Thoughts For Life

This week I had the wonderful blessing of being at home with family and friends. We've laughed, we've cried, we've laughed until we cried. Some people I've met with are having the time of their lives while others are battling through very difficult struggles or trying to make hard decisions. All of us taking this life head on at a rate of 60 seconds in a minute.Just this week I've heard of the deaths of several people I knew, loved, and respected as well as others who have been diagnosed with severe diseases or simply facing circumstances that seem impossible.

As I sit here this morning with my cup of coffee and journal out, I can't help but glance over the filled pages from the last few months and think... Life is fragile and it is precious.

You only get one. You get one life to live. One life to love. One life to be who you want to be and do what you want to do.

When I heard of the death yesterday of a woman I greatly respected, I couldn't help but let the tears flow down. I went and I sat down as so many thoughts were racing through my mind. There's so many questions I get asked that I don't understand. There's so many questions I have that I don't understand. I've seen many things I don't understand.

"When I was young I was sure of everything; in a few years, having been mistaken a thousand times. I was not half so sure of most things as I was before; at present, I am hardly sure of anything but what God has revealed to me" -John Wesley

This year I've learned a lot, okay more than a lot, I did a lot, I traveled a lot, I accomplished dreams, I made mistakes, I broke down, I lost friends and I gained friends, I lost sight of who I am, I found who I am, I encountered God in a way I never had, I was hurt, I did some hurting, I cried, I laughed, but more than anything I found out... I don't know a lot.

There's so much about this life I don't understand, there's so much about people I'll never understand, there's a lot about God I don't understand. The truth is, I'm young. I do my best to study the Word, spend time with God, and learn from those much wiser than me, but at the end of the day there's still a whole heck of a lot I don't understand.

So... I've found the best thing for life is to reduce your life down to love and faith. When nothing makes sense, love and faith always do.

When I ponder the reality of how short life is, it always drives me deeper into the arms of Love. When I think about how I live my yesterdays, todays, and will live my tomorrows, I can't help but pray that I will constantly and consistently choose love. That there wouldn't be one day and rarely an hour that goes by that I don't lavish love on my Creator. That there won't be one person in my life that doesn't know that they know that they know how much they are loved. That I would fully represent and communicate the love of the Father to those around me and my love as well.

Love God. Love people. Choose connection and not distance. Choose faith in God even when things don't make sense.

Every night when you lay your head down if you can say you loved and you stayed in faith then I would say you've done a real good job of living life. For too long I've tried to over complicate things and finally at 27 years young, I've realized it's really not that complicated.

Living a life of love and faith may not always feel good, it doesn't always yield painless relationships, or even a tribulation free life, but it ALWAYS produces peace.

Love and love and love some more. Have faith. Fight for faith. Grow in Faith. Faith in who He is and faith in who He's enabled you to be. Love and Faith.

No matter what this life brings, no matter the trials or tribulations, the successes and failures, the days you laugh until you cry, and even the days you cry until there are no more tears, no matter what comes your way, if you will choose love and if you will choose faith, you will have PEACE and you will have pleased our Father.

As I think about that woman standing before God I know He was smiling. She lived a life of selfless love and extreme faith. Everyone who came in contact with her knew she loved God and she loved you. One day when this short life is done, I will stand before God, I want to stand before Him a woman who loved Him and loved others, and who kept the faith, all the days of my life. I hope people across the globe will reflect on my life and say, "she was a woman who loved God and loved others, no matter what came her way".

Tell your family and friends how much you love them. Never hold back an "I love you" or a hug. Embrace the ones on the streets who have lost family. Love until it hurts the ones who have hurt you. Keep the faith and remember how Big and Good God is.

Be Blessed,

J. Tate