Waiting for What?

20120227-174324.jpgI bought an ice cream today…it’s a warm day, so it didn’t take long before it started melting down my hand. I had to eat it pretty fast to save it getting all over me. There was no option to look at it for a while before I ate it or to wait until I walked to a nice park before I started eating it…to eat & enjoy as much as possible, I had to get into it ASAP.

I’ve heard people say things like, one day i’ll find a better job. One day I’ll go back and study again. Once I get past this financially stretching season, I’ll be able to save. I’d love to learn to play guitar, but I’ll just wait until I have a bit more time. I’ll save that special experience for when I get in a relationship one day. I haven’t called my mum in weeks, but now’s not really a good time. One day I’ll clean my car.

I’ve probably said these things too.

“It’s just that I’m facing a few challenges right now, but it’s ok because I’m thinking positively about the future. I’ll just wait it out”.

What is waiting?

Is it possible that we can over-spiritualise a waiting process and tell ourselves that God is making me wait to teach me a lesson about patience?

Is He really?

I reckon sometimes He could be holding back to teach us a lesson about Right Now.

Because often times waiting patiently can be just an excuse or coping mechanism to ignore your current state of reality. It’s hard to admit that you’re in debt, single and lonely, getting older, disconnected from your family, distant from God, or living the same day over and over again. It’s easier to say “I’ve just put that idea on hold for a while…I’ll do it soon.”

When is soon?

Waiting can steal your life from under your nose. If we’re not watching, “one day” could be the very reason we don’t do anything in life.

Don’t let Now pass you by. You only get one Now.

You’ll never travel, because you can’t wait until you all of a sudden have money, you have to save…can you try $20 a week? You may miss out on experiencing that ‘special restaurant’ while you wait for that special someone to come along…I say you take some friends and do it this weekend. You can’t wait for more time to read your bible, get fit, learn that instrument or hang out with your family, you just need to get up earlier or make it fit into your life.

I’d be living a very sad existence if I was just going through the ordinary motions of life while I wait for all of my circumstances to line up.

Because that may never happen.

You’ve heard stories about elderly people who look back over their lives with regret, feeling as if they had wasted so many years, and wishing they had done more.

My ice cream tasted way too amazing to let it drip down my arm.

And right now I’m sitting in a beautiful cafe in a place I’ve never been before. I feel like a tourist. I try to have a new experience like this every Monday on my day off. I’ve been to SO many places! There are way too many thing in life I want to do.

Now sounds like a great idea.

…..

If you’ve got any thoughts to help me with my theories, I’d love to read them… Please add a comment below.

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Why do they hate Valentines Day?

It’s so common to hear a girl say “I hate Valentines Day!”. Many of the women in her life may turn and tell her to stop being silly and just enjoy it. And we look at her and presume that she’s either alone for this special day or that she’s speaking from the pain of a bad experience.

But why is she so bitter?

There’s a lot of talk about Valentines Day being an occasion of consumerism. People complain that it’s all about hype, competition and conformity. Acts of love and affection are forced, to satisfy the requirements of the day. It’s all just a big game.

My theory is that we are just hungry for genuineness. We don’t like the idea that romance has been made so convenient for a guy that he can buy roses while paying for his petrol. Yes we still love the flowers, but this “romantic gesture” was pretty much an accident.

A girl feels special when a guy goes out of his way to buy something, plan a date, use his creativity and think about what would really make his girl happy. Practically showing his affection is not something he ticks off his to-do list, he’s excited to demonstrate how much he really loves her and so he puts in some effort. It doesn’t always have to be extreme, just a bit thoughtful.

But beyond Valentines Day, we all crave genuineness. REAL love and authentic kindness. No one likes empty words or actions motivated by obligation.

You know what it feels like to get a fake smile from someone. It’s not nice. It’s annoying. It’s almost rude.

We can get used to saying “Hi. Good thanks” to the person behind the cash register as we put our shopping on the counter. We get in the habit of giving a forced smile and a “hello, how are you?” as we walk past our colleagues at work, but never stop to really ask them how they are. There are people who walk into church that we may have a conversation with because it’s the right thing to do, but do we really care about them? We can even live with people and never have a meaningful conversation with them.

Empty love can often have a worse affect than if we had done nothing at all. A girl who receives a thoughtless present on Valentines Day may then decide that she now hates this “special occasion”. In the same way, a person who experiences a fake interaction with someone may only lose respect and trust in that person. They’re bitter because they’re disappointed. It’s ironic that “an act of love” can actually cause a person to feel more unloved.

It could be as simple as thinking before we speak and act…Is what I’m about to do really going to show a person that I care? Because my genuineness is WAY too important. We can have the greatest impact on others with authentic love.

And guys…don’t forget Valentines Day.

