The Indecision Trap…


aaeaaqaaaaaaaabfaaaajduzmdzhotc1lwexztutndhjmy05nwvjltfkytdmmwjhnzfinqHave you ever had that nagging feeling that there is something else you need to do? I’m not talking about the time you left the iron on or forgot to close the garage door. I’m talking about the larger decisions you make; the ones that define your life and your contribution to the world. All of us have that special something that we alone can give and that won’t come into evidence unless we give it. Well, that feeling has besieged me lately and seemed worthy of further exploration…

None of us climb the hill to success without first making a decision. Before anything worthwhile can take place in your life; before any real overcoming; before any victory over the things that formerly held you down, of necessity comes a heartfelt, fully persuaded decision. Absent a decision, your life will continue to flounder around somewhere between distraction and mediocrity. Sure, you’ll be very busy and have little time for extra activities, but you will end up missing the mark; the only mark that ever truly mattered. So, with all that is at stake, why don’t we make the decision?

One slippery tentacle in the indecision trap is the old familiar “waiting for a feeling!” It seems in America, the land of feelings, we’ve all been mesmerized by the promise of strong passionate feelings clearly marking the way that we should go; some grand purpose that causes our eyes to well with tears. Some folks call it inspiration and while we all need to be inspired, we might be surprised to learn that feelings follow our decisions and not the other way around. The stronger your decision, the more powerful your emotions that accompany it. While you are so patiently waiting for your ship to come in, your ship is out at sea waiting for you to decide! Decisions don’t need to be accompanied by feelings, they just need to be adamantly decided!

Often indecision appears not because we cannot see the value of making a decision, but because we are stuck with too many different choices. We would like this and we would like that. This would make us happy and shoot, so would that! Remember when you were looking for a new job? Chances are you broadened your options to sort of increase your chances for success. You started enumerating things that “could work.” At its core, this also is a trap, albeit a subtle one. The odds are hugely in favor of you getting what you want the VERY most! Otherwise, you scatter your forces on a giant dartboard hoping to stick somewhere with something that could work… And because you aren’t God and don’t know the future possibilities contained in different circumstances, you certainly make application broadly, but in your heart you hold fast to what would be the best for you. Minus all of the fear and doubt, you know what is the best, because you know you, don’t you?

Now, there is one area in decision-making that encompasses all of the rest of the tentacles and maybe the mouth full of sharp teeth as well. At its root, indecision is always based on fear. Let’s say you know you have something special just waiting to be capitalized. You know when it comes to such and such, you got it going on! Yet, you don’t take action. You vacillate on making the decision. You rationalize with, maybe I won’t be successful and it is far easier to just keep quasi-planning and dreaming and scheming without ever really making a choice. If you don’t make a wholehearted decision, you can delay and delay and delay. Put it off. Maybe next year. Perhaps when I get this other thing worked out first. After I’ve finished such and such. One day when I have enough… (money, free time, energy, lack of stress, warm weather, ideal settings etc., etc.). This is the definition of indecision. It feels (there’s that word again) so much more safe. It’s like having one foot on the bridge and one foot in the water. It’s hedging your bets. It is doubt, hesitation, wavering and vacillating. It feels painless but it guarantees you one thing and one thing only. You aint going to get what you really want to get! It’s not going to happen! It aint in the cards! In order to win in your life, in your way, with your own results, you have to either get all the way in the water or all the way on the damn bridge. Don’t you see it?

When it comes to this decision-making process, there is a great possibility of you making the wrong choice. Well, so what! Indecision is also a choice and unlike a wrong choice it won’t provide you with the learning you need to make the right choice! Just imagine how great your life could be if you made a habit of deciding what you want and by God, sticking to that choice! Picture your life being lived on your terms, with you being the leading actor! Have you ever watched some movie star or famous athlete that seems to have it all and secretly thought, I wish that was my life. Well, I submit the only difference between your life and their’s is that somewhere along the line they made some choices that you, heretofore, haven’t yet made…

The good life isn’t reserved for the lucky or the fortunate or the blessed. The good life is waiting for the people who make decisions and there’s no limit on the choices you can make. Don’t spend another day lost in indecision and fear of the future. Get busy designing your ideal life, then make some decisions about how it is going to turn out. Don’t wait and see. Don’t wait on God, God is waiting on you! Decide!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

On the Right Track…


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I was on Legacy Parkway the other day when I noticed the Front Runner train approaching parallel to me in the distance. As he got closer, I heard him whisper, “Do you want to go?” I replied out loud, “Ahh yeah, let’s do this!” I got to about 70 mph when I remembered the speed limit on the parkway was 55. I let him go because I already got him. As he whistled off into the distance, bright red and blue on a pristine carriage of sparkling white, I thought, that train is a powerful beast as long as he stays on his track!

