When the Thrill of Living is Gone…


If you’ve walked around on terra-firma long enough you know that life isn’t always a thrill ride packed with exciting adventures and challenge. In fact, it seems the older you become, the more routine and mundane it can get. Life by its very definition would seem to belie that notion. So, why does life end for some people long before they are dead?

It seems the simplest, most profound example is found in our children. Sure, you could make the argument that children live on the left side of life with so many experiences still ahead of them. But, I don’t think that answers the question to our total satisfaction. To simplify the math and lessen the boggle, if life had 100 possible experiences and children only occupied 10 of those experiences, then life would have 90 experiences left for the child which would presumably run short at some point. But, life’s expression is unlimited and humans don’t live long enough to exhaust its supply. So, there must be another answer…

Let’s assume because of the vastness of the creation and the endless variable combinations for happiness, the real issue lies not in the experience of life but in the experience of the end-user. Or better maybe, the thrill of life isn’t found in the experience, it’s found in the expectation and mindset of the experiencer! Children in stark contrast to adults are completely wide open to learning new things. Their expectation for life is fully alive and thriving. Instead of wrongly concluding they can already see, they are still looking for something. They instinctively know there is more to learn, more to see, more to experience. Their joy is found in their expectation. They are blessed because of their humble hearts! Their excitement is discovered in what they don’t know. They are all of us minus the life experience and wrong teaching. They aren’t a young version of us, they are a pure version of us…

Children have another distinct advantage over us, not by intention, but by virtue of how they live. Children, the budding prototypes, live only in the moment. Taking them back in time to review some wrong done takes effort. They are eager to move on from there and once you are satisfied, move on again. They don’t carry wrongs around like some weighted anchor, allowing them to color and experience their present. Instead they choose to live now and experience now. That is natural. That is human design. Rehearsing wrongs done; reviewing all that isn’t good with life now; dwelling on everything that isn’t how it “should” be or how you “want” it to be is a sickness that people have learned. It’s a sickness because none of those aspects, though very common, aid in getting you to the life you might enjoy. They serve only to color your experience and help you conclude, “the thrill of living is gone.”

You see, the problem with adulthood isn’t your age, it’s all the stupid, wrong stuff you started toting around to no benefit. You learned some cool stuff also and then wrongly concluded that you knew all stuff. You formed a skeleton sketch of learning then attempted to hang every new concept somewhere on that skeleton. You thought you already knew and in knowing closed yourself off to life; real life! Now no-one can tell you anything. All of your cause and effects have already been caused and effected. You cannot find an answer to your suffering because you already know why you are suffering, but you also somehow know it cannot be remedied. You are smart and by God, you know stuff! And in your knowing, you know that an unfulfilled life or an unhappy life is to be expected and you should just be happy that you woke up today! So I ask, is being awake as opposed to being asleep enough or do you need someone or something to really wake you up?

Have you ever had someone die that you love or suffered some other catastrophic event that sort of snapped you back into reality? Did the negative event truly bring you back around or did the negative event cause you to reconsider or even rethink what you thought you already knew? I think it is the latter… But, I also think we don’t need tragedy or negativity to wake us up. It seems we need to find that humility and coach-ability we had when we didn’t know so much. Perhaps we need to view life through a different lens. One that isn’t so quick to conclude and categorize and judge. Maybe, just maybe all the things we think we know so well, we really don’t understand at all. Perhaps we are doing something in our own hearts that sours and tires our own experience? Maybe we have grown so accustomed to the boredom; to the lack of vitality that we consider it to be normal. Possibly someone has sold us all a lie…

So, how can you get your thrill back? You have to check back in with life. You’ve got to drop like a hot rock your endless presumptions and assumptions, predictions and analysis. You’ve got to come clean with life and quit pretending you know when you don’t know. You must return to asking questions; lots and lots of questions. Inquire about things you previously thought you knew about. Break out of your routines that no longer serve you. Break out of anything that no longer works for you. And above all else, like a child, return to your unchastened, unrestricted honesty. Get honest about how things are and how you feel and quit pretending because everyone else is pretending! Refuse to assume it is just the way life is as life by definition is everything but that!

