I like to think that I'm alive.
It is after all, a logical thing. Without living, I wouldn't be writing the post which is a strange blend between rant and my first attempt at a lifestyle post. You'll have to tell me how it turns out.
But there are a few kinds of living. If you've seen the Croods, you'll realize that living in the dark of a cave for three-day periods at a time is not living.
That was not dying.
Then, there's WALL-E, in which we learn that ignoring Earth's death is not a good thing. We don't want to survive.
We want to live.
So, now that we've got the definitions out of the way, we can get into the nitty gritty of this post. Life is a thing, right? But I like to think of it as a thing we think too much about. We're either trying, or we're failing. Do or do not, the Great Jedi Master Yoda once said.
First world culture is reverting to dystopian ways of forcing the people into a terrible, gray life of work and conspiracy. Conspiracy, that's to be debated. But haven't you noticed that we're all overachievers?
To some of us, it comes naturally.
Others, you have to admit, we're doing a lot. Sports, work, hobbies, and the other things we feel so obligated to say YES to. Sure, yes is a nice word, but no is golden and imperative if you ever wish to survive this world.
So everything we try to do, add to our plate, is becoming too much. You see the Instagram, and the life your posting on it? Research your own name, and you can find a list of things related to you (unless you're like I used to be, where the only thing that popped up where gravestones [???] XD Why even?). The internet is what we show people, the color and the lights and the glowing faces to prove people we've got a life too.
This is where the fun comes in, and the rant becomes organized, I promise.
Stop trying to do so much. Life doesn't need to be made up of a to-do list. Sometimes, we focus too much on these things and it stresses us out. At least, I know it does for me.
Stress = death.
But I think there are other things we should focus on to help us live the life that Christ has planned for us. There are plans for our future, bigger than the aesthetic book wall I'm building on my Instagram. Bigger than everything I've got in mind for tomorrow and every day after it.
Creation - I believe that God created us to glorify Him and because He loves us. Everyone is created differently, and therefore we all glorify Him differently. For instance, you might have contagious smile that always points to Christ.
I use my guitar to lead others in worship.
But my point isn't us. It's our creation. If we realize that God created us, and loves us, and how important it is to have a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Him, then everything else can branch from those roots.
Honestly though, I'm figuring this out now and I needed to share it. Our life is filled when we follow God. Now, you might be worried that following God is going to take away from your life.
You can't do this and you can't do that if you spend too much time on rules. But trust me, when you follow Him, He'll lead you to things you love even more. While there are trials, you will not be miserable.
Where God guides, He provides.
Now, when we believe and ACT UPON OUR BELIEF that our creation and relationship is imperative to living, then everything else grows from it. It just happens.
Joy - Okay, so remember that personal relationship I mentioned earlier? Well, our personal relationship will show fruit, and joy is one of those things. And joy isn't like happiness.
Happiness is the holy grail of right now. Something everyone searches for but misses. It's legend, slipping in and out of existence. Sure, you can have it for a bit, but joy goes deeper.
I like to think of it as a confidence thing. Fear is powerful, and can suppress a lot of ourselves. Sometimes, fear of what other people think can shove joy and peace in the casserole dish cabinet and forget about us until spaghetti night.
(Honestly, is there a better time to smile than spaghetti night???)
It goes like this.
First, our relationship with God gets us to read the Bible, in which we realize that the LORD is our defense and refuge and that God is my judge (fun fact, that's what Danielle means). Therefore, no one else can judge us and that idea alone takes us over. Second, knowing that only God can judge us gives us CONFIDENCE TO LIVE in a way that will point to Him. ---> Which, in turn, MAKES US SO FREE, free from FEAR and DOUBT and LOOK AT THAT YOU'RE ALIVE!
If you're really truly alive, I think that gives us reason to rejoice. Thus, the joy factor.
Joy is sugar, and it makes everything better.
Inspiration - Now, this is kind of like a bonus thing, but I'm one of those people who gets excited by ideas. And ever since I started focusing on my relationship with God and joy and color and creation and everything beautiful, my brain has been overflowing with inspiration.
I want to do ALL THE THINGS
I even want to do school, which is so momentous that I deserve a podium. XD
This inspiration, the waterfall of plot bunnies, is part of my confidence in my identity. I'm not afraid, so all the brain space taken up by worrying is freed to move and think without freaking out. Take your joy and the talents God has given you and use them. The more you use them, the more they come. It's overflowing.
So what do you all think? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! In the end, it's God first, everything comes after. And I mean that seriously, because when you do God first, then everything afterward becomes so much more alive. Stop attempting to live. Instead, embrace the promises of forever, and always remember:
YOU ARE ETERNAL.