What Living Means to Me.


Probably at least once a month I ask the question, What is life? What does it even mean? Why are we even here? What's the point? I basically have an existential crisis on the regular.

The other day while I was brushing my teeth I was thinking about this. ( I the only person who has an existential crisis while brushing my teeth?) Why do we get up and do life every day? What are other people's motivations for going through life? What's the point of life? How is it that someone who does a repetitive monotonous job every day can have more joy than someone who claims to be doing exactly what they want to do? The questions continued tumbling in my brain, but then a thought stopped the tumbling.

The point of life is to live.

Duh, right?

I think this idea "to live" can mean different things to different people.

To me "to live" means to be fully who I am.

It means to do things that make me come alive.

It means finding joy in the little things and when I can't do that resting in the knowledge that one day soon I'll be able to again.

It means to love and invest in the people around me.

It means finding gratitude in what I've been given.

It means embracing wonder and being remarkably curious.

It means moving forward and growing.

It means acknowledging all the seasons of life and understanding we don't always live in a world of summers.

It means accepting all the parts of myself, the parts I don't like, the parts I love, and the parts I would rather ignore.

It means desiring wholeness and doing the hard work it takes to live into wholeness.

It means resting in my God-breathed worth and doing my damnedest to treat each and every person I come in contact with knowing they have God-breathed worth too.

It means realizing the point of life is to live. We aren't here to just exist and float through life. We're meant to be who we are. We're meant to love each other well. We're meant to be a part of something bigger than ourselves that involves a whole lot of love and a whole lot of wholeness...some people call it shalom.

The world needs more people who realize the point of life is to live! One of my all-time favorite quotes is from Howard Thurman:

"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

Figure out what makes you come alive. Figure out what living means to you.

Because the world needs you.

The world needs more people to be who they are and not who they think they should be.

It needs more people to come alive.

The world needs more people to be who they are. It needs more people to come alive. (1)

Immigration is more than just politics.

The title really says it all, but I feel like it merits some explanation. What I have to say people may disagree with, it may result in disagreements or confrontational conversations or inaccurate labeling or name calling, but it doesn't really matter. I have been too silent about this issue for awhile because of those very reasons, but I've realized that's not the way. The President's announcement last night and the many negative comments I've seen since, especially from my Christian brothers and sisters is sickening. Because here's the deal...immigration isn't about just politics.

Immigration is about people. Immigration is about human beings. Immigration is about individuals who were made in the image of God just like everyone else and who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, an Obama hater or lover, a Conservative or Liberal...that shouldn't matter if you claim to be a follower of Christ. Our faith mandates that we move beyond those basic labels and that our ultimate label and job is to be citizens of a greater Kingdom, of God's Kingdom. We are called to usher in the shalom community...where there is peace and justice and wholeness and equality and where we're not divided by our politics, but where our main concern is people and loving each other well.

President Obama's announcement tonight gave me so much joy. Joy because people I know and love are able to step out of the shadows and not live their life in fear. People who are here because they had no choice but to leave their home out of fear for their lives and the best way to do that because of our majorly broken immigration system was to do it "illegally". People who contribute more to the social and moral fabric of our community better than most and who want to make things right.

These friends, these families, these children. They are why I don't care if President Obama "went outside his legal rights". Frankly, people who are so focused on the politics of this and continue to direct their hate and disrespect to Obama are totally missing the point, especially those who claim to follow Jesus. Because Jesus said...I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. Jesus has a lot to say about welcoming the stranger, loving people and loving those who are forgotten and on the margins...and actually he wasn't even that concerned about politics.

How are we welcoming the strangers really? I hope and pray the Church is able to lead the way and by example putting people over politics, hospitality over rejection, acceptance over judgement and love over hate because that is what we are supposed to be about.