It seem as though every time I post a thought it begins just this way. “long time no see”…. ugh… I promise to keep this updated and to keep all my thoughts flowing. 🙂
The following insert is something I wrote on New Years Eve as i began to feel the shift into the new year. I hope you enjoy and please let me know what you think.. Love you all.
Picture it if you will, my quite room, big bed and an array of items each holding faint memoires of the past year. Some joyous and some heartache but each second they were apart of has made me the person I am today. For some time now, I have been reflecting on the past year with gratitude and amazement. I was not aware so much could happen in one year; much less, I never thought I could actually place a ripple in the sea of life that would blend so beautiful with the lives of others. However, I fell as thought I have.
I was having a conversation with a great friend the other night and he expressed some frustration. Going into 2011 seemed bland to him, it just flows and to him, there is no “punctuation”. For him, and many other young adults, we place our beginning and endings in the same calendar as the school year. So naturally, once we move on for the school setting, we must begin interpreting our beginnings and endings for ourselves. Placing a “punctuation” on more than just a calendar but also in our hearts and emotions. Allowing the tangible sensation of fresh beginnings to wash over us as we chart out the next year or years.
For me to truly allow the feeling of new beginning to have their full impact, I must first look at what has already happened to get to this point. What mountain top and valley low experiences have been in my path and what have I learned from each of them. Therefore, in keeping in the tradition of labeling life, I have decided 2000-2010 is the “Decade of Education”. In the past ten years, I have graduated high school, graduated college and have learned who I am and in what ways I can contribute to the world.
Since ten year does contain a great deal of information, I have decided to share on one of the most important areas of my life, my faith. Through my faith I develop my character and find the strength and courage to conquer the world.
In 2008 I began a pursuit of my authentic self. The self I was created to be. I never thought that in this pursuit I would grow closer to my creator and develop the strongest faith of my life. A faith that does not allow me to fear or restrict myself for showing the world the diamond the lord has made me to be.
While I was in college I learned those with the greatest fait presented themselves in the most pristine way. From the way they look, to how they speak and to even what they would “allow” in the services or on the worship stage. “Only the best for Christ” is a comment I heard quite often threw forced smiles. (Translation=you are not talented enough to share.) A thought so upheld in the church that it caused leaders to over look someone who had a genuine passion to share what Christ has laid on their hearts, rather pay someone to come in and deem what they found good enough. Who are we to judge what God finds worthy for his sanctuary? We are just people, but the moment you give someone a title or a seat of power they forget that we were simply called to make a joyful noise. Instead worship becomes a production, a SHOW!!! A place where all do their best to sell this thing called faith. The best show gets the biggest audience, or I’m sorry, Congregation. That is what we call them.
The more I began to search for my true self the more God pulled at my heart to listen to the marginalized. The unwanted, the hurting, the talentless and the fashion less and the as I listened I not only heard their cries but also began to clear the fog of what my fellow leaders where saying. “We can never allow them on the stage! Did you hear…..” and an array of others. However, my all time favorite, in the middle of a service, someone I once considered a great role model of Christ leans to me and says, “Someone should really help her with her hair. It is really distracting me for worshiping.” Reeeallllyyy? All I could think. But for some sad reason I fell into this commercialized faith.
However, when I moved to San Francisco I began to see the church work at its full capacity. Sitting in the service with many faces, ethnicities, religious, faiths, social statuses and a smorgasbord of life paths I felt a warmth and love never felt here in our quickly cooling churches. There were no cookie cutter Christians, no expectations, and no strange ways of worship. Just a feel of come, share, live and learn. Celebrate your lives together and watch Christ work with and through us all. Such a beautiful display of the kingdom of heaven.
Many people I worshiped with would never be allowed to darken a doorway of the churches of my past, and if they did, it would not take long before someone would begin an intervention. Suggesting a small group, praying together, showing them what a “true Christian” looks like and before you know it, that dear sweet normal soul begins to conform to the majority. Reading and studying about faith but never truly living it out. Settling.. It’s easy to put on kakis and a button down but it hard to live with or even TRULY befriend someone the church calls a sinner.
In this past year, I prayed 2010 would be the year I took my faith from paper and put it into action. Applying all I had learned and loving on others with courage, knowing God was with me through it all. Giving others an ear and a place where they could contribute to the world in the way they felt best. Laying myself aside and watch others achieve great goals and allowing God to work in it all. And guess what, HE DID!!! He blessed me this year in so many great way.
The greatest lesson I have learned is that the more I believe and trust God can do great things, the less expectations I place on others. Looking at them the way he does, with amazement and beauty. Never stopping anyone from showing the gifts they have on their hearts and loving all, no matter what. Never settling my faith for what the world says it should be, but instead living the fullest with no fear because he has me in the palm of his hand.
So in closing, going into 2011 is extremely exciting!!! I am going in with a mindset of success but knowing and trusting that the greatest success for me comes from his peace. A peace I pass to others in love and sacrifice. We are given much to bless other… how will you bless someone?