The Prodigal Son: A message of love and understanding

Last week we heard the reading of the Prodigal Son, which is perhaps my favourite reading in the Bible. It is a story that is stuck in the traditions of the time, yet to this day we can draw so much out of the story.

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The story basically goes like this: A son says to his father “Dad, I want my inheritance now before you die”. The father says “So be it” and gives his son half of what he owns. The son goes and spends his money recklessly, going out on the town, hosting parties, impressing women and so on. Eventually, his money runs out and is desperate. He ends up working for a pig farmer and one day is feeding the pigs and thinks to himself “Wow, these pigs eat better than I do, I wish I was one of my father’s servants, for they eat better than me”. So the son then sets off to go back to his father, and to beg his forgiveness and prays that his father will allow him to be a servant for him. When the son is very close to his home, the father runs out to the son and kisses him. The son says “Father, please let me be your servant, I have wronged you and do not deserve to be your son, let me serve you”. The father dismisses this and says “Nonsense, you are my son and I love you, welcome home!” The father then directs his servants to fetch his son clothes and to slaughter the cow they had been fattening, there was to be a feast.

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Now the father’s other son, who had been working tirelessly and been supportive of his father was very angry. He couldn’t understand why his father would allow his son who took half of what he owned back into his house. He said to his father “Father, why would you allow him back after all he has done to you, send him back out!” but the father said, “Your brother had died, but now he has been reborn”.

The story itself is rooted in old Jewish ways of thinking. The idea of asking for your inheritance before your father had passed was a great dishonour, you were basically saying, “I can’t wait for you to die” or “I wish you were dead”. The son who left showed great dishonour in this way and then furthered it by wasting his money on sinful things such as prostitutes and excessive gluttony.

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The Father also goes against tradition. The idea of the father running out to greet his son would have been shocking. People of importance didn’t run, they walked, slowly, people run to them to show respect. The act of the father running out to his disgraced son showed that his father didn’t care about his status or pride. The father disregarded tradition, with only joy in his heart.

The idea of the son coming back to God and being accepted translates into Non-Jews coming to God and being accepted. The ‘good son’ who stayed with his father, is the Jew who doesn’t understand why God is accepting the non-Jew. The cow being killed symbolises Jesus Christ being sacrificed for all, including the non-Jews of the world and in a time where the divide between the Jews and Non-Jews was an issue, this story showed the world that God loves ALL of us and that Jesus died for ALL of us, not just the Jews.

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Nowadays I like to think that the same message holds true but in a different context. I like to look at the example of someone coming in late to mass. Often times we look at someone come in late and think poorly of them when in reality, just like those who are there early or there on time for mass, we are coming to God and he loves us all just as much.

For the youth of today, sometimes many youths miss mass or may not even come to mass. They do, however, pray, come to worship events or youth groups, do good things in the community, they come towards God, but not in the way that might be in a traditional Catholic sense. The story of the Prodigal Son shows us that God loves each and every one of us and that no matter what we have done, there is ALWAYS a place in his house for each and every one of us because God loves us all so much that he gave his son for ALL of us.

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The story calls for us to act with unconditional love in our lives. God is asking us to love openly and freely, to run out into the field without hesitation when someone wrongs us, to forgive them and to celebrate their return to us. While we can all often be the son who holds back their love and holds grudges against those who have wronged us, we are called to a deeper understanding of all those around us and to be the one who runs out into the field, unrelentingly and to love ALL those around us.

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Turn the Other Cheek

The reading this week is one of the most quoted of all time. Turn the other cheek it says, implying that if someone strikes us, we should turn our cheeks and let them strike the other one and this always confused me. My brother and I would often get into fights and I sure as hell wasn’t going to turn the other cheek, I liked the older Hebrew saying “an eye for an eye”, if he hit me, I was going to try hit him harder. As human beings, we need to feel a sense of justice, we want to feel things are fair.

When I’m working as youth coordinator here, I see this all the time with the kids we work with. “He has the ball, he won’t share it”, “She got more food than me” “they got coke, I only got Fanta”, and sometimes I think, just take what you’re given! But then I remember myself saying those same things to my Dad when it looked like my brother got more ice cream.

From a little kids perspective, when someone gets a little more ice-cream, instantly they know it’s not fair, it’s ingrained that things have to be fair. Kids see a very surface level of what’s fair and what’s not fair.

