories, by not showing them what it is to be a living breathing human being made by God, by not using the gift that I believe God gave me.

This month, November, is a big month for me. It’s NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. and this year,  I started 4 days late, now I’m 4, almost 5, days ahead of the curve. I’ve been surrounding myself in story. I’ve been working really hard to write this story, to get it going and next year I plan on releasing it, starting in January as far as I know and I’ve been really excited about it, but this morning I’ve been focusing on my lesson for today and I had a talk with my Gramma and… I’m just so annoyed with myself right now.

Today’s story is in Luke about the friends whose faith was so great that they took a roof off of a house so they could lower their paralyzed friend down to see Jesus. But the lesson plan I was given? It doesn’t talk about faith, it talks about cooperation. Everything this month is about cooperation. Which – NOT a bad thing – is just so frustrating. As an English major I was trained to get at the heart of a story, to find the meat of it, the meaning behind it, and cooperation is not the heart of this story, it’s not the theme, it’s barely even a subplot. I’m starting to feel like these kids are being cheated of the real lesson. I feel like they’re being taught to just be little cogs in the machine we call a church.

We’re teaching good behavior principles, we’re teaching them how to do good works, but we aren’t teaching them faith. We aren’t teaching them why they do good works.

Faith without good works is like the body without a soul, but good works without faith are just as empty. You shouldn’t do things just because you’re taught that it’s what you do. You should do things because there is a driving force in your life telling you to do it, a motivating reason beyond it’s what you’re programed to do. We’re humans, not robots. If God wanted good little robots he never would have given us free will. He never would have let Adam and Eve eat the fruit and get kicked out of the garden. But we’re teaching these kids how to act, how to look like Christians on the outside without teaching them what they really need to know on the inside.

The outside can look as pretty and perfect as you please, but if the inside doesn’t match, if they don’t have the faith and understanding to think for themselves they’ll never really know why they’re doing it. Doing things without real faith is probably worse, at least in my opinion, than having faith but not doing anything with it. because when you do things that you’re “supposed to” you can end up tricking yourself into believing that you have faith, that you have salvation, when you don’t really believe it in your heart anymore than you believe it with your mind.

We’re working backwards. We’re trusting that good behavior will bring faith, not that faith will bring good behavior.

Every time I sit down to work on my novel this month, I’ve been doing it while fighting depression, anxiety, and self-doubt. But I sit down anyway I tell myself that I have to believe in this story. It helps I have a pretty awesome cheerleader in my NaNo region who’s been checking up on me every night to make sure I’ve been writing, and if I can’t really write he’s been letting me know that it’s okay, he thinks I can do it, and that I’ve been doing great so far. If anything I’ve sat down to write with at least the faith that he will be asking me later in the day if I’ve done anything and I don’t want to disappoint him.

Kind of like how I know, I have faith, that one day I’m going to meet God and He’s going to ask me if I used the gifts He gave me. He’s going to ask me if I told stories and I don’t want to disappoint Him anymore than I don’t want to disappoint my NaNo cheerleader. In fact I’d say the willingness to disappoint Him is less than the willingness to disappoint my NaNo cheerleader. Of the two, only one of them will know when I’m lying. (Not that I’d lie to my NaNo cheerleader…. I respect him too much.)

So… I guess what I’m trying to say here is…

I’m Sorry

I’ve misused my gift. I haven’t been teaching these kids to think for themselves, to have faith before works. No one should believe something just because they’re told to. They should believe it because they are so compelled by faith that they have no choice but to believe it and to act on it.  What’s worse is that I’ve become no better, just a cog in the machine doing what I’m told and not what I want to do, not what I’m compelled to do, what I need to do. (Can you tell it’s NaNo and I’ve been working towards word count goals instead of being short and to the point… or is this normally me?) I haven’t exercised my gift of free will any more than I’ve exercised my story telling gifts…

And for that I am sorry.

But, now that I know what I’m doing wrong. I have an opportunity to fix it. I have a chance to make things better, to change the world for the better and to teach these kids, at least for the short while I have them, that they can think for themselves, that God made them with free will and that faith doesn’t come from good works, good works come from faith.

On Murder and Why I Don’t Care for the Golden Rule

img_0343I’ve been reading in Matthew 5, the beginning of Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount and a few specific passages have brought a lot of thoughts into my mind. Specifically, the passages on Murder,  Revenge, and Love.

