Chemistry is often overrated. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying attraction isn’t important, but its not what makes a relationship last. I used to think that I needed that spark to connect with someone. Over time, I’ve learned to value common beliefs and mutual respect. I value partnership. I value someone who can encourage me when I’m down. I value someone who can grow together with me. Chemistry is definitely a factor, but its not a deciding one.
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Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV) Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
At some point, we all ask the question, “what am I here for?” There is more to life than working and paying bills. Over two thousand years ago, Christ commissioned his disciples to make disciples of all nations, to baptize and teach what they had learned following him. We are all called to be disciples of Christ. Most of us take heed and go, but who was the last disciple we made? Who was the last person we encouraged? We are not all going to hop a flight to the Middle East and declare God’s word, but what can you do locally? Maybe its sharing a post on social media or praying for a co-worker. Remember, you are not only called but you are commissioned.
I’m literally waiting with bated breath for the arrival of our daughter. This pregnancy has taught me that we are not in control. We have a sense of control, but not really. We can’t make ourselves breathe. We can’t make our heart pump. We can’t cause the sun to shine or the Earth to move. We can’t stop all nuisances in our life even if we wanted. Life is unpredictable. We can pray and try to move God. We can stomp our feet and have a tantrum. We can give up or we can choose to move forward. Still, we can’t control all the moving pieces of our lives. Woosah. Take a deep breath. Accept that life is unpredictable and that’s ok.
unc·tion | \ ˈəŋ(k)-shən \
1: the act of anointing as a rite of consecration or healing
3a: religious or spiritual fervor or the expression of such fervor
b: exaggerated, assumed, or superficial earnestness of language or manner
I’ve learned that the unction of the holy spirit is more like a nudge than a push. It’s subtle. It’s slight. It’s suggestive. It is not forceful. It still leaves room for free will and choice. It’s a whisper. It’s a thought. It’s a suggestion. It’s direction. It’s still up to us to follow it. God will unction in small, subtle ways. Are you paying attention? Are you listening?
I remember Lauren London saying that grief is the last act of love. Queen Elizabeth II, said, "grief is the price we pay for love." Since my mother's diagnosis, I have been forced to grieve the mother I once knew. I found myself in therapy to help me navigate a loss that technically hasn't occurred yet. I was not completely familiar with the term "ambiguous loss." It's basically experiencing loss without closure. Its complicated because it can often delay the process of grieving. Those who experience ambiguous loss could be the result of cognitive decline, like my mother, to a missing loved one, to an unresolved relationship. My challenge to you today is my challenge to myself. If this is something you are experiencing, give yourself room to feel. There will be good days, and there will be bad days. Enjoy every glimmer of hope. Remind yourself that in the end, the lessons and the love make it all worthwhile. Create a support system, and utilize them. This experience should not be navigated alone. You are not alone. Loss be it ambiguous or physical is a part of the human experience. Remember, that God's words says, "he will not leave nor forsake us. Death nor life can separate us from the love of God."
Grace is a often used as a theological term that refers to a divine influence that helps to inspire virtuous impulses and impart strength to endure trials and temptation. Grace is love and mercy given to us by God. It is not earned. It is given. Grace is unmerited. Grace is unconditional. Grace is inexhaustible. Grace is a gift that can be shared because it was extended to us freely. God’s grace is a gift we open daily.
When I was younger, I watched soap operas and game shows with my grandmother. One of my favorites was The Price is Right. My grandmother and I would debate on which door the contestant should choose. It was very rare that a contestant chose the right door. They often gave up the better option for a chance at something behind another door. We have doors in our lives. We have choices. We have options. We make decisions daily. Sometimes, we choose the right door. Sometimes, we are like those contestants that risk what we have for something better. Sometimes, it works out. Sometimes, it doesn’t. We can’t make impulse decisions. We need to evaluate every move and decision. We need to count the cost. We need to be prayerful about which doors we choose to walk through and even which doors we close. Every option isn’t necessarily a better one. Choose wisely.