There was a time in my life, shockingly it wasn’t too long ago, that if you asked me the most important life lesson, I would probably ramble off some deep (I’ll admit, post-college, I really started enjoying theologians of old. Let’s be real: their words and ideologies have stood the test of time; way more than the youtube videos our generation is currently feasting off.) (…let’s get back to what I was originally writing about.)
… some deep, thought provoking truth, such as: “Love covers,” or “Be WITH the person you are with,” or I was really eager to strike up a conversation/debate about your thoughts on predestination.
For the record, don’t ask me about it.
I was/am such a firm believer, after taking a class on Romans and Galatians in college, that in the eyes of Christ, what He has done for us, extending a grace that none of us did anything for, who are we to treat anyone differently or to withhold grace and kindness from another? Now, I’ll be honest. This was way easier to live out when I was in college. Let me paint you all a really quick picture of my undergrad life.
I went to a really small evangelical college. I loved every minute of it. People complained about the rules all the time, but the memories, friendships, life changes and challenges I received while attending there, are worth their weight in gold. (And in money fines. Inside joke.) We were a small campus, which really helped make it feel like family. Without realizing it or even asking for it, I gained a family of professors, pastors and friends, that still to this day have had a lasting impression on my life. I work way better in small groups, so it’s not any surprise to me that I gained the most in those 4 years. I learned what it meant to love and to love the unlovely (not really directed specifically towards anyone – don’t get paranoid) but when you live in close proximity with people, namely girls, SOMEONE is bound to upset you. It’s called life. I learned through watching my professors, what it meant to be selfless and what it meant to father and mother a small, yet powerful army of this generation. We were invited to do life with these people. I mean, seriously. Sitting at kitchen tables with professors who already had families of their own, sharing meals and whatever else they had to share.
Now that I know what a sacrifice it is to share time with others, I am completely blown away at how they loved us.
So, like I said. Adopting and living out this mantra: Love covers just seemed way easier then. I am reminded, almost daily, and then almost daily I ignore it, the importance of showing love towards others. Somewhere in the midst of all this, I got busy. Like, busy. Is that what adulthood looks like? I hope not. When I moved away from home, I moved away from home. It’s hard and almost annoying trying to build family without my family. Relying on my memory and traditions without the people almost leads me to apathy and almost being okay with how busy I’ve become. You begin to ration and make up some weird reason why it’s okay to be short with people (Ex. I’m an introvert). Which, HEY. I have used that and I almost feel okay about it.
But where did Jesus say, “Love one another, but only if you’re an extrovert…?” Ah, He didn’t.
It’s easy to get comfortable. I have. It’s easy to forget. I have. It’s easy to complain. I have. It takes way more effort and character and discipline to actually reach out and show compassion. This all came to my mind when I was flying home yesterday, from Redding to Boston, and I sat behind a gentleman who overheard I was going to Boston, and so was he. Long story short, he was a successful man at one point, and now, in his words, he “lives in the woods and grows weed,” but in the time of his greatest need, he said, “it was the church who helped me and came and gave me food. People found out where I lived, and brought me what I needed.” (This was all said after he told me he lost faith in church because he was once told animals didn’t have souls… I tried to not laugh.)
It was just a swift kick in my pants to be reminded of how I’m supposed to live and act. My attitude has not been the best since I’ve had to leave and give up a lot of things I love; namely comfort. Doing life with people that I know and feel known by. Music. Family. Friends. It’s easier to be frustrated than to open my eyes and be present with life today. I can’t say that I’ll be a pro at this anytime soon, but I can sure try.