Summarizing everything I've learned about a particular topic in one, consolidated, quantifiable report.
This is what I do at work.
This is what I am going to do in this blog post.
Topic of choice: life.
Okay, so NO, I’m not really going to summarize the ENTIRE topic of life in this report – that would be far too time consuming; rather, I will settle for “Life Lately”. My consolidated, quantifiable report will comprise of 5 main truths that I have learned over the course of the late summer and early fall months – simple yet transformative truths. And, friend.. I hope you, too, have learned or will soon learn these wonderful truths. Because quite frankly, life is good when we experience truth. And with that..
Ready, set, GO.
- Even if you think your prayer is somewhat ‘small’ or ‘stupid’, I can guarantee you that God cares. [Insert Matthew 6:26, 1 Peter 5:7, Psalm 139]. If you REALLY think about it – this is both humbling & frightening – we are quite small. We are 1 in 7.125 billion. Not only are we small population-wise, take note that we are small galaxy-wise. Let’s talk about how there are 17 billion Earth-sized planets in our galaxy ALONE. Think about your worries of your day. Then minimize them. Of course your prayer is going to be ‘small’. Regardless, God – the sole Creator of the 7.125 billion people and 17 billion planets – artistically crafted an intricate being – aka YOU – and desires to know you. Every little piece of you. He wants to hear about both the painful mouth ulcer that won’t go away and the huge presentation you’ve got next Thursday. He loves when you slowly release the grip of your so-called ‘control’ and give it up to Him, the only true Controller. He loves to comfort you because He loves you. Take heart. When you tell Him your thoughts and hopes and dreams, trust Him with them. Wait expectantly to see more of His character through the way He answers [or doesn’t answer] your prayer – small or big. You will be amazed.
- Community is good. Wherever you go, there is someone out there (no, multitudes of ‘someone’s, actually) who are experiencing the same things as you, feeling the same things as you, attempting to understand the same things as you. Take comfort in this. Use this. I have found a commonality in each of the ‘crossroads’ of my life: there has always been one particular person strategically placed in my life to aid me in my distress, celebrate with me in my joys, or sit with me in my apathy – who has either previously gone through or is currently going through this stage. No coincidence there – it’s on purpose. He determined the set times for them and the exact places where [His creation] should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him.. –Acts 17
- Where you invest your [prayer], you invest your life. No, I didn’t just butcher the Mumford and Sons lyrics.. inadvertently. I always kind of wondered why God wanted us to pray – don’t get me wrong, I know that this communication vastly deepens & strengthens our relationship with God – it’s just that sometimes I just don’t understand why we are called to pray for certain things if God has already made up his mind about everything, ya know? That’s what I call a conundrum. Well, my perspective changed. 2 weeks ago. I am blessed to know some of the most loving, mission-minded people. It’s crazy inspiring. SO.. I was reading a monthly newsletter of one of these beautiful-souled people and slowly began praying for the prayer requests included in their letter. And like that, suddenly I became invested. Interesting how that works out. I became sincerely interested in the wellbeing of my friend and each of her prayer requests. God is good like that. He gives us that heart for others. He gives us the freeing ability to trust Him when we leave our cares at His feet.
- Never lose your sense of wonder. I seriously enjoy music. Zach Winters, Ellie Holcomb, All Sons and Daughters, Sigur Ros, Bon Iver, .. the list goes on and on. Ever spent time thinking about how we hear? Sound waves enter the ear canal and cause the eardrum to vibrate, vibrations passing through 3 connected bones in the middle ear, which in turn sets fluid moving in the inner ear. This moving fluid bends thousands of delicate hair-like cells which convert the vibrations into nerve impulses which are then carried to the brain by the auditory nerve. In the brain, the impulses are converted into what we “hear” as sound (sc.edu). The sound worms its way deep into our emotions, our lives.. while we just sit there stupidly and hear. Let’s not forget that this world, including all of its inhabitants, is deeply magical. We should respect people for who they are: individual miracles. Little bodies of life and little tiny evidences of a creative Creator.
- Abide. While you’re busy praying, communing, investing, and wondering..I’ve learned it’s very important to keep on keepin on. Let’s a-b-i-d-e.
a. to await in expectation
b. to continue without fading or being lost
c. to endure without yielding
d. to bear patiently
e. to accept without objection
f. “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.. apart from me you can do nothing.” –John 15
And regardless of when we arrive upon our discoveries of truth – whether it be late summer / early fall like the 5 I discussed – in every season, He is still God.