Finally, come back to life’s Author and Creator, who can make known to you the path of life, in whom’s presence there is fullness of joy and at whose right hand there are pleasures forever more… That, my friends, is a thrilling, exciting and adventuresome life!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

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Are You Bored with Life?


qa_boredIt’s time for some interesting self-reflection. Are you ready for it? If you answered yes to the question, even secretly, then you are in the right place. If you answered no, that’s cool, but you are reading this for a reason and, it might not be what you think…

I’d guess that most people equate boredom with a lack of activity. You know like, you’ve got nothing to do, so you’re bored. Yet, have you ever been on a beach vacation? Beach vacays are full of nothing to do; serious lounging and maybe a choice, generally smuggled in, beverage. (Why in the hell are beaches and pools alcohol prohibited when 90% of the attendees smuggle it in? – I digress)

Before I wax philosophical on you, I decided to look up “bored” in the dictionary. Yes, it certainly includes a lack of activity or tedious events, but it has a component that deserves further inspection. It closely ties in with feelings of fatigue, weariness and a lack of enthusiasm. Who knew, right? (Well, you knew…)

There’s an interesting phenomenon that’s taking place in your mind, day by day. The phenomenon is called thinking. You are always thinking about stuff, even when you’re meditating because then you are thinking about meditating (smile). Your mind is engaged in almost non-stop chatter, from you to you! No, it’s not the Universal “I AM” communicating with you, that’s called revelation and the topic of another blog. It’s you telling you stuff about what is going on with you right now. Often it’s you instructing you on how you oughta be and chastising you for not being who you said you should be. Weird huh? Frequently it’s you warning you about some potentially pending danger coming your way, usually referred to as worrying. That’s not to mention the incessant analysis and evaluation that besieges you, because, well, you know, you, the adult, knows stuff! There’s the critical you, thinking critical thoughts about others who are not you and even though they are not you and you don’t really know them, you know they are not you and therefore cannot be okay. You, you, you and damn it, it’s exhausting to say the least! Now, go back to that definition…

Some would argue that you feel bored because you’re lacking enthusiasm for life. I would say that you feel bored because you are just plain ol’ worn out. You’ve entertained so much stupid stuff by the end of the day that you’ve got nothing left. Your energy bank is on “E.” Dale Carnegie used to say that hard work doesn’t wear a man out, but fear and worry are what fatigues him. In these frenetic times of media overload and wrestling with well planned and distracting issues (i.e. which bathroom people should use or political absurdities or Caitlyn) our minds are taking a hit. Everywhere you look and everything you read is pregnant with loaded messages, causing that chatter machine to take off. It’s all run, run, run, get it done, work harder, be rich by age 30, get the house, the car, the model, write a book, run. Educate your kids, pay for private school, get them in dance and sports and gymnastics and soccer. Make them the best, the fastest, the strongest, the most socially acceptable. Go, go, go, win, win, win, be the best, excel, dominate! And, while you chase it all, take your blood pressure meds, your anxiety meds, get your fiber, your vitamins, eat less red meat and for God’s sake wear your helmet!  Then, sadly, at the end of the day, fatigue, weariness and exhaustion! Who told you that is life? The messages did via your own thoughts!

Can you imagine how you might feel if you had some battery acid for breakfast, kerosene for lunch and Limeaway for dinner? I’m guessing you would be thinking you needed to eat better. Yet, when it comes to your thoughts and what you are feeding your mind, it goes unnoticed. Takeaway: You have to start noticing!

Boredom might be the polar opposite of enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is chock full of energy and excitement. It’s not something based solely on the external environment, but more based on what you choose to think. I’m not talking about that overworked phrase, “be positive” which people usually associate with foolishness such as saying your leg isn’t broken when it is. Enthusiasm’s word origin is “en-theos” and naturally God is involved. But taking it a step further, I’m talking about choosing to think and consider what God says is true versus the deluge of messages you get throughout a day. Whoever said you couldn’t get what you want and need in life? You did, albeit influenced, but alas, still you telling you. Who told you there was no point in __________? You did. Who convinced you that your life was so bad? You did. Who persists in chastising you and criticizing you and shaming you? You do, that’s who. All of the aforementioned stand in absolute contradiction to God’s Word. Did you know that?

The problem with feeling bored about life is that by the time it happens, it has already happened. You got worked over and over and over and your fruit got stale. If you weed-whack the bark of that fruit tree long enough, it’s going to stop putting out! You can tell if this is you if you stopped putting out (doing stuff you dirty minds-smile). When did you give up on the pursuit of your personal happiness? How did your definition of the good life become an electronic illusion you saw in HD?

The solution to boredom is simple, but not quick or easy. You have to take charge of you, namely by making your mind your friend and then making it think what you want it to think. This isn’t delusion. Delusion is spending time thinking how gross Caitlyn is going to look naked in that magazine! (LOL) Instead, this is called controlling your thinking. You can do it if you really want to and indeed you must, if you want to be enthusiastic and happy and blessed. God is never going to take away your boredom, but if you cooperate with Him, He will show you exactly where your thinking went (and goes)south. He will help you learn what is really true, remind you of it and love you back into loving yourself again…

Life is way too precious and way to short to live it bored out of your gourd! Grab and tame that unwieldy beast called your mind and see how quickly that dreaded boredom and lack of energy become a thing of the past! Oh and unplug for a minute, for God’s sake, to catch your breath.

