Love, faith & hope are the three pillars of my life. Without them I'd be nothing and with them I have everything I need. I value these three things more than anything in my life. Beyond my family I'm not sure I ever really loved God in the way I was meant to. At least not the way I do now, that's for sure.
I've always lived a contemplative life, I just never realized it. I love the quiet that is found in contemplation. It draws me much closer to God and strengthens my relationship with him. I know what you're asking, surely I can't do this every morning and every night right? I try. There are some days I struggle through 30 minutes and other days where an hour is actually two or more. This keeps me humble and knowing that not every day can be perfect and that's okay.
The past 24 hours have been fairly stressful to get through. Someone decided that they wanted to use my bank debit card to pay a bunch of their bills. Fun right? I did what most of us do when this happens...promptly freak out, collect my thoughts and called my bank. I called my bank because they're supposed to be the ones that make all of this right again, after all I'm a valued customer right? Turns out it was just made worse when I gave my bank a call. Thinking that this could be resolved easily I then find out that it actually can't. It takes time (up to 10 days) to resolve and all the while I get to sit here and watch the violations on my account just mock me. There were also customer service issues that came up: being told 3 different things by 3 different people is an major organizational failure to me.
I used to hold grudges, walk around mad at someone or a group of people who I felt wronged me, was poking fun at me, etc. I look back on it now and realize that it was all for nought. These days I take a much different approach. I had this lightning bolt moment a few weeks ago with the recurring theme of if Jesus forgives everything I do why shouldn't I forgive everything someone does against me? Who am I not to forgive? Who are we not to forgive? By not forgiving our neighbors for what they do are we proclaiming that we are somehow above the Lord in this regard? That's the third rail of religion for me friends (touch it and you die) and I'm not going there.
The truth however painful or scary it may be is that we're all going to die. I used to think that the reason I was scared of dying is because I wouldn't be here anymore and that I'd miss the next thing. I couldn't have been more wrong. The reason I was scared of dying was because I was worried about those I was leaving behind losing someone they knew they could always talk to that would listen, make time for them (whenever) and just be there and be present for them in their lives. While this wasn't an incorrect line of thought it still wasn't the reason I was scared of dying. I was actually so scared of dying because I never truly started living my life until a few months ago.