What I do
I started and stopped.
Projects, texts even relationships.
I travelled the world and back from trips,
I knew what to drop.
At least something.
In my life I have been overwhelmed by the fact that there were so many things to do. And it's not even been twenty years. I got my sentences packed with Information and they get longer and longer.
My life is stuffed with things in a similar way: I play music (drums, hoping to learn guitar or ukulele), write (blogposts or devotionals, started to write stories too), sow (made a purse, two pencil cases, aiming for backpacks), study and practice IT, work with the scouts group of our church, and there is more for sure.
Anyway - There is enough time to do all of it. Because time is always enough - you can split it and switch from one task to another. Nowadays you can switch a lot faster than ten years ago maybe. I can go back and forth from writing this text to playing a computer game - not to say I play computer games. Oh, of course I do that too. It would not cost me a second to switch to the computer game. It can be started in the background. I can write this text in a train, I mean, I could, right now I'm in my bedroom.
I love writing, but there is at least one thing I love a lot more: spending time with people. With anyone. It is so good to talk to someone, building a friendship, hoping it will grow deeper and hold for a long time.
The problem in all the opportunities is the fact that time is not infinite, yet relevant. You have a decent amount of time and you have to deal with it. You can do anything you can think about. However if you spend fifty years thinking, you might not have enough time to realize what you dreamed.
To tree or not to tree
“You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place. [Jerusalem]
Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
Jeremiah 16:2 - 29-7 [ESV]
It's obvious - both verses are addressed to the same people, yet in totally different situations.
The first one goes to the people in Jerusalem, living there right before the exile. Jeremiah got to tell them, not to procreate. We often have a mentatlity like that, saying "The world is lost, there is war all around. Why should I have a family and kids?"
We form that opinion in our mind and a few chapters later we read the second part I qouted from Jeremiah: Have kids!!!
The other day on a youth conference for students from bavaria the preacher referred to Jeremiah 29 and took it to our context. He tried to apply it to today's culture. In this he seemed to neglect Jeremiah 16.
Maybe what we have to do is figure out what situation we are in right now, and then apply the right version of God's command. I think however, we'd much rather ask God to show us what to do today - for how can we really figure out what is going to happen to this world and much more important, when it is going to happen?
For me the question stays the same: Plant gardens or not - To tree or not to tree?
Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit.
Jeremiah 2:11 [ESV]
We can have a substitute for almost everything today. We are rich enough to replace a light bulb, even before it is broken. But how did we ever get to the point, where we looked for a substitute for God?
How to get up early
The early bird catches the worm
I am known as a morning person to many of my friends. Just recently I was in Italy with my best friend and his parents. On our way into the Hotel his mother told me: “You need not get up for breakfast at seven tomorrow.”, obviously expecting I would. But how does getting up early affect our daily life and how do I do it?
I think rising early is not universally good. It is helpful to have time for breakfast before work, have a quiet time and prepare for the day. But if you work in the afternoon only, there will be plenty of time no matter if you get up at five or at ten.
I think there is two more questions, before we get to the question I stated above: First, what does it take to get up early? It takes Time. You either sleep less or spend less time awake at night. Second, what does it give you? You might be more productive in the morning, in this case getting up early will give you the opportunity to seize that peak of productivity. If you are not productive in the morning, it may not help you to get up earlier.
How do I get up early now? I just get up. It’s that easy: as soon as your awake, make it a habit to leave your bed. Check what time it is afterwards. Don’t snooze whether you are using an alarm or not.
(this is from the perspective of someone who is easy to fall asleep again.)
If you see that it is too early, just get back into bed. On the other hand if you see it is a good time to start, go for it. It is perhaps the best and easiest way to get up whenever your circadian clock would wake you up.
(I didn’t consider the fact you could be disturbed by noise. If so, this advice of course is misfit.)
Truly, this only I have found:
That God made man upright,
but they have sought out many schemes.
Ecclesiastes 7:29 [NKJV]
I am right now in the process of moving out - from my parents - moving in with a friend from church. This is one in many things I contemplated: is it the right / best thing to do for now? We often think about stuff like that, we just do things we know are wrong so many times. On the other hand there is just so many things in our head that we never do.
(We dream, but we don’t act. - And we do what we never dreamed to.)
Solomon said, we are seeking many schemes / inventions. We invent things, no matter if they are actually important. We invest time in the wrong aspects of life and spend it in the wrong places. It is of course not that easy or simple to solve this problem.
We as Christians can believe, however, to be “made [...] upright”. We can pray to God to reveal us the upright way of life. To bring us back to the simplicity, not to sorrow. Not to question everything, but to receive wisdom.
What do you see in your life? What about our habits might be a “scheme”, something useless seeming useful only in the perspective of our society?
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 [NKJV]
True. Very true, you are stronger together. But you don't just come together and then everything is fine ... and they lived happily ever after.
Friendships can get dull, cool, even freezing. And you know how fragile frozen stuff is. (Click here if you don't!) So we come back to the qoute and the image above. There is indeed a threefold, or fourfold cord. You have a friendship but you can't right now trust the power of friendship - you have to unfreeze it before you can. So how do you unfreeze a friendship.
I have been on an intership in sweden, many trips and vacation for the last months. Some of the friendships and family relationships I had where put on hold for that period. I feel them unfreezing organically in some cases. For other relationships I don't know the cure yet. Make sure you keep your relationships on a "sound and alive" level and share any advice or thoughts?
Honest feedback or ...
Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed.
Proverbs 27:5 [NKJV]
Yes ... or what? We often tend to think, somebody else might say it. So we just remain silent. I think it is not really important to Solomon in this passage what we say. It is more about saying the truth, whatever it is. If you like it, say it, leave a comment, follow someone, even tell a friend you love them.
And even if you don't, just tell them how it ought to be, leave a comment, unfollow someone, even tell someone frankly you won't spend time with them, as long as they behave that way.
And for me this one is of personal importance: Tell me what you think about my posts. If it is only a comma you want to correct (I don't really, know where to put them.). Please, tell me what you like, what you think about the topics, just communicate. It is better than not to.
The love of money...
But they lie in wait for their own blood, they lurk secretly for their own lives.
So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain;
It takes away the life of its owners.
The Money takes the life of the owner. Sad story. I am afraid we all tend to be greedy for gain. We just dream of being rich and we try to talk it down. Let us rethink this: Do we really want to be rich for a good reason?
In my opinion there is two ways of making money unimportant: You either have more than you can spend. Or you just don't care about what you wear, eat and what house you live in.
Paul tells us that he learned to practice the latter. What will we make of this?
(I didn't put a quote here yet, wanted to recommend this read anyway) Slandering Jesus is a perfect read about some common misconceptions about Jesus. Especially in the time we're in. Right after C.S.Lewis' Mere Christianity in my opinion.
There is more to do
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of the sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in his law he meditates day and night.
Psalm 1:1-2 [NKJV]
Now this scripture tells us to meditate on Gods law day and night - Quite a radical advise. I think it would be a great thing to do, If Jesus had not come yet and there was no "great[er] commission". Now it is required of us to go out and also share what we have meditated on. To share the good news of salvation.