More “thoughts of the day” while in NYC with my daughter.
1. Don’t be seduced by the dark side
The dark side doesn’t look dark at the outset, but we are tempted to pursue what looks good to us on the surface because it seems fulfilling.I shared the “sexy carrot” cartoon in Donald Miller’s “Blue Like Jazz” with my daughter and we had a good laugh.The gist of it is that Don Rabbit saw sexy carrot, chased her to New York, then to the moon and finally caught her.The moral of the story:“If you work hard, stay focused, and never give up, you will eventually get what you want in life.”But then he choked on sexy carrot and died, leading to the second moral of the story:“Sometimes the things we want most in life are the things that will kill us.”Be discerning and aware of the spiritual battle.
2. Treat all people with kindness and compassion
New York is multi-cultural, so when we were running along the Boardwalk in Brooklyn, there were more Russians, Asians and Middle Eastern people than people who looked like us. Every kind of person, race and religion exist side by side. Jews and Palestinians pass one another along the Boardwalk. I had an opportunity to encourage and pray for a Muslim Palestinian woman in a store.Her husband made abusive comments and left the store, so she closed herself in a dressing room, crying. I had been talking with her and her children a few minutes earlier, so I coaxed her out and talked with her.When we are aware and open, opportunities to show care towards people are everywhere.
“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.”
3. Protect your walk with God as your most-valued relationship
Keep that priority no matter what changes, hectic schedules, upheavals or joys come along in life.But remember that it is God who is keeping you, not your own abilities to be good and go through the motions of faith.Keep it alive.Keep it real.Stay close to Jesus.
“Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.” – Ephesians 2:5-6 (The Message)
4. Know you are loved
Period. Good times and bad.Difficulties and triumphs.Successes and failures.Fat or thin.Bad hair day or good.Through laughter and tears.You have tremendous value as a person and a dynamic purpose in God.Your uniqueness is celebrated.