In your zone – Out of your zone
Richard Godsel ’18
One of the best ways to see that God is active in your life is by attaining personal successes and achievements. Any time you feel like you’re really on the ball, God is a part of it. I felt the truth of His presence in this manner when I was writing my Kairos Leaders talk. I thought I knew my topic well enough to quickly bust out a great talk, but for a few days, my mind was almost entirely blank. I felt like I had no experiences worth writing about, and I certainly did not feel like God was helping me through my writer’s block. I was completely out of my zone. One day, however, I actually prayed for a little help. I began to feel a bit of inspiration, and I ground out about half of my paper in one sitting. I believe that the Holy Spirit spoke through me that night.
When people have bad days, they tend to think that God is against them. They believe that He must be punishing them by knocking them off their guard and out of their zone. What most people do not seem to realize is that God is always there with them, even when things are going poorly; the fact of the matter is that God must be there with you when you are out of your zone because he is always there for you when you are in your zone. When I was writing my speech, it was hard for me to accept that I could ask God for help. When I opened myself up to spiritual enlightenment, my words started flowing and I was back on my game. This shows that God is active in my life and that he assists those who really need it.
Receiving an affirmation or blessing – Receiving a curse or putdown
Nick Bowes ’18
Recently, my life has been changing in ways that they haven’t before. People that have been in my life for a long time are suddenly disappearing from my life, and I’m struggling to keep myself together during this time. I actually feel very alone and am wishing that I could go back in time to the “good ol’ days” and relive the best memories. The stress of college applications certainly doesn’t help me at all. In times like these, I wonder why this is happening to ME and why specifically I have to deal with all of this. But often, in times of darkness, we are often blind to the light God has to offer.
I realize now, as a matter of fact while I’m typing this, that what is happening to me is just a temporary issue and my life will undergo even greater change within the year. God has a plan for me, and though I don’t really have a good enough picture yet, I know that by taking certain people out of my life for a while (or for good), God is making me become more independent. God influences even the smallest of interactions everyday, and I’m slowly becoming more mature and independent, a necessary quality to have when college rolls around. Overall, I am starting to see that God works in my life to improve my character, especially my level of independence.
Delighted – Disappointed
Jacob Marquez ’18
I believe that God is present in my life during my highs and my lows. One contrast between the highs and lows of my life can be seen in the differences between when I am delighted and when I am disappointed. I feel like God celebrates the moments when we are delighted. God wants us to be happy, but obviously in a safe and appropriate manner. For example, I had so much fun on a physics trip to Florida. Every night we would pray and give thanks for our safe travels on the road. I feel that God supports us all through our life, not just at our highs, but even at our lows.
The moment I found out that I did not make the Brother Rice Soccer team my senior year after 3 years of playing at Rice was one of the most disappointing moments in my life. At first I was shocked, but eventually I felt lost. Overtime I learned that I needed to move on with my life. So I started working out in the gym six days a week. Not being on the soccer team was a blessing in disguise. With three AP classes, and college applications to worry about, the fall school year as a senior has been extremely stressful and time consuming. I can’t imagine the toll it would take on me to add the responsibility that soccer demands. God knew what mattered in my life. So at my lowest of lows, God was still looking out for me. This is how I know that God is with me when I am disappointed.
Being who God created me to be – Being who someone else wants me to be
Luke O’Donnell ’18
God has created me to be a leader rather than a follower. My role as a leader is to set intriguing and inspiring examples to others. Even though others May ignore my decisions, God gives me power and patience to never give up on leading others. God is active in my life because he guides me through making moral decisions as a leader. God helps me ignore all immoral decisions that can be rather tempting. God created me to be myself and to be a person others would desire to be. By guiding others, I am being the person god desires me to be. I am communicating with God every time I am inspiring others to follow their goals. As a leader, I will do my utmost best to guide others through the struggles of life.
Being a person others want you to be makes you a follower rather than a leader. If you are too concerned with what others think about you, then you will eventually lose control of your own life. In Other words, all people should learn to let go of their approval seeking behavior. By being someone others desire you to be you are allowing others to make decisions for you. To be a follower we must be able to make our own decisions instead of following the actions of others. By following others, you are only ruining your chances of living a life of peace, success, and happiness. Personally, I believe that people are only harming their chances of developing a stronger communication with God if they are falling into temptation.