Just some good, good thoughts…

 

The Madness of the Mediocre Life…


mediocremajorityLet me start by acknowledging that every person is completely unique in their personal desires and aspirations. What success is for me isn’t success for you. That being said, there’s a huge difference between success in life and the madness of mediocrity.

No-one ever grew up dreaming of being mediocre. Nobody foresaw a life of quiet desperation, feeling stunted, stymied and held back? You sure didn’t start out that way, did you? You began, as we all began, with stars in your eyes and grand thoughts of who you could be.  Then you grew up. The world didn’t change, you did.  You settled. You negotiated for average. You exchanged your A level life for a C level existence. You did it because it was safe. It wasn’t everything you ever wanted but it was some of the things you wanted. When it comes to your one and only run through, and because you have the exact same right to pursue your happiness as every other person, you can still choose the best! You can go for the Olympic gold instead of rejoicing in that you made the team!

Now, don’t get it twisted. I’m not claiming some type of superiority over you. I’ve spent my fair share of time in the misty flats… (Well, it’s not really fair, but that’s how clichés work.) Yet, I have a great advantage that I’m ever privileged to enjoy. Someone lovingly taught me about God a long time ago and I’ve never stopped learning about Him to this day. You see, this whole notion of living an abundant life came from Him. This aint self-help rama-lama, this is real life. God’s plan for you isn’t a litany of rules or pervasive condemnation from failure to follow them. The master plan goes back to the original plan – which is you (men) and some cute gal or you (women) and some hot guy living in paradise. You ever been to Hawaii? Well, that aint Eden! People started out in Paradise, spent many years in the misty flats (see I’m not alone) and then God made available the paradise experience anew. The paradise experience is life in all of its varied and splendid manifestations. It’s life without fear. It’s life with answered prayers. It’s life where Someone a lot smarter than you knows how to get you to live out your full potential. Nothing about God is ever mediocre. Religion is damn mediocre because it’s focused on not doing (living) more than doing!

Lest you conclude that life’s not fair, think about how people typically function. I’ve managed people for many years and am always amazed by an interesting phenomenon. It’s only a matter of time before the workers reduce their job down to the most minimal level possible to still get paid and not get fired. Except of course that one guy. This blog isn’t to him because his life isn’t going to be mediocre. But for the majority, that’s how it seems to go. Now you know, if you are honest, that you have a little something inside of you that says there is so much more. It whispers in your relationships. It beckons you at work. Its inspiration flashes across your mind oh so briefly with glimpses of how your life could be. It’s not only possible, it’s what your life is supposed to be.

How you get there is a whole different story. You don’t get there until you get there. You won’t arrive until you arrive. It’s not a ship coming in, it’s the ship you’re already steering. The cause must precede the effect. You have to first recognize that it is even possible, then (the hardest part), you have to convince your old obstinate; C grade getting; settling for less mind that you both can and will have it. It’s God will already, so you’d be sorta crazy not to make it your will!

Now here is the greatest irony of all ironies. It takes the exact same amount of believing to achieve greatly as it takes to achieve the mediocre. Not the same amount of work, but the same amount of believing expectation. If you expect more, you will do more. You’re not so much lazy as you are misguided. How many people do you know slaving away for some company accepting whatever they get and convincing themselves they’re still blessed? Abundance means abundance and mediocre means mediocre. I remember someone once telling me that I didn’t need a fancy car, just something that ran and got me to work. Now you can sell yourself that story for a while, but in the end you know you want more for yourself. And don’t you go telling me I’m greedy. Greedy people never consider that notion. The ones that think it are usually the ones not getting their needs met; the ones settling for the mediocre life.

There’s no need for me to tell you that life isn’t all about money and possessions. Life is about fulfillment and satisfaction and joy. Are you fulfilled, satisfied and joyful? Then you do the math and figure that one out. The abundant life God promises is available to you if you really want it. But, make no mistake, you’re going to need God’s help to find it. Oh it’s right in front of you, but you won’t see it without some help from the (good) spiritual side. Trust me on that one.

Look brothers!  Listen sisters! This thing is damn short, this run through on earth. Your time, my time is finite (for now). You already know what you want; what you dream of; what turns you on. So learn about our God and get it; do it; experience it. Your only limitation is what you can persuade your mind to believe.

