Monday, April 4, 2011

Love is Selfless

Part 3 - Day 4 - Utah Spring Break Trip - Bryce Canyon

That night we were surprised yet again by our living arrangements. We had stayed in Zion Canyon for an expanded amount of time not looking forward to having to go to a boring cabin to sleep. But when we got there, our minds were blown. This RESORT had a mini golf, a pool, a tennis court, horse riding, a rec barn with tv and rock climbing and table tennis. Now unfortunately we couldn't do hardly any of it. The golf was closed, the pool was frozen over the night before, the tennis courts had snow drifts on them, and the rock climbing was unmanned. But nonetheless, we had a blast. Our "Cowboy Cabin" had a king sized bunk bed and a pull out couch bed. We were in heaven, or at least it looked that way with snow covered hills and canyons laid out in front of us and ponderosa pines engulfing our cabin. I was almost always the first one up and this day was no different. I made sure I woke up extremely early so I could explore and walk and read and write. The sunrise that morning was magnificent as the light reflected off the patches of snow. I walked around the entire resort listening to a podcast by Aaron Stern about the prodigal son and the reckless love of the father. The point of the podcast was, instead of figuring out which son you most identify with, to focus more on practicing the same love the father showed to both sons.

I mentioned it before, but for the first part of this trip I wasn't exactly being very selfless. I was getting annoyed and jealous and probably a little bitter for a span, especially on Zion day when a part of our company were constantly complaining and making opinionated comments about what was good and what was bad (and most of my likes fell in the bad). It definitely took a morning with God to reflect on my attitude. Have you ever found that when you pray, especially for the person you might feel angry at, that you begin to lose that anger? It works! It changes your heart completely! I determined the rest of the trip I would deliberately focus on being selfless, even if that meant being forgotten or put down. I didn't deserve anything I was getting angry about anyway. Afterall, as I talked about in the Grand Canyon post, God has already built a bridge for us all.

Bryce Canyon was stunning. It is at a higher elevation so there was a lot more snow that we had to trudge through. We ended up doing a short hike to the bottom of the canyon and back to the top. The soil was completely saturated and thus very muddy. At one point there was even a mini mud slide. But it was rigorous and adventurous and picturesque.

A lot of the time, I think I mix up selflessness with ignorance or apathy. Instead of purposely serving others, I end up just staying quiet and ignoring my wants and letting the group decide what they want to do. By being selfless, I withdraw. It might not exactly be the best way to go about it . . . . But things were a lot better that day. It might just be a new heart perspective or the fact that there were a whole lot less disagreements now that there were less people arguing over a bed, over where they were sitting, over what music was being played.

God is the essence of a selfless love. Intentionally giving up His Son who was beaten and bruised and then hung on a cross for a selfish people. He forgives before, during, and after all of our wrong choices. He set the example that I can only attempt to follow. He showed us how to die to ourselves even when someone wrongs us.

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