Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Big Things

     Last weekend, I came home and brought my roommate from school with me, and her head must have been spinning trying to keep track of all of the family and friends I introduced her too. We eventually ended up at my Grandma's house, where we began looking at photo albums. It seemed like nothing out of the ordinary at first, but it soon became one of those moments where suddenly, in the middle of an ordinary day, you have a realization about life that just leaves you speechless for a little while
     For just a few minutes, sitting beside Grandma and laughing about pictures from the past, I forgot about all of the little things that were worrying me, and just felt genuinely happy. I know this sounds cheesy, but I thought about all that Grandma has been through in more than eighty years of living to reach that one happy moment sitting there looking at pictures. I realized that when I worry about things on a day to day basis, they seem like a big deal, but when I look back on things that worried me in the past, I can hardly remember all of the details that once seemed so big and important.
      Looking back on years of memories captured in photograph form, many before I was even born, I gained a new perspective. Right now, there are many things that worry me, and problems that I just can't see a solution to, but they are all temporary. One day, many years from now, I hope I will be the one reminiscing with my grandchildren, and in that moment, summer jobs and math classes will be the furthest thing from my mind. I will be looking back on all of the good things that happened in the midst of all the worrying I do, and I will be truly happy.
Enjoy the little things in life, because one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Rarity of Rainbows

       The story of Noah's Ark was always one of my favorite Bible stories as a child, and I guess it honestly still is. I love that it features so many animals, and I love that they all had to get on a boat. Can you imagine trying to get an elephant or a lion on a boat? But despite my fascination with the animals, I shouldn't forget what else was going on, and the enormous stress Noah was under as the whole world around him was washed away. When it was all over, God sent a rainbow as a reminder that this would never happen again.
Just as I love this story, I love when rainbows show up, as I think many people do.
     Friday, I decided to drive to the store when I noticed that it looked like a storm was on the way, in an attempt to beat the storm and get back soon enough to not get rained on. Smart, right? My timing was not successful, and a complete downpour began just as I arrived at the store. I waited for it to calm down a little before going in, and by the time I came back out it, the rain had stopped completely. The sky that had been absolutely pouring down rain just a few minutes ago was now decorated with the biggest, brightest rainbow I have ever seen.  By the time I took a picture of the rainbow and sent it off into the world of social media, it was already beginning to fade, and within a few minutes it was completely gone. This made me wonder why God didn't decide to make this symbol of his promise a permanent feature in the sky, instead of a rare and quick thing. Maybe there's a theologically correct reason for this that has already been explained, but i don't know about it, so I'll just share my thoughts.
     Maybe God knows that people like me sometimes need a little encouragement to renew our faith when we start to worry about things. So sometimes, he'll let us have a phone call from a friend at just the right time, an unexpected kind word from a stranger, and every once in a while, he'll time a rainstorm right in the middle of a sunny day, and afterwords put a huge rainbow in the sky for us to see as if to say, "What are you worrying for? I'm right here!" If there was constantly a rainbow in the sky, we would probably forget it's significance and barely notice it. Instead of a rare reminder, it would just be another everyday thing taken for granted
Noah kept his faith when the whole world around him was being destroyed, and I need to learn a lesson from him. Instead of panicking and expecting the worst when things don't immediately happen the way they want to, I need to rely on my faith and trust that the storms of my life will end with a rainbow. I'm working on having a faith strong enough to stand without needing reminders, but until I accomplish that, I'm glad there are rainbows.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Come to Salem Church and Sit For Me

     Sometimes it amazes me that people read what I write and take it seriously. I'm so happy about that, but it's also kind of scary, I'm no expert on anything I write about, so please just remember that as you read on.            Something has been happening this week, and anyone who spends any time on the internet, especially social media, has probably noticed it. It's Holy Week, and everyone and their mother seems to be feeling very, well, holy. Everyone is talking about Jesus, and it's great, because this week is all about Him. But what happens when, during this special week, something happens that knocks the Holy right out of your attitude, and you suddenly just feel...ordinary?
     Earlier this week I was with a group of girls I get together with every week for campus ministry, and one of them mentioned the new dress they had bought for Easter. This led to a group discussion of the new clothes everyone was buying for the occasion, and I found myself explaining that I still don't have a job and I'm trying to save money for Madagascar, not to mention I wasn't even sure if I had plans for Easter that would require a nice outfit. In that moment, I didn't feel holy. I felt jealous, and unreasonably embarrassed. There I was, almost 20 years old, thinking like a child and placing so much importance on such a trivial thing.
     I've been raised well enough to understand that Easter is not about a new dress, Sure, they're fun, and there's certainly nothing wrong with being excited about your Easter dress, like I always was when I was little. But this year, I will try to remember that Easter is so much more than what you're wearing, where you are, and how holy or not holy you have acted this week in comparison to everyone else. Easter is about what Jesus did for everybody, and it's essentially the most significant day of the year.
     Maybe I'm biased, but I personally think that Easter at Salem United Methodist Church is something everyone should experience. It's always such a happy day, and everyone seems so excited. This year, we were all encouraged to invite someone to "Come to Salem and Sit With Me". However, since I won't be sitting in Salem this Easter, I would like to say to whoever may read this, "Come to Salem Church and Sit For Me". I love that church, and it's members have shown nothing but love for me. It's a place that I always feel comfortable, no matter what else is changing in my life. It's congregation is made up of the special kind of people who have a holy attitude no matter what week it is, and they don't care if you have a new dress or not. They have shown me the unconditional love that Easter is really all about, and I love them all so much. In honor of them, here is a song that they usually sing on Easter, and I always notice that it seems to be sung with a little more excitement than any other song. I hope they sing it this year, but whatever they sing, I know that if you are looking for somewhere to go this Easter, they will welcome you just as warmly as they welcomed me.