Wednesday, September 25, 2013

So Help Me God

I have always looked at the phrase ‘so help me God’ as something to be used to make a point, more of a threat.  But is it? We say it after sweating to tell the truth or make an oath.  I considered it to mean that if I was lying, I would be struck down by the person I was lying to and would need God’s mercy to save me.  Or that God would be the one who would strike me down for lying and again I would have to beg for His help to avoid the punishment that would come upon me from lying. 

Let’s take a moment to look at this from a different tone of voice, from the voice of a humble and just person.  ‘So help me God.’ No longer is this a phrase taken in defense of your honor, but it is admittance of the truth.  If I am taking an oath to ‘tell the truth and nothing but the truth’ I truly do need help from God. Because if we are honest, we never fully know the truth of any situation.  We know the truth from our own experiences, but psychologists have proven over and over that the human brain has flaws and often misses many of the things that go on in any situation. 

This becomes a humbling moment to us as we let down the facade of thinking we know everything and admit that we need God’s help in discovering the truth.

So help me God’  

What about those moments when you know the truth, but are too afraid to say it in fear of hurting someone or fearful of what people may think of you? ‘So help me God’ is also calling up to God asking Him to send down His grace so that we may not be scared of the response that may come from speaking the truth.  If we don’t have God reminding us that speaking the truth is the correct decision to make and that with it comes joining Him in His everlasting kingdom, we would never be able to face the harsh judgments of this world.  

“So help me God though out my day. Help me to recognize and speak the truth.  Help me to live out truth in my life and to not be afraid of the earthly responses I may receive because I know of the joys in Heaven that await me.  Amen”

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Time Should be Used, Not Use You

Senior year has been freaking me out; actually my best friend Dana is more why I have been freaking out.  Up until a few days ago, I was on the relaxing bandwagon of just seeing where senior year takes me and hoping that God would drop something in my lap before I graduate. 

Last week she called and was freaking out about what she was going to do after graduation and all these adult decisions she was going to have to make and it hit me: I am graduating this year and being thrown into the adult world. (I would tell you the number of months left till I graduate, but I can't really bring myself to count them.) With only ___ months left till graduation I have a lot of lasts I am going to start experiencing; last formal, last initiation, last Husker football game. Part of me wants to say yes I can't wait till initiation, it is going to be such a great time, but then I stop myself and think yes, I can wait, because I realize that when it is time for initiation that means there is only ___ - 1 months left until graduation.  All this counting down freaks me out.

It's not that I am scared to graduate; I can't wait to see the life and experiences God has planned out for me, but I want to make sure that I enjoy all the time I have left in school because I know it will be gone momentarily.  In my diversity class today we got on the topic of how different cultures value time; in America if something is planned from 7-9, we show up at 7 and we leave at 9. The time that we have planned to be somewhere is the only time we give to that event and the people there; as soon as we reach the end of our allocated time, we get up and leave.  Other cultures however, don't focus on time, they are more concerned about the company they are with and the quality conversations they are having with someone. They don't get upset when someone is late, they just figure it is because they were helping out a friend. The last thought on their mind when listening to someone explain their hard day would be the fact that they need to leave in two minutes to make it to another meeting.   I am the worst at this, my schedule is nonstop from 7am to 11pm and some days I think my head is going to explode. What I lack in my life is a little buffer time. Time that I can use to sit down and talk with someone who is having a bad day, time that I can use to catch up with an old friend as I am walking back from class. "time should be used, not use you." My time should be more focused on those that I love, not my TO DO list. 

We have all hear the story in the Bible of the Good Samaritan, who stopped to help the injured man even when the priest and Levite passed over him.  I was recently listening to a podcast of Freakanomics where they did a modern day test of this story to see why some people pass over those in need and others help.  What they found was that when testing to see if seminarians would stop to help someone, it didn't matter if they had just heard the story of the good Samaritan, what mattered was how much time they had.  They would always stop and help, unless they were in a hurry, then they would pass right over the man, probably not even noticing him.  Who do you and I pass over that needs our help or even just a simple hello because we are in a hurry or staring at our phones? If I had a few less 'make myself feel good' meetings planning in a day, I could spend time building up those around me. 

This whole using my time wisely and to glorify God also struck a chord as I was listening to Matthew Kelly talk when he made the comment, " When we say yes to the stuff that isn't for us, we miss out on the stuff that is just for us" 

God has a perfect plan for our lives; there are certain places we are supposed to be to meet certain people so that certain lives can be changed.  However, we all to often decide that we have a much better day planned out for us than God does and we take control.  To be fulfilled we try to fill our days with an unreachable To do list.  Everyone can attest that a full day does not mean your day was fulfilling, often it just leaves you stressed and dreading the next day. 

My goal for this semester is to let God into my To do list.  Before I commit I need to ask His advice.  Is this just for me, is this organization or meeting necessary and will it make me a better person, or will it cause me to pass over the opportunities God has placed in my life to fulfill me make me truly happy.