I have struggled with aggravated mind battles since I was a child. I was in agony even as a tiny girl. I remember feeling so much anxiety that I couldn’t even speak sometimes. My mind was always racing. I remember sitting in my bed all night trying to decide what my life was – trying to understand what normal might be. My little corner of the world had some problems, both of an internal and external nature. My most memorable recurring dream from this time period was a vision of myself staring at my face as I am struggling to scream, speak, and even breathe. I am wringing my neck so aggressively you would think that I might kill myself.
My intention right now is not to analyze my dream or childhood, but to paint a quick portrait of my mind from the beginning. I am trying to convey that I have always had an overactive mind. I have battled overwhelming fleets of anxiety and depression since I was very young and small. Most of my thought consisted of the value and meaning of life and existence in all aspects. Curiosity has always been a major root in my personality and mind.
When God came upon me for the first time, my existential battle was transformed. I no longer wonder where meaning comes from. I do not have to worry about if life is worth living – or if I should just kill myself while I can. I know God is real. I felt God’s very real and very comforting Holy Spirit. I know God is the hand of existence – the origin, creator, purpose, meaning, and end. I feel a sense of contentment and peace simply because I know. I should say that by knowing and continually believing I thrive and survive.
Yet now, my battles are a bit different. Now, I know how and why I live. I know the source of love and peace, and I know how to pursue it. And that is the new beginning – working on HOW to pursue it. God calls all of us to erase “I” and to live a life of service. In order to follow Christ we must become like Christ. We learn that to do this we must let go of the focus and attachment to our own selfish selves and the cold world. This is where I and many like myself struggle. I often feel like I peak at God’s grace. I feel that as soon as I have blinked a cloud as dark and as heavy as stone swooshes between us. I feel like being with God is simple, and that is what is so hard about it. We need to stop letting the world get between ourselves and God. We especially need to stop letting ourselves get between ourselves and God.
Everyday I think I want to work for God. I desperately want to study his word, practice his principles, and write about my findings. I genuinely want to get to work. I want to serve God in my own unique way – by writing, communicating, and pursuing others. However, I always seem to tell myself “later.” Even with my desire to create eating me alive, somehow, “later” is always an option. Surely I can be a good person tomorrow. Surely I can mail that letter tomorrow. I have all the time in the world to write in my journal. There’s no rush – I can start focusing on my relationship with God in a few days, when I have more time. I want to make some sacrifice in my life and become closer to Jesus, but it doesn’t really have to include tonight too. I just want to relax, and I really need some me time. What’s the rush? I can just pray a really good prayer tomorrow – it will make up for this past week. Does it really have to be now?
I have one thing to say about these dangerous little thoughts – time is precious. We live our lives like they are not going to end. We all seem to assume our days are without end. Yet reality is that we may die at any moment. And our value is that which we gained through our bonding with God. If we do not act and walk in the light of godly service, we remain empty and depressed. Our time is limited. We should all act, create, and share as if our talents are melting like ice cream under the blazing July sun. We are as capable now as we will ever be. Our opportunity now is more perfect and absolute than it will ever be. Tiredness is not a reason to wait to live. In death you will never be tired again. Would you prefer death?
Society pushes to normalize life as a simple and regular day to day activity book. A day is simply a list, and the basic requirements and needs remain the same. Yet the opposite is reality. You are on an astonishing planet with a trillion opportunities and an unknown window of time to make things happen. We should always act as if we are running a race. This is what God wants for us. We were each uniquely and lovingly blessed with a talent and a drive, and to let it simmer is to betray God. We all think we only have to focus on our work, school, family, health, and the list goes on. We think we just need “me” time and things will feel peaceful again. If we keep letting distractions get in our way, we might die before we live as our loving God geared us up to live.
The time for action is now, now, now. Mail some letters about your faith, give a poor man a Bible and a meal, mend your relationship with that relative that you’re always feeling annoyed at, take a load off of that person who is always struggling… be a blessing in someone else’s life. God is the embodiment of love. Therefore, to become closer to God, you too must embody love. Give and love so diligently and so extremely that you feel drained of all ideas, energy, and money. Surprise others with life saving acts of compassion and messages of God’s greatness. Spread the knowledge and love of God ceaselessly.
You should use your talents to bring the love that is God to everyone you possibly can. You should not let the world distract you from doing what matters. I challenge you to pray endlessly, and once you have prayed, act, create, and share without any end. God is your inspiration, motivation, content, and reward. God rewards us if we do not give up. Do not let your day become consumed with empty aspirations and pursuits. You should strive to shift your focus away from appearances, substances, foods, sex, people, shopping, and anything that is a product of the world. Of course you should appreciate life, God tells us to enjoy the beautiful and seemingly impossible existence he gave us. However, only set the constant devotion of your heart and mind on striving toward God above. Because as Jesus tells us: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” [Matthew 22:37-38]
Therefore, if the cloud that is like a stone gets in your way, grit your teeth and trust in God. He can move it for you. You must only trust in him and focus so that the world and its evil distractions do not consume you. We must remain confidently aware that the sun remains even when heavy clouds are upon us. This is the glory of God.
This is the message God sends us in our physical world. While there is dark, there is light. While there is fire, there is water. While there is hate, there is love. While there is evil, there is God. You must rest assured that part of the lesson of this life is that God triumphs all else. Our perfect God endlessly demonstrates his existence in our lives, and we simply choose not to notice anymore.
I pray a prayer for all of you in this life. I pray that you choose to work for God, because his pay and benefits surpass all others.