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Just MAKE A DECISION!! [part II]

There are people in this world who seem to find decisions a breeze… Effortless. Carefree. No stress. Easily pleased. Out for dinner, they take 30 seconds to make their choice from the menu. They’ve also been passionately pursuing the same career path since they were six years old. Life is so easy! Oh my goodness, I WISH I was like this! Yes I’ll admit I’m pretty jealous of these people.

I like to weigh up all the options. I feel the need to know all the consequences & benefits of every choice before I can make a decision. Informed decisions. I need to be confident I’m not giving up the option that will be the most beneficial.

It can be scary to lock in a choice…especially when it could alter the course of your life. And there’s usually no way to guarantee the outcome of your choice. This pressure can add so much anxiety to a decision making process. So of course we’ll get indecisive.

S0 isn’t it just reasonable to take my time to ensure I make a wise decision?

Well maybe so, but where is the line between waiting for wisdom, and procrastinating in fear of committing? Indecisiveness or commitment issue? Because let’s be honest…

Sometimes we’re just scared, so we try to leave our options open to ensure we have the freedom to be flexible when other options come up. And sometimes it seems too hard to get our head around all the pros and cons, so we take the safe option and just wait for more info…and wait…and wait some more.

What if I make the wrong decision?

I say give God some credit. Would he really let you make such a fatal mistake?

I actually think God likes to play with doors…

I once chose to buy a particular car I was unsure about, but it turned out that the seller was dodgy and the sale fell through. I was devastated. Door closed. The next week I bought a car for a similar price that was 10 times better. Open door. God knew.

I once applied for a certain job I was unsure about, got an opportunity for an interview, but was unsuccessful. I was disappointed. Door closed. The next week I got selected for my dream job out of 300 applicants. God did His thing again!

I once selected a Uni course I was unsure about and got accepted. Door open. I studied for a year only to decide I was unsatisfied with my choice. I transferred to an alternate course. Who knows why God didn’t intervene this time to ensure I chose the “right course” in the first place? All I know is that I had a lot of valuable life experience for that year, and it didn’t stop me from being on the right path now.

I CAN TRUST HIM! God knows what’s behind each door and the consequence of every option. We can make life changing decisions and everyday choices knowing that God is in “protection mode”… He watches over us, ready to intervene if He needs to. And then sometimes we’ll feel shut down and rejected as God shuts a door… but we can be confident and grateful because we know a big, shiny, impressive door is about to open for us around the corner. That’s how God works.

It’s easy to get dramatic and treat some decisions as if it’ll be end of the world if we choose incorrectly. We can forget that God actually really cares for us and is an expert at keeping us on the pathway that HE designed for us. God doesn’t set up traps. He only sets out paths and doors that lead us on incredible journeys of adventure, growth, favour, influence & fun!

So….Just make the decision!

Question: Why are you struggling to commit to a particular decision? Can you trust God enough to jump out and take a risk?

Proverbs 4:11-12…
“I’m writing out clear directions to Wisdom Way, I’m drawing a map to Righteous Road. I don’t want you ending up in blind alleys, or wasting time making wrong turns”.

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Just MAKE A DECISION!! [part I]

I’m guessing it’d be pretty normal to catch yourself feeling unsatisfied with life. You recognise that your feelings of excitement and motivation for your job, studies or other commitments are just not as strong as they used to be. Life isn’t energising or enjoyable, it’s just hard work.

It’s at this point of recognition that I’d yell “STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING!” There’s a reason you’re feeling unsatisfied, and if you keep going, you’re going to waste your life!

It’s time to get decisive…

I can be extremely indecisive, but there’s something I know…Chocolate is my favourite flavour of ice cream. And then one day I walk into the supermarket and Vanilla ice cream is on special. Eager to save money, I buy vanilla… Even though I’m happy about my bargain and I do enjoy eating it, I’m not completely satisfied. There’s nothing like chocolate ice cream.

There was probably a point in time when you were offered a job, received acceptance for a course or were presented with an incredible opportunity. You were excited about it, you were flattered, amazed at how well it suited your skills and passions, and you took it on making it fit perfectly within your lifestyle. You were stoked about life!

And then what happened? Your work load grew, you got stressed, lost your free time, grew tired, got sick of the demands, it became tedious, and your amazing opportunity sucked the life out of you.

Years later…you’re bored, depressed and you’re still eating vanilla ice cream without even realising. You’re cheating yourself from living the dream!…Chocolate ice cream is still available!

Here’s the fun part…You can actually empower yourself to make life exciting by reevaluating your life decisions…

In reevaluating my choices I might recognise I eat toast for breakfast every single morning just purely out of habit. This truth allows me to discover pancakes, bacon and eggs, muesli and even cake for breakfast, and my mornings just got very exciting!