In the youths Vinnies program, there was a little boy whose father had left him and his mother was in a really poor financial situation, so much so, that all he got for his birthday was a single $2 sundae from Maccas. Now I heard about this while we were on our Vinnies camp, so I decided to give the boy my plate of desert because I knew how much he appreciated it. Now when I did that, the girl beside him launched into a rage “Why didn’t you give it to me” she screamed! “That’s not fair”.

I guess it wasn’t fair, but as we go through life, I think we all come to a realisation that life isn’t fair. Sometimes we are dealt a poor hand, whereas others get the full house. So when I hear Jesus say “Turn the other cheek,” I think he is trying to tell us this.

When someone is trying to cut me off on the road, I could refuse to let them in, slam my horn and hurl abuse at them. Or I could turn the other cheek, perhaps they are really late for work and need the money, whereas I’m just too proud to let them in.

When Jesus calls us to turn the other cheek, I don’t think he is saying we should let ourselves be beaten up by our brothers and enemies. I think Jesus is calling us to be more understanding, to be kinder people, with compassionate hearts who do our best to understand and help not just our friends, but ALL people around us!

 

New year, new me?

New year, new me, you hear people say. “Last year, I drunk too much”, “Last year, I didn’t do enough exercise”, the list goes on. We have this idea that as the new year passes, we have a new opportunity to begin our lives anew and start again. We clean out our cupboards, we sign up for that gym membership and we might even promise to pray more, but why?

As an occasional gym goer, I always refuse to go to the gym at the start of the year. Why you may ask? Its because of all those people who tell themselves they are going to get fitter and completely change their bodies to be a new healthy version of themselves. Within a week, I am back into the gym with all of the regulars who have signed up for some time, with none of the newcomers around. The people who stick around are not looking for dramatic change, but instead, opt for slow constant improvement.

If we look towards Jesus and his stories in the Bible we can see this idea of being reborn and being born anew. Jesus would ask rich men to give away all their wealth in a bid to be one with him, at which they would hang their heads low and run back to their mansions. We do, however, see big changes occur in those who take the simplest of actions. For example; the woman who touched the cloak of Jesus, the disciples choosing to listen to Jesus and the washing of feet. We see people who make these small improvements, receive the praise of Jesus.

So what would Jesus say to people who say “new year, new me?” Who knows, but I think he might say something like good luck and then letting out a wry chuckle, how about, new year, better me? We know that Jesus made us, and that often time our actions take us further away from Jesus, so why would we want to become something new, when what we ask for is right there? The closer we come to Jesus, the closer we come to ourselves and we can do this all the time by opting for slow, constant improvement.

The insignificance of the birth of Jesus, what does it mean for us?

Nowadays, we remember Jesus as the pinnacle of what human beings can be at there best. But if we look back at the time of Jesus, we can see a very different story.

For any fans of Monty Python, there is a scene in The Life of Brian, which for those of you who don’t know, is a bit of satirical look at the life of Jesus, and there is a scene where this huge crowd of people are asking to see the Messiah and Brian’s mother says “He’s not the messiah, he’s just a naughty boy!”.

We don’t often think about it, but Jesus was baby at some point, he wasn’t always a wise man who went around the place healing everyone and doing his party trick of turning water into wine. Jesus was very special but also fully human.

Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger and while we all know he was conceived by the Holy Spirit, there is nothing extravagant about his birth. Yes, there were Angels and in some other gospels some other things happen such as the great star and the wise men, but overall a lot of what is said in this story really isn’t that exciting. But still, every year we have nativity scenes. So, why do we do this?

Its because we know what Jesus will become. The story of Jesus birth at Jesus’ time I assure you would not have been a sell out at all! We know what will happen, the little boy who is Jesus rises from the bottom and saves humanity. The ultimate underdog, the real O.G.

When we think about it, the majority of us also have had seemingly insignificant births. We go to the hospital, or we are born at home, just like Jesus, none of our births would be top sellers at the box office. But also like Jesus, we have the potential to rise up and be truly amazing. Christmas is Jesus’ birthday, but that’s just the start of the journey, without everything else that followed, Jesus’ birthday would have been forgotten a long time ago.

