Journeys & Writings of Paul

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Out with the old, in with the new

As the year winds down and the new year approaches, people start making resolutions of change. That is all well and good, but I have come to realize that the motives behind the desired change are just as important, if not more so, than the actual results.

I came to this realization as I was continually finding things about myself that I wanted to change. I found myself questioning God (in a highly unorthodox and irreverent manner might I add) why and naming off all the reasons why it would be better if he could simply "fix" all the things I see wrong. I felt a response from deep within saying, "If you accepted yourself like I accept you, then you wouldn't feel the need to change." Huh. Way to be profound and humble me in a split second, God.

So this year I am resolving to continue walking out my faith, working out my salvation, and trying to carry out one of the greatest commandments to its fullest, summed up this way:
1) Love God
2) Love others
3) Love self

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What i love about peru

There are many things that I grew to appreciate about Peru after living there for three months. For now I'll share one:


After each meal, those at the table say thank you to those they have enjoyed the meal and company with. I think that's such a neat practice. I know for me in my home growing up everyone ate their meals and then were off to the next activity. Additionally, each person serves themselves here in the United States. In Peru, those who prepare the meal serve up each plate and place them in front of the individual. When you are finishing up, you are asked if you want seconds, and if so, those are served to you as well (but trust me, you're given enough the first time and never need to ask for more). No one is expected to make their own plate. Every meal is an offering to those eating, if you will. There is additional generosity behind the food, behind the massive quantities given (especially to guests); the sharing that takes place. Meals are enjoyed, company is enjoyed, and these important rituals, more often than not known to us as humdrum in the states, in Peru seldom take less than two hours.

Food is such an interesting gateway into culture. More than the actual sustenance, but the customs that go along with it all. 

Ceviche & chica morada. My host dad in Lima is a chef! His food was delicious.

Friday, December 7, 2012

It is more blessed to give than to receive

One of my favorite things to do is learn.
My favorite thing about knowledge is that it is so expansive so that even after you think you have learned something, you still can relearn it on a deeper level.
In Peru I learned many things. I learned about a different culture, climates, history, language, transportation system, foods. The greatest lesson I (re)learned is this one recorded in Acts 20:35 where Paul quotes Jesus saying:

"It is more blessed to give than to receive."

Another way to say this is I learned humility.
The thing about learning lessons in humility is that often times the most poignant lessons in are the direct result of being humiliated.
This was the case for me as my pride was exposed and then stripped away.
This variety of pride happens to be the ugliest, for it is not the upfront, boasting, in-your-face pride, but rather is the deeply buried, quiet, inward selfishness that often goes unnoticed. Pride that is not intentional and cutting, but that is subtle and natural, coming out in sly disguises and sometimes even with good intentions laced throughout it.

I am still internally processing the various lessons I encountered in all forms in the past three months. I may elaborate on them once I feel that I have the language to connect with these lessons that have been burned in my heart.