Tune in to God
By Stacie Ruth Stoelting
As a twenty-two-year-old college student, I possess the ability to cram two days’ worth of work and play into one, stress-packed day. Sometimes, because of stress, I can seem like a complete idiot! I’ll share with you a few stupid things I’ve done as a result of stress. (Who knows? Maybe my “stressed out stories” will be stress relievers for you!) Here are my confessions:
- I’ve checked out at a store and politely asked the clerk for my bag of stuff only to discover that I was holding it.
- I’ve called my own phone number. (I know. That was pretty pathetic.)
- I’ve forgotten my age (only for a split second).
- I’ve talked with people only to completely forget what we’ve been talking about.
- I’ve left the water running. (My mom loved it when I did this shortly after we got new carpet.)
- I’ve e-mailed my adopted aunt –even though she’s next-door.
I know this from experience: We’re the most connected generation yet. Yet we’re the most disconnected generation.
We’ve grown up with the world a “Send” button away. As kids, we played learning games on the computer. As teens and college students, we commune via the computer.
As teens and college students, we can chat with someone in Singapore via MSN Messenger, e-mail our friends in Tanzania, finish purchases from Amazon.com, and chat on the phone with our girlfriends/boyfriends -- all at the same time. We maintain friendships easier and faster than any other generation.
Yet we’re the most disconnected generation of all. While we talk with people on all continents, we feel isolated. Too much stimuli and too many activities make us feel stressed out. Overwhelmed. Lonely. Misunderstood. Neglected. Cynical. Insecure. Tired.
I know. I’m one of you.
As a twenty-two year old, I sometimes forget what I’m doing. I have more than five e-mail addresses. I try to keep up with all of my friends. But I still have times when I feel lonely. At those times, I realize something: I’m disconnected. I then refresh my connection with Jesus and emerge revitalized. Why? He loves me. His love fills my heart until it floods.
He loves you, too. Jesus has something to say to you:
I've loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you'll remain intimately at home in my love. That's what I've done—kept my Father's commands and made myself at home in his love. (Excerpt from John 15:9, The Message.)
Did you catch that? We can make ourselves at home in God’s love! Wow! To feel at home in God’s love is to feel secure, overwhelmed by His goodness, valued by our Creator, sheltered from the world, and more. It’s beyond description.
But some of us have a hard time understanding God’s kind of love. Some of us have been abused and neglected. With that in mind, let’s compare some general things human being’s love with God’s love so that we understand it better:
- People’s Love: Can Change
- God’s Love: Never Changes
- People’s Love: Limited
- God’s Love: Unlimited
- People’s Love: Depends on Appearance and Performance.
- God’s Love: No Prejudice. Unconditional.
God’s love is pure, endless, and immeasurable!
You and I both know that our generation likes instant results. Guess what? God’s love is instant.
Receiving God’s love makes us want to love God back. God deserves our love. Jesus said, Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' (Excerpt from Matthew 22:37, The Message)
Since it’s still January, here’s a simple plan for the new year. It’s not complicated. It’s not a sermon. It’s simple. (For what it’s worth, I plan to try to base my goals and decisions on it.) Let’s make our goals simple for 2007:
- Soak in the never-ending, warm rays of love from God’s Son.
- Love Him back.
- Distribute that love to people at school, at work, at church, at home – everywhere!
Pause. Push your planner aside. Turn off your iPod. Take a deep breath. Tune in to God… Instantaneously, He is pouring His love into you.
Feel connected? I do.
Note from the Author:
Connected! isn’t a typical monthly column. Think of it as an e-mail. Feel free to reply. Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org. After all, I want to be a friend and introduce you to my Best Friend, Jesus Christ. We’ll cover issues relevant to our generation. Most of all, we’ll connect with Christ. If you don’t know how to connect with Him yet, click here.
Stacie Ruth Stoelting and Bright Light Ministry share how to have victory over tragedies and trials. At 22, she already has experience: At 15, Stacie Ruth wrote Still Holding Hands: Bonus Tips for Caregivers & Tips for Helping Families Facing Alzheimer’s, depicting her grandparents’ romance, and victory over Alzheimer’s. Celebrities (i.e. Pat Robertson) endorsed it and/or Bright Light Ministry. At 20, she sang for President Bush. In dramatic programs for all ages, she speaks, acts, sings and entertainingly inspires. Now, she is writing books for teens (e.g. Catching Faith Stealers in the Act). Visit www.brightlightministry.com.
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