Wow. What a weekend! I had some fun, but I also felt like something was missing. On Saturday I was feeling anxious, confused, lonely and a tad heartbroken (woof) when I decided I needed to get to church.
So I looked up a church a friend referred me to and decided to hit up their 6:00 p.m. service. It was exactly what I was searching for. Actually, I was longing for it. I needed to feel fulfilled by the Holy Spirit and that's what happened.
By the way, if you're feeling complacent or have an emptiness in your heart, I highly suggest finding a church you feel comfortable in and just go. I know going places alone can be scary, but frankly I've gotten used to it out here and it's always been for the better, or has lead me to new friends.
Our pastor discussed sharing our gifts, and how we tend to make excuses as to why we can't. For instance, if you constantly say you need an hour and a half at the gym to get the "full" workout, then you're never going to hit up the gym. Because frankly we all don't have that much time every day, and sometimes things come up where we want to go out with friends or whatever, but more importantly, 30 minutes at the gym is better than nothing.
Much like the gym or whatever else you might be putting off, God doesn't want us to be a big firework display that goes off once a year with a massive explosion, and once the dust settles, the fireworks aren't brought out again until the next Fourth of July. He enjoys when we do the little things: hold the door for someone, let that car enter our lane, when we buy lemonade for the construction guys who have been standing out in the heat at the crosswalk, donating $10 to Japan Earthquake relief or sending a box of clothes to needy families in Alabama.
If we're constantly like, "I'm going to buy a shirt for charity when my bank account reaches $____," we won't ever buy that shirt. Or, "I want to mentor but I don't feel old enough," you're never going to mentor! Or more importantly, when we say we'll help when we can do it magnificently, we won't ever do it.
Let me be clear: you should always give your best and do your best. You should do things the right way, and you should always aspire for the greatness in life. But doing things only when it's only going to impact a handful of people (or maybe only one) means just as much as reaching out to the entire congregation, entire city, entire country or the entire world.
Do the little things. Pastor Mark talked about how different groups of people used their resources -- ladies in a prominent part of town gave a local women's shelter Prada bags, where the women sold the bags for money to get them straight (having learned the art of selling from dealing drugs); a group of young men would go to Ralph's, pick up cups of coffee and then head to the beach area to find the homeless and give them the coffee, a blanket and the New Testament. They would give away sometimes 200 blankets in a day!
Be encouraged by encouraging others. Take the time to help, whether it be physically, monetarily or mentally. I feel like the most important thing we can do is keep our mind renewed and healthy, because if we don't have mental stability, it can mess with the rest of our body.
The most important point in Pastor Mark's message is to share your gifts! We are ordained by God to share them, as he gave them to us for that purpose. He said that the way to tell what your gift is is to see if it feeds others and feeds you -- not meaning feed your mouth, but rather if it feeds your soul. God uses bits of our gifts that we give to guide us in our journey.
So whether you have a lot or more importantly, a little, give it! We all have something to give, and we cannot be truly fulfilled unless we share with the world.