21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

Matt. 5:21-26 NIV

This got me thinking and wondering and it brought out my English Major chops and I started analyzing to try to figure out exactly what was being said because I just couldn’t make heads or tails of it. Maybe it’s obvious to you, but it wasn’t to me.

In the first section all I could think at first was “Duh! Jesus, where are you going with this? Of course murder is wrong!” But then, he expanded and I got lost. What was so bad about name calling?

In this context I’m pretty sure that “brother or sister” is more on a spiritual level than it is a biological level, but for the purposes of this article I’m going to say that it means anyone. He touches on two things: anger and name calling.

Anger

I don’t know about you, but I would have to be pretty angry to commit murder, premeditated or otherwise. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from watching murder mysteries with my aunt, it’s that there are three main reasons for murder.

  1. Money
  2. Sex
  3. Revenge

The first two are usually because someone is jealous or greedy. They want something that the other person has, whether that be money or a lover, or some other material possession. Sometimes it’s the idea that person might get something/one that they want/see as valuable. Both are either born of anger or beget anger. When you are jealous of someone and what they have or could end up with you resent them, you are angry at them or at the idea that you are not getting what you feel you deserve and that anger is directed at that person, in this case, enough so to kill them.

Revenge – I don’t know about you, but I don’t know of any kind of revenge where someone wasn’t angry at someone else.

But, I’d never kill someone just because I was angry at them! I’d never let it get that far!

You may say that, but in Christ’s eyes the seeds of murder are just as bad as murder itself. It isn’t wrong to be angry per say, it’s when that anger goes unchecked. We, as humans, have a tendency to let anger stew until it blows like a coke bottle packed with mentos. It can even lead to murder. Harmful thoughts and anger in general should be dealt with immediately lest they lead to something far worse.

Name Calling

What’s so bad about name-calling? This is something that I have to work on a lot, not just name calling, but the feelings it leads to.

Raca, according to biblestudytools.com, is defined as: vain, empty, worthless, only found in Matthew 5:22 . The Jews used it as a word of contempt. It is derived from a root meaning “to spit.”

Calling someone a fool is just as bad as Raca. Both of these terms lead to something much worse than name-calling. Any derogatory name-calling can lead to this.

It’s the view that someone is worthless. When you view a person as worthless it can lead to murder.

Well that escalated quickly!

It’s true! Feeling that someone is worthless may not lead to murder by itself, but if you become angered with that person it can lead to abuse, treating them as anything less than human, and that can lead to murder. Just viewing someone as worthless make it easier to commit acts of harm against them.

Worse, viewing someone as worthless can make them feel worthless. When a person feels worthless they are more susceptible to suicidal thoughts, depression, anger, and trying to make other people feel worthless to try to make themselves feel like they are worth something. All of this can lead to someone dying. It can lead to suicide, murder, or violence in general.

***

The seeds of murder are just as bad as the act of murder itself. Most people don’t want to agree with that or acknowledge that it’s true. They think that as long as they don’t commit murder they’ll be fine. But even if you don’t commit murder, you never know when you were the pebble that caused the ripple that killed a room full of children or injured/killed 500+ concert goers.

The Golden Rule

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this phrase, people pull it out all the time. As a child I always assumed it meant that if I treated everyone well, then they would treat me well too. But then I heard the other use of the phrase. When people would use it as an excuse for treating other people like crap. “He calls me names and hits me, so I call him names and hit him too because that’s obviously how he wants to be treated.” Conversations like that are always interesting. For years, I’ve struggled for an argument, knowing that wasn’t how the rule was supposed to be interpreted, but unable to articulate these feelings. It’s thinking like this that can lead to viewing another person as worthless, that lets you “justify” your anger. And it can lead to so many horrible things.

I’ve grown to hate the golden rule under this context, what seems to be the most popular interpretation.

In all their rushing about to prove that they are justified, people forget to look at the bigger picture, at what the rule was meant to do. It doesn’t give you license to treat others like crap. I look at it this way.

