Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sail (A Parable)

“It’s time. Go.”

“Yes Captain. What heading?”

“Any you choose.”

Silence rested on the ship between the sound of waves lapping against the hull. The first mate was trained to chart a course in any direction he was told, but found himself completely unprepared for this response. They had drifted for many days and found themselves in the midst of an endless stretch of blue in all directions.

“I do not know which direction to go Captain.”

“Do you trust the tide to carry you home?”

“No. But I am afraid to choose wrong direction.”


“What if we end up lost?”

The captain chuckled in a low rumble and a wide smile spread across his face.

“Are you not already lost?”

He took a deep breath in frustration and the smell of seawater filled his nose reminding him once again of where they were.

“If I take us in the wrong direction we could die.”

“It is good that you want to choose wisely, but if we stay here you are sure to die.”

“If I choose, how will I know if I have chosen the right way?”

“You will feel my turning, sometimes small and sometimes much greater, but I can only steer this vessel when it moves. You need not fear the direction you choose as long as you allow me to hold the wheel. Set sail.”

“Yes Captain.”

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Letter to Addiction

Dear Addiction,

I know I am a coward for ending it this way, but I don’t know if I am strong enough to face you one last time. No, that’s not true. I know for sure I’m not strong enough. In fact that’s the whole reason for this letter.

You tricked me. Wait, that’s not entirely true. I have to be honest. I tricked myself. I made myself believe that I could control you, that I could use YOU. I put these chains on to show how they would look on you. You just smiled and gently closed the lock. I never heard a sound. I hate the fact that I have gotten used to the weight. I don’t even remember what freedom feels like. Being with you became second nature, but deep down my original nature was saving every bit of strength for the fight that starts today.

You may think that this is just another one of those times when I proclaim my freedom, struggle for a day, and just give in because I don’t see that anything’s changed, but this time is different. What I imagined as pleasure was really just a kiss of fear from your Judas lips. It has never been a question of whether I could live without you. You’re not that great. The question you held over me was if I could deal with life without you. Could I handle the tough things without your so called “comfort”? This is the question that has gone too long unanswered.

You made one mistake. You got greedy. You stole everything from me so now I have nothing left to lose. You were not satisfied with my attention, my emotions, my protection. You dug deeper until you could taint my heart, and in doing so you turned my life into just existing. BUT I WANT TO LIVE! For the first time in my life I am more afraid of not living than of just being without you.

I wish I could say that “I once was blind, but now I see”, but the truth of matter is that I could always see. I just didn’t like what I saw so I learned to look away. But I don’t have that luxury anymore. The price of life is pain and for the first time in as long as I can remember I am willing to pay it. I am broken and I know that I will have to be broken even more before I can be fixed.

I have so much more to say, but you have stolen too much of my time already. This is goodbye. It is not “see you later” because even if you did, you would not recognize me anymore.

With All I Am,

The Real Me

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Breaking the Pattern

Wake up. Get ready for work. Go to Starbucks. Read Bible. Go to work. Get annoyed. Get hugs from kids. Feel better. Go to lunch. Go back to work. Go home. Eat dinner. Watch baseball. Rinse and repeat. This is the pattern of my life.

Tonight, I was doing what so many people have done a thousand times. Sitting in my seat, I was watching as the flight attendant slowly made her way down the aisle to ask what I wanted to drink.


“Club Soda.”



She had her pattern down.

When she reached my row I was greeted like all the others.


But for some reason I suddenly cared about her. That sounds so weird, but I did. I wondered if anybody cared about what she wanted in this moment. So I broke the pattern.

“How are you?”

“We have Pepsi, Sprite, Diet…. Wait. What did you say?”

I swear that’s what she said. The lady next to me laughed.

“I said, ‘How are you?’ I was just wondering if you were having a good night.”

She cocked her head to one side and looked at me as if she had just woken up from a dream.

“Uh. I’m good. How are you?”

“I’m doin’ all right, thank you. Can I have a Dr. Pepper please?”

“You got it.”

Then came the fun part. She turned to get the orders from the row across the aisle and this is what she said.

“Good evening. How are you? What can I get you to drink?”

This time I laughed. This only went on for a couple rows at most before I began to hear, “Drink?” again, but for a few moment we had all been transformed back into people instead of just cargo.