Grateful – Least Grateful
Josh Boulanger ’18
I’m grateful for many things in my life. Mostly I am thankful for my family and the situation God has put me in. I do not have to worry about my next meal, where I will sleep, and any other things people take for granted. My parents have made many sacrifices for me and my brother to live such a rich filled life. I am mostly grateful for good health and everyone in my immediate family is healthy; which is a blessing.
I sometimes do not realize how blessed I am to have a car, food on the table, or even a roof over my head. Sometimes I overlook how good I have it compared to other people. Being shown worse situation’s than mine humble me and make me grateful for the place God has put me in life, and I can’t be more thankful than that.
Giving to others – Taking away from others
Patrick Reidy ’18
Giving to others is a great thing because it feels better to give than to receive. When you give a gift even a small one you get a feeling of joy seeing the other person’s face light up with excitement. Helping others actually helps yourself by learning new things about yourself from a gift of kindness. I like to follow the golden rule which is do unto others as you would have them do unto you because I like to think that if I help others and in my time of need others will help me.
Taking from others is a big difference from receiving a gift. Receiving a gift is when someone gives you something it could be an act or an object like a baseball. Taking from others however is proposing taking something from another person without the consent of the person with the belonging. When you want more than you need that is called greed and when people get greedy the innocent gets hurt. I think in our society we all need to share our gifts and belongings to help others because sharing is caring.
Being who God created me to be –Being who someone else wants me to be
Ryan Palmblad ’18
God created me to be a nice, respectful, hard-working individual. He made me to change the world. I try my hardest to be the best version of myself. I do what is right for my own good. Being who God created is the true me and the person that people should see me as all the time.
God did not create me to be someone I am not. I shouldn’t act like a different person just to get the attention of others. Being who someone else wants me to be is a disgrace to myself, because if that person like the person I am, it isn’t worth being friends with them. Be who you are and be proud of it.
Joy experience – Sad experience
Mike McShane ’18
God always has a plan for us and through our lives we go through joyful experiences and not so joyful experiences. God puts both of these types of experiences in our lives to learn. You experience fun and joyful things to be happy and learn how to live a good life. You also experience sad things to learn how to work through it. You can’t really avoid bad things but if you know how to handle it, it makes things easier.
In my life I have been thankful for several things but I have also been disappointed with types of things. I am thankful to God that he gave me the parents I have, I am fortunate enough to have gone through catholic school my whole life and have been blessed with more than I could ask for. On the contrary I have been disappointed, many teams I root for have lost, I have lost a few friends, but these things don’t compare to the things in my life that I am grateful for.
Experience of happiness – Experience of hurt
Jack McBrearty ’18
God is always present in our lives. When we experience happiness we thank God for blessing us with that pleasant experience. However, when we feel hurt and experience pain we ask God why he has cursed us. Everything that happens to us is a part of God’s plan, whether that be good or bad. The bad and hurtful moments we experience help build our qualities and character. God lets this happen so that we grow from the bad moments and then we use those experiences to help others. Even though it is tough, God knows that we can handle the pressure.
God rewards us with happiness as a result of our struggles. Sometimes they are small rewards or significant gifts. He knows that we move forward as best as possible for the betterment of the world. God rewards those who move past their pains and help others with the greatest gift of happiness of all, heaven. Heaven is where we can experience our eternal happiness with God. We will be able to look past our pain and look back at the happy moments that we had.
Spiritual High-Spiritual Low
Brett Selke ’18
My contrasts are between Spiritual High-Spiritual Low. The strongest moments of my Spiritual Highs this last year would include my trip to Hawaii, my trip to Canada and, my Kairos experience. When I went to Hawaii, seemingly the most beautiful and exotic place in the world, I felt so at peace and connected with God through nature. I had a similar experience in Canada. I felt so connected through God ironically on a lake called God’s Lake.
The difference between Canada and Hawaii was the difference of distractions. When I was in Canada I was cut off from the outside world, no electronics, no running water, just me and god all weekend. During Kairos I felt as close to God as I have ever felt throughout my life. Unfortunately it was short lived as the day I returned from Kairos one of my close lifelong friends was diagnosed with two different types of cancer and passed away a month and a half later. Ever since I have not had a steady relationship with God but rather a relationship with peaks and valleys. But most relationships are that way, and anything good is worth fighting for, like a relationship with God.