What We Give Back to God

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about talent and not wasting our days. I’ve been thinking about procrastination, scrolling on social media, and browsing the internet. I’ve been thinking about work and responsibility.

I’ve been praying for change.

Last night, I was sitting in my car outside my parents house. My wife was finishing up a phone call while I stared out the window. There I saw a tulip with a light shining on it.

A single tulip just resting in the light.

The tulip I saw

I started thinking…

God has given us all a tulip when we are born. A gift to grow and water. We know what waters our tulip and helps it grow. We all have the duty and the responsibility to care for this gift. Using our talents we water the tulip and feed it with the light it needs. When we watch our days go by the flower withers. When we head off course the flower loses its brilliance.

At the end of our life the tulip will be finished growing.

What will your tulip look like when you give it back to God?

Girls Don’t Deserve Roses

I repost this every year because it is important. 

 

Valentine’s day cards, chocolate, teddy bears, and especially roses.

Lots of pink and red everywhere.

The first couple years of college, I thought about how special this day was for a lot of girls all over campus (some do not care much for it). I knew the feeling of being noticed and getting flowers meant so much to certain girls that did not have a special someone in their life. Even as a guy I can empathize. To be given gifts and to be noticed feels good.

Gifts demonstrate acknowledgement. 

Gifts illustrate that someone cares.

Gifts make us smile. 

Therefore, for the last couple of Valentine’s Days, I decided to give many of the girls in my life flowers. Cause why not right? Not necessarily in a romantic way (well, maybe a few) but just to show them that someone cared on this day. I loved seeing them smile. I loved making it a surprise. I loved letting them know someone was thinking about them on Valentine’s Day.

However, my attitude has changed this year.

This year I will not be buying flowers.

This year I have developed a new motto,

“Girls Don’t Deserve Roses.”

Before anyone gets angry at me…let me explain.

I am not anti-rose. I think flowers make a beautiful gift.

As I sit with friends and joke about the Bachelor, every once in a while a sadness strikes me. I observe all of these beautiful women stare at a single rose that some guy is holding. The way in which they stare is as if the rose is the last antidote and they are ill. When they do not receive the rose I can see their hearts shatter.

They feel rejected.

They feel lonely.

They feel like they messed up.

As I reflect on this, it is very much like Valentines Day. Some women in my life will feel hurt because they did not receive a flower or gift from a man in their life. Others may not care at all. However, to the one’s that it does impact they may feel as though they are not attractive. They may feel like something is wrong with them. They may even feel like they did something to deserve loneliness.

I am here to tell you today that girls do not deserve roses:

Girls deserve much much more.

As we see in the Beauty and the Beast roses die. Roses and other gifts are a great way to show appreciation but to me….that is too easy.

I want to and I hope all men want to live in such a way to show all the women in our lives that they deserve so much….every.single.day.

To all my women readers.

You are worth more than a few petals and a stem.

You are worth more than a few chocolates.

You are worth more than a nicely written card.

I encourage you to wait for a man who keeps on giving gifts. Each and every day.

The gift of treating you like a best friend. 

The gift of listening to you.

The gift of having deep conversations with you.

The gift of cheering you up.

The gift of being there for you, praying with you, praying for you, etc. 

 

Girls. You do not deserve roses. You do not even deserve a bouquet.

You deserve gifts that won’t wilt.

Where is the Key?

I have a problem. 

A problem that most people seem to struggle with. 

I know what I need to do.

I know who I need to be.

I know what I need to accomplish.

Yet, most days, I just don’t act.

Nike, says it plain and simple…JUST DO IT.

We all have our gifts given to us by the Holy Spirit. Gifts that we MUST use to help glorify the Lord and better the world. Gifts we must use to build up others in our community. If you don’t believe that you have any gifts, you are wrong.

There is something that distinguishes you.

Gifts you have that separate you from the rest of the world.

For me, I did not believe I had any gifts of my own.  I had trouble believing that my gifts really were unique. It took me a long time to listen to my friends and even strangers. Frankly, I think I ignored their encouragement for a reason.

To be told you have a gift makes you responsible. It is a call to make a move and impact the world. It is the world crying out asking you to open the door for others.

Responsibility is scary.   

 

Let’s imagine this scenario real quick. 

Imagine a giant door right in front of you. The door is ten inches thick of silver metal. You are in a white walled room. On the door is a giant lock. You can barely move in this room because there are so many people crammed into it. You look in your hand and you have a key. Everyone around you also has a key. Every key is different. They have all tried to open the door but nothing. It won’t budge. Their keys won’t fit into the lock.

They look towards you.

They say,

“You have the key. Step forward. You have the key. Help us open this door.”

 

They do all they can to make a path for you.

You walk up.

Insert your key into the lock.

The metal door opens. The crowd of people then rush into the next room where they see another door with a lock. You try your key and it does not work. Other people try their key and it does not work. You see a young woman in the corner. Everyone encourages her that she has the key. They help guide her forward. She opens the door. 

 

The cycle continues. 

 

All my life I have wanted other people’s gifts. I wanted other people’s keys. Through my jealousy I often neglected who I was and never opened the door in front of me. I tried to find myself in the keys of others. By forgetting about the key in my hand the door in front of me was never opened. Sure, I can make a difference in the lives of the people close to me…in the room. However, I could never cause a movement. I could never knock down the obstacle completely. 

Friends, use the key you have been given.

Use it to open the door for others.

Wield it like a sword. 

Stare in awe at its uniqueness. 

Where is the key?

Literally, right in your hand.

You are holding it tight. 

You have no excuse.