This last weekend I realized that I had forgotten how wonderful it is to just sit and read a book. I’m currently taking a YA Resources class and needed to get through two books in order to not feel completely behind. So I spent Saturday and a couple hours on Sunday reading. The first book I read was “A Monster Calls” which had me in tears by the end because it was about letting go… no matter how painful that can be. I wasn’t expecting this book to be like that, but it was, and it was beautiful.
The second book I read was called “Graceling” which was a fantasy book that didn’t involve vampires, werewolves, or fairies… though I can admit that I don’t mind books that have those fantastical elements (to some extent). But it was a crazy adventure- though the names through me off a bit (e.g. Po, Bitterblue, Leck). But that’s not the point.
Lately when I want to relax, I would turn to Netflix or Hulu to fill my time and I would always complain that I didn’t have time to read a book. That was a bit of a lie, because the time I had to read a book, I was filling with other things. I think this is broader in life as well. What we spend our time on defines us. As Switchfoot says in their song “The World You Want, “What you say is your religion/ How you say it’s your religion/ Who you love is your religion/ How you love is your religion/ All your science, your religion/ All your hatred, your religion/ All your wars are your religion/ Every breath is your religion.”
While that is very broad in its scope, their whole song ask the question of “is this the world you want?” and answer it with “you’re making it.” I would argue that this goes down to the smallest decisions we make. Preferring to spend time watching television versus spending that time on other things, shapes your world… it shapes my world. I’m not saying that television is bad. What I am saying is that every decision we make affects us- good or bad.
I’ve let my own priorities become skewed. I have the ability to change where I spend my time and what I value. The realization probably seems obvious, but since when are humans very good at realizing the obvious? Are there things in your life that you wished took more priority or less?
Here’s the full Switchfoot song:
I think that we are all well aware of the phrase, “Hold your tongue!” I don’t know if everyone else hears that in the voice of an aristocratic elderly British woman or if that’s just me. But I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the idea of being conscious of what I say. Of not letting my words put others down or negative. I’ve realized, though, that this shouldn’t stop with just what I say.
If the majority of people could hear a running transcript of my thoughts, I would be utterly ashamed. Though I try to not be mean in my head, it’s not something I succeed at. I have mean thoughts. I have judgmental thoughts. And while it’s honestly not possible to not think something before you think it (that would be paradoxical and a little creepy), I can be more aware of my thoughts and stop negative or judgmental ones from continuing.
A lot of this trial and error consists of me asking God for forgiveness. I don’t think I’ve ever sat through a church sermon on forgiveness in which the pastor talks about asking for forgiveness for the things we think that are wrong or mean. Sure in the Bible Jesus says that thinking lustfully about someone is committing adultery in your heart (and you hear that a lot in church), but I think that admitting that your thoughts are worse that your actions is a super personal and vulnerable thing.
I’m really bad at knowing when something is too personal (some of the time). One example is that I don’t really understand the taboo of asking about people’s salaries. I know that some people don’t want to seem like they are better or are embarrassed, but when I want to know, it’s because I have a scientific curiosity- and I say scientific, but I have the tendency to view interactions with others in a very logical and “left-brained” way.
I think that if we (by “we” I kind of mean Christians) viewed our internal thoughts the same way we viewed verbalizing those thoughts, we would be more honest about our desperate need for saving. And I think that would reflect in our interactions with others even more so than only outwardly seeming like we are being kind or loving… I think the world would notice that difference.
Is it really 2014? Did I really finish one semester of graduate school? Have I really had a fluctuating cold for an entire month?
If you answered yes to all three questions you get to be right about something for once!
I hope you’re right about things more often though.
Did you make New Year’s Resolutions? I did. And technically I’ve broken every single one of them. But I don’t consider myself a failure. I will still continue my resolutions as if I didn’t break them.
1. Stop drinking soda: I had one on the plane back to Pittsburgh and some tonight… but in my defense, both times made my stomach hurt, so at least there have been some repercussions.
2. Eat less unnecessary desserts: This would be more attainable if people stopped giving me them. (Not that I’m complaining about the homemade chocolate chip cookies that came in the mail from my friend… they are delicious.)
3. Focus more on myself: I haven’t failed at this, but I also don’t want it to seem like I’m being self-absorbed or selfish. I mean this in the matter of my mental, physical, and spiritual health. In order to be the best that I can be, all of these need to be attended to, and it’s something that I want to focus on since this year (as like last year) is bound to bring some more major changes.
4. Write more: I’ve got an idea for a book… and I actually like it. I also like this little blog thing and in one year I have garnered over 40 followers plus the people who read this but leave no evidence of who they are. I would LOVE to grow this space and to actually have comments on the posts so that conversation can happen. Otherwise this is just a one-sided conversation.
5. Seek adventure: This was my resolution last year and it’s continuing on this year as well. I want to live this very finite life as if I were given the greatest adventure to be apart of. It’s a beautiful thing.
Those are pretty much my resolutions.. or as that one commercial says, my New Year’s Revolution. But I’m not too worried if I fail at them at different points. Life isn’t fun when we’re just worried about everything.
What are your resolutions?