I wish you could have been there because I could never describe the change lasted for only a minute. One simple question asked in kindness brought the atmosphere of heaven to Earth for a fleeting moment. It was brief, but the contrast was undeniable. The next time she came by she asked if I wanted some pretzels. All I said was, “No thank you.” but she smiled as if I had called her beautiful.

I will never forget the look in her eyes. It made my hungry to love people more, to look for opportunities for kindness. It reminded my that sometimes I miss living in the midst of my life. I get lost in the pattern of "the normal". Why don't I start up conversations with strangers more? Is it the fear that they will think I am weird. Do I use the excuse of politeness and convince myself that I don't want to bother anyone? Why don't I do things I've never done more often? Consistency is a good thing until you become consistently mediocre. There are great things lying within our reach every day if we can open our eyes to the possibilities. It was nice to be reminded that there is a beauty that can only be found in breaking the pattern.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Letter From Heaven

Have you ever felt like when you are down there is no one there to pick you up? I have. So I decided to encourage myself. I hope it encourages you too.

Dear Sons of Earth,

We wish you could see as we see. Your light cannot be hidden from us. Those seemingly small acts of kindness you do when no one is watching flash like lightning against the dark canvas of Earth. The greatest acts of strength among you create changes that human eyes cannot see. The act of holding the tongue, which is given no regard with men, grows the spirit of man in ways that cause demons to shudder. When you forget your true nature and the power of your love do not hang your head. Look up to the night sky. You will see the millions of holes the angels have made to kneel and watch the moments so often overlooked by those around you. Listen to the wind. It carries a greater applause from those who have gone before you than any stadium has ever held. You are sons of the most high and there is no greater light in the universe than the smile you bring to your Father’s face. Always remember that you may sometimes feel lonely, but you are never alone. Your true family is eagerly waiting for your arrival to join in a celebration that will know no end. Do not lose faith. The path is set. Keep your steps sure. You will receive the prize. And your heart cannot contain all that waits for you.

Eternally By Your Side,

The Host of Heaven

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Last Answer

“Friedrich Nietzsche is famous for his quote ‘God is dead,' but he was wrong. To be dead, one has to exist in the first place. God has never been. If anybody is in here to find out about God, you are in the wrong place. This is a course on religion.”

These were the first words I ever heard from Professor Gangadean.

I had been more excited about this class than any I taken before. The classroom walls were bare and the desks were arranged in a half-circle so everyone could see everyone else. I was so eager to learn what set Christianity apart from all the other religions in the world that I was the first to arrive. Apparently I did not get the memo that Christians did not take classes taught by Professor Gangadean.

I sat there in stunned silence looking around at the smiles on the faces of his approving audience. I did not belong here. After the class was over I intended to go to admissions and switch classes, but the next question he asked changed everything.

“Is anyone in here a Christian?”

I don’t remember why I raised my hand. Looking back I would like to think it was the strength of my convictions in the face of opposition to my God. In reality it was probably just habit from all the times I absent-mindedly raised my hand in church whenever the preacher asked a question and wanted a response. Only once I realized that my hand was up did I take a moment to look around the room. Mine was the only one.

“What is your name?”


“Do you believe in truth, Adam?”

I knew where he was trying to take me. I tried to choose my words very carefully.

“I do.”

“So if I can prove to you there is no God, will you cease to believe in Him?”

It was a trap. If I said “yes” and he would present some logical argument that I didn’t know the answer to and I would look like a fool and hypocrite if I did not denounce my faith in God. If I said “no” then I looked like a close-minded hypocrite who would not accept the truth.

“Absolute truth can only be known with absolute knowledge. Until you know everything, you cannot be certain what you think is “truth” is entirely accurate.”

His eyes narrowed a he took a step closer to where I was seated.

“If it is impossible to know anything for sure, then how can we believe in anything? Why do you sit down in your chair without looking? You can’t know that it will be there.”

“I play the percentages.”

A chorus of chuckles broke out in the class. The look on the professor’s face made it clear that he did not like being upstaged in his own class. An ice-cold smile broke out across his face as he played it off.

“Well I hope you take in everything I have to say this semester with an open mind. You may find that when I am done the percentages will have turned in my favor.”

A chill traveled up my spine. I could feel the eyes of the room on me. To be honest, I was scared. I did not know how to argue the existence of God. I just knew how to follow Him.