Just like Jesus, the important part about us is not where we come from, but what we can become. Christmas and the birth of Jesus’ remind us of this and how no matter how insignificant we may seem, just like Jesus we can rise up and change the world for the better, each of us can be an every day Jesus with our actions.

In the Name of Love? The New Abortion Laws

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As we know abortion has been legalised in Queensland and in my newsfeed, I see two very distinct sides. One that goes against the idea of killing a developing human being and one that promotes women’s choice.

Another thing I see is the pure hatred each side seems to have for the other. You walk past someone on the street and no punches are thrown. But as soon as you give them a keyboard or a phone, World War 3 erupts with opinions of each side being the machine guns, hurtful comments being the grenades.

Let’s look at the intentions on each side. The conservative view is that by allowing abortions you are literally committing murder. So, of course, conservative people want to stop abortion, they do it because they want to protect and love people. The more liberal side believes the unborn baby is not yet considered life and by allowing abortions you are giving women a choice to not have a baby in a bad situation in her life due to many circumstances. They want to protect and love women.

Both sides intentions are pure. They both have love and protection at the forefront of their movement. So why do we go on to brutally attack each other when both sides intentions are loving?

We are human beings and we all do what we can with the best information we have. I personally believe that an unborn child has a right to life and pro-choice would be allowing that child to have a choice if they live or die. But many of you will disagree with me, and rightly so, you believe that you are right and I am wrong due to the information you have been given and that is fine!

God calls us to love ALL our neighbours, not just those who agree with us. And if you believe in pro-choice then surely you would agree that it should be everyone’s choice to also oppose that if they so choose.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t fight for what we believe in. If you look into your heart and see that one side is right or wrong, then go your heart out. But think about why you are saying what you are saying when you ridicule and be so toxic to the opposing side in the so-called name of love.

Social Justice: What can YOU do?

SOCIAL JUSTICE_ WHAT CAN YOU DO_ (1).pngSocial justice is a word that gets thrown around a whole lot these days. People have this desire idea that our world is just. This fits peoples idea’s of the natural world order. It doesn’t seem right to us that someone who commits a crime should just be able to walk free, there is a desire that the person will face justice for what they have done. This translates over to greater society where issues in the social sphere seem to lack justice.

If you search up social justice on the internet, you see a whole lot of people holding up signs demanding justice in some form. Often these messages are targeted towards governments due to the belief that governments can and will fix all forms of injustice in our society. However, in our daily lives, we do not call the government to fix the small injustices in our own lives. If someone takes my lunch from the fridge and I can see them eating it and I will approach them about this ‘injustice’. This is the same for so many things, friends stand up for friends in times of need, parents ensure their child is safe from bullying, you go after the guy who stole your lunch, you refuse to eat a poorly cooked meal and the list goes on. However, when it comes to social justice where the injustice affects things like homelessness, many of us seem to believe that holding up signs and hoping the government does the work for us is the only way to uphold the justice. In truth, there are many ways for us to do this. Jesus himself called us to enact on the injustices we see around us, not by holding up signs, but by doing what we can for those around us. So, what can YOU do? There is often plenty that we can do, whether it be donating our time and/or money to organisations like St Vinnies or something as simple as talking to someone who maybe society has forgotten about. Jesus called us to do what we can and holding up a sign is great and sometimes that is what is needed, but by showing our faith in action towards those around us is really what Jesus calls us to do.

For anyone in grades 8 to 12, we are holding a social justice night on the 17th of August with the help of the St Vincent De Paul society (More information can be found in the Altitude Tab).

If God is so good, then why does _____ exist? Questions and Answers.

Atheists, Catholics, Christians, Buddhists, Muslims and many other religions seem to not have a lot in common most of the time. Many people like to throw many religions in the same basket with the comment “All Christians are basically the same cause they all go to church”, and while that statement holds some truth in it and it is also true that Jesus would want us to come together and identify as the same, many would argue that each and every religion and spirituality is quite different.

However, one question that I find being asked of people from all different walks of life, religions and spiritualities is the question “If God is so good, then why does ____ exist”. Adversaries of God will use this question to disprove the existence of such a being. People struggling with God will constantly ask themselves this question. People who have had family members die will ask themselves this question. It is in fact, a very good question. The blank can be filled with so many options, so… from a Catholic perspective and with help from resources such as YOUCAT, I will attempt to answer these as best as I can.

