Clear Eyes…


images.jpgThere are times in our lives when we see with such unremitting,  unobscured clarity; so grand and beautiful in its detail, so positively helpful and inspiring that we find ourselves awestruck, grateful and wishing for more. The sudden jolt of an unexpected answer to a long-held question or being at last able to slice through the morass of confusion and pinpoint the direction to proceed, has no parallel in our minds or equal. Yet we sojourn most of our lives in lack of it, fainting and eventually surrendering ourselves from its absence. We begin to think not seeing and not knowing is normal, concluding that no-one else can see either. Or, to our own demise we trust ourselves to a false clarity, failing to even consider otherwise. In the end we grope blindly, victims of whatever will. We must find our clear eyes…

The trouble with not seeing is not seeing. When you cannot discern objects at night, you seek a light. When you cannot see things in the light, you need more light. It’s the light that makes the hidden things visible. It is light in your mind that illuminates solutions, that clarifies obstacles, that lifts the scales as it were. Only the light can accomplish this and without the light it cannot be accomplished. Our job when faced with challenges, fears persisting, frustrations and befuddlement, is not to press harder or think better or work smarter, but instead get light, pure light. “Dwelling on the darkness [problems] won’t bring forth the light [true solutions]!” Clear eyes require great humility and the disciplined ability to set aside all of our plans and our solutions and our remedies until we become first clear on our problem. Our human nature, our self-serving ego will send us around the hamster wheel, sometimes for years, scouring the planet’s wisdom for a solution we will never find. Life is spiritual and spirit is light! Every undiagnosed issue, every lost solution, every corruption, every disease, every painful misstep has at its base darkness, spiritual darkness reigning supreme absent spiritual light. We must find the light…

The problem with darkness is the darkness. Darkness promises a thing, but gives you another thing. Every offer presented by darkness carries within it more darkness. As darkness is indulged, in thought preceding deeds, it mystifies and clouds, producing more darkness. Fear of some dreadful event or circumstance, persisted in, invites the darkness in ending always in blindness and the inability to perceive it further. Now numbed by its effects, the victim no longer feels the pain of his wrong choices or the consequences of her unplanned decisions. It’s the ultimate deception! It’s a fools game. It is an inescapable reality absent the light that reveals it. Trapped within it, man flails and flaps, desperately trying to break free only to find more chains with each disparate and uncoordinated action to escape. It never quite dawns on him that the effect is manufactured by a cause he cannot see. He remains buried in a riddle his human mind will never solve. We need to be illuminated!

The issue with man is the man. If he ever dares to step off his high horse, his so-called science and mathematics, his false sense of reality, his insatiable need for physical proof of spirit in a material existence, he would find the clarity he seeks is not where he has been searching. And in the place of foolishly concluding that man’s wisdom is the end of all wisdom, trusting only what he can see, hear, smell, taste or touch, denying the great dwarfing, magnificent, miracle of creation, and instead using his suffering and frustration as a sure guide, he would at last reach upward for the light that reveals and clears up. And in seeking he would find as the door opens when knocked. And instead of finding a little man parading behind a curtain as that Great Wizard of Oz, falsely promising help and safety, he would discover the dust-covered Bible in his bookshelf waiting as it has always waited for the curious seeker to find the delights therein. We need to discover God’s Word!

The light that God gives, is God. Man’s benefactor, His creator had the foresight to write a book. In that book He placed words from Himself, infused with the light to see, as the guide, the solution, the source of His help. As a man considers those words and listens to those words and dwells on those words, he illuminates himself. He shines a spiritual light no darkness can extinguish. He feeds himself pure words with no loopholes nor crevices nor breeches an enemy can exploit.  As he remains in it, he finds himself healed from his maladies, built up strong where he was weak and repaired wherein he had been broken. The brilliant light, the only true light, the spiritual light he encounters reassures his restless soul and offers him peace. And as that light races into every deep recess of his mind, he finds the answers he needs, the solutions he craves, the reasons and all of the real causes. He finds himself delivered! We need the light that saves us!

You may have just stumbled upon that which you have been stumbling upon. How incredulous in a vast world of knowledge and self-help and scholars, counselors, doctors and lawyers, the solutions you sought in many a weary and churning night, with unparalleled effort and commitment and tears, would be found nearby in a book you have heard about from long ago. Learn about that book. Seek help to comprehend that book. Find out what to think according to that book. Understand how to live in line with that book. Experience God’s life and power and infinite razor precision to cut through and discern between truth and error, between a blessed life and a miserable life, between all that is light and all that is indeed darkness. You need to understand that book…

No matter how many years you may have travailed, no matter the distances you may have traveled, no matter how many attempts you may have tried, there is one true way that when found will make your blind eyes finally able to see. And you will then proclaim fondly, “God has never forgotten me…” You need to find your clear eyes!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

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You Can’t Fix What You Can’t see…


615928784Whenever you speak of solving problems or repairing broken parts of your life, there is always the assumption that you actually know what your problems are and where your life might need some repair. To rashly conclude your life is in no need of any revisions or improvement makes you a dummy.  But, if you are willing to at least consider that there may be something better out there for you, there are some things you have to get clear about first. You cannot fix what you cannot see…

I’m sure by now you are fairly clear on the reality that there is a right way to go and there is a wrong way to go. When you go the right way there is no downside to you or your life. There’s no negative price to pay or some sacrifice of something that is needful. The right way feels good and is good. There are no strings attached, no hidden snares, no “gotcha” waiting to get you. Conversely, the wrong way sooner or later makes itself known by reaching up and smacking you in the face! The cause may seem far removed from the effect, but the effect is always there as it necessarily must be. However, the wrong way carries with it another deleterious effect which you may not be aware of, namely its capacity to blind your eyes to its existence. In the same way that “right” clears your vision, “wrong” obscures it!