Only when he turned around to begin his lecture did I finally take a breath. This was not what I had signed up for, but if I changed now the whole class would lose any respect for what I believed.

I sat there trying to take notes as my mind searched for a way to show him the truth about God. Before I realized it, the lecture was over. Just before he dismissed the class he spoke one more time to me.

“Adam, you would agree that God is logical?”


“Tell me, is it logical for a being who is perfect to want to be surrounded by creatures who hate and steal and rape and kill?”

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know or you don’t like the answer?”

Silence. In my mind it lasted for an hour, although it probably only spanned a minute.

“Class dismissed.”

I just sat there as everyone shuffled out to their next class. To this day I don’t know why I did it, but I stood up after everyone had left and said, “Professor, Jesus loves you.”

He was leaning back against his desk with arms folded. The only sign he gave that he had heard what I said was a small laugh under his breath.

I walked out that day feeling like such a failure. Everything inside me just wanted to walk away.

When the next week rolled around, I was determined to show myself that I was not so easily scared. I found an open desk right in the middle at the front and sat in it.

Professor Gangadean began his lecture without the slightest clue that he remembered anything that had happened the week before. He was an eloquent speaker. His ability to insert a clever joke at just the right times and pull out a fun fact made him easy to listen to. I found myself fascinated by his analysis of Buddhism.

I almost liked him; until he finished.


My heart leapt into my throat in an instant.

“Yes?” I replied hoping no one heard the small tremble in my voice.

“Is it logical for a being who is all loving and all powerful to allow innocent children to suffer and die?”

I had no answer that he could not counter.

“I do not know.”

That was exactly what he was hoping for. Another small laugh and a, “Class dismissed” was all he needed to say.

Once again I felt like I had failed my God, but once again when everyone had left I told him, “Jesus loves you.”

That semester moved quickly and our ritual continued throughout. He had made his point to everyone in his class. At the end of each class he would ask me a question I could not answer. Every time my only answer was, “I don’t know.” But before I left I would remind him that Jesus loved him. I enjoyed that class and learned more than I thought I would, given the circumstances.

When the day of our final exam arrived, I prayed that God would give me the answer to the question I knew he would ask. Silence was His only reply.

The test was not too difficult and was intended to make you think more than just recite what he had already said. I took my time. If this was to be the last thoughts he had from me I wanted them to be quality ones. When I finally finished I stood and walked to the front to turn it in.

“Adam, I would like to speak with you after everyone has finished.”

The chills returned and I simply nodded and returned to my seat. The silence and waiting over the next 10 minutes caused the butterflies in my stomach to morph into a herd of rhinos.

After the last student had left, Professor Gangadean came and sat in the desk next to me, turning it to face me.

“I want to tell you something that not many people know about me.”


“I have a daughter. Her name is Hannah and she has a severe mental disability.”

I wanted to say something, but I was afraid that whatever I said would be wrong.

“I have dedicated my life to the pursuit of reason and logic and yet I have a full grown daughter who can hardly reason at all. Why would God do that to me?”

It was the first time he had asked as if God existed.

“I don’t know.”

“Two days ago Hannah got out of the house. I don’t know how she did it, but when I looked out the window in my study, I saw her on the sidewalk in front of our house. I rushed outside to get her, but by the time I got to the front door she had already stepped into the street. Any child could have seen the truck coming, but she could not process the fact that it was going to hit her if she kept walking.”

Slowly tears began to fill my eyes. I did not dare wipe them away. He had not broken eye contact for even a second since he began his story.

“I ran. I ran as fast as I could. The truck had no way of seeing her behind my car that was parked along the street. Time slowed down. I felt as if I was running in water and would never reach her in time. I got to her just in time to throw her out of the way, but my momentum carried me into the path of the truck.”

Warm streaks raced down my cheeks from the tears. He had paused and I could not stand not knowing.

“What happened?”

“The truck driver had seen me running and knew something must be wrong. He slammed on the breaks and stopped inches from where I landed.”

No one was injured, but I continued to cry.

“What I did was not logical. I have so much more to offer this world than Hannah. There was no good reason for me trade my life for hers so why did I do it? This question weighed on my mind so heavily that I could not sleep that night. After hours of looking for the logic in my actions I did something I never thought I would do. I prayed.”