If you’ve taken time to notice, everything in the natural realm has a right environment in which to function. As long as it stays in its rightful lane, it does what it was designed to do and does it effortlessly. When it gets out of it’s lane, it ends up as roadkill. Birds fly and no obstacle is too tall for them to fly over. Fish swim but flounder on the bank. Snakes slither in the underbrush and are damn hard to corner. However, humans are a little different. Their domain is all domains because they’ve been blessed with the ability to think. And because they can think and rely less on any natural programming, they have a responsibility to keep themselves on track; the right track.

How can you determine if you are on track? Well, how do you feel? So simple, yet profoundly true. My dogs sometimes poop on the unfinished basement floor because it feels like the outside. But you’re not a dog and know where you are. All people know where they are. They may not like it and they may not want to stay there, but they always know where they are. Unhappiness, discontent, distress and worry serve to show you that you are off track. When it doesn’t feel right it usually aint right and no amount of liquor is going to change it. When you are about to make a bad move you know it’s a bad move because your central nervous system makes you nervous! Having sex with your wife has no down side. But notice how you feel after sex with that woman you just met last night!

The right track has no downside either. It feels good because it is good. The choices you make while at peace will never lead you astray. But, make a decision based on fear and you’ll soon recognize your error. And even if you’ve gotten used to feeling numb, the sting of the wrong track will always make its presence felt. The trouble is we have gotten so used to ignoring our feelings and succumbing to this person and that collective idea, that we fail to operate our greatest weapon, our thought. What is true for you is true and those subtle urgings that command your greatest attention are your way to go; your only way to go. Not to worry, the system is flawless, replete with checks and balances. If, in your immaturity, you choose badly, you will learn it. If your motive was bad, that won’t escape you either. You know; you always know because of how you feel.

Life is lived best in its subtlety. It’s not found in grand decisions like where you’ll live or what profession you will choose. It’s found in a thousand seemingly insignificant choices that surround you every day. Just as a small departure from the tracks spells disaster for a speeding train, subtle compromises from good add together to ruin a life. It’s not the 85% you get right day by day that troubles you. It’s the 15% you are getting wrong. It’s the bad habits, the distractions, the time thieves, the hours spent in worrisome thoughts, the fears, the compromises, the apathy, the letting go. It’s wrong motives and selfish desires that strong-arm away your happiness. It’s not saying “no” when you know the answer should be no! We feel sublime on a diet not from immediate weight loss but from finally exercising self-control!

The right track is you feeling how God always intended for you to feel. There’s a reason we call delightful things – heaven! It’s the contented, peaceful, joyful you, minus all the bullshit. It’s you making the right choices in a 24 hour period and then having the opportunity to start all over again tomorrow! Looking forward on outstretched tip toes is as deleterious as craning your neck back to rehearse afresh the past. Life is to be lived on the right track today while letting tomorrow bring what it may. How much precious life have we wasted struggling to get to some place that has been struggling to get to us? How many mistakes that occurred in a microsecond of time live on and on, imprisoned in our memories today?

Your hopes, your dreams and every good thing you have ever envisioned is still there for you. To find it you must only get yourself on the right track. There is no requirement to be any smarter than you already are. The only requirement is to keep yourself in that place called “good” and cleave to it as if your life depended upon it. You don’t need laws and commandments and rules to do it. All you need is a willingness to listen to your own heart and even more willingness to make the necessary changes to stay the course. The fool will continue in reckless abandon and defy the bad feelings to his own demise. The wise soul will find sooner or later that all he needs to do is obey.

Don’t spend another moment of your life in endless prayers and questioning. Cease searching for some mysterious intruder wreaking havoc on your life. Instead slow your roll and pay attention to what’s happening all around you. Take note of how you feel and trace it back to some thought, some decision, some thing you just did and garner for yourself its lesson. Don’t beat yourself into religious submission to rules and dogmas that make no sense to you. The right choice always feels right and no so-called expert can dispute it. The converse holds true as well, though the whole nation calls it right!

You’re no Front Runner train my friend, and your choices are almost unlimited. The right track has a million destinations but there is always only one way to get there. Choose good! Choose the right track!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

Where’s the Love, Man?


