It’s a beautiful day!

I’m sitting in Devonian Gardens in downtown Calgary. I think it’s a pretty cool place to go and read or work. And it’s perfect because you can take a break every once and a while and just people watch. It’s interesting to me all the different people that you can see throughout the day at a place like this. When I first arrived, it was about 11:30 in the morning and I was surrounded by the neutral colors of the business world that was taking a break for lunch. Each person is walking with purpose as if once you enter the business world, you are trained to go out into the rest of the world with the determined face of someone who obviously is busy with life and has all the answers to what is needed to be successful. (Side note, most of these people have interesting choices for their meals, and tend to make their choices on the more unhealthy side.)

Right now, all of the stay at home moms and younger couples are here with their children who are too young to be in school. Each one is absolutely fascinated with the natural world around them and the fish in the pond. It’s so cute to see them toddle around, looking up with wide eyes at the impossibly large trees in this place, or kneel for long periods of time, watching with wonder at the different colors of “fishies” that are swimming in the ponds and fountains all around. I just saw a little boy toddling around with the cutest tiny pants that were held up by their own set of miniature suspenders.

There’s so much to smile at around us, and I think one thing that those suits are missing everyday as they conquer the world, are all of the things that they used to wonder at as children. Actually, not just the suits, but almost everybody who’s reading this in general I think misses this. I know I do.

Kind of like a childlike faith. Hmmm…

Prayer: Enjoy the sun today, or look for something else that’s just absolutely great today, and thank God for the smile it brings!

 

 

Advertisements

Racism, and just plain stupidness…

So, I just watched a documentary on racism in Canada, specifically as it relates to the aboriginal people of Canada. And… I’m still trying to absorb it all. I, I’m… I don’t really know how to put into words what I’m feeling right now.
 
The film was about a study done in Saskatchewan in which a bunch of blue eyed people were separated from the rest of the people and then spoken to and treated like aboriginals and other minorities are treated like all the time. It was an opportunity for white people to have the opportunity to walk in the steps of these minorities.
 
The thing is, a lot of what was said, was something that I’ve said, or heard said, or thought about. Now, before this, I would never have said that I was racist. But, I have said some pretty stupid and ignorant things. Things that are just assumptions, like “this group of people has shown itself to fit the stereotypes.” It’s so dumb, because I live in Canada, where a lot of people make fun of Americans. Most of it is just teasing, but there are some that genuinely think that Americans are stupid, and will make comments that are just rude. And I hate it! I can’t stand it, and if I can, I stand up for my country. Americans have done the same thing about Canadians at times, and again, I try and defend my country. The stereotypes are there and yes, you will always find someone to fit that stereotype if you look hard enough. But, overall, I love both of my countries and I love the people there. So, if this kind of attitude bothers me about my countries, why am I not bothered when I hear it other places.
 
The one thing that really hit me on this documentary was when one of the white people said, “I don’t look at you as different,” and the response was, ” But, that’s the point! I am different.” Often, what we do to fix the problem of racism is to treat minorities like they’re white, completely ignoring their ethnicity and therefore trying to erase what is an integral part of them. They don’t WANT to be white. Not acknowledging their culture and differences is an insult in and of itself. The answer is not to treat them like you, the answer is to treat them like they, as they are, are valuable and wanted in our society and accept them without question. At least that’s my opinion. And no, it’s not our job to walk in and fix everyone’s problems. But I think that I had an attitude check and it was valuable. And I really think it’s important for us to really evaluate our deep attitudes and see if there’s anything there that needs to be changed.
 
Prayer/Challenge: I would challenge you guys to prayerfully consider your interactions with people of all different ethnicities and cultures and ask yourself if your attitude has always been in the right place. Look for ways in which you can change your attitude and see if you can get involved in making a difference in the attitude of your immediate community.

New start…

Well, after a great Christmas break… I’m back. I’ve had a couple of people ask me how I’m feeling returning to school. It’s weird, but I’m really indifferent. I don’t dread it, but I didn’t really miss it when I was in the States, and I don’t really feel super excited about it at this point either. That being said, I have been doing a whole lot of thinking and praying about this semester.

It’s a new year and a new semester. And while I don’t think it’s smart to make a lot of empty promises, I do feel like a new start gives a lot of opportunities for change. Over this semester, I’ve made an effort to get to know a few people, and get outside of my comfort zone. I even volunteered for the Ambrose Open House and that led to me interviewing for and getting a position as a Student Ambassador at the school. So God has definitely been working these past couple of months. But at the same time, I’m not super happy with where I am right now.

In many ways, I’ve let myself become complacent and be ok with mediocre in my studies, and my faith walk and journey. I want to use this new start to really focus on what’s important. I’m not making any resolutions, and I know that I’ll mess up some along the way, but I want to move forward with these goals in mind. Otherwise, I’m not going to get anywhere. 🙂

As I was praying and journaling yesterday, a song popped into my head by Jeremy Camp called “Give me Jesus.” Look it up, especially the chorus. It’s really simple, but powerful. It was a great reminder that at the end of the day, my focus needs to be solely on Christ and nothing else.

 

Prayer: I would encourage you to pray about how you will approach your new start, not by making a bunch of promises, but by evaluating where it is that you want to be.

 

Have a great New Year Everybody!