Monday, April 6, 2015

Weekend Reflections

This past weekend was Easter weekend, and it was spent fulfilling traditions my family has kept for nearly two decades.

We gather for the weekend at my grandparents farm in south-central Kansas and have a big bonfire, flashlight Easter egg hunt, Easter basket hunt in the woods, not to mention countless laughs and shared memories. And of course, Sunday morning church and brunch. This holiday is one of my favorite times of the year and the traditions are ones that I hold close to my heart.

I think it's so cool to see as I grow older I have a much greater understanding of life, even though at this point it is still rather small.

I sat in church and I sort of was day dreaming just a bit (woops...) and I just started thinking just how incredible it was that Jesus died and because of that, I am offered a life eternally with Him, and all I have to do is say yes.

I have to admit, I didn't get a whole lot out of the Easter church service; but later, as I headed back to Manhattan, I felt the Lord in me a little bit. I sort of just felt overwhelmed as I thought about this season in the year. I drove home alone, and I had a lot of time to just think about things.

I then went to my YoungLife leader meeting, where I was just kind of hit with a ton of bricks.

But it was one of those blows that is so amazing, where it knocks you down and humbles you before the Lord.

We talked about how Easter meant we were one thing (without Christ) and how we were reborn after He died on the cross for us -- we had a new beginning. I loved this idea. Sometimes I just need things to be way too simple for me to understand them fully and apply them to my life.

One really cool thing that they do at YoungLife camp that I remember being super impactful is called cardboard testimonies. On one side, you described yourself without Christ -- before the rebirth. On the other, you describe yourself after.

I began to think about what my cardboard testimony would look like. I have never done one myself, but it was cool to think about.

On the front, mine would read something like, "searching for popularity, seeking anything to get me there."

When I was in high school, and before I really devoted my life to Christ, my focus was on looking cool. I wanted to be what I thought my peers thought was cool. I dated the wrong people, which led me into activities that I am not proud of, which led to a life that I wasn't proud of. I claimed I was a follower of Christ but my decisions and life didn't reflect that statement.

Here's the bottom line, I wasn't even cool in the slightest bit.

I think the back side of the cardboard testimony would read, "Accepted as I am -- I don't have to try to be cool for God."

I think about my life now, and how it is basically a 180 degree flip from my high school self. I realized that I don't have to do a certain thing or be someone that I'm not to be accepted. God thinks I am way cool as I am. Even though I'm probably still not cool in the eyes of the world, someday I won't have the world to tell me I'm not. When my life is over, I will have God and His stamp of approval is what I want on my being.

 As I was walking on campus today, I noticed some bright red tulips blooming in a flower bed. I was reminded that spring is a time for rebirth everywhere -- the cold winter is over, animals come out of hibernation, flowers begin to bloom, and I just connected the dots.

How wonderful is it that we have a chance to rebirth too; an undeserving chance to live forever with our Lord and Savior. Today I am thankful for this season and his unending love and grace!

"But when God our savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life." - Titus 3:4-7

until next time!

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