Between the madness of Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, it's easy to get caught up in all of the excitement of being with family and friends, eating lots, then scoping out all the good deals in the ads and in the stores. Christmas has become a time when we get stressed out about buying the perfect gifts , and sometimes we lose sight of what this time really means. I was listening to the radio on my way home from work and they were having a conversation about Giving Tuesday that really hit me.
There was a quote I heard that I loovee so I thought I'd share:
“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” ― John Wesley
So what good can we do and what can we give in a generation that always seems to be indulging on one's desires and trying to obtain more and more "things?"
Give love. Give your time. Give your attention. Give your commitment. Give your trust. Give forgiveness. Keep your word. Give clothes you no longer wear to Goodwill. Give canned goods to the food pantry. Give a smile. Give a hug. Give a kiss. Give a shoulder for someone to lean on when time's are hard. Give a second chance. Give until it hurts, then give some more.
It doesn't have to be something material. I bet it'll feel even better if it isn't.
Why do we struggle to give even the most basic things such as our attention, our love and our time? Why can't we put our phones or computers down for the evening to help at a local pantry?
Are we really that busy that we can't stop for just ten minutes to buy someone a cup of coffee and catch up on how they're doing?
Can we really not spend a little while going through our closet to find something warm for someone who might not be able to keep warm this winter?
Did someone do something so terrible that we can't fathom the thought of giving them another chance- at friendship, at love, at a job? Do we really need to stay so focused on the mistakes of the past and what happened that we eliminate all chances of starting fresh?
Especially during this season- Jesus was sent to us to save us from our sins. He gave HIS life for us sinners. He knew we were going to mess up- alot. He knew we were going to be sinners, and fail Him a million times. Yet, He endured the cross and all of that pain for us. How can we not look past someone's mistakes then and start over? It might be something silly or it might be something that really hurt, but we all need a redo sometimes. We all make mistakes. We all fall down and we all need a God whose love is unending, and we need to practice the love that he shows.
We all need someone to give something to us. Whether that be a physical item or something that isn't touchable or that you can even see. What better time of year to really think about what you want to give this year. Let's turn the tables from being more concerned about what we want, and lets focus on making the world a better place. There's alot of bad things happening out there, but one small act could change someone's entire perspective, maybe even their life. Give it a thought. <3
“Look how happy they look. Where can I find a relationship like that? Do couples even do that anymore?”
“Woah, they’re on vacation right now? I wish I was. That looks so fun.”
“Look at what they got. I wish I had that.”
“I wish I could always be going somewhere. I wish I had their life.”
Aren’t we all guilty of scrolling through social media, probably daily, and comparing our lives to others? Stating that we wish such and such because of something we see online.
We see the people, the friendships, the activities, the vacations, the lives of our “friends,” then we take that and look at our own lives and suddenly who we are and what we have and do doesn’t seem as important or significant anymore. We’re not on an island on vacation, we’re not in a perfect relationship, we’re not buying the latest tech gadget.
Why do we let ourselves do this? Why do we go out with friends, sometimes friends we haven’t seen in ages, yet sit on our phones and scroll through news feed after news feed, neglecting any chance of initiating a meaningful conversation. We’re out yet we’re stuck in a mobile world. We no longer can sit and have an old-fashioned face-to-face conversation because someone has to constantly be on their phone and so it seems the conversation becomes one-sided.
Oh look at this—look at what they’re doing! SO WHAT. You’re where you are right now and you aren’t even enjoying it because you’re too busy looking down at your fingertips and worried about what someone else is doing. We lose the value in the precious moments that we’re given on this earth because we are stuck comparing.
How much of our lives are we missing by doing this? What if at the end of our lives, we could see how much time we spent on Instagram, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Pinterest, on the web surfing. How much time did we spend on those sites when we could have spent time with family and friends, just being in their company. How many laughs did we miss out on, how much more could we have learned about someone if it hadn’t been for the technology to interrupt. How unhappy did it truly make us?
We see the lives of others, and it does something to us. We start to compare ourselves to those things we see online. The thing is though, it’s usually just the highlight reel. No one wants to post about the bad times- pictures of the tears cried, post about the difficult times, the sleepless nights, the struggles, the worries.. we post the happy times. The new promotion, the new house, the new baby, the latest destination. We take the highlights from someone else, and compare it to the daily life we are living, and it stirs unhappiness within us.
We think we’d be happier if we had this or that.. if we could find a man or woman like so and so has, then we’d be happy.
When did we stop opening our eyes to what’s right in front of us? Why are we SO engrossed with everyone else, that we completely miss what’s right in front of us. The leaves falling, the sun setting, the kindness and love someone was trying to show, yet we somehow missed. It’s become easy to base our worth based on how many “likes” we get, how many “followers” we have. What can we do to increase that? Why do we care so much?
You think people have perfect relationships, perfect jobs, perfect friendships and lives because that’s usually what we see. That’s not the case though. Take me, you’d think I was in a happy relationship. We post pictures of all the smiles and football games and activities that we do, but if you knew me , you’d know the past few months have been hard. You’d know that right now I can’t even technically officially say that I have a boyfriend. I’ve struggled, we’ve both struggled, there’s been tears and long nights, and there was a time when the man I thought I was going to marry was out of my life, and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. You wouldn’t know that though. You’d think it’s been great. It is great though, because through the struggles, though it’s been hard, it’s given us strength and helped us build our relationship into something solid. We’re in a good place now, and I’m excited and happy to see where God will take us.
So as Thanksgiving draws near.. what if we tried something. If we tried getting off of our phones, off of our iPads and laptops and did something else. We wrote a letter thanking someone for their influence in our life, played a board game, watched the sunset in the middle of nowhere. Layed with our friends and just talked.
There’s so much to be thankful for, and if we’d start spending less time online and stop comparing and wishing for what others had, we might realize that this life we lead, though simple, is indeed so incredibly beautiful.