Missing Out

Missing Out

“I know that life is a doorway to eternity, and yet my heart so often gets lost in petty anxieties. It forgets the great way home that lies before it. Unprepared, given over to childish trivialities, it could be taken by surprise when the great hour comes and find that, for the sake of piffling pleasures, the one great joy has been missed. I am aware of this, but my heart is not. It seems unteachable; it continues its dreaming … always wavering between joy and depression.” – Sophie Scholl

We all get caught up in the ins and outs of everyday life. And I don’t know about you, but I am just WAY to busy. I barely have time to sit down and eat a meal! I always have somewhere I need to be or something I need to do. It can all get pretty overwhelming and exhausting. Recently, I’ve been asking myself “what am I doing?”, “Is this worth it?” etc. And then I realize that there is more to this life than work and the weekend. I am easily distracted by my To Do list and schedule and forget to appreciate the beauty around me and the ultimate prize that lies ahead: Jesus. When I think of all the tasks in front of me (that next project at work, that much needed oil change, texting that friend back…), I have to stop and remind myself that all I do is for the advancement of the Kingdom and not for my me and my selfish reasons. When I remember this, everything became a lot less stressful and a lot more fulfilling. When I have to work late and miss church? What a wonderful opportunity to represent God’s church at the office! Am I receiving a lot of criticism from my boss? Maybe the Lord is trying to teach me to not rely on myself and my abilities but to rely on Him while I show my boss God’s love. Stuck in traffic again? I just got more time to spend with Jesus. Ultimately, everything in life is trivial in comparison to the glory that lies ahead.

Ecclesiastes 1:2-11 says,

2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”
says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless.”
3 What do people gain from all their labors
at which they toil under the sun?
4 Generations come and generations go,
but the earth remains forever.
5 The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.
6 The wind blows to the south
and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course.
7 All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
there they return again.
8 All things are wearisome,
more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.
9 What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say,
“Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.
11 No one remembers the former generations,
and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
by those who follow them.

Everything we do for ourselves is meaningless. It is what we do for Him that is truly important. And in realty, everything we is for Him (or should be). “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as if working for the Lord, not men” (Colossians 3:23).

The Faint of Heart

The Faint of Heart

“I know that life is a doorway to eternity, and yet my heart so often gets lost in petty anxieties. It forgets the great way home that lies before it. Unprepared, given over to childish trivialities, it could be taken by surprise when the great hour comes and find that, for the sake of piffling pleasures, the one great joy has been missed. I am aware of this, but my heart is not. It seems unteachable; it continues its dreaming … always wavering between joy and depression.”

This quote was written by a 21 year old german protestant, Sophie Scholl, who was a member of The White Rose, a group of young people who resisted the Nazi regime through their six pamphlets. Sophie was caught along with her brother after distributing hundreds of letters at the University of Munich. She was interrogated, ultimately confessed, and beheaded four days after being caught. The one thing she never did was give up her cause, and most importantly, give up her faith. I was assigned the movie Sophie Scholl: The Final Days for my history class and while I watched this film, I was in awe of her strength in the face of adversity. She was bold, never backing down from the belief that Hitler was wrong. She stood up for the victims of Nazi Germany and fearlessly spoke against the regime throughout her trial. I found the quote above online. It is from Sophie Scholl: The Real Story of the Woman who Defied Hitler (2009).  These past few months I have been anxious about internships, school, and my future. I have had a couple sleepless nights and haven’t been able to focus in my classes. As I read the quote, I was hit with conviction and with a sense that I am not alone in my feelings. I keep going back to Jeremiah 29:11, which states:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

But I am still filled with feelings of doubt and helplessness. As I read Sophie’s words, I am reminded once again how trivial my worries are. How silly it is to worry about something that the Lord has had planned out since the beginning of time; since he knit me together in my mother’s womb. “I am aware of this, but my heart is not”. These are some of the truest words I have heard in a long time. We are all aware of God’s promises for us and yet our mortal and sinful natures keep us from finding peace in the wake of His grace. Sophie’s words were my little reminder that I don’t want to miss my one great joy because of silly little things. Besides, God promises to provide us with everything we need (Matthew 6:25-34). So I will finish this post with some more words from Miss Scholl:

I pity people who can’t find laughter or at least some bit of amusement in the little doings of the day. I believe I could find something ridiculous even in the saddest moment, if necessary. It has nothing to do with being superficial. It’s a matter of joy in life.