Here’s another thought dump for you.
I wish everybody knew the importance of punctuation. Too often to I see sentences gone unfinished–dangling like the end of a train over the edge of a massive cliff. Where is it going to go? Is it going to go up? Is it going to fall? Or is it going to be reinforced and held upright as it needs to be?
Just kidding. This post is about punctuality.
I understand that this view may (does) vary across cultures, but since we’re living in America, I’ll just say this: being on time makes a huge difference on how people see you. In fact, I’ll even say that being consistently tardy to something elicitis apathy. Not only will you look like you don’t care about being there, other people will also begin to wonder why they show up on time, too. Then imagine the thoughts of the person who put on the event. “Why aren’t people showing up on time? How come people don’t care about this? I put forth so much effort to make it happen and now I’m just waiting for them to show up. Why won’t people come on time? What did I do wrong?”
Of course, this doesn’t apply to absolutely everything. What if you started showing up late to work? People would begin to question your intentions. What if you had planned a date with somebody and was late to that? I don’t suppose that would look very good. Late to weddings. Funerals. Class. Family dinner. They’d wonder what’s so much more important than family that you just had to be twenty minutes late.
‘course, I can’t say that I’m always punctual wherever I go, but I still try my best to get to my destination on time, if not early (even if it means speeding like a maniac). I could manage my time better, and I should. This post is a little reminder to myself that everybody else’s time should be as valuable to me as my own. Whether or not they feel the same way is not up to me. If other people are late, give them the benefit of the doubt. But since I know exactly what it was that made me tardy, I have the power to try and stop it in the future.
It’s time we started really taking note of our actions.
Rather, we need to start taking note of our words. The adage goes, “actions speak louder than words,” and while it may (or may not) be true, we shouldn’t downplay just how much weight comes out of our words. The words you choose could mean the difference of life and death for someone. It could be the difference between a compliment or an insult. Diction is important. Every word has a connotation and it can’t be ignored when studying the context. Take these examples:
“That girl is really slender.” vs “That girl looks emaciated.”
“That man is a little rough around the edges.” vs. “That man is an imbecile.”
Of course, these are pretty extreme examples but I’m sure you can think of a few examples that aren’t so.
You have to be especially careful of this if you’re in a position of authority. Far too many times have I seen teachers and pastors poke fun at kids the same way that kids are–and the immediate look of pain on the kid’s face. Teachers and pastors are there to build the children up, not tear them down. Likewise for friends–it’s okay to poke fun at friends for being ridiculous or dropping the ball on something, but if you keep making fun of the same person for repeat offenses or for things that are hard to control (i.e. weight), it’ll eventually take a toll on him or her.
Words of affirmation are incredibly important nowadays, especially in church. I’ve been around people who were so harsh to each other that I’ve wondered if my non-Christian friends would even say that. We live in a society that’s constantly telling us that we aren’t good enough and that our dreams our unattainable. Would it kill you to encourage your peers every once in a while?
I apologize for my recent absences from bible study. There’s something that’s been on my mind for a long time and I haven’t really had a good opportunity to bring it up. Thus, here it is: I will no longer be attending KEPC regularly.
Now before you make any more assumptions, I will say that this decision has been on my mind for some time now. I can’t say with certainty that it has ever felt right to attend two churches regularly. Some people saw it as betrayal; others wondered why I simply didn’t switch churches. While I assured them that my attending Friday night bible studies was in order to develop my own faith, I always wondered if this really was a good method.
This year’s retreat really made an impact on me. I found it pretty coincidental that the theme of the retreat was the same as the old mission statement of my own church, but we all know that with God, nothing is a coincidence. “All in.” It’s so simple, yet so convicting.
Prior to retreat, I thought I was doing all I could to be “All in” for God, and on top of doing all the stuff I was doing between churches, I was maintaining relationships with people from both. But retreat broke down the walls around my heart and made me realize I wasn’t doing everything I could. When I asked God what I could do differently, He essentially told me that I should be investing in the people who attend my own church–attending two churches and juggling relationships caused me to spread myself thin and prevented me from getting into deep relationships with anyone at all. Of course, I was resistant to His answer; it hadn’t been the first time I’d heard it, but ultimately I decided I should give it all up to God.
I want to thank you all for the experiences and for the time I’ve been blessed to have spent with you. You have taught me so much about myself, about relationships, and of course, about God. Although I’m reluctant to leave, I’m never going to regret coming out to bible study on a weekly basis.
This is not a “good-bye.” Rather, it is a “see you later.” I’ll definitely still attend large events that you hold (though they may be few) and I’ll probably see a few of you around UW campus. I’d also like to make a donation toward the cafe if it’s still possible. 😛
See you guys around!