There is a verse in the Bible that people like to quote a lot. “Do not judge.” Except that isn’t all of the verse.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2 NIV

Basically, people use the first three words to tell Christians to back off and stop telling them how to live their lives. But they don’t see the rest of the verses which expand upon it. if you judge someone as having done wrong, then later when you do the same thing, or if you have not followed that rule at any point in your life, God will hold your judgement of that person up and that is how you will be judged. The Pharisees of the day used to do this. They wouldn’t follow the law to the letter, using it to their own gain and not the Lord’s, yet they would judge others for not following the law to the letter, as though they were above the law just because of who they were. They would judge the sins of others as though they themselves were sinless. Basically, Jesus was warning people not to behave in such a manner.

The golden rule, is similar in my mind. If you treat others the way they treat you, because “that’s how they obviously want to be treated” then others will look at it and think it is how you want to be treated as well and you will be treated accordingly until everyone is treating everyone else like that. Treat others the way you want to be treated does not mean treat them the way they want to be treated.

An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind, a tooth for a tooth will cause the world to starve. (Or worse, eat bland, mushy, dog food tasting substances for the rest of their natural lives.) I think Ghandi said something like this, or this exactly. I don’t really know.

So What Can We Do?

Jesus commands, in Matthew 5:39-42 that we do not resist evil people by seeking revenge, justifying our anger, and treating them the same way they treat us. He calls us to turn the other cheek.

“If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two.” Matt. 5: 40-41 NIV

He calls us to give more than is demanded of us, to be stubborn. I have a habit of being VERY stubborn, if someone tells me to do something, even if it’s something that I was going to do anyway, I won’t do it. But Jesus calls for the opposite of that. He is calling for us to give more than is demanded, not to retaliate by not doing it. “Do not resist an evil person.” (Matt 5: 39 NIV) This is something that I really need to work on, personally.

In the very next passage he commands us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Anyone who does us wrong, should be loved and not treated with anger for anger is one of the seeds of murder.

“If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even the pagans do that?  Matt. 5:46-47 NIV

He commands us to stand out by loving one another. Tax collectors have always been seen as bad people. People we don’t like. But even the people we don’t like love the people who love them. Even the pagans greet others like them, love them, and acknowledge them. Average-everyday, worldly people. But Christians are called above and beyond that. We are called to love everyone, even those that hate and persecute us, and people we don’t like. (This is also something I need to work on.)

We are called to be stubborn in our love and in our forgiveness. This is how we want to be treated, with stubborn love and forgiveness. This is how we foster a culture of peace instead of a culture of murder. By treating everyone, even those who wrong us or whom we don’t like, as though they are worth something and by refusing to give in to the way of the world.

I Can’t Stay Silent: 13 Ways to Show Love

man-2599320_1920There’s been a lot of political strife, everywhere I go. I can’t get on social media without seeing it, I can’t drive to work without seeing a million bumper stickers with the latest liberal or conservative slogan on it. And it’s eating me up inside.

I’ve tried to keep silent, remain neutral, do my best to just love and be an example for Christ, but I’m starting to think that sometimes you can’t love without the truth. And sometimes the best way to love is to stand in the way of a bullet. I managed to convince myself that if I spoke out politically I would ruin my chances at a writing career. But by being completely silent, I’m ruining myself as a person. I have privilege that others do not.

I come from a conservative background. I hold a lot of conservative views. And I know a lot of people will disagree with my personal views. But this is just getting ridiculous.

The triggers behind this opinion piece are the comments from the president, whom I would have voted for if I had received my ballot, I’m not going to explain that particular sentiment, that’s for another time, and by the NFL players who are taking the knee. But what really is triggering this response, are the responses of NFL fans.

IN NO WAY DO YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO JUDGE THEM FOR TAKING A KNEE!

Yes, I’m a millennial. Yesterday I posted an opinion piece about why I hate being a millennial. But here is a millennial point of view.

I think that there is inequality in the world. I think that taking a stand against police brutality is a good thing, as long as we understand that there are good cops out there, in fact, the majority of them are good men and women just trying to get home to their families at the end of the day. The media just hypes up the bad cops, all we see in the news for any major and well written piece are the cops that shot someone or tackled someone they didn’t need to.

I just watched a video of a Redskins fan who burned all of his memorabilia because a few players took the knee and he felt that was disrespectful of the flag. A friend of mine posted the video with the comment “Excellent” and all I could think while watching it was, this is childish.

I don’t watch football. I don’t like football. I don’t give a rip about football. I made it all the way through college without going to a single football game. The only reason I went in high school was because I was in the marching band and pep-band. the only reason I go to high school games now is that my little brother is now in the marching band that I was in, playing one of the instruments I played. I couldn’t care less about this man’s support or lack thereof for the NFL.

