"How did that happen?" "Man, you're lucky!!" "What a coincidence?!"
Ten years ago from today, I was sitting in my math class in middle school. It was our third period class. I remember hearing some chatter, from the lucky ones with cell phones at such a young age. "We are under attack!!!" I blew it off...until I received more information of what was actually happening.
Ten years ago from today, my father sat in an office in New York City, on a business trip. He received an email that the breakfast meeting in the cafe, in one of the towers in the World Trade Center, was cancelled for that morning.
Within the hour, a plane struck the first tower. We all know the rest of the story from there. Lives lost, trauma to millions of people around the world.
To be realistic, imagine with me, for a second. Let's say the meeting isn't cancelled. Instead, let's just say that the meeting is called, and they proceed as planned. Imagine a life without a father. The one you love. The one you have grown up with your ENTIRE life. What then? Why was it my father, when hundreds, if not thousands, of fathers died that day? See, I have a split family; and have had it this way for the last 18 years. So I would have had a fatherly figure in my life regardless. So why take away the father of the newborn, and leave mine for me?
My life would not have been the same. For weeks and months after September 11, 2001, I spoke about this story as if I should be praised or treated differently. All because my father dodged death that morning. Why is it that I sit here, ten years later, shaken still by September 11th. Not because of the actually events that took place that day, but for the fact that my future life plans were being taken care of. It took me ten years to realize it.
Since that date in 2001, a lot has changed in my life. Beyond the obvious physical changes, a lot has gone on mentally and spiritually. In 2006, I came face-to-face with God. Following my grandfather's death, I acknowledged God. It was the first time in my life that I had ever questioned God. I didn't understand, and I longed for some sort of peace of mind and heart, for what had been taken from me. It just didn't seem right. From then on, life began to take its shape for me. I started to see God in nearly my every day actions. And five years later, on this date, I am thankful for my father. Better yet, my Father. He has come through for me, on countless occasions in my life. I couldn't ever do it without him...Him.
In one moment, life could change drastically...God's plan>my plans
I have been lost in wonder, lately. I found myself in deep thought about the actions that I take, and how they reflect on who I am. Then I began to wonder; where do I get it from? Where do I get the idea to pursue something like I do? Is it innate? What does innate even mean?
innate (adj.): 1. Inborn; natural
I am a FIRM believer that God created us all. And in doing so, He made it possible for all of us to do the things we do, and the things we will do in the future. So, our actions deemed innate; natural, inborn...come from the maker of all things? Is that, then, why our actions not only reflect ourselves, but [as told to us in the Bible] reflect God as well? So, if our actions are innate, then it is something that God put on our heart?
innate (adj.): 2. Originating in the mind
Maybe it is simply that 'innate' is the wrong word. Maybe 'innate' is something that our mind, innately created. What am I getting at? I am saying that I feel like people are viewing life with blinders. I feel like we are only merely skimming the surface.
And that is bad because...?
If I am able to get deep within myself, aside from all the other stuff going on in my life (work, school, etc.), what is my life like? God is at the center of my life. He created me, in doing so, making it possible for all things to be done. And yes, many people recognize that fact. But how many of us actually reflect that in our lives?
I am guilty of it, daily. If I had a sheet, that listed the +/- of all the actions I made, I would be so close to the all negative sign, it scares me. I have bad thoughts, bad things said; not reflecting God. Just to add clarification, I am not striving to be God. I am merely attempting to do my best to show how amazing God truly is. So, as I do to myself daily, I ask you...what is your life reflecting? When you are able to get deep within yourself, how are you reflecting God in your lives today?
God gives us all gifts. It is as simple as it sounds. But allow me to elaborate.
The gifts we receive are not material things. How often do we step out of our front door, to a pile of money? And let me guess, you looked up and saw a brand spanking new (fill in the blank with a super nice dream car) sitting in your driveway? And when you went over to the car, you noticed that there was the hottest person sitting in the passenger seat telling you to take them anywhere, and that they were at your whim?
As great as that whole thing sounds, to the majority of people who have ever allowed their mind to drift into a fantasy world (where there are hearts, stars, horse shoes, clovers, and blue moons), life is not like that.
But this is what life is like:
You wake up daily. Go through the mundane routine of school, work, family, friends, clubs, sports, and other entertainment. Go to sleep. Then do it all over again. Why is our world so fast paced? We literally live in a high speed time machine that is traveling down the road at a million miles an hour, to a land far, far away, in a vast space of nothing. Why don't we ever take the second to see what we have? Take that minute to breathe, and acknowledge what our life is, and has become.
Upon doing this, I see something amazing. All of the things that I find myself, or have found myself complaining about at some point in life, are not worth all that time. Instead, I have found, that the act of complaining only makes things worse. Due to this recent discovery of the obvious, I have made it one of my personal goals to stop worrying, stop complaining, and just live life. And in doing so, I hope to use what I have to make the best out of life.
God gives us all gifts. It's just a matter of how we use them.
"That may not be the talent you have, but you are very talented at other things."
-Dr. D. Brouwer
I am blessed. Allow me to explain. I could quote the Bible. I could give some theories that some theologians have. Instead, how about this? ...I have something incredible.
I have never had a good history. Yeah sure, I have been able to be involved, but it hasn't been anything that I could declare as deep. Relationships for me, on the surface, have been a breeze. Seeming to come easily for me to seek out one person. In reality, it has been a struggle. Although the signs may not all be there, I have not been satisfied in relationships for my entire life. Every time it was ever brought up, everything was 'good', 'alright', 'copacetic'. Nobody has been able to rouse the word 'excellent' or 'perfect' out of me.
About a year ago from now, I met someone at church. I butted in on conversations to make myself seem funny. At the time that seemed right, but looking back, man, I must have looked like a loser. Eventually, I got a name out of her, as she did from me. We casually chatted, and I tried to gradually move into a flirty nature with her (with the greatest attempt at witty banter that I could possible conjure). Then, one day, it was all gone. We barely texted, rarely chatted in person, and most certainly thought it was all over.
Something was different. It was seemingly more difficult to pursue her; making it difficult for me to believe that I was even attractive in her eyes.
Just about seven and a half months ago, she and I began to converse again. It was kind of random, but natural and fitting. We started to hang out, one on one, and began to show our attraction towards each other. Soon enough, we were officially dating, title and all.
A little over six months later, and I have to say that this has been the most interesting, and pleasing six months I have ever had in my life. No, we are not perfect, and sure as heck have had some stupid runs about horribly redundant topics. But there is one thing that keeps coming back to me. Nothing in my life has ever been like this. And it is exciting. I have never gone to so many places that I have never heard of. I have never done all the things that I have done, if it wasn't for her. From the places we have visited, to the talks we have had [about the most random things, at times], I can say that I wouldn't want it any other way.
Love, I thought, was a farce.
Marriage, I thought, was pointless.
Children, I thought, were a waste of time and money.
Now it is clear to me that all three of these things are already a part of my life, or will be a part of my life soon. Patience leads to kindness; kindness leads to compassion; compassion leads to love. And love is what I have for her. A love that God has put on my heart. An unfailing, never wavering, love.
It was all His idea. My pursuit, that seemed pointless a year ago, has blossomed into something beautiful. The greatest part about it is this: I know He has more in store for us.
His plan>my plans