If God is so good, then why does suffering exist?

This question here is one of the most asked questions of the Catholic church. Lex Luthor from Superman brings up a good point. If you say God is all powerful and all good, how can suffering exist? Surely, you must accept that either, God is all good, but not all-powerful, therefore suffering can exist OR that God is all-powerful, however, not all good and refuses to take away the suffering. There is another alternative, however, and that is that God does not exist at all. “Checkmate God believers!” atheists would say at this point. To answer this I would pose the dark room theory. If a room is pitch black you cannot see it or what is in it. However, if you turn a light on, you reveal the room, begging the question, does darkness really exist, or is it simply the lack of light that exists. No amount of darkness can take away the light, but a small amount of light can conquer the darkness. This is quite similar to suffering. The lack of good in this world causes suffering, so suffering in itself is just a lack of a good thing. God made a good thing, and when there is a lack of this good thing, suffering rears its ugly head. So suffering only exists in the sense that a lack of good can exist. The idea that God sends suffering down upon us, is one that is so wrong. God conquered death, the ultimate suffering and saved us from it. However, due to free will and the lack of good that can exist, suffering can exist.

If God is so good, then why did Queensland lose the state of origin?

Probably the second most asked question that I have come across. This is quite similar to the suffering question as many had to suffer during this event, however, while suffering can exist through the lack of good, while God did not create it, God urges us to learn through our suffering. Through the state of origin, we can learn humility, sportsmanship and give everyone a fair go. The Maroons will learn from their mistakes and come out swinging next year.

If God is so good, then why does death exist?

For those who have lost a family member, this is a question that is asked frequently. While no one likes it I tend to answer this by using the example of a birthday party. Birthday parties are so fun, wouldn’t it be great if they lasted forever? On the surface yes, but underneath, perhaps not. Every moment at the party is a special one, the blowing of the candles, the eating of the cake, the fun with friends, those funny things that happen that no one plans. Each and every moment is special and the reason why is bittersweet. It is special because it won’t happen again. The fact that the party only lasts a short amount of time, gives it an urgency and a sense that it is special. If the party went on forever, moments wouldn’t be special or meaningful, because they would just happen again eventually. At the end of the party, we go home and this is like life, at the end of it we go home, to heaven. Am I saying that God wants us to die? No, most certainly not, God mourns the death of every single person on this earth, he gave us the gift of life and is sad to see it pass. But just like a birthday party, life must pass, it makes life special and at the end of it we go home, into the loving embrace of the lord. So eat that cake, see that friend you said you would catch up with, God didn’t give you the gift of life to be sad about the prospect of it being taken away from you.

PART 2 Coming soon!

Science Vs God?

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In centuries past, the Church used to be at the forefront of explaining why things are the way we are. Why does it rain? Because God makes it so. How did the earth come to be? Because God created it. The answers to these questions in the past used to be considered the answers that were the truth. However, as time has progressed and science has moved forward, science has begun to answer questions that previously only the church had answers for.

It has reached a point now in our society where many feel that God and the church are at odds with science, which has often lead to many in the church questioning their beliefs. If the Church is wrong about the creation of the earth, then what else is wrong with it? This common question can lead to a slippery slope and can point someone to question everything about their faith. Many people such as Jerry A. Coyne would say that the faith and science are very much at odds with each other. In Coyne book, Faith Vs Fact, he argues that science and religion incompatible and to argue for a bipartisanship is merely unrealistic and should not and can not be done. However, what people like Coyne fail to cover is that the church is not around to teach us about facts of life like how we came to be, it is around to teach us about love, something which science can only determine in a quantifiable sense, where the church can give us examples to live by.

When Galileo was around in the 17th century, it is well known and documented that the Catholic church persecuted Galileo for his view that the sun was at the centre of our galaxy and not the earth. Many people use this to point out that the Catholic church is at odds with science. However, this is actually incorrect. While this model did interfere with Catholic teaching at the time which suggested earth was at the centre, the rest of the scientific community at the time also condemned Galileo for being incorrect. Years after, the scientific community accepted Galileos view and so did the church.

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We jump forward to our time now, where we have anti-catholics hounding the Church and asking questions about, The great flood, the creation story, Adam and Eve and much, much more and asking for evidence. In truth, most people within the Catholic Church and its leaders agree that the big bang probably happened, that the earth is far older than the bible would suggest and that some stories like the great flood may have not happened.