This response is just childish, I mean, really! He said he didn’t want their protest to ruin his football. I don’t think that the time those players took to kneel had any affect on the game they played, whatsoever. What this “gentleman” really meant was that he didn’t want to be faced with the ugly side of the world.

Not for one second are these men disrespecting the flag. In fact, according to U.S. flag code, there is nothing wrong with kneeling at any time other than the pledge of allegiance, and only if you are delivering the pledge! Nowhere does it explicitly say you can’t kneel. What they are doing is drawing attention to an issue they care about. And an issue that I’m really starting to care about.

They aren’t hurting anyone, delaying the game, nothing at all, all they are doing is forcing people to think.

This country isn’t great. I don’t know that it ever was. We’re a bunch of obese, unruly children who get offended at everything. The older generations blame it on the millennials, my generation.  And the millennials blame it on the older generations.

I have no problem with what these players are doing, because what they are doing is opening a discussion. They are forcing people to think about the big issues. If you have a problem with that, maybe you should think about why you have a problem with it.

Next time you hear the national anthem, I want you to pause and check your patriotic pride for a moment, and think about the words you’re hearing.

Oh, say can you see,
By the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed,
At the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars,
Through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched,
Were so gallantly streaming.
And the rocket’s red glare,
The bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night,
That our flag was still there.
Oh say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
For the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

The last two lines. Can you answer them with a yes?

I want you to think about it, the flag is just a piece of cloth, it’s what it flies for that matters and I don’t think it’s flying for what it was supposed to fly for, not anymore. This country is only as great as her weakest citizen. And the people getting mad about this protest, they aren’t strong, they don’t want to be faced with the ugly.

Nowhere in the Bible that I have ever read did God say to get angry when someone won’t bow to your idle. And that seems to be what the flag has become, what this country has become. This country, nor any country, will never be worthy of the praise and worship these people seem to be demanding of us. But it can be worthy of respect. Until that flag stands for equality, it isn’t worthy of even that.

I believe in God, and God demands love. Love demands respect. Not agreement. I don’t love the flag, the flag is not my god. I do not love America, America is not my god. I do love the people, God tells me to love the people. He never said I had to agree with them, and on many issues I do not. But on this one, I agree – wholeheartedly.

America is not great.

The American people are not great. They’ve forgotten how to love.

I can not remain silent any longer. Love demands the truth. And since God demands love, I have to speak.

Love isn’t always soft and coddling.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV

13 Ways you can Show Love

  1. Be Patient – listen to all sides, but then make your own decision
  2. Be Kind – don’t slam those that don’t agree with you. Tell them the truth, but don’t be cruel about it
  3. Curb Your Jealousy – Make sure that what you’re doing, that the “love” you speak isn’t driven by jealousy.  The guy in my trigger video was quick to point out that these NFL players are overpaid, therefore they should have to give up their rights. That sounds like envy to me.
  4. Be Humble – Take the log out of your own eye before trying to remove the spec of dust from their’s. Don’t talk about how great you are, look at your own faults before you criticize theirs. After you refrain from boasting and take a look at your on faults, humble yourself, don’t be proud, look at yourself and your faults and realize that they need to be fixed.
  5. Have Honor – Don’t put others down, it’s something we get taught in grade school. Because really, dishonoring others dishonors yourself. We could all stand to develop a more archaic sense of honor.
  6. Build Others Up – Look out for others, look for ways to build others up, not yourself. You’ll find that when you build others up, you’ll do a lot better job of building yourself up in their eyes than you ever would have putting them down.
  7. Check your Temper – Getting angry can start a chain reaction. So check your temper at the door. When you get angry, everyone else will get angry. You’ll never hear or see anything other than your anger. If your angry about something, think about why and then check if that’s really valid reason, or if it’s really the reason you’re angry at all.
  8. Forgive – Don’t hold a grudge. Grudges foster anger and resentment. Sometimes things happen that you feel like you can never forgive. There are people who hold grudges for generations, entire families and groups of people who don’t even remember the exact reason why they’re fighting anymore, the event that started it all. Don’t let that happen to you and the people around you. Forgiveness is hard, but when you work together, make a choice to love, and try to resolve your issues, you’re already on the right track.
  9. Rejoice in What is Good – Yeah, that one’s a mouthful, but it’s the only way I can phrase it. If there is something wrong, don’t celebrate it. You can’t force people to stop, but you don’t have to celebrate their wrongness with them.
  10. Protect – If you see something wrong, you might not be able to stop it, but you can protect those who are suffering from it. Don’t be silent. Take a stand and say that enough is enough.
  11. Trust – Trust others, there is no better way to show love than to look at someone and tell them that while you may not understand what they’re doing or why they’re doing it, they have a reason for it. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t try to understand what they’re doing, but that initial bit of trust can open a lot of doors.
  12. Always Hope – There can’t be love if you don’t always hope for a better future, a better outcome. Without hope, depression sets in and eventually you give up.
  13. Persevere – Never give up on getting through, on making it to the next day, encounter, step, whatever. If you give up, you’ll never get anywhere with love.

