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Friday, May 20, 2011

Unworldly Perspective and Thankfulness

Hello again, I hope everyone is having a spectacular week. For those who aren't, stay strong.  Time has really flown by since I have arrived in China. I feel like no matter how hard you try you just can't ever get it to slow down. Enjoy the journey friends. The important stuff is always in the little things we to often look over.

Growing up I was told so often to be thankful for what I had.  That there is starving children all around the world with no place to call home. No parents to love on them.  I never really bought into it. I acted like I did. I tried my best to believe it and out of that belief live a life of thankfulness.  We all know it is easier said than done.  The older I got the easier it was to appreciate everything I had. From amazing parents to to the shoes on my feet.  It's one thing to appreciate the things we have but it is another to live a life that flows from the thankfulness in our hearts.  I have realized more and more through living and growing that thankfulness is so much more than speaking it out.  When one is truly thankful for everything he has been blessed with it comes out in actions.  Who among us can't talk the talk? There isn't any value in speaking out that we are thankful unless our lives and day to day actions don't concrete our words.  I have more room than you know to grow in this area.  Thank God I have parents that did their best to show me what it looks like to live a life of giving and outpouring into others what you have been given.

I have been teaching for the last month.  I didn't realize how much of a challenge teaching was until I did it myself.  I teach small classes of kids from the age of 4 to 6 a couple times a week.  The kids, most the time, don't behave super well. It is very tasking to try to hold their attention for a half an hour. Especially at seven in the evening.  I have had a super bad attitude about this particular opportunity.  For selfish reason's only. I don't like teaching, it's too hard, it stresses me out, I am not cut out for it.  I am going to throw some truth at myself real quick.  If I was to sit down with my Dad and tell him all my complaints I am pretty sure he would greatly help me with my perspective and attitude on the situation.  He would tell me that I am blessed to have this opportunity, that growth doesn't come unless we are stretched outside our comfort level, that i have a chance to show these kids love. That for me to overlook it would be a huge mistake. I have learned that the hard way.

If we could change our attitude from ungratefulness to thankfulness we would see life in a whole different light.  When we are thankful for what we have it opens us up to be able to give back what has been given to us.  We have to allow blessing to flow through us.  As humans it isn't super natural to want to give. We have a selfishness in us. Just admit it, we all have it.  When we overcome that through a strength not our own. Our eyes can be open to what life really is about, giving back what you think you deserve.  It's not easy. I sure havn't even come close to understanding it or living it.  My parents have showed me the value in living in thankfulness and giving.  When we live for other's we grow in ways we don't even see.  We bless people with out knowing that it might have changed their life forever.

Living with Matt and Heather has been such a blessing for me, in ways i don't always see. It has given me the opportunity to serve in ways I don't feel like. To build relationship when it's not easy. It has shown me that it is never easy but always worth it.  Seeing how they have changed Lilly's life.  Not because they thought they had the time, energy, or money to do it. But because they chose to live life outpouring what they have to bless and help others who can't help themselves.  This is the picture that I want and need to follow for my life.  Giving when it hurts, loving when it's not easy, being thankful when you have nothing. Because life isn't about us. It never was, it never will be. The sooner I can live that out the more blessed I and others around me will be.

The more we can live life with the perspective that this life is too short. Every second needs to be treasured. Love those around you like today's your last. Give to others out of the love you have for them. Use every trial in your life to grow in perspective and truth.  Don't stop, the value isn't in what you can see with your eyes.

One last story to wrap it up.  I go to school with my friend Jia Ming who is Colombian.  His life has inspired and challenged me in a lot of ways.  Just last night Jia Ming, Jenna, another friend of mine, and I were at Mcdonalds downtown. What started as a joke turned out to be a blessing.  Because of Jia Ming's perspective and attitude.  It was ten thirty or so at night. There was a guy sleeping in a booth. I thought it was a little amusing. So i told Jia Ming, who is very crazy in his own way, to go over and sit with him. So sure enough he grabbed a used tray and put some empty coffee cups on it and went over to sit with the sleeping stranger.  I was a little worried at this point, because Chinese people sometimes have an explosive temper. This guy wakes up looking really mad. He walks away from the booth and goes and grabs some food off another table. Then he comes back and sits in the booth behind Jia Ming. Then Jia Ming taps this guy on the shoulder. Now I am pretty worried that this guy is going to give him broken nose. Jia Ming talks to him, in Chinese. Jia Ming then heads downstairs to the ordering counter and this guy follows him. I have no idea whats going on. So we wait for a few minutes and then head downstairs. We find Jia Ming ordering this guy a meal.  It might not seem like much, but i guarantee you it blessed this guy way more than we knew.  Jia Ming gives everything he has back to others who have done nothing for him. That is the way I want to live my life.  It's the way we all should live our lives. Blessing others whenever we can, even when they don't deserve it. Well that is all I have for now. I hope you got something out of this. I know I have.  Thanks for reading!