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Life's Little Lessons

"If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud." – Emile Zola

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The Girl on the Train 

I looked at her standing in the crowd and instantly fell in love. Her hair was unique and fun plus she had the cutest little outfit on but surface aside, she exuded a peaceful confidence … was fierce yet tender, like someone I’d love to sit with and get to know over coffee. However the doors of the subway train opened and she turned and smiled and then walked out of my life and carried on with her day and my friend affair ended. 

And as things go, my sadness dwindled because as a people watcher, there’s a plethora of people to pay attention to. More people to investigate, more people to carefully croon with my curious eyes and my inquisitive heart and more people to day dream about. You know how it goes, if you are one who is even slightly interested in the person standing in front of you, you find yourself in a place of wonder about them. WHO are they and WHAT do they do? I for one cannot stop my brain from checking them out. 

I am THAT person with scrolling eyes who sometimes lingers a little (and awkwardly) too long. And I make no apologies. 

Over the last however many years, I have found myself in a place of intrigue of the human race, particularly drawn to diverse individuals. People who are unique in every way imaginable. Perhaps it’s because I am on my own quest for individuality and self-acceptance. Perhaps that is why I haphazardly chose to graduate college with a Sociology degree.  Perhaps that is also why I love the person of Jesus. 

You know who I mean, right? Not the religion of Jesus or the Church of Jesus that one would attend on a Sunday morning, but the very PERSON of the Lord. 

He has always been and will always be about people. He’s interested. He wants to get to know every single one of us. This is the largest part OF Him that has been most challenging to wrap my brain around. That God Himself, the very One who knit me in my mothers womb and supposedly knows ALL about me, is intrigued and curious about WHO I am. This is NOT the Jesus I grew up hearing about and it BLOWS MY MIND, but here I am, staring some poor lady down in the subway train because she has caught my attention and I wish we had time to talk so I can find out more about her. 

Now I know where I get it from. 

Friends…let yourself me curious about people. Don’t discount the draw. I truly believe we ALL want to be seen. We want to know that someone is interested in WHO we are. Like the REAL us. Not the us that wears cute hair and fun outfits but the us that is honest and quirky, adventurous one minutes and a homebody the next. The us who takes too much on and struggles with temper outbursts and then feels like shit for doing so. The us that decides to try again. 

Jesus wants to know THAT person. 

And if He wants to know them, I want to know them. I don’t want to pass them by because I don’t think it’s His nature to do so. Even if time and situations don’t allow personal interaction, I can give them a part of my heart on the subway train. I can completely envelope them in my love with one simple thought … even as they walk out onto the platform and the doors close quickly behind them. 

Keep Up

I could begin to feel it coming on, the weight was bearing down fast and hard.

Some would say feelings are dangerous things and should not be trusted, and part of me agrees in a sense, but would also argue on the other hand against that statements validity. Feelings are important. They arrive on the scene in a flash and place a check in my gut and if I listen close enough, halt me in my tracks. They try to talk to me in various ways and give me gust of CAN-DO’s that get me off my ass and encourage follow through. They allow uneasiness to settle if I make a rash decision or if I’m headed down the wrong path or one a little too soon. They give me peace and contentment on one hand to proceed and a colored flag in the other imploring me, “Look Here.” 

So when these feelings come, I don’t try to shove them out my front door like an unwelcomed houseguest. Instead I invite them to stay for a bit and this time, I sit with them and I say,

“WHAT ARE YOU TRYING SHOW ME?”

“You are spending too much of your time looking at what other people are doing, particularly in how they are interacting with one another and you think you need to keep up. You need to be this to that person and that to another. The heaviness you feel is the weight of your own expectation and looking too long leads to you compare which inevitably makes you think you need to measure up. Before long, here you are, feeling not enough. The list grows and quickly…you don’t think you share Jesus enough, that you aren’t a good enough friend, blah blah blah…

because if you were…”

So to me, the weightiness is a cue.

R-E-F-O-C-U-S

Eyes off the crowd. Cheer them on, yes. Stay in the “Good For You” spirit which is honest and sincere because we were not created to go it alone. Others are vitally important, they are much like our feelings; they inspire, encourage, caution, correct. And some you got to let come and then let go. I know for a fact that one person’s ceiling may be my floor and vice versa, but I don’t necessarily think we need to step on one another’s backs to make progress. I envision crossing finish lines together, hand in hand, but then again..you may want to pay me no mind. My head often gets lost in literal clouds and I’m known to be overly sentimental. What I am trying to say is BOTH are needed but I know in order for forward movement to take place, I must do MY part. I got to step. So I find myself doing the dance and engage the continual cha-cha of life…

step back…step to the side…step forward

I am once more reminded to set my own pace and run my own race. I want the team, I need the crowd, but if I am not careful, my identity can get wrapped up in WHO they are and not in WHO I am.

What is good for the goose is not always good for the gander, or maybe it’s what is good for the gander is not always good for the goose…whatever it may be, don’t forget you were created individually unique with purpose and are a intricate part of a family…

a family who very much needs to you to show up as YOU.

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