In the past, it seemed like the job of the Catholic Church to provide us with the answers that science couldn’t, however now that science is coming along a lot faster than the Catholic Church, to many, the Catholic Church seems to have lost its purpose. In reality, the Catholic Church will never lose its primary objective which is to teach us about the greatest love story of all time which is the one between God and us.

Science has a lot to say about love. It can tell us what chemicals in our brain cause us to ‘love’ an activity or to feel ‘love’ towards someone. It can tell us that people with high levels of tolerance and people who talk about their relationship are more likely to stay together in a relationship. However, it cant tell us why we fall in love with some people, and to be honest neither can the church. However, what the church can say to us about love is that our God loves us so much that he sent himself down to earth in the form of Jesus, to live, suffer and die as we all did, for us.

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In the 18th century, St Paul of the Cross was sitting in mass and in a moment, he realised something, Jesus Christ died for him, yes he died for everyone, but Paul realised he was loved so much by Jesus and God that he died for him. Nowadays, the church tells us a similar message. The Church can often seem like buzzkills, telling what we can and cannot do and sometimes, while flawed, does its best to encourage us to live our lives following Jesus, the embodiment of love.

So, Science Vs God? No, God gave us wonderful and brilliant minds to discover the world that he had a hand in making. God wants us to see all the amazing things this universe has to offer, and science is a big part of that. However, let us not forget, that while science is fantastic and can discover things such as the creation of the universe, only we can find love and who better to follow than Jesus, who loves us all more than we can imagine.

 

Into the Flame – On The Brightside – What is Suffering?

A Recap from our night at Vivo, if you want part 2 live (Why do we suffer?) come along to our next night at Vivo.

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We go through life and we find that we get told “The grass will be greener on the other side” but where is this magical other side or brightside? I think all of us at some point have been through a period in our lives where we struggle, that point might be now, it might be later, who knows but it is inevitable that at some point we have to go through suffering. I’m going to show you an interview of a man who has suffered a lot in his life. He is the lead singer from Gang of Youths, also, please note that there is a bit of swearing so if you have an issue with it, feel free to just read the run down.

(For those who want the link it is here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGMypR-fvkk)

The Run down: David Le’aupepe is a man who has been through a lot of suffering. He struggled a lot with alcohol, suicide and a failed marriage. He started writing music originally for his wife who was very sick with cancer. He also put his music online and someone found him, making the band a reality. Dave came to a point when his marriage failed and he lost “The Want” (The want to do anything, the want to live) and he was going to commit suicide, but he got a call from his manager who attributes to saving his life who then found him and talked him out of it. He then went into rehab where he met a women who told him “suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem” which he took as, “My life is a temporary problem” which he took a lot of hope in as he thought his life was something to be improved upon. Dave finishes off by describing his career as falling down hard but as he started to get back up, everyone started clapping. pexels-photo-66100

Suffering is something that we humans have to go through, all of us will have to endure suffering during our lives, no matter what we do. Dave, knew this better than most. He was going to commit suicide, he lost his faith, he had alcohol issues. He really was on the end of his rope. Something I wanted to come back to from the video, was when Dave said “suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem”.  The reason I come back to that specifically, is because often times, when we are suffering we don’t realize it is a temporary issue. We can make silly decisions that effect our long term when in reality there are far better solutions. Now, due to the size of this issue, we are not going to be able to cover the idea of suffering in its entirety in one session so we are going back to the basics, what is suffering?

Lets start with what is suffering. We all know what suffering is, we all knows there is different degrees of suffering. If someone is slightly uncomfortable right now in their chair, that can be regarded as a form of suffering. However, if someone just lost a parent yesterday, that is also a form of suffering.

So coming back to it, we all know what suffering is, but how do we quantify it. If a child loses their favourite toy and I accidently drop my burrito as I walk home, who suffers more? I guess you can take in factors like, how long has the child had that toy for, was it and expensive toy OR Was I really hungry, how much do I like burritos. Its hard to compare these things.

Let’s switch it to something more serious. If I lose my father, and so does (point out Ash) Ash, who suffers more? We both have good relationships with our fathers and it would be very hard to see who suffers more. In reality, no one should do this, no one says, oh I suffer more because ect ect. So how can we determine how much we are suffering and how can we express this to others?