Your success is not my success and my success is not your success. But, success is success and surely that beats the hell out of the madness of the mediocre life!

Just some good thoughts…

The Masked Masquerader…


miHBCkTxAbhSSNLndoSF7mgThere is a mysterious force moving and thriving in the world today. That force works behind the scenes to bring about frustration, unhappiness and misery. It comes in many facades and generally goes about undetected. Almost unbelievably, it has the ability to thwart and negate even the promises of God from coming to pass in a person’s life (Yes, it’s that big). If you ask a man if he is affected by it, his answer will almost always be, “No!” He doesn’t see it because it wears a mask and behind the mask lies the greatest masquerader of all time. It’s name you ask? Despite a thousand confusing disguises, it’s name is always FEAR…

When people think of fear, they quickly point to the feeling you get when you are being chased by a rabid dog. Or maybe the rumbling that occurs in the pit of your belly when a jumbo jet experiences heavy turbulence. Or perhaps that call you get from the hospital concerning one of your children. While all of those things are a clear representation of fear, the reality is that it is usually much more subtle than that. If it was obvious, you would quickly take the steps to remedy the situation. Run!!!!!!!!! But, it’s seldom obvious and for that reason, holds a man in bondage his whole lifetime.

You’ve heard me say before that believing is what brings things to pass in your life. But, did you know that fear is also believing? Fear is negative believing and brings negative things to pass with the same efficacy as it does on the positive side. What you fear, you get! Fear is the only thing that ever defeats the promises of God because man’s decision to be afraid rather than trust absolutely negates God’s ability to save him from his dilemma! Oh, say it aint so! Well, it is ‘so’ and to be otherwise would require God to completely rewrite the rules of life. Instead of bucking up against what is, why not learn to recognize and eliminate fear everywhere and anywhere it shows up?

In order to defeat fear, you must first recognize how it presents itself in your life. It shows up as depression, which points to something sucking away your life and energy. It appears as frustration, which falsely presumes there is no solution. It masquerades as worthlessness, implying you have to become a better person before God will bless you (predominately found in religion). It goes by the name “stress” which quietly contemplates a negative outcome. It wears a mask called “anxiety” which reveals an underlying and misplaced fear of life itself and all of its potential pitfalls. It goes by the misnomer “concern” which attempts to legitimize its existence. It is found in every unfulfilled and unsatisfied life and, in secret, is the cause of it. It is the polar opposite of love from which it rightfully has no place.

It enters your life through doubt, then gains ground by worry and finally reveals its ugliest head of all…FEAR.  It brings your life to a standstill. It is “sand in the machinery of life.” It impedes your progress and once it catches you, closes the prison doors all around you. It shouts there is no way out, which is a lie from the father of lies (there is always a way out!). It brings about disaster and chaos. It is trouble to your soul and with its agitation, steals your peace. It is the root of everything you don’t desire and the force that has tried to thwart your every move. It is evil and must be overcome!

Logically, the first step to overcoming fear is to recognize that you have it. There’s no room for John Wayne bravado because the proof is in the pudding. Depressed? …Fear! Frustrated? …Fear! Unfulfilled and dissatisfied? …Fear! Life not turning out how you dreamed it would? …Fear! Things going south on you on a perpetual basis? …Fear! You just have to get honest with yourself. If you are agitated and restless and bored, you have some fear back there you haven’t yet seen. To hell with its disguises, it’s fear and the sooner you own up to it the better. There’s no shame in being afraid. It’s wrong, but all of us came from the factory born with it. The shame is in parading around with “no fear” bumper stickers, while sitting on the couch of your mind in quiet, desperate misery!

Once you finally get honest (and praise the Lord for that day), you will begin to see (if you want to) just how much fear has been ruling your life. And, like any demolition project, you just have to start working away at it, one brick at a time. Now, removing bricks alone won’t make it happen. Instead, you have to replace those bricks with truth (found in over 900 promises in your Bible). Find and speak truth to that old, liar fear knowing that truth; truth believed, is the only thing that can defeat it. It won’t happen overnight, because you didn’t become ruled by fear overnight. But, and trust me on this, it will happen. You’ll be encouraged along the way by this weird, odd feeling called “peace and contentment.” You’ll get better at detecting its presence. You’ll actually start to see through the mask and spot that old masquerader behind it.  You will once again begin to experience life in all of its grandeur; it’s excitement; its pregnant possibilities. And best of all, you’ll find the love that has been waiting there for you all along!

