Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Birthday Cake

We all should be completely wound down from the Holiday Season, and all revved & geared up to kick the New Year into shape. New routines have fallen into place by this point and life in 2014 should be pretty acclimated. As we push forward with all the months of this year still ahead of us, we must remember to take the time to appreciate the present.
Recently, I had a conversation with my Mommy and she told me about an experience she had while indulging in breakfast at IHOP. At the table next to her was an old man, approximately late 70’s, and at the table across from her was a family with a child around the age of four. The two people she observed experienced a moment that solicited the same response, but for very different reasons. In the background, there was someone celebrating a birthday, and it had come to the point where the serving staff was bringing out the birthday cake and beginning to sing happy birthday. The child’s face lit up brighter than the 4th of July fireworks show and she began to bounce up and down in the seat for joy, uber excited. The old man witnessed the same scene and a big grin spread across his face. His body became more relaxed and he appeared to be in a calming state. He too was happy. It was at this moment that Mommy realized that the two were happy for different reasons; the young girl excited about birthdays to come, and the old man reflective about birthdays past. This made me think about what life looks like in the middle, and how wonderful it is that God created this time for growth, development, and the opportunity to choose him.
A friend of mine asked me if God already has your life mapped out and knows everything you’re going to decide, then why pray. The conclusion I’ve come to is because of free will. While God implemented the ultimate design, we as people still have the right to choose, and there are people in life that God knows will never choose him, for example great leaders in their capacity like Mahatma Ghandi who was Hindu or Philip Randolph whom identified as atheist never chose God; however, it is written that “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.” (Proverbs 19:17)  I’m sure their kind acts did not go unnoticed and that even though they didn’t pray to the God we Christians pray to, they reflected, meditated, prayed about their issues to something. Prayer/meditation serves as the medium by which communication to the higher power is transmitted. Prayer is God’s telephone.
Overall, Prayer helps keep me grounded and focused on the bigger picture. It gives me a reason to hope in a world which at times seems desolate and degenerate.  Most of the time, I spend my days fretting about work, the mistakes I've made in the past, or apprehensive about the future. It is through prayer that I feel closest to God and I am reassured that no matter how bad things may seem, everything will be okie dokie artichokie. It is during times of prayer when I feel truly at peace, when I indulge in my own slice of birthday cake.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What's this....Love??

     Miguel asks Dooooo youuuu stillll believe in love!? Looking at today’s generation, the simplest answer would appear to be no; however, I would have to answer yes. In a time where relationships are frequented as much as drive-throughs and a significant other is only this month’s featured film, I still believe in the notion of love. How or why? Simple, because Jesus existed, and God is love.
     I Corinthians 13:4-7 defines love as being "patient and kind; it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." This is the type of love God has sent into the world and this is the kind of love I try to demonstrate. Many people ask why I'm single and it's simply because I have not found a man who loves the way God intended us to. Unconditionally.
     Both sets of my parents have been married for over twenty years and although I’m certain they’ve wanted to kill each other more than they’ve wanted to share the same bed, they’ve been able to tough it out because of love. I’m not talking about the overtly romanticized love that one sees in the movies. Their love for God allows them to express wholly their love for one another and their love for their family. Because of this love, they understand what it means to be committed to their union. Because of their love, I understand what it means to be committed to Heavenly Papa and myself.
     For me being committed to Heavenly Papa and myself is to continuously try to spread love throughout the world because one never knows the impact a kind act may have on someone else’s life. It means to live a life without fear because “Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” (1 John 4:18 NLT)  It means to live in continuous faith because knowing that I serve an awesome Heavenly Papa, at the end of all my days, everything will be okay. Regardless of any hardships, all of my unions will be blessed and the love I put into the earth will be reciprocated. It means that I must be kind to those who have no interest in being kind to me. It means I must have a heart like Martin, or better yet…Jesus.
     This transformation has been essential to my well-being. Without this type of love, I’d be stressed out, worn out, twerked out, and potentially strung out on worldly possessions. I’d be chasing the wrong type of love, manipulating situations to create a temporary presence in my mind that this is what love is. I’d love money, bags, cars, clothes, and any man that could pipe me down and give me those things.  I’d be another guppy in the wave of life waiting to be consumed by the next big fish, ending up someone’s breakfast, never reaching my full potential.