Evolution+Love1How absurd it is to think that man is on the earth as the last stop on the evolutionary chain! Do you really believe that you are simply an offshoot from a gorilla, with less hair and the ability to process? With all of our intellectual ability, sometimes we aint so smart! Not only do you have the ability to think, but more importantly you have the profound capacity to feel. Dogs are affectionate, but you get the privilege to love. Love is the greatest thing in the world and without it life would screech to a halt. So, I ask you, where’s the love, man?

Love isn’t something that happens to you, love is something that you choose to do. It always amuses me when people act as if love just happens to your heart, because, you know, the heart knows… Your heart is you, you silly rabbit. When the conditions are all lined up, you choose to do it. So, what should you do when the conditions don’t line up? You should love anyway. I don’t have to tell you how wonderful  life becomes when love is involved, right? Well, imagine choosing that experience at all times.

I can remember sitting through a class called, Power for Abundant Living. PFAL, the initials of the class, gained a permanent place in the form of a tattoo on my left forearm. That’s how life-changing the class was for me. Above everything else, the class taught me about God’s love and incredibly for maybe the first time, I learned to love myself. Even more incredulously, I learned that I had to love myself before I could love other people. But, here’s where it gets tricky. Loving other people wasn’t something that just happened to me because I felt a certain way. Love was something I had to choose to do, just like I chose to do with myself. And because I was so filled with God’s love (which is synonymous with being filled with His Word), I did it like it was my job! I chose to be kind, tender-hearted and forgiving. I chose to build people up rather than tear them down! I was on the high road baby and everything started working out.

As the years rolled on however, I sort of forgot the most important part of my former success. Oh I still knew God’s Word, but I forgot the love part. God’s Word without the love part is still true, but became hollow and empty in terms of my personal happiness. I had become religious. I did all of the behaviors minus the love. And when I reflect back on those empty years, I realize that instead of choosing to love, I was waiting to feel the love. And I waited for a long time… While you are waiting to feel the love (something the whole world participates in), life becomes all about you. Love is never all about you. God so loved that He gave, right? Well, I think God knows a thing or two about love. God is love.

You can choose to love at any moment in life. What does love look like? Easy, just think of someone you know who loves you. Well, what do they do with you? Do that! Love is interested in the object of its affection. Love notices and responds to what it sees. Love seeks the other’s happiness and not its own, but always receives its own because you receive back what you give out. The more you choose to love, the more love you will receive. When you are choosing love, you are living where God lives. And within that wonderful, tender haven, you never have to fret and worry about getting your needs met because your needs start getting met before you even have to ask. Love is life on steroids.

So many, many people are wandering the earth desperately seeking that elusive love when it is already in their heart waiting for the opportunity to come out. I don’t care what your background is or how difficult your life has become, love is there waiting for you to choose.  Choose love. But, and you can trust me on this one, do not wait for the feeling unless you have a lot of years to burn. Love isn’t a feeling, it’s a decision; a decision that produces a wonderful feeling. How crazy is it that the thing you seek so ardently, you already have. It’s not the absence of love that has been screwing your life up, it’s the absence of giving what you already have that’s been doing it to you!

If you want love (and who doesn’t?), you have to give it. Build, build, build. Bless, bless, bless. Stop being afraid and open your heart. We’ve all suffered while experiencing life to some extent because of the darkness that has prevailed at times. We’ve all gotten hardened and calloused. We’ve all been jaded, sadly increasing with age. But that wall you’ve constructed around your heart isn’t protecting you at all. Instead it’s preventing you from the experience called life that God intended for you. Yes it’s scary. Yes, people will still run roughshod on it, but open your heart anyway. The rewards of love not only heal every hurt, but they offer the promise of a fantastic life; true power for abundant living!

Don’t you dare wait for tomorrow to try it out. Do it right now! Give it to the person you see in this very moment. Shower it on your wife or your husband. It doesn’t matter if they don’t deserve it. You deserve it. Damn it man; doggone it woman, you deserve it! Pour it on your children and your grandchildren. Lavish it on your friends. Heap it on your co-workers. Overflow it on your boss. Love, love, love like your life and happiness depends upon it because it really does.

You are not an intellectual gorilla that manscapes, you are a wonderful human being with a heart. Open it! You are the top of the food chain not because you evolved over millions of years but because you have a heart of love from a God of love. Choose love! Give love! Open your heart…

Just some good “love” thoughts…

 

 

Why is Life So Hard?