Hope swelled in my heart, but I still didn’t know if this was all a part of his last attempt to disprove my beliefs. I began to believe when I saw the tears in his eyes.

“After that it all became clear. The things that seem so illogical make perfect sense in the light of love. Why would a perfect God sacrifice himself for the likes of us? Why has He allowed free will? Every question I used to show you that your beliefs defy reason, they all can be answered in the light of love.”

For the first time since he sat down he smiled.

I don’t know if he did what he did next so that he would never forget or if it was just a coincidence, but he started our game one last time.

“Why did it take me so long to understand?”

This time it was me who laughed. When I finally gained control of the joy that had exploded out of me, all I could do was play along.

“I don’t know.”

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I'm afraid of the light

I am scared of love. There. I said it.

I have spent years building secret walls around my heart. (None shall pass. NONE SHALL PAAAAAASS!!) I always thought I did this for a couple reasons. One, I have never seen a healthy loving relationship that lasted up close. I don’t think this has made me jaded as much as it has shown me that even true love takes a lot of work and most people are lazy. That is not a good combination for a high success rate. And I HATE failure. Second, I was (and am) afraid of rejection. In order to truly love someone, you have to let them see you for who you really are. The good and the bad. Sometimes I pick my nose in the car and wipe it under the seat. (See. Who wants to spend their life with that?) I am afraid that I will show someone the clearest picture of who I am and they will still reject it. Then I would have to ask, “Is there not enough good or beauty in me to make me worthy of love?” (Please understand that I know God has made me wonderfully and knows me better than I know myself and loves me fully. But do not be so quick to forget that man is an irrational creature swayed by emotion and insecurity.)

Yesterday I found a third reason.

Love is the great light. Loving another may not reveal anything about them, but it always reveals something about you. I know now that if I truly and deeply loved another it would reveal a great deal about my true nature. What you do and say each day with someone you love reveals your true character. Love forgives and this creates the opportunity for sin. Anger, jealousy, selfishness, laziness, and so much more is often given more room to grow in the confines of love. If I choose to love, this great light will shine brighter on my life and I am afraid of what it will reveal. I am afraid that after I see myself in this light that knows no shadows, I may not love myself. I have seen glimpses of what my nature can produce and it makes me cry out with all my heart to let me decrease and Jesus increase.

All this introspection has made me wonder about our culture. Have people subconsciously realized this fact about love? Is that why this culture has become so distant and closed off? Maybe people have learned that if they stop and try to help those in need, it will just highlight how little they actually care for others. Maybe people know deep down that if stop to listen to someone they will have to see how little patience they truly have?

Although the light of love can be a scary thing, it is meant to bring about change. God loves us the way we are. But He also loves us enough to know that we will be happier when we are more like Him. When loves shines on us it offers the opportunity see the things inside us that need to change. It can be hard to see the ugliest parts of your self, but without seeing them, we will never become what we were created to be.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Does Jesus Know Me?

The depth of a man’s mind is not seen in the answers he gives, but rather the questions he asks. My generation has largely lost our ability to ask meaningful questions and that is one of the reasons so few of us have found meaningful answers.

Today, young men dream of growing up and becoming Lebron James or Eminem, but in Jesus’ day the highest profession in that culture was a rabbi. The process to become a rabbi was grueling. The hopeful youth that attempted to become rabbis were tested by the questions they asked. It was a test to see which students could ask what no one had thought to ask. Who could see past the obvious and ask a question that would change our perspective of life? Jesus was the master of this. No one before Him had ever thought to ask such questions as “What does it profit a man to gain the world if he loses his soul?”

I realized recently that I have stumbled into the habit of reading my Bible looking only for answers. But how can I find an answer if I have never asked a question? So I changed my approach.

Reading in Mathew, I began to look for things I didn’t understand. It didn’t take long to find one. In Mathew 7, Jesus is talking to his followers and He tells them, “Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”

Now, I have read that scripture more times than I can count, but I have never stopped to see if I had any questions about what He was saying. I did.

Jesus tells the people who have been following him around in the desert for a year that someday He will tell them He never knew them. In my mind I always thought Jesus was teaching people that you cannot tell if others have a relationship with Jesus based on the outward appearance or the things they do. BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT HE SAID. He said, “I never knew you.” The One who created the universe and every atom in it didn’t know someone? The same man who said that He knows when every sparrow falls missed one of His children in the crowd? I don’t think so. So I did some research.

