When you look into the rear view mirror of your life, at whatever age you may be, what do you see?
Do you see the successes, the failures, a combination of the two?
And then how would you rate your life, on a scale of 1-10? Or how about if your life was a movie? 5 stars, two thumbs up?
I would have to say that if my life was a movie, it would be a box office flop! There are too many ups and downs, and by the time the roller coaster ride of a film came to an end, viewers would be nauseated. Looking back at my life, there are certain points that stick out at me. I figure that it is time to share.
- From the time I could remember, I have never had a home in which there existed a relationship between my mother and father. Growing up was a constant push and pull. I had the feeling of resentment towards my step mother for the longest time. I also gradually began to gravitate towards my step father for fatherly comfort. As time progressed, I learned more about my family (all spread wide by now).
- When I was 13, I had a Bar Mitzvah. My father's family is Jewish, and as tradition has it, it was my turn. I remember the year, or so, leading up to it. All of the preparation; learning terms, prayers, etc., in another language. On top of all that, having to do the invitation/party coordination. It was a fun ride though. I seemingly enjoyed having the party and counting all my earnings at the end of the night, most of all.
- At the age of 16 is when I had my stab at what life can hit you with. On April 30th of that year, my grandfather passed away. It was my first conscious experience with death, being a person I had been close with. It also signified the first time in my life that I sought after God, and also questioned Him. Soon after, I became baptized at my church. That day, I professed my faith in Jesus Christ. Soon after, I got into my first car accident. I totaled my old, beater car, and came face-to-face with a little reality.
- When I was 17 years old, I lost my virginity. Something made to be sacred, and planned, went totally wrong. As classic as it became, it led to an interesting following few years.
- At 18, I went off to college. I went away to school, far from home. In my first year there, I made chasing tail a hobby. I found myself so narrow-minded in my relationship focus, that it makes me cringe.
- Still away at school, at 19, just following my freshman year, I became carried away. I was eventually diagnosed with genital herpes. This led me to feel like the butt of the majority of jokes, punch lines, and stabs. And at the time, less than a handful of people even knew about it. I eventually let it go, and avoided the frustrations by it. I just had to be more careful. The year or so following that, I continued with my extra curricular activities.
- I came home from school after my second year. I enrolled at a local state university, and aimed to better myself. The sexual activity decreased, and I began to attend church more regularly again. (correlation?)
- I presently have not had sex in nearly a year, and am not planning on it anytime soon. I am in a loving relationship, and am finally doing well in school as well.
What changed in me?
Riddle of the day:
He is all over the place, yet around you and within you, at ALL times.
God is the reason I have taken off, up and down the roller coaster of life. And even at such a young age, I am still able to recognize the gift I have been given. My faith is something that I attempt, with everyday, not to take for granted. I have come this far, and will continue to move forward in strengthening my faith and relationship with God.
While I was working out today, it hit me. Christians make up 2-3 billion of the worlds population. That makes 1/3 of the population Christian. Also, it is still recognized as the fastest growing religion worldwide.
With all the Christians in the world, why do we continue to have world problems? Because a Christian is defined as living life like Christ, correct? Therefore, we should obey the commandments and love our neighbors, right?
Something struck a chord in me today. Here's the way I see it:
If He gave up His life for us, then why can't we turn off the TV?
If He gave up His life for us, then why can't we turn off the pornography?
If He gave up His life for us, then why can't we mute the profanity?
If He gave up His life for us, then why can't we stop the drunkenness?
If He gave up His life for us, then why can't we stop the fighting?
If He gave up His life for us, then why can't we love each other?
If He gave up His life for us, then why can't we give more than an hour on "most" Sundays?
Jesus gave His whole life up for us.
It is time to step outside of the pews, and into the streets. It is time to allow God to mold us, and shape us into who HE wants us to be, not who we aspire to be. It is time to do God's work. It's simple, all we have to do is listen.
Fun Fact (concept borrowed from a loved one): A human being is supposed to get 8 hours of sleep each night. That equals 2,920 hours of sleep each year. Going to church every Sunday, for one hour, equals 52 hours of church each year. If being a Christian means to live our lives like Jesus Christ, then we need to give more.
Jesus lived to be [an estimated] 33 years of age.
Give more than half of your life.
Then he said to them all: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels."