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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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“How Are You?”

by Jennifer Caruso

Go ahead, say, “Fine.” But is that the truth?

 “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” (Psalm 139:7, NKJV).*

Almost everybody does it. A quick, fake smile follows a hasty inquiry of “How are you?” To no one’s surprise an inevitable response follows, “Fine, just fine,” or the more sophisticated version, “Doing well, thank you.”
Having a bad day? Just follow these steps to insure that no one knows, and you’ll adequately hide your pain, which might be inconvenient to someone and perhaps to yourself as well. The process might vary from person to person, but its basically the same: 
1. Put on a cute outfit, or at least attempt to appear halfway presentable.
2. Floss and brush your teeth, comb your hair, and organize your school books.
3. Take a deep breath.
4. Say a quick prayer.
5. Leave your room, remembering to smile and say hello to each person you pass.
6. Ask people how they’re doing, even though both of you know that you don’t really care to know whether or not they’re sincerely doing well. After all, they probably won’t give you an honest reply anyway.
Why do we go through this pointless routine day after day? It’s as if our minds are on vacation, and we’re listening to a voice mail message: “You want to talk to Tom? He’s unavailable at the moment. Don’t worry, he’s doing just fine.”
Yet Tom is not “just fine.” His dog just died, and the bad grade on his philosophy midterm confirms his worst fear—the loss of his academic scholarship.
“You lose that scholarship, and you won’t be able to return to college in the fall!” Tom’s mother threatened just last week.
H’mmm . . . does anyone care?
Even though I hate the pointless phrase “I’m fine,” I catch myself repeating it day after day to nearly every person I know. Why? To, well, hide.
Have you ever dared to answer the question “How are you?” differently?
During my freshman year of college I recall a time when a guy in my class asked me, “How are you?”
Having a bad day, I decided to semi-honestly respond. “I’m doing OK,” I said.
“OK? Just OK?” The guy rudely inquired.
“Yes, just OK,” I replied and continued walking to my class as he passed me, shaking his head.
I think I shocked him. He asked the question out of pure habit, yet my response shook him out of his comfort zone. It required something of him—some amount of sympathy, maybe an offer to pray for me, or simply an understanding smile. It required something which, at that moment, he was unable or unwilling to give.
We’re all in a hurry. We rush about in a frantic whirl. What would happen if time stopped for just a moment? Would we notice the tears, the monotony, and the stress etched into the faces of our friends, classmates, teachers, and parents? Would we respond with comfort and sympathy?
We all put Band-Aids on our wounds, because we’re too ashamed to expose them. We worry, What would they think if they knew the truth?
Someone is tapping me on the shoulder and telling me, “It doesn’t have to be this way. To Me, you’re already completely transparent.”
His presence is comforting, and I don’t run and hide. I know He’s watching me, but I don’t see anyone. It’s God, and I don’t have to hide from Him.
And neither do you.
*Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Jennifer Caruso is attending college on the West Coast, where she’s majoring in liberal studies.

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