The book of Mathew was written in Greek, which was the most common language of the day. The author had to translate all the things Jesus had said in Aramaic into this language so that it could reach a broader audience. When Jesus said this to His followers he used an Aramaic idiom. (That means the culture that heard it understood what He was saying, but outside of those people it would not make as much sense. It’s like saying “He jumped down my throat.” In America we know that means he yelled at me without thinking about it, but if someone in China who knew how to read English read that, they may not fully grasp the idea trying to be conveyed.) When Jesus said, “I never knew you”, He used a term that was commonly used to mean sex. If a man had been with a prostitute, it was said that he “knew” her. The author of Mathew chose the Greek equivalent when he used the word genosko.

This changed my perspective on what Jesus was telling me. I always saw this as a warning about judging men based on what you saw them doing or not doing for God. But it had nothing to do with knowing the state of another man’s soul. It was about my soul.

Jesus does not care as much about what I do for Him as He does about how much I let Him in my life. I can sacrifice my life writing for Him, or teaching about Him, or “winning souls” for Him, but in the end, when I have to stand before Him, He will block all that out and see how intimate I was with Him. Did I share with Him my deepest fears? Did I vent to Him when I was frustrated? Did I set aside time just to be with Him? Oh I know that He sees the deepest parts of me, but He does not invade. He waits to be invited. I don’t want to stand before Him one day and only then realize I never truly let him “know” me.

Like any great question, the answer to this one only left me with more questions. The “How?”, the “When?”, and the always scary “If…” I need to spend some time with these questions for a while so I will leave you with this…

When was the last time you asked stopped looking in the Bible for the answers and started looking for a great question?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Flower

The snow floated down lazily with each flake giving way to those that fell beneath them until coming to rest on the white blanket that spread out across the city. The late morning sun ricocheted brightly off the monochromatic landscape. Winds whipped through the yard of the small brick house where death lived. In the midst of the cold a single flower stood in defiance of winter’s invasion. Red petals clung to the stem that gave them life. Winter had come in the night and stolen the color from the city.

He hated the winter. The vibrant hues of life were the only thing that made it worth going on. Staring out his window he was mesmerized by the flower. It had stood up against the onslaught of white that had destroyed his beautiful world and for that it would never die. He would protect it against…well himself. His name was Bob and he was death.

The neighbors had liked Bob the minute he moved in. He was so polite and always kept his yard looking beautiful. No one ever suspected that death would be named Bob. Or that he would make such delicious peanut butter cookies.

Bob liked his new home. It was simple and clean. He had moved in last February and by early April a quilt of flowers began popping up throughout his yard. A quick trip to the nearest Home Depot and a few minutes on the internet armed him to make the flowers grow strong and beautiful. Each morning Bob would wake up and water his new friends and each night before bed he would say a little prayer for them. In June Bob erected a small white picket fence around the yard. Cold winds from the north swept in starting in November and slowly Bob had to begin letting the flowers return to the earth from which they came.

Bob did not mind his job. His attention to detail and lack of emotion seemed to be the perfect qualities to accomplish his tasks without flaw. His instincts were always right. He could tell within a microsecond the exact time any living thing on this earth was supposed to die. And he always made sure the schedule was never altered.

Frost had begun filling in the lower corners of his living room window as he stared at his lady in red. If asked why he had let this single life in all of creation live past the time meant for it he probably would have just looked past the one asking in silence until they left. Then again, he might have just killed them. He did not know why. Out of the countless beauties in life all over this world this singular flower had solved the labyrinth of his heart. Amputees say that when they lose an arm they can still feel the tingle in their fingers for years after. Death felt a warm tingle in a place he never knew he had, much less lost.

The faint crunch of boots on the snow brought Bob’s attention back to the yard. The scene unfolded in slow motion as he watch Billy, the neighbor’s oldest boy, dive over the fence in an attempt to retreat from rain of snowballs being hurled at him by his friend from down the street. Bob dropped the “I’m The Boss” mug of coffee he was holding just as Billy began running across the yard to find shelter. The mug shattered into a million pieces that all the king’s horses and all the king’s men could never have put back together. Billy’s retreat had almost reached full speed as his boot lost its grip on a patch of ice concealed beneath the snow. With the practiced ease of a veteran snowball warrior he tucked and rolled to land on his side and back throwing up a tuft of snow in the air. From the window all that could be seen was a single red petal like a drop of blood on the cotton sheet of snow.

