Today, I can't stop smiling.

Nothing particularly special has happened. It's been a pretty average Wednesday, really. This week, though, I've started seeing God everywhere, and I can't get over how amazing that is. It's never anything huge or spectacular; it's the little things. And somehow, those tend to be so much more special to me.

For my Human Sexuality class, I'm reading Sex God by Rob Bell. Generally speaking, I'm not a huge fan of his, but this book is actually really good...especially the fourth chapter. I usually don't highlight or underline my books, but this chapter is just too good and relevant not to. Interestingly enough, it's about lust, but as I'm figuring out (and if you read it, you'll understand), lust isn't always about sex. It can be about anything. Adam and Eve in the Garden?
"In most cases, there's nothing wrong with [the things we lust for] inherently.... The problem for Adam and Eve is what the fruit has come to represent. Rebellion against God." (Sex God, p. 72)
He talks about contentment and why that's so important--
"When we're not at peace, when we aren't content, when we aren't in a good place, our radar gets turned on. We're looking.... There's a hole, a space, a gap, and we're on the search. And we may not even realize it. When we are in the right place, the right space--content and at peace--we aren't on the search and our radar gets turned off." (Sex God, p. 73)
I could go way into what I've learned about peace and contentment and what that means, but I'll save that for another time. Basically though, it's finding my satisfaction in God alone. Wherever He has me in life is enough because He put me there. It's true joy.
"It's easy for our thoughts to be dominated by a craving.... It takes ahold of us. We are not free. Lust is slavery. If I want something to the point that I can't conceive of being content without it, then it owns me.... What started out as freedom can quickly become slavery.... Freedom is going without whatever we crave and being fine with it." (Sex God, p. 74-75)
He hits the nail on the head with that one. I can't even elaborate. Because when I read that, something clicked. I finally got it.

And that brings me to my main point.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about being thankful. This is another thing Bell talks about in this chapter:
"Gratitude is so central to the life God made us for. Until we can center ourselves on what we do have, on what God has given us, on the life we do get to live, we'll constantly be looking for another life." (Sex God, p. 74)
Over the past several days, I feel like God has been trying to teach me that. Be content. Be at peace. Be thankful. Like I said before, I like the little things in life. At the same time, sometimes I forget to look for them, and with the little things, looking is essential. If I'm caught up in all of the problems with my life, I'm never going to notice everything around me that God has given me. I'll never notice the little things.

That being said, I'm trying to make a conscious effort to be thankful. When I'm bombarded with thoughts of everything that's going wrong, I want to be able to redirect my thoughts and think about the good things...even when there are no major things in my life that are going right. That's where the little things come in.

* * *

Perfect sunny days. The way the wind blows through the trees. Randomly waking up at 7am and looking out my window to see hints of color from the sunrise. Spontaneous trips to Chattanooga. Ridiculous chapel services that I don't get at all, but hey, at least they make me laugh:
"A lot of Lee students are literally frozen and unable to do what God has called them to do." Literally, huh? I guess that ice gets pretty inconvenient.

"We've gotta sing this song. We have to or I'm gonna blow up." Uhhh...yeah... Calm down.
Finally being able to smile at someone I've had trouble forgiving for 2 years. Opportunities (and extra time) to reconnect with friends I love but don't get to see as often as I'd like. When classes are relevant to my personal life. Having time to read for fun. Iced coffee between classes. Stopping to make small talk about soccer and the weather with a sweet elderly man I regularly see on campus. The everyday conversations with friends that aren't particularly memorable but make life happier.

Photo Credit: im-on-tambourine

"Always be joyful. Pray continually, and give thanks whatever happens. That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus."
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NCV)

No comments:

Post a Comment