The other day while eating a can of chunky chicken noodle soup I thought to myself "I could make this myself!" So my wife and I called my Grandma to get instructions on how to make the stuff. We got all the ingredients and started to chop and slice everything to put into the pot. We put everything in, turned the crock pot on low, and set off for church.
While in church I asked one of our leaders the question of how can I obtain an even closer feeling to God and get to know Him better. He responded with some things that we can always do more of to come closer to God. There was one thing that he responded with that impressed me as my answer. He said that to come closer to God we need to make sure there is nothing in our lives that might be a barrier between us and Him.
My mind was taken to that morning making the soup. Before I cut the chicken up I took each piece and removed any remaining fat that was missed. I felt that there are some things in my life that could be considered "fat" and that should be cut out of my life. Then my thoughts turned to how I don't want to change some things or how hard they would be to give up. One thing in particular, when listening to some music it couldn't be considered an invitation to the Holy Spirit into my heart or mind.
Then I realized that that to feel closer to God it would take doing the hard things and sacrificing. It wouldn't be easy to get rid of all the "throwbacks" in my iTunes library but it would a great trade off to feel that same closeness to God as I felt while serving as a missionary. There are many things that distract our lives from thinking higher thoughts. As we give those things up and turn towards God's will we will feel that closeness that I crave. When we feel God near to us we feel happier, and our lives seem brighter. We become full of faith and love for those around us.
Sacrifice will take work no doubt, but a definition I like to use for sacrifice is - giving up something for something better. When we sacrifice for God and building his kingdom we will never be disappointed with the results. I may seem pretty confident in that statement and that is because I have experienced sacrifice and receiving blessings because of it. I used to live a different life and I thought I was happy until I realized the emptiness I actually felt and gave that life up. Now I don't feel I need to look over my shoulder every minute, I have a beautiful family, and I feel God's hand in my life.
I realized that I need to "cut the fat" all because of some chicken soup. Now off to see how the soup tastes!