What I want you to do, when you can, is to think of a story, a song, a video or something along these lines that expresses your version of suffering to the rest of us. Whether you want the video to relate to a specific experience you had regarding how you suffered, or if you want to find something that relates to your idea of suffering as a whole. Its completely up to you! Suffering is something that is so personal, which means what you find may be completely different to me or anyone else. There is no wrong or right answers, just as long as what you find be a story that relates to you!

The reason I ask you to do this, is to better understand your own suffering. It is a limited way in which we can quantify it enough so we have points of reference in regards to understanding our own suffering. When we suffer, we instantly want to escape that, its a survival instinct. Sometimes this is the right thing to do, if we are being attacked, we want to run away, this is what we should do! However, if we are suffering because of some emotional issue, sometimes the healthiest thing to do is to meet it head on and combat it. But before we combat it, it might be a good idea for us to understand what we are up against. We do this because maybe its an issue we cant face on our own, we might need outside help, but either way, we should try to understand it as well as we can.

I wanna go back to Dave, the lead singer for Gang Of Youths. After all he has been through, he wrote a song about life and suffering and I want to share with you the song and in particular the end of the song.

Say yes to sun! Say yes to pain!
Say yes to sticking with a city through a thousand days of rain!
Say yes to grace! Say no to spite!
Say yes to this! Say yes to you!
Say yes to me! Say yes to love!
Say yes to life!
Say, say yes to life!

(For those who want to listen to the song in its entireity, here is the link -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wq7dkqGJKGE – Please note that there is swearing in the song)

Now the reason I picked that song was because he talks about all the hard things he has to go through. We all need to go through hard things in life, it is unfortunately a fundamental fact of life. In life we say yes to Love and no to spite, but in doing this we have to say yes to sticking with a city through a thousand day of rain. Because in the end if we say yes to life we are also unfortunately saying yes to pain.

Thanks to everyone who came and shared so powerfully, great stuff!  I would also like to thank Youcat as well as the formation I received from the Passionist Youth Retreat Team which helped me crack open this big question.

 

Into the flame: Who are we?

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Who are we? Its a question that many of us are constantly asking ourselves. One that I attempted to answer.

To help me answer this, I used Wing$ by Macklemore (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAg3uMlNyHA) to help explain why we sometimes lose track of who we are. His song talks about how as a kid he was obsessed with his Nike shoes and he identifies with them so much that the shoes became a core part of his personality. “Air Max’s were next, that air bubble, that mesh, the box, the smell, the stuffing, the tread, in school I was so cool”, he needed his shoes to fit in but that’s where is all begins, because by changing who we are to fit in, who do we become?

When I was younger I identified with my body weight, who was I, I asked myself, I was the fat kid who tried to be funny to fit in. I had a friend who was really good at football, who was he I asked myself, a really good footballer. In reality, we are so much more than how good we are at a sport or how much we weigh. At our very core of who we are, we are loved and we are beautiful. God tells us that we are more than we appear, we are complicated beings with minds more advanced than any other known creature. How could being a footballer define who we are?

In this day and age, we can get so caught up with materialistic things like shoes, phones and ads on TV telling us that we need to lose weight to be better people. We soak all this up and think that the person we are is all about the things we have or dont have. We want to thin, we want to be rich, we want to be better, but how? If who we are is poor, and who we want to be is rich, how do we determine our self worth if we cant be rich? God tells us that we are more than this, at our very core, it does not matter whether we are rich or poor, because fundamentally we are beautiful and we are loved.

When God makes it rain, something green is going to grow. God has created every single one of us to be an amazing human being however, he has also given us the freewill to do what we want with his amazing gift. Before we do anything at all, we are beautiful from God and we are loved unconditionally by God.

When a window gets foggy, it’s hard to see through. That is sometimes why we find it hard to see the beauty within ourselves. Things like shoes, phones, money, body issues and plenty more can get in the way of us seeing how beautiful we are. We are all amazing people, capable of doing a billion different fantastic things and we have been given this wonderful gift from God that allows us to live amazing lives. Why should we waste it being concerned about things that don’t really matter? So..who are we? We are loved and we are beautiful, don’t let a pair of shoes hold you back from realizing that.