I just read an article that broke my heart. A local15-yr old girl shot herself, leaving her family and friends shocked and asking, “Why?” Her father found a letter she had written; it said “I’m ugly. I’m horrible. Everyone laughs at me.”
I could feel the pain as if it were yesterday that I was that same young girl. Those works were once mine as I, too, hated myself and believed so did everyone else. It takes pain but most of all it takes a loss of hope to reach the point to destroy the life God has given you.
How did I find hope? It wasn’t overnight. I believed in God but not in myself. It took years to accept myself as a child of God, made with a purpose. Seeking Him through His word and prayer brought me a new vision of who I am.
The article said she was bullied at school. I can still hear the pig snorts from the “jocks” as I walked past. Yes, I was overweight which was often pointed out by such taunts.
As children of God, we are to encourage one another. (Hebrews 10:25) We should build up those who have been beaten down by harsh words. No one has the right to make another feel like they aren’t worth living. Pass God’s love and compassion on.
Who can you encourage today?
God and bikers; do they mix? In a recent article on Oregon Faith Report I read about Pastor Kinne Callaway and The RodeHouse, a non-traditional church that he leads in Bend, Oregon. They meet in a building they call “the box.” Callaway was quoted as explaining, “because we want to live and think outside the box.”
They do take their faith outside “the box” by joining other motorcycle enthusiasts where ever they meet, including bars.
Living outside the box can be seen in two ways; first by getting out of the church building and taking your faith into the community. And second, by sharing your faith in non-traditional ways, which is also outside the regular church setting.
When you keep your faith inside, whether it is inside you or inside the church, it may seem safe but it isn’t. When your faith is restricted it cannot grow and becomes endangered of dying. Your faith was meant to grow and become strong by sharing it with others.
I spent years keeping my beliefs to myself for fear of what people may say. That was a dead faith. Now, I live outside the box by sharing my faith in my everyday life.
Rough and tough motorcycle riders joining with God? Of course. God doesn’t fit in any box.
How can you step outside your comfort zone to share your faith?
Like many households across our country, I have been watching the Olympics. For the first time, I saw a canoeing event. A team of two men maneuvered a canoe down white-water rapids, passing through 21 strategically placed gates. They were timed, with two seconds being added for each time a part of their body or paddle touched the side of a gate.
All athletes spend hours developing their skills to earn the honor of competing at the Olympics. The men operating the canoes were no different. Strong arms, keen sense of balance and quick reflex brought them to the elite games. No matter how much they practiced, anything could happen on the course and they must depend on one another.
I thought how much this course resembled problems in life. Challenges can come at us rapidly, tossing us about if we haven’t developed the skills and strength to handle them. We prepare for those hard times by building our faith in reading the Bible, praying and choosing friends who share our belief. Then when the waters around us begin to churn, we will be able to steer through the gates to the finish line. The most important thing we need to complete the course is Jesus as our partner, or better yet, our guide. You can depend on Him for the gold.
Do you see your life like an Olympic event? Which one and why?