“I believe in God.”
“I mean, I guess I do. Someone has to create all of this, right?”
“I just don’t see how it’s all possible, really.”
“Hmmmm, maybe there is no God.”
“Well, life is pretty amazing, if you think about it. He’s real.”
All of these quotes, have been uttered at one point or another by myself. I never really knew what to believe, growing up. Like most kids, I went to the local church in town because that’s what was there and that’s where my mom took us. So, naturally, you grow up believing what your’e told. You grow up, not really questioning things, or even doubting anything. You just do. You just believe.
Well, I can admit that while I attended Sunday school, church and confirmation classes, I had no idea what was what. I also didn’t pay attention too well. I goofed around, I didn’t take learning my material seriously. I couldn’t even recite the Lord’s Prayer! I remember all kinds of people helping me on that one. Haha. All because I wanted to be different or thought it was funny. It wasn’t.
And certainly, as we all get older and experience more in life, you really get a sense of what the real world is like. People don’t live to be 900 years old. Surely, no ark could hold two of every animal in the world. And a man dying on a cross and then coming back to life, 3 days later. What!?
I believe. I believe it may have not all happened exactly like that, but I believe in the true reasons behind the tales. I believe in what the Bible teaches us, on a greater scale.
While I believe that science is a wonderful thing in our being, and can be used to prove many things, just like math and history have shown, I also just have faith that God created the universe and we just are, because of Him.
Just looking outside on a beautiful summer day or taking in the light snowfall just before night, and how can you not be amazed at nature’s glory? Every little thing has a place in this world, and yes, we have advanced far greater in such a short time, because of science. But, where does the start come from? Humans. The earth itself. Space. Living, breathing creature in an atmosphere that has to be exactly what it is, is nothing short of a miracle.
No, life is not just a miracle, it’s the glory of God.
To understand and fully believe in this, we should act on it. How many people do you know that say they are Christians, but go out and get drunk Friday, Saturday and Sunday? Every weekend? I used to be that man. How many people do you know that say they are “blessed” because they bought a new pair of shoes, or a new watch? Or a new vehicle? I cringe every time I see those posts on Facebook. No, earning the money it took to buy a materialistic thing is not being blessed.
Being blessed is having your health. It’s having children, being able to put food on the table. A place to rest your head at night. Having the ability to use your God given talents for good in this world. Having your loved ones in life. That is being blessed.
I’m not here to berate people and claim someone isn’t a Christian for these things, because I will be the first to admit, I’ve been there. I’ve acted like I wasn’t a child of God. I’m not perfect. Not even close. I’m no better than anyone else in this world. But I’m also not here because of this world. I was just given it, I didn’t make it. I know all of this now. This is what I believe.
My February resolution, “12 Months. 12 Resolutions.” challenge, was to be a better Christian.
Feel free to click on the name and join the Facebook group to share your thoughts and/or your own resolutions! 12 Months. 12 Resolutions.
I curse a lot. I’ve broken the law. I have certainly had my drunken moments and partook in a lot of other things I shouldn’t have. I lusted after women that were not my girlfriend. I’ve been obsessed with material things that I wanted and what my friends have had. I’m here to atone all of those. I keep evolving, every day and every week and every month.
A big reason for my 12 months of challenges is to better myself and to really get the most out of life that I can. The month of February was to be a better Christian, but how? Well, one was to follow the Ten Commandments as close as I could. These should really be a daily way of life, in many ways. Everything applies. It makes you better person, inside and out, and not only for yourself, but those around you and the rest of the world.
Secondly, because I curse a lot, I would “charge” myself in the form of a swear jar. Any time I cursed or used the Lord’s name in vain, it would cost me 25 cents. I would then take the total of the course of February and donate that money to the church I still attend from time to time, and am a member of: St. John’s Lutheran Fredonia
Third, I would make attending church a weekly thing. And if for whatever reason I could not attend, say work related or any other plans I had already committed to, I would then watch online, or listen to the sermon via audio on the St. John’s website.
Lastly, I just wanted to really value life and what I have, and not what I don’t have. I’ve really become a minimalist lately, in that I’ve donated a ton of clothes I don’t wear anymore. I’ve sold or given away a lot of materialistic things I just don’t need laying around. I’m just not a fan of “stuff.” What really matters to me now is my future, building my own empire and relationships of people I care about, and looking for my love in this world. Again. I had her, and then I lost her. That’s on me.
So, without further adieu, here are my notes, and how I did with everything in the month of February, in being a better Christian.
February 4, 2018- I was on call this weekend, and sure enough, had to go into work early in the A.M. missing a church service. So, when I got home, I watched it online. The sermon was about sex, and how we look for love in the wrong places. I’m certainly guilty of this, as I’ve been with women I met from all kinds of places, but never one that has God in her heart and waits until marriage, for love and having children. Obviously, as I have never been married or do not have kids.
February 6, 2018- I really do have a belief in God, and will not ever say I don’t. Whatever it costs me or how people view me, I do believe in God and will defend that He exists. Life is hard, but life is also a wonderful gift.
February 10, 2018- I celebrated my cousin’s birthday, out in Oconomowoc. Yes, there was drinking, and I would catch myself cursing, always after the fact. I realize that cursing has just become second nature to me, which I do not like. When I was in high school, I never cursed. Bad habits, indeed.
February 11, 2018- I missed church. Again. This time it was due to celebrating my cousin’s birthday the night before out in Oconomowoc. But that’s on me. I could have gotten up early and made it back for the service.
February 14, 2018- Valentine’s Day. Depressing as ever. Thoughts of my ex girlfriend and just wanting to share this day with someone is getting to me. If I wasn’t on call for work, I probably would have given in and just got drunk. But then I wouldn’t have learned from January’s resolution on cutting down on drinking, because of moments like these. And the Christian thing to do is stay the course and not look for love out of lust or fear of being alone. Be with someone because it’s right and will last forever.
February 15, 2018- I drank some, and played poker, but came out $800 ahead. I was on a roll, and definitely caught myself cursing throughout the day, as it was filled with a lot of ups and downs at the poker table.
February 18, 2018- I was able to attend church back home, even though I was on call this weekend, but made it through the service. I also found out a couple family members were ex communicated from my local church. I didn’t know that was an actual thing in 2018. Seems kind of antiquated, no? I mean, kicking people out of a church for not showing up? A little backwards right? Shouldn’t they be trying to invite them in with open arms when they want to be involved and not force them to? Interesting…
February 22, 2018- I turned down a date with a woman that I knew just wasn’t for me. The early twenties version of Noah would have been all over that. Heck, the Noah a few years ago might have been too. But I just don’t care to date or be with a woman unless there’s actually a chance of a future. My one night stand days may legitimately be over.
February 28, 2018- It’s the end of the month. I made it through some days I needed strength. I made it through some moments I normally would have turned to the dark side of things. I feel a closer connection to God and to the world as a whole.
* My total for cursing and using the Lord’s name in vain came to a whopping $40.75!
As I look back on that month’s challenge, I realize that doing the right thing takes work. It takes patience. It’s easy to say screw it and get drunk. It’s easy to say screw it and just have fun with a woman for a night. It’s easy to not go to church, and not pray or not stick to your beliefs. But that’s also why it’s worth it. I look back on all my years of being stupid and just not doing the right things, and who knows how far ahead I could be in life?
But that’s also where the glory still lies, there’s still time and I have every opportunity to lead a great, Christian life. And find someone to spend our lives together with, enjoying all that God has given us in this world. Looking back, I thought originally that I had failed, but I can see now, that I accomplished what I wanted for the most part. God bless.