What Does Patience Truly Mean?

Patience is really waiting with hope. Forgiving ones lapses; knowing that we’re not perfect as well. Patience is being able to persevere from day to day. Putting up with the petty pass, and not being defeated with the little inconveniences.

This quote was written by an anonymous writer, and it really struck me as odd. Honestly I couldn’t agree more with what they said. Like modern society, I always believed that patience was about waiting. The term is usually used to describe when someone is acting calmly.

But is it really?

In a sense, patience is broad in the spectrum that it is used. In modern ideals people consider themselves patient people, but they really aren’t consistently patient. I don’t believe ‘waiting’ is real patience. Patience is more individualistic. It is an attitude on things, it’s the ability to be in a stressful situation and be able to react smoothly and recognizing what is right and wrong and coming up with a solid conclusion. It’s the ability to be in the present moment regardless of circumstance.

Romans 12:9 says that we should, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulations, and steadfast in prayer.” and it’s true. If we were truly capable of being patient in difficult situations. I believe they will
either blow over or you will begin to acclimate.

The comparison between these two versions of patience is compelling as the common version relies on the assumption that there is something out there that we’re waiting for. Basically, common patience requires pulling your attention to someplace and sometime. It means we are not being ourselves presently.

Yes it’s true that God tells us to be patient and to put up with the trials and tribulations without complaint or irritation, but that’s very difficult. That’s why I believe it was deliberately put here. Life is never supposed to be easy, and if it is, you’re doing it wrong. God also promises it will all be well with time. Patience is taught commonly as a virtue, but it’s not truly a virtue until it’s used in the correct context and when you truly understand it. In a sense, the term is very comforting to me, as it exemplifies the good that is to come. Patience is really the ability to ride out the storm, face fears, and trust that it will all work out In the End,
and thats a great feeling.

Advertisements

‘The New Normal’ – Moore Tornado Relief Effort

Natural disasters are a well, naturally occurring thing; taking place on every hemisphere, in every square mile, and in every country. It is inevitable. Storms, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc. are going to hit wherever you may live. Causing particularly large damage to homes and businesses and unforeseen financial costs. Mass amounts of grief are felt by the survivors of these disasters, and I particularly saw that grief today working with Convoy of Hope in the Moore/El Rino area here in the state of Oklahoma where numerous EF4 and 5 tornadoes struck just a few weeks ago. Initially, I saw the aftermath of these storms through the media and was sympathetic but yet I felt that I couldn’t help personally with the relief effort. Thankfully, my absolutely amazing mentor and pastor Jerrod Murr with help of his colleagues found a relief group and diligently asked the youth like myself if we wanted to participate and I graciously accepted. I knew what I was expecting, but the magnitude of what I witnessed and learned in that trip was as usual: astronomical.

org_convoy

Getting to the site wasn’t a difficult task. It was quick and to the point. We received entertainment from a few games, the trip of roughly two hours felt like a mere thirty minutes. We met up with a partnering church and made our way to the aftermath site. Shock and awe followed. Receiving t-shirts and immediately heading out; we collectively picked up masses of strung out insulation, particle board, and the particularly heart wrenching personal items. Progressing quick as there is much strength in numbers. The amount of personal items were slim, but a few stuck out in particular. Coloring pages were strewn out for yards, each color sloppily inside the lines just as the usual child struggles to keep their hand steady, personal photos sparingly embedded in grass or dirt, clothes, toys, a scrapbook page, a tattered bible, and much more. Personal belongings exposed to outside conditions. As if life was abruptly stopped by this massive twister, there’s no preparation like in hurricanes. These are sadly unforeseen forces of destruction.

The mood was clouds of understanding and responsiveness. Hearing the touching stories of the survivors opens your eyes and can really give you a glimpse of how they’re feeling. One woman spoke to a group of us and said that when the tornado hit, her family and neighboring families squished into one storm shelter and as the tornado struck, they sang Amazing Grace in unison and as loud as they could. As even in the scariest of times, they kept faith. This absolutely touched me in more ways than one. Emotions were high as the father from one family had to step away for a brief period as he stated, “Couldn’t stand to watch what [he] worked so hard for be tossed to the curb.” I couldn’t imagine. I spoke briefly with the wife and shared a few of my Katrina survival stories and she thanked me many times over for speaking with her. She connected with me on a level as I understood how it felt also having my house destroyed eight years earlier. Younger women of the youth sat down with a child of the family and spoke with him on how he felt on the entire situation, comforting as well as they could. The homes were sparingly destroyed as if the tornado chose which one it was going to hit. Bare foundations were next to still standing homes. Steps and porches led to nowhere. Exposed attics with visible belongings. A particular house in which was weathered badly, but yet a new American flag waved out front, displaying hope and patriotism as these survivors acclimate to ‘The New Normal’ as one man put it. Work dislodged showers of dust that of course mingled with the sweat and rain that had clung to the skin. Eventually the rain made it harder to continue and we had to stop. I would’ve continued but the day was done.

photo 1

photo 3

As a volunteer to such disasters, there are many lessons and enlightening realizations that can be learned. You make many new friends as the day progresses, laughing and going along, it enlightens the mood. This is so enjoyable. Joyfully giving is my absolute favorite thing to do, it not only improves your outlook on things, but it also improves the outlook on others. Everything has either a direct or indirect connection with another and smiling and making light of a particularly awful situation indirectly affects the mood of the survivors in a positive way. Every story counts, as each one no matter how big or small paints a larger picture of what truly happened there. That’s nothing the media can even compete with. Unfortunately, disasters such as this one will happen again, and again, and again; however, I will be right there ready to assist in any way I possibly can and at all costs. Sharing God’s love with everyone is truly an extraordinary thing. It not only brings you closer, but it brings others as well. Showing that nothing, even a destructive tornado, can put a dent in the love that humanity has for one another, and for me. Missions is absolutely a cause that I will never lose devotion to and that is absolutely a pursuit worth it In the End.

From Lemons to Lemonade: Tackling ‘Impossible’ Circumstances

20130506-230343.jpg

Every person falls, and we hopelessly end up in seemingly difficult situations in which we regret and find impossible to escape from, and in these situations, we find that they mold us into who we are. Yet we shouldn’t never regret those predicaments. We also should not use that time in which we are given unwisely. This main idea is derived from one of my favorite quotes from J.R.R. Tolkien and it states,

We all live to see such times caused by others, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

This quote means many things to me, and it simply means that when we are in difficult situations, decide to take that time and do good. As human beings, we tend to notice negative things more often. They seem to flood our lives, and we tend to begin to ask ourselves when will it ever let up, but the truth is it will never let up while you continue to dwell on it.

The truth is, none of us are ‘immune’ or incapable of being confronted with bad predicaments. However, we do have the opportunity to learn and deal with it properly. Since we are incapable of avoiding these circumstances, it is imperative that we learn how to turn them into positive situations.

Use simple strategies, like never losing control. Maintain control over the situation by over thinking it. Many people tend to not analyze every option and in turn end up with unpredictable outcomes, maintain control by over thinking. Over thinking is not a bad thing.

Learn from the situations.Bad situations always have causes as to why they happened. Most also tend to have ways in which they could’ve been avoided. This information is valuable information to ensure not to do it again.

Maintain a positive attitude.. A positive attitude prevents panic and anxiety when confronted with the problem. Good outlooks focus time and energy into planning and managing to overcome the issue.

Laissez Faire that jazz! During the times in life when bad situations happen, they’re truly out of our control, and there’s nothing you can do to reverse the damage caused. You must remain calm at let things take their course. Do not become depressed and do not give up.

Turn your attention to other things. This one is most important, as external happiness is directly controlled by internal happiness. All of us have been given a period if time in which to live, and in that span of time God has given to us, make it count. Don’t spend glorified amounts of time on the Internet, or on the Xbox, or staring blindly at the television screen. Time is a precious commodity and drifting through life is a waste. There are purposes and directions we need to take, we have been called unto this planet to help others who have also been called. We are to help other people. We are to care about other God and your peers more than you care about yourself. Love and do not expect love in return. Do admirable things and don’t expect a reward. Invest in missions. Do charitable work. Thank someone for what they’ve done. We are to love one another and lift one another up regardless of past circumstances. If done correctly, it will be returned, it will be rewarded. Maybe not in this life, but in the more glorious one to follow. This path, this ‘guide’ to living is what makes life worth it In the End.

Looking for Happiness? It’s Already Here

20130429-005548.jpg

Happiness. Unlike love, happiness is an emotion. Something individuals seek out to find and to cling on to. Happiness is subjective: meaning its particular to each person, but it all brings out the same outcome. Being happy. Some people seek happiness through hobbies, careers, and education. And primarily, other individuals seek happiness through other people. As a teenager, this trait is very prevalent. Someone needs another persons approval and attention to be content, and ultimately it ends in disappointment. As a teen, I catch myself in these situations often, but I swiftly remove myself from them. Individuals my age emphasize the need for a relationship, or constantly change their appearance or demeanor to find acceptance through other people. This frequently leads to individuals ending up in unfortunate situations and becoming friends with the wrong people. Nothing good comes out of looking for happiness and acceptance in others.

