“I will be with you; I will not leave you nor forsake you… I command you be strong and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:5, 9)
Have you ever felt completely alone? It’s not an uncommon feeling really. IN fact it’s a very natural fear. It starts as an emptiness that we try to fill with pointless things. At a certain point we may fall to the temptation of just giving up. We risk despair of ever finding what will fill that emptiness.
The other end of that spectrum is wanting to be alone. Similar to its counterpart, it is usually a selfish desire. Often driven by a desire for something better. It can be triggered by an endless array of things. It seeks solitude, an over exaggeration of our own independence,
My question to you is, what is missing from both of these conditions? I see that they both ignore the constant presence of God in our lives. Just as God promised Joshua when he called him to lead, and Christ re-iterated to his apostles before ascending into heaven.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations… and behold I am with you always, even to the end of time” (Matthew 28: 19-20)
God is always present in our lives both when our problems seem to big and we feel alone, and when we believethat we alone should worry about our problems.
So yeah, I will remain “Strong and Steadfast” knowing that Christ walks with me. Ready to aid me when this life gets to hard. As Matt Maher sings, “Lord I need you. Oh I need you! Every hour I need you.”
What is the cost of leisure? What is the value of our time? The decisions we make about our free time say more about us than our long-term commitments. This is because our leisure is entirely free will, it rarely has much outside force acting upon it. It seems logical that we could pin the surge of individualism in recent decades on the ever-growing amount of leisure time we enjoy. Officially we Americans have a 40 hour work week, but studies show that we average more like 38 hours per week. This gives us all increasingly more time to develop ourselves through leisure.
So what do we do with our 168 hours a week? In the past week, I personally have spent my time 33 hours at work; 12 hours in class; 9.5 hours commuting; 2.5 hours concerning daily hygiene; 3 hours in church; 50 hours asleep; 2 hours eating/preparing food; a half hour on the phone; and 4 hours studying outside of class. This leaves me with only 41.5 hours of leisure time. Less than two days of time for my free use. And what do I do with that time? Too much of it is spent on social media, much of it is spent reading and writing (books, blogs, articles, etc.), precious little of it is spent with friends and family, I enjoy movies, and regularly go to a couple of meetings for extracurricular organizations.
Now, I’ve mentioned more than enough to completely fill a week’s worth of time. I have yet to even mention what I am passionate about. Among these activities: my work as a challenge course instructor, and my love for backpacking and the outdoors. So where I use my free time comes with significant opportunity cost. Sometimes I give up sleep to watch a movie, skip a meal to study for a test, go to the adoration chapel rather than class, occasionally I’ll even ask for a weekend off work to go camping. The point is that it’s all important (otherwise, why is it in my life?), and we’re defined by what we choose to do, not what we could do. So what does your leisure say about you?
…and in that moment his life had changed forever. For the weeks prior had crushed and suppressed him, physically and emotionally, to the point of breaking. That is until this moment. Because you see in this moment he had discovered the truth. The truth that all those worries meant nothing; they belonged in the future and the past, and he existed only in the now. His epiphany allowed each moment to be a beginning, a chance to do better. Above all, that changes everything.
Peace, Love, and Happiness…
Authors note: this is an endeavor into micro semi-fiction. It comes after the discovery that I’m not very good with dialogue, and fiction cannot go very far without it. I’m working on it.
Baba Dioum is a powerful name for conservation and agriculture in the country of Senegal. I absolutely love this part of his most quoted speech. It really captures the essence of what every conservation minded organization and individual must do. Both governments and non-profit organizations do a lot of regulation and activism, but ultimately we must carefully teach what is important and why we should care.
Personally, my greatest teacher has been experience. I have been exposed to the outdoors quite a bit in my short life. I have seen the garbage along highways; I have observed the erosion of our waterways; I have heard the wolf cry in the distance; and I have felt the magic of an early morning autumn day. Through simply being outdoors I gradually come to understand it. This understanding is never complete, and for that very reason I come to love the outdoors for everything new it can teach me.
Now this can be applied to any part of life. Whether it be friends, money, music, knowledge, faith, and on, and on. Whatever it is, it all starts with being taught. What are you teaching? What are you learning?
“To this I pledge my sacred honor.” Those words echo in my ears reminding me that I am an Eagle Scout. This title comes with a weighty responsibility of living an oath, and being exemplary of what Scouting is. And what is Scouting? Often associated with camping and outdoor skills. But to me it is much more than that. In fact neither the BSA oath or law even mention anything about the outdoors.
On my honor I will do my best To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
What Scouting provides is much more than a set of skills. As of late, the Boy Scouts of America has come under attack for being outdated and irrelevant. I would argue that in today’s fast changing world, Scouting is more relevant than it ever has been. You see Scouting teaches boys how to be productive young men. It teaches service and requires hard work. If a Scout attains the rank of Eagle Scout (the highest in Boy Scouts), he has shown his ability to learn, set goals, plan events, help others, engage his community, and lead his peers in all areas of life; all of this in the greater context of having fun. Yes, becoming an Eagle Scout is a tremendous of achievement. But ultimately being an Eagle Scout is not about what we have accomplished, yet rather it has everything to do with who we are and how we live our lives. Being a Scout prepares us for that. This is why Scouting is still so important. There will always be a need for good men to do great things both large and small.