WHEN COMPLAINING TURNS INTO THANKFULNESS

It has been one overwhelming weekend. I have a big first exam for my History of Christianity class Monday morning and studying for it has been quite a struggle. I didn’t realize how extensive the content will be on the exam so trying to memorize and understand everything has been very difficult. But what’s made it even more challenging is having various other things to do on top of studying, making it hard to squeeze in enough time to study.

This morning I had to attend a mandatory seminar for one of my classes. To be honest I have been grumbling about it all week knowing that I would have to wake up early on a Saturday morning taking time away from studying to go to this seminar I had little information on. Waking up this morning after a short night’s sleep I even contemplated about just not going, but I got myself to get out of bed and go. The whole drive there I was complaining to myself and when I arrived I continued my complaining with my classmates. None of us wanted to be there.

The reality is none of us really knew what this seminar was about, had little to no knowledge of the organizations running it, nothing. We just knew our professor told us to be there. I envisioned it being a lecture style event where a whole bunch of people gather, sit and listen to a speaker talk about irrelevant information for 3 hours. But surprisingly enough it was the total opposite.

When we walked in we were warmly greeted with genuine smiles and handshakes by many people who have been expecting us to be there. Then we sat around in a circle with about 20-30 people and it was a discussion based/interactive styled seminar. But honestly even after sitting down I still didn’t really understand what the purpose of the gathering was and what topics were going to be brought up and thats when the speakers introduced the reason behind the gathering.

It was a gathering of the faith community within the surrounding neighborhood consisting of various denominations, ethnicities and ages to discuss and learn about what we can do as one faith community to impact the neighborhood (parish) through a faith/God centered way. After finally discovering the purpose of the event my attention was grabbed and I became intrigued. The deeper we got into the seminar the harder my heart got rocked.

Every single discussion and point that the people shared was relatable, applicable and convicting to me in a very personal way. I gained new perspectives and lenses to view topics in ways I have never done before. I was challenged not just as a person in ministry but as a Christian and man of faith. I was introduced to new aspects of Christ-resembling faith that I have never thought of my whole life.

This event was truly a “religious experience” for me. It was a very special moment in my faith life. The craziest thing is I didn’t expect this not one bit. Just a few hours before the event I was complaining and few hours later my complaining turned into thankfulness. God used this opportunity to open my eyes to see Him, His kingdom, community, faith and myself in a brand new perspective. I truly believe that this experience will play a big role in shaping me and I am so thankful.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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