A few months ago, the local newspaper in my hometown asked people in town to submit their “testimonies” to the newspaper office and they said they would publish one in the paper each Friday. I decided to tell my story not just in a “where I was and where I am” format, but to simply talk about things that I had been learning lately, so the newspaper decided to give it the headline “15 Random Things About Faith” and it hereby officially serves as my first blog post…
1. People who are stuck in the habit of routinely worrying about their own self are going to miss the point. If that’s what you want to do, fine… but now that you’ve read this, at least you know.
2. If you’ve never picked up a Bible in your life, but you’re looking for some answers but you don’t know where to start, you should pick up a “red letter edition” Bible in a contemporary translation, and just start reading everything in red, in the second half of the book. Those words will never let you down.
3. It’s amazing how fulfilling “doing the right thing” is after you’ve done it, even if you really didn’t feel like doing it in the first place.
4. Sharing life together with people is the best thing you can do while you’re here. Honestly, it’s not something that comes very naturally for me (and a lot of people), but I believe time spent with people will always be “time invested, not time spent.” I’d rather spend time with people… getting to know them… than just “do stuff” any day.
5. People of faith who seem to only be looking forward to “heading on to Heaven” and don’t seem to care much about their existence and impact in this world… they are going to miss the point, too.
6. You shouldn’t spend very much of your time and emotions focusing on things that don’t matter. Like TV, your pride or other things you could look back at and laugh at yourself about. Even doing too many “good things,” yet not spending enough time with family. Conversely, you really should spend the bulk of the time in your day building up your family, friends and people around you. That will make you happier. For more on this, see No. 4 again.
7. If you have a job that pays your bills in this difficult economy, stop whining about your salary, wants and work conditions. Instead, bow low to the ground and thank your boss for what you have.
8. Life is too short for ________. (You fill in the blank. You should be getting it after reading this so far.)
9. You need to be able to laugh at yourself when you deserve it. I know people who just can’t, and they truly are miserable, pathetic folks. You should take yourself seriously, but not so seriously that you would believe in yourself too much. “Let those who think they stand take heed, lest they fall.”
10. If you’ve ever done something really bad and kept it a secret, even for a long time, don’t be afraid to tell the person (or people) who deserve to know. You think it’s the end of the world, but it’s really not. I promise. If it really is the end of the world, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
11. I agree with the guy who said wives need love, husbands need respect. I think it was either Emerson Eggerichs or Paul the Apostle. Probably both.
12. I don’t really agree with the whole global warming thing, but I wish people would stop spitefully saying, “I guess we can thank Al Gore for all this global warming,” when its 10 below outside. It’s getting old, and we get your point.
13. I agree with the guy who wrote a book all about how Christians should speak out into the mainstream, not just in church and to each other, when something bad happens. It’s always better to sow something positive and good into the world, no matter how small, rather than just complain amongst yourselves and do nothing.
14. Here’s a good one: “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” Yeah… I like that one. Helps you remember that other people matter.
15. If you can’t remember all those things, or you don’t have enough room on the mirror to tape this whole article to the mirror… just remember this part: Go and do your best to sow good into the world.
The more I read the Bible and tune in to what God has going on here on this Earth, the more I seem to care about things. It wasn’t all that long ago that I was just surviving and nothing really, truly mattered. If that’s you, I can honestly tell you that the time you spend reading those red letters will open your eyes quickly. And maybe try to implement some of those things above. They didn’t come from me, they came from a variety of different places, and I just kind of digested them and thought I would share them with you. Thanks for reading.