Life-is-Really-SimpleI just sat down to write a little blog in the comfort of my living room. I poured myself a nice glass of Cabernet and stared at the screen wondering what to write. Just then my son Chris popped in and in a moment of impulse launched a pillow into the table that formerly housed my wine glass, shattering the glass and splattering red wine on the recliner, the brand new upholstered, khaki colored dining room chair and the white cloth lamp shade. We did our best to clean up the mess, including locating all of the glass. It seems the chairs are fine, but the lampshade may have suffered a fatal loss! And in that frenetic moment it came to me, why is life so hard, or maybe, is it really hard?

Maybe us humans make the mistake of assigning meaning to things that have no meaning and focusing on the material things while never really regarding the vital and necessary things. Maybe we have been deluded into putting such high importance on our stuff; maintaining our stuff and getting new stuff and neglecting those parts of life that have true meaning. As a functioning and ambitious member of the rat race, I like to be somewhere near the front of the line. Oh I don’t do it on purpose mind you, but this old world sucks me in at times. Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s something else but I like my things to be a certain way. I clean, I organize (Lord knows I organize) and I get indignant when someone dares to mess up my stuff. There’s nothing wrong with taking care of your stuff, in fact it is a quality, but sometimes the people should come before your stuff. Is that a justification for pillow slinging? Of course not! But maybe, just maybe, my obsession with stuff takes precedence over the people and when that occurs, I may have missed the mark! I’m sure when I’m on my death-bed I’d rather have Chris there than all of the upholstered chairs and lamps in the world! Why is life so hard? Well, sometimes it seems hard because you are focusing on the wrong stuff!

If you lived any amount of time on earth you are well aware of the many challenges and pitfalls that are right around the corner waiting for you. Life can seem to be real scary. There’s a multitude of things that can go wrong at any time. Oh sure, you plan and prepare and do your best, yet still things go south on you and before you can even recognize it, you find yourself faced with stress producing situations. You just want to control what you can and, by God, you do your utmost. Yet, they still appear. Hopefully somewhere along the line it finally dawns on you that you just cannot control everything. And, I’m loathe to admit, you really control an infinitesimal amount of stuff. Take, for example, your adult children (yes, this includes Chris). When they were little it was duck soup. You watched over them like a hawk and decided exactly what they did and when. Now, however, you are no longer in control. You see them heading south (no, not Chris) and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. You have to rely on them to make good choices and like you when you were their age, they don’t always choose right. You don’t want them to suffer but they will and in that suffering sometimes learn a thing or two. Why is life so hard? Often it gets hard when you’re trying to control things you cannot control.

Now comes perhaps the greatest single factor in making life seem so hard. Recently I attended a birthday party for one of my closest friends. I was sitting next to another old friend and proceeded to lament about this and that and how I so wanted this to happen and wouldn’t it be great if that happened etc. In his one of kind manner he quietly commented, “Isn’t that God’s job…” There in 5 words or less was the answer to all of life’s apparent complexities! Life is hard because you and I are busying ourselves into oblivion trying to do God’s job while neglecting our own job, namely trusting Him. We are so smart, ya know? So smart, in fact, that we have become experts in what oughta happen and dumb dumbs in regard to how things really happen. Life, absent a true belief in God’s abiding goodness, is frightfully hard. You can figure it out, you say? No you can’t! The proof of that? Your thinking that life is hard! It’s hard because you are determined to do it all by yourself.   You think, I don’t need God, I will just make a lot of money. Well, the money you made comes from God whether you ever choose to acknowledge it or not! He is just that good! The trouble is that the same world that has you wrongly focused on your stuff and trying to control everything yourself is also extremely persistent in talking you out of who God is! If you knew who He really is and what He really does you would never have the audacity to utter that life is hard. Yes, you would face your share of challenges and even maybe more than your share, but in the end you would have still overcome because Gods job is to teach you how to overcome!

Life is hard my friends, but only because you’ve been talked into trusting in yourself and not in the One that made you! Stuff gets messed up; new stuff is always out there; you want to control everything but cannot control hardly anything; you’re tired and frustrated and anxious and afraid, yet amidst all that you can learn who God is and in a moment of time change your mind and realize, life isn’t really hard but instead it is my heart that has gotten hard. Ask God to teach you something new and in the process enjoy that new, tender heart He will give you! You can bet your entire, hard life on that one!

Just some good thoughts…