In reassessing your career you may realise that you find it ridiculously boring to sit at a desk as a receptionist. Being truthful with yourself allows you to rediscover your dream to be a school teacher, your heart starts to beat, and you’ve stirred a sense of purpose you haven’t felt in a long time.

You need to decide what you want and expect from life. If you have no idea, or you’re too scared to be honest with yourself, you’ll never find satisfaction. Don’t get stuck going through the motions! Don’t waste your energy living a meaningless life.

God has exciting plans for you and you CAN find that thing you were born to do that will fill your life with meaning, purpose, passion and satisfying Joy.

…And after trying new things, you may actually decide that toast is still your favourite choice for breakfast, or that you love being a receptionist. Well it was worth the reevaluation process to help you decide that. And now that you know this, you can recommit to it, fully embrace it, and have a fresh appreciation for something you’ve always done… Life is fresh and exciting again.

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OUT OF CONTROL!!

So its decision time. Argh!… It can get extremely confusing & painful trying to plan out your life… it’s challenging to make short-term plans when you’re so uncertain about what the future looks like… and it can seem impossible to make long-term plans when you know things change so much… who knows what you’ll feel like doing in 10 years?… I struggle enough deciding what I feel like for breakfast.

You’d think that having all knowledge, clear direction and being in complete control of each aspect of your life would make life much less stressful… It’d be easier to make all the right decisions & you’d always feel safe knowing that no circumstance could take you by surprise. You’d be prepared for anything and everything. Sweet.

But then, the concept of owning the responsibility to choose the very best course for my life freaks me out! So much pressure! Too many details to get perfectly right! I’m not good at this gigantic puzzle! My brain doesn’t work logically enough to piece together all the experiences of life in order to get the right outcome. Information overload!

I’ve changed my mind! I don’t want to know everything! I don’t want to be in control of my life! I’m more than happy to pass on the responsibility.

So it’s ironic, but I think there’s actually more freedom in the lack of understanding and control.

Freedom that comes with the confidence to relax & not stress or strive because you know that God’s got it all under control. He knows all! His logic can only be perfect. He sees the big picture as well as all the little details that make it happen. He knows best. And He wants what’s best for me.

I can chill out and let God be God.

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God!” Proverbs 3:5-7 MSG

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This One Thing I Know

I can’t comprehend God… I don’t even understand myself… But God understands me and he knows all things… That’s all I need to know.

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Abnormal?

I have a feeling my life is not very normal. What’s “normal”?… Who knows? All I know is that people seem to question some of the decisions I’ve made over my life as if the choices I’ve made have been pretty unique. I don’t feel abnormal…But maybe I am.

I sometimes go running with my housemate. She’s fitter than me and I definitely have to push myself to keep up with her. I used to go running by myself…My normal capacity for running was probably about 10mins before I got tired and had to slow down to a walk. I was ok with that. So when I started running with her and was pushed to run for 20mins straight without slowing down, 10mins just sounded weak. If she could do it, then so could I. 20mins became the new normal.

And then I discovered something in me that wanted to push beyond that. I wasn’t satisfied with normal. I wanted to go beyond normal. I wanted my normal to be better than the standard normal. So I pushed myself to start running 30mins. And pushed myself again and again, and before I knew it, I was running for days without stopping (ok not really, but my personal records have been pretty impressive).

Considering all this made me think about the other areas of life. I guess you could call me competitive (having two brothers will do that to you), but I feel like there is something deep within me that is just not satisfied with normal. And I don’t even mean society’s standards and averages or what my peers class as normal…I’m thinking about those who inspire me and their level of normal.

I was inspired by my housemate’s level of fitness… But she’s above average. She’s beyond normal. So really, I was inspired to be abnormal.

I haven’t written a blog in ages. It seems like so much work to me. But I’ve got friends who are writing novels and other friends who push out amazing blogs in 10minutes. I’m inspired by their normal. And again, something that once seemed abnormal to me becomes the new normal.

Recently the opportunity came up for me to go sky diving. I pretty much signed up instantly. I didn’t think about the danger, fear or consequences. Friends were impressed or even shocked at my decision…but people go sky diving all the time. It’s normal. Why not?

Last year I was offered a position on Staff at a church in Sydney….But I lived in Melbourne. I had been preparing for change and loved the idea of the adventure, so a few months later I moved interstate. I wasn’t too concerned about the discomfort and loss of leaving everything. There are people that make massive moves overseas… I was only moving an hour flight away. It’s normal.

I work two really crazy jobs, I work with 200 out-of-control teenagers, public speaking is my life, I get too excited about experimenting and spontaneity, I have a goal to visit a new place or experience something new every week, I cross the bridge all the time, and I love change.

I guess I’ve chosen not to be afraid of being different, not to avoid discomfort and not to be satisfied with normal.

So I’m called weird, adventurous, a risk taker…abnormal. And that’s the way I like it.

 
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