DEEP

It’s the end of one year, the beginning of another. The time for resolutions. Some cliché, some specific, all with the goal of improvement. I’m not usually one for resolutions. This year, I have chosen one word to use as my mantra for the year:

Deep.

I feel like my main desire is to be more intentional in my relationships. To seek deeper friendships and to strengthen my reliance and trust in God. I want to go deeper. I want to be truer.

Depth is often overlooked in our world of fast-paced communication. We barely skim the surface of the people we consider friends and we rarely share our true selves. We simply don’t have time. But I want to make time. People are incredibly important.

Some songs and quotes have really spoken to me recently and I want to use them as reminders for my greater calling.

The first is a song that continues to break my heart: “Oceans” by Hillsong. I remember hearing it for the first time at Challenge and praying these words:

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior”

In Matthew 13, in the parable of the sower, we are warned that the seeds which failed to grow deep roots withered under the sun. I don’t want to whither under the heat. I want to live deeply.

“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2:7, NLT

I want to grow in Christ and build my life on Him. I also want to draw closer.

“So pull me a little closer
Take me a little deeper
I want to know Your heart
I want to know Your heart
Cause Your love is so much sweeter
Than anything I’ve tasted
I want to know Your heart
I want to know Your heart”

(“Closer” by Bethel Live)

God’s love is incredibly sweet. His heart is full and bursting with love and compassion. But we aren’t supposed to simply receive, we are asked to pour out His love to others, filling them up with joy.

Image

I want to live under God’s call and guidance. I want to go deeper. I want to work towards satisfying the world’s deep hunger. I want to go further than my feet could ever wander.

So, my dear friends, I am asking for your help as well. Help me go deeper. Help my love be truer and my relationships stronger.

Deep. 2014.

Advertisements

Overachiever

From an early age (mainly freshman year of high school), I was told that I needed to build up my resumé. If I wanted to get into college (and with good scholarships), I needed to be “well-rounded.” But what exactly is well-rounded? In my 14-year-old brain, I figured that “well-rounded” meant that I had to do as much as humanly possible in as many different disciplines as well as I could.

So I got involved.

Super involved.

Too involved.

But no one told me to stop. No one told me that I was doing too much.  I thought I was doing what I was supposed to do.

So I continued the tradition my first semester of college.

But then I studied abroad and experienced life outside of the frenzied Theatre world and outside of the rushed American life. I lived in a warm, easy-going, slow-paced,  and relationship-based Latin-American culture.

And it was a breath of fresh air.

A time to relax. Reflect. Enjoy.

Then I came home. If you’ve ever lived abroad (or away) for an extended period of time, you know the difficulties of readjusting. You’re different, but people expect you to be the same. And it’s hard.

So I got sucked back into the American lifestyle. But I didn’t like it. I missed the freedom and leisure time of Chile. I missed living without a schedule some days.

And I had someone speak some wisdom into my life. I was encouraged to leave some unnecessary activities and focus on the important ones. And I was challenged with this question:

“Why do you do so much?”

And I struggled to answer it directly. But I began to see what my issue was. My full schedule was a distraction. A time filler. Something to make me “good enough.” Something I used to prove myself to others. I based my self-worth in my titles. We can blame our credential society for some of that. But we also can blame ourselves for some of those attitudes. We encourage people to get involved, but don’t seem to have an upper limit. We place value on activities, and not on relationships.

But what really matters at the end? The strong resume, or the people you poured into and those who poured into you?

I personally think relationships trump activities.

It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.yin

– C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Everyone we interact with is an eternal being. We have the power to influence which side of eternity they get to experience. Every snub or misplaced word can cause pain. Every encouraging word or time spent listening can embolden and give joy.

So I think in the midst of this blessed time, it is important to reflect on our interactions with others, or lack thereof. Are there activities in your life that impede your ability to serve our Lord and Savior? Are there things you need to spend more time doing? Are there extras in your life that only bring you down?

Don’t be stuck overachieving with no true purpose. If you are searching for value, look in God’s eyes. Meditate on Psalm 139. You are a delight to God. Find your worth in Him.