For God has not given you the spirit of fear, but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND.            II Timothy 1:7

It doesn’t really matter how long you have been living in the prison-house of fear. What matters is that you find the way to escape. You aint gonna do it without God, so don’t try it. Just get real soul-honest and reach up to the One who made you! Hey, He hears you and this blog is from Him to you (and me)!

Fear not my friends. Fear not!

Just some good thoughts…

WTF? (Fear)


WTFDid you know that your number one enemy in life is fear? Fear is the killer of all your hopes and dreams. Fear takes away all opportunities for success. Fear steals your happiness and anything else that is important to you. Fear destroys your life! WTF? And, although the number one admonition in the Bible is to “fear not,” fear continues to work its hardship on all of us everyday. Why? Why and how does fear access our minds so easily? Fear gains easy entrée because we don’t see it for what it really is – False Evidence Appearing Real!

Fear and its companions are much more subtle than you may have imagined. In fact, most folks would tell you that they aren’t afraid. But, when they speak of fear, they’re usually referring to its obvious side. The kind they feel when a snarling Pit Bull is running in their direction or what they experience while teetering on the edge of a cliff. Yet fear is involved in many other facets of life. The stress you feel at work is fear. The overwhelm you experience because you have a lot to do is fear. Worrying about not having enough money is fear. Choosing to do things you know you shouldn’t do is fear. Every addiction, everything that holds you captive is fear. Agitation, restlessness and boredom is fear. Chronic indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome…fear. The massive industry of pharmaceuticals comes from fear. Health issues, mental issues, exhaustion, all fear. Fear, fear, fear rules the world.

The peace of mind you so desperately seek is not found in money, or the right job or the perfect partner. It’s found right inside your own head when all the fear is finally gone. Some folks live their whole lives and rarely get to experience it. Maybe you found it during that family vacation or during a particularly happy time in your life. In reality it wasn’t the vacation or the pleasant circumstances, it was found because you momentarily let go of the fear. Fear is epidemic, my friends, and it’s after you everyday! If it’s not a deadly disease, (Ebola) it’s an Earth that’s getting too hot. It’s a struggling economy or the loss of your job. It’s every disease and every sickness. It’s the news and the media and your friends and your family. It literally surrounds you and it’s all a damn lie! A lie that rules the world!

In order for fear to get a foothold in your life it needs a willing host. Fearful suggestions don’t hurt you. But, when you accept those fearful suggestions, that’s when the trouble starts. Fear rules your life because you cooperate with it everyday. Instead of dismissing those fretful ideas you take them on with the false hope that you can figure it all out. Well, you can’t figure it out. They’re an invitation for disaster. They (those fears and their source) are counting on you and your ego to take the bait. How much life have you already wasted on some unreasonable proposition? How many hours have you dedicated to worrying about that job of yours? What if you fail? What if they fire you? What if the business goes under. What if you fail to get a project done on time? What if you aren’t a success? What if don’t have what you need and you are reduced to suffering and shame? What if? Feel free to apply that scenario to every aspect of your life. What if? What if is FEAR!

This is why I can’t understand how people live their lives without God. If I didn’t have a relationship with God, I would be a miserable wreck! This life has just too many scary variables to take them all on with my little ol’ mind. The only way to defeat fear is to learn about God; His omnipotence and His power. There’s nothing God can’t fix and that is the end of all fear. God’s love is the antithesis of fear and the knowledge of God is the only way you’ll understand that fear is always a lie. I took a class in 1982 called, “Power For Abundant Living” and for the first time in my adult life experienced the complete absence of fear…peace. How sweet it is!

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done in the past, God is there for you. With Him you can only succeed and without Him you can only fail. Fear is the most destructive force in the universe and it’s not easy to overcome. You’re not going to beat it with your human logic and rationality and smarts. Fear is spiritual at its roots and requires spiritual insight to defeat. As darkness is simply the absence of light, fear is simply the absence of love, God’s love.

This life is just too precious and way too short to spend your days living in fear, in all of its subtle forms. How much would it be worth to you to finally stop all of your striving and your worrying and your fretting? What price tag can you put on uninterrupted peace? Once the fear is finally gone your life can take off how God originally planned it to do. Without fear you’ll find that everything you have been seeking has really been seeking you. Yet, you don’t find it by pressing harder, you find it by letting go! FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL…

WTF? The only way to rid yourself of WTF is by getting serious about getting rid of fear, once and for all. Talk to God; get to God; find God. God and His Word will expose every form of fear to you and in that marvelous light, everything else that has ever bothered you as well. You owe it to yourself, don’t you think?

Just some good thoughts…

Peace.