i like to eat. that’s normal. looking at me, it’s pretty obvious that i enjoy eating. to do that though, i must have a job so that i can afford the food. the job that i currently have is that of a graduate assistant for liberty athletics. it’s a cool job for the most part. i get to do some fun stuff. however, don’t let the title fool you. graduate assistant really means indentured servant. we work a whole heck of a lot of hours for barely any money and in return, we get our grad school paid for. it’s a fair trade.

now obviously, as the lowest group of people in the pecking order, graduate assistants don’t really get their choice of the best offices. in our case, there are five of us (sometimes more if the student workers are there) crammed into what used to be the “work room/break room.” my “desk” is actually a table that me and another guy put our computers on. it is what it is. i’m not complaining. school’s paid for. it’s a fair trade.

however, when you work as many hours as we do, and work them in as such a small space as we do, everything starts to feel crammed. you never really feel like you have enough room. everything seems to get magnified big time. if you chuckle because someone sent you something funny on facebook, everyone hears it and looks at you with that, “what’s going on and are you going to share it with us?” look on their face. when we eat mexican for lunch, there’s no hiding who it hits first (me this week). when there’s “stuff” going on in someone’s life, it comes across pretty plainly and we all know.

and that gets really tiring.

last night i was talking to a friend about the idea of “me time.” in this office, there’s no such thing as “me time.” it just doesn’t happen. even if you want “me time” and decide to go to lunch by yourself or with someone that doesn’t work in the box, everyone knows and you get weird looks. i admit it. i’ve even given those looks.

this afternoon i had to get some work done in our basketball arena in preparation for our games on saturday. i didn’t want to have to come in an hour early to get it done, so i decided to do it while at work today. as i’m sitting there getting work done, i realized that i was alone. there wasn’t anyone around.

in an 8400 seat arena, i was the only one there.

it was all open space. i turned on my music and turned it up – and didn’t put head phones in.

i spread my stuff out and didn’t feel cramped.

i took advantage of something that didn’t happen very often. and i enjoyed it.

but more than anything, it made me realize something.

while sitting there – one person in a place that holds 8400 – i realized that all of those problems and uncomfortable moments that happen up in our little box are pretty insignificant. all of my problems in my life that i complain about or spend way too much time thinking about are actually pretty insignificant.

in that arena, i was only one of 8400. on that campus, i was just one of 15,000. in that town, i was a measly one out of 72,000.

that’s pretty insignificant.

my problems – my “junk” – they only affect me. but when i let my problems, my junk, become my focus, i affect the people around me. i change their day because i’m rude to them. i add more to their pile of junk.

i let insignificant things make a significant impact in other people’s lives.

and i don’t like that.

most of the people that are reading this have fairly decent lives. yeah, we all have our problems, but for the most part, we’re doing at least decent. we have bad days. we get in fights with friends or run into money problems. but overall, we can’t complain too much.

with that being said, i think it’s time that we stopped letting our junk affect other people. no matter what’s going on, we’ve got to have a positive impact on the people around us. we can’t be like everyone else and just shrug off the people around us just because we’re having a bad day.

just because something other thank cupcakes and unicorns happened to us, that doesn’t change the fact that we’re supposed to show jesus to the people we come in contact with.

it doesn’t change the fact that we’re supposed to be a light in a world that’s getting darker day by day.

it certainly doesn’t change the fact that jesus had a day that was infinitely worse than the day we’re having.

and to me, that’s worth showing to other people, no matter how much “stuff” i’ve got going on.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.