The key to happiness is seeking it through yourself. Learn to be independent and not interdependent. Love others, love everyone, but do not expect love in return. That’s the dependency on others. Do not expect anything in return.

Transitioning from interdependency to loving yourself is not and easy task, but you can start by asking yourself these questions:

1. Who do you love the most? Friends? Family? Keep them in mind.

2. Think about the heartfelt things for these people. Do you love them? How much? What would you do for them? What about them makes you happy?

3. Now, you would most likely tell these things to those individuals in which you love, but I want you to take all those words of affirmation, and turn them towards others, not those particular people, but everyone who needs it, even towards yourself.

I define love as unselfish, loyal, having benevolent concern for another, and having affection based on admiration. Use these words, reach out to others, show them the love and expect nothing in return. Actively go out and ease the sadness and suffering of others, for then you will find joy and happiness within yourself.

The best way to do this is through volunteering and through missions. Give as much as you can. Glorify God and show willingness and character in your community. We as individuals can do much, more than you can expect. Simple acts and words of kindness have a positive effect on others and yourself. Many people need company, and by God give it. Show affection, in any way possible. Expect more of yourself, and you will give more. Look outward, give outward, do everything outward, never inward. You will change lives, and ultimately change your own. It’s what gives life purpose, it’s what’s makes life worth it In The End.

Love Isn’t an Emotion: The Mathematics of Sustainment

20130422-215115.jpg

In modern society, there’s nothing more emphasized and written about than finding “the one” or seeking happiness through other people. Humans urge to feel love. Some humans urge to show love. Then there’s that majority who seek love through other people. This is one of the profound reasons why relationships fail.

Most relationships have a cycle, and there are three major transitions between them:

1. The beginning “excitement” stage where individuals anticipate their partners calls, need their approval, want their touch, and enjoy their idiosyncrasies.
2. The middle “contentment” stage where things begin to slow down, become less enjoying or exciting.
3. The last “dull” stage where all the original idiosyncrasies that you once enjoyed now are a burden. It’s a subsequent stage where individuals begin to wonder if their relationship is ‘worth it’. You begin to reflect back on when it was enjoyable and wonder what happened, and this is when things tend to break down and/or end.

The key to succeeding in a relationship isn’t looking for the right person through trial and error, but learning to love the person you’ve found.

Individuals blame their partners for their unhappiness and begin to search for outside sources of enjoyment such as through work, excessive hobbies, abusive substances, or even through another person, but the answer to the burning question doesn’t lie outside your relationship, but inside of it.

Sustaining love is not a passive, non laborious job. It takes effort, day in and day out. It takes energy. You have to understand what to do in order to continue. Love is not a mystery. Love is not an emotion. Love is an action, a decision so to speak. There are laws to relationships just as there are laws to Physics, if you fail at one thing, the results are predictable. God determines who walks into your life, it is your choice as to whom you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go of. That takes effort, emotional strife, and time. It might be hard, it might seem impossible, but its just another one of those things worth it In The End.

Mistakes and Fate

20130402-214947.jpg

Yesterday I missed class purely out of laziness on my part. I decided to just not go, but my mother and I went to Tulsa, a smaller city in Oklahoma and had some much needed bonding. It was great, but I came to school today and for the FIRST time this year, I had no idea what we were learning in class. These algorithms and postulates pasted all over the boards were introduced the day before and I had missed all of it. I sat there. Completely lost, and refused to ask questions in order not to slow down the rest of the class. I was afraid to make a mistake. This got me thinking. Why do we resent and try to avoid our mistakes? Is it a social thing? Do we believe that we are going to be judged and put down because of it? Is it a window into our own insecurities? I do not know, but I do know we do not need to avoid our mistakes. Our mistakes are what mold us into who we are. Mistakes are something we should use in order to build upon our own character and say, “That’s something I don’t need to do again.” It’s something we should embrace and appreciate. Everything we do is a result of the choices we make, and us as humans tend to want to blame it on other things, and I am all too guilty for this one. We blame our bad decisions on anything except that it was our own intention. Such as the loss of our parents, or on a past relationship gone wrong, or your stressful job. When honestly we are responsible for every decision we make. Period. No one controls our fate except for ourselves. We choose our own destiny. Sounds so clichΓ©, but its true. It takes a complete mental change within ourselves to realize that our decisions, mistakes, and choices are what make us, “us.” God decided that these predicaments were made for us as people, for us to endure and conquer. That they are there for a reason, to make us stronger, to show us a door to something new, or anything that his heart desires us to see. And that’s absolutely amazing. He always continues to astonish me. He is something worth pursuing, and that’s definitely something/someone worth it In the End.