Bob did not know how to cry. All he knew how to do or be was death. His first instinct was to kill this foolish boy. But he knew it would change nothing. He had the power to take the life from any living thing with just a thought and yet he could not protect the only thing he had ever loved. He could destroy nations in the blink of an eye, but he could not breathe life back into a single flower. He was death. He had seen kingdoms come and go. He had seen discoveries that changed the course of mankind forever. He was witness to the greatest sunsets eyes had ever seen. But for thousands of years he had wondered if he was truly alive. In that single moment he knew he had been. For that was the moment death died.

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Stop With God

Ralph Waldo Emmerson once wrote, “If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown.” I disagree. Man has been cursed with a short memory. I know because I am one.

Life has a certain way of taking something that is so clear in one moment and covering it up in the next. My problem is that the second I lose sight of it, I can’t remember what it was truly like or how to find it again. This is a struggle I face over and over again in my relationship with God. My walk with God can many times be better described as my stop with God. The relationship that defines my existence has a tendency to get lost in the midst of that very same existence. The world that I am forced to walk through leaves it’s grease and grime over the most fundamental part of my life. As I attempt to fix this problem I don’t struggle with complacency nearly as much as I struggle with my approach.

I get sick of the muck covering my heart so I try to wipe it away, but I only succeed in blurring what’s underneath even more. As I said before the problem was not a lack of effort, but a bad approach. I always tried to find my way back to the heart of God in my strength. I would study harder to try to understand Him more. (How foolish am I trying to understand a God I cannot even fully comprehend?) That inevitably fails. So I try to love people to make it back to God, but the motive of my heart is clear to Him and the immovable will not be so easily manipulated. In a last ditch effort I pout, hoping God will have pity on such a poor soul. The Father is far too great a parent to encourage good results from bad actions. The more I tried the more blurred it became.

After all of this a friend gave me the best advice I have heard in a long time. She said, “Maybe if you stop trying to analyze God, He could reveal Himself to you.” (Light bulb moment!) God is not a mystery to be solved. He is not a boss waiting for you to complete an assignment. He is not a Father who sacrifices the long term to satisfy the short term. He is God.

I am going take that advice. I am going to seek Him just to be with Him. The bad news is I tried to fix it the only ways I knew how and learned I didn’t know how to fix it. But thanks to a friend, today I remembered the good news and that is that I don’t have to know how to fix it. I just have to remember to find the One who does.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The question

I love good questions. To me a good question is far better than a good answer. A good answer is like the route you take to work everyday. I t does not change much. But a good question is like the beginning of an uncharted path. You never know what amazing places it can take you.

This week my pastor asked his grandson Brady a question I had never thought to ask before. He asked him, “What do you think Jesus is thankful for?” Brady shouted, “Me!” without even thinking about it.

I began to walk down the path of this question in my mind and think of what in this dark hurting world Jesus is thankful for. I thought about how He is probably thankful for the man or woman who gives money to the homeless person begging on the corner because He knows that compassion is more important than what is done with the gift. I thought He is probably thankful for the churches that come together to seek Him because He knows that love and worship are more important than having the correct theology. I thought He is probably thankful for those who held their tongues when everything inside them wanted to complain, or insult, or prove their point because He knows that sometimes no action is the greatest action of all.

As I began to think about all the things God is thankful for it brought to mind more questions. How many things do I do that God is thankful for? Am I giving enough? Do I have enough faith? Do I love people the way I should? I began to think about how fall short I fall from the man I should be. I thought about all the times I let my mind wander where it should not go. I thought about how lazy I can be. I thought about how I want to be right at all costs. I thought about how little I do that God can look down from heaven on and be thankful for.

I want to do better. I want to be better. But I finally reached the end of this path and do you know what I found? I had good answers, but Brady had a better one. God loves the things we do to show His love and build His character in our lives, but not nearly as much as He loves us just for who we are. Regardless of what you have or have not done, if you asked God what He is most thankful for His answer would always be you.