Do these things and I can guarantee that Love will not fail. Because love never fails.

Do Not Worry About Tomorrow

IMG_0586The sparrow does not store food in barns. He does not sow or reap. He does not worry for his next meal, he knows it will come. He does not fret for tomorrow, and he most certainly does not dwell on yesterday’s worm.

The flowers of the field do not labor over their colours, they do not spin fine cloth or silk, and no emperor has ever been clothed as splendidly as they. Even had they minds to think they would not worry over what they where or what others see. They would know the splendor with which they are clothed is but a fleeting moment in their lives.

The dog sleeps beside his mistress. He does not worry that he will not be fed tomorrow. He does not worry that he will be left behind or out in the cold. He does not lay awake, hoping that she will still love him in the morning. He does not think of these things as his feet twitch, running through some field or forest in his dreams.

The doe grazes quietly in the clearing. She does not think of the hunter that may take her tomorrow, or even later this day, as she listens to the sounds around her. That is not to say she will not react to the prowling wolf if she hears him, but that does not concern her now. All that concerns her is the here and now as she grazes. She does not worry for what the future might bring.

A little Christian cries in the corner. Her job isn’t what she wants to do. She knows she’s better than this. She doesn’t want to grow old and bitter here. She doesn’t want to be afraid to leave. But she is afraid for what tomorrow might bring. She has bills to pay and she wonders where the money will come from to keep the debt collectors at bay. She’s never had bills like this before. She never thought she’d work a job like this. She worries that tomorrow she will not be able to do it, that she will give up. She contemplates the difference between quitting and giving up, but knows they’re the same if she doesn’t know why she’s doing it.

Little Christian bites her lips and frets when her boss asks her to talk. She worries that she will not have to quit. She couldn’t keep herself calm and focused and her work started slipping. Though it isn’t as bad as she thought, she worries that she can not keep going. There is nothing she wants more than to leave this place and follow her dreams.

The Father up above is looking down in love. He does not fret or wonder if the sparrow will starve, He does not worry that the flowers of the field will not be splendid enough. He does not worry for the dog who sleeps beside his mistress. He knows when the doe will encounter the hunter and when the wolf will feast. He knows what the future will bring,

He reaches out a strong hand, full of scars and callouses, to hold the little Christian. He knows her worries and her fears. He speaks softly to her, waiting for her sobs to cease so she can hear His words. He tells her of the deer, the dog, the flowers, and the sparrow. He tells her that He loves her more than any of these. He created her in his own image. He loved her so much that he brought her into being, knowing the world would need her for one thing or another, though He will not tell her what.

The little Christian steels herself, waiting for the world to collapse around and on her. She keeps going every day, waiting, watching, but it never falls. It just keeps going. There is no end in sight to the cycle as she relaxes into the Father’s arms. The Father who loves her more than He love the sparrow, the flowers, the dog, and the doe.

One day at a time. Tomorrow can worry about itself.


It’s been a rough month and at the end of it all, I have to keep reminding myself that the past is over, the future is not set in stone, and the present is a gift. God’s got this and He knows how it’s going to turn out. There is only one thing in the future that is truly set in stone, and that is His victory over darkness and Satan. There is so much wrong in the world, and in such a short time it seems to be getting so much worse. But, tomorrow can worry about itself, and worry can’t change yesterday. There is only today for us, finite beings that we are. One day, we’ll look back on everything and see that wat we thought were the biggest things are only the smallest part of the most beautiful, intricate, and amazing tapestry. When that day comes, we’ll finally understand.