“A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” There’s no walking the fence when it comes to right and wrong. Choosing right is going to bless you and choosing wrong is going to hurt you. The method in which wrong seeks to harm you is by hiding its effects on you. If you have a disease hidden in your body, the sooner it is discovered the better. The longer a disease process has to work on you, the deeper its influence on your body and the worse your chances of surviving it. Wrong, of which “disease” is a member, works the same way. For wrong to continue to have access to your life, there has to be some principle or maxim or belief you are unknowingly perpetuating. The wrong way is often a very subtle distinction. The glutton eats himself to death because food is to be enjoyed. The rich man loses his health and family and eventually his life because life is supposed to be prosperous. You cannot fix what you cannot see…

The first step in getting results is not only to choose right, but also to stop choosing or allowing wrong. Wrong is not the excitement or spice of life it purports itself to be. Wrong isn’t the fun in life that you’ve been missing or the sin God doesn’t want you to do because He isn’t into your enjoyment. Instead those things are simply wrong’s commercial, advertising a claim that isn’t true. God not only treasures enjoyment, He wants you to find that enjoyment in your own life. Again this is part of how wrong hides itself in your logic. In its true essence, right is all of those things you are seeking, even if you cannot see that at the moment. Right is the love, the joy, the peace, the abundance, the prosperity, the health you are sincerely after! But for right to have its way, you have to lay aside the wrong…

Perplex yourself no further in futility trying to figure out why the good things you want in your life aren’t happening for you. No, no, no don’t start there. Begin by identifying the wrong things you are clear about and put them all aside. Stop doing them. Stop indulging them. Stop putting up with them. Now don’t you get all religious on me by refusing yourself nachos or wine in the evening or having sex with someone you love. That bondage is more wrong. I’m talking about those things you know in your heart aren’t right. Those habits of thought and action that have been promising you the same results for years; good feelings, peace, happiness, yet consistently giving you something else; bad feelings, guilt, general unrest; those are the things of which to rid yourself. If every time you do a certain behavior you feel bad about it, for the love of God stop doing the behavior. Don’t ignore what is, in favor of what you hope might be. You can’t fix what you can’t see…

Deciding you are going to forever stop a pattern of thought or a behavior on its own is like putting yourself on a perpetual, strict diet. It only works as long as you remain determined or until a delicious cheeseburger keeps showing up. Instead, the better way to stop something is to replace it with something else. Replace that obvious wrong with a new behavior or a new approach. The best of the best would be to see the wrong for what it is – wrong, and stop putting up with its lies. Decide to see for yourself the error and deeply consider the negative effect it has had on your life; if the effect is only that you no longer like yourself. That’s enough on its own.

The more you adamantly decide to put off the wrongs in life, the more clear your vision will become. Like the former drug addict or alcoholic, you will see maybe for the first time the stupid things that have been plaguing your life. You finally get a glimpse of the wrong beliefs you have been harboring in your heart for years and years. Glory, hallelujah you can see! And in seeing you can change or repair any aspect of your life that wasn’t the best and get on a new course to victory, love, peace, joy and abundance. Or said another day, get on the right path. You surely can fix what you can see! I promise you.

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

Clarity…


hero-obscurity-and-clarity-03152017I’ve often thought, it’s not an effort thing that holds people back from their pursuit of the things that matter most. We all likely procrastinate and push aside future hopes and dreams for the comforts of the moment. But when we finally wake from our comfortable lethargy, we innately know that we have to move if something good is going to happen for us. We suddenly want to go fast and get there quickly, but we can’t really move fast and get their sooner because we do not know the road ahead. Alas, in life you seldom get to know the road ahead, especially when traveling in unchartered territory; the mysterious place you know you need to get to but you’ve never been there before. Thus what you need most isn’t more effort or energy, directions or more speed! What you need, my friends, is clarity, crystal clear, sharp and vivid – clarity…

Those nagging issues that have been plaguing you for years have likely done so from a lack of clarity. It’s not that you aren’t clear that something is bothering you or distressing you in some fashion, but rather you haven’t taken the time to get clear about what is going on. Some things in life come at you with such subtlety you are scarce aware anything even happened. All you know is that suddenly you feel agitated from an apparently unknown source. That source, though far removed, gains access by the thoughts you are entertaining. Perhaps a family member has intimated something is wrong with you, later vaguely confirmed by a co-worker. Instead of maintaining control of your thought life, you begin to consider what they implied and before you know it you are wrestling with an issue not grounded in reality necessarily, but rather someone’s negative judgment on your life. Thus clarity isn’t about proving yourself to those who would judge you, but instead getting clear on what you have been thinking about and whether or not it is profitable to keep thinking along those lines. I think you may be surprised by how many so-called helpful criticisms are actually grounded in evil, albeit carefully hidden from view.

How many times have you found yourself writing out some goal you would “like” to accomplish that is very familiar because you have been writing it for the past ten years?! Instead of signing up for a motivational seminar or reading yet another book on “feel the something yet do it anyway” clarity begs the question, “Is that goal something you really want to do?” Is the thing important to you and do you really want to do it? Or, more clearly, is the goal something you want to do yet maybe doubt you can do? Or, focused better, is your goal something you are capable of doing yet fear might not be something done well or something that may be criticized by others? Clarity tells you it is your life and all of the choices are yours and yours alone! If you don’t want to do it, don’t do it! If you cannot gather up enough excitement to even begin the project, then maybe the project isn’t worth it to you. Wherever you may arrive and whatever conclusion you may draw, just be sure you took the time and made the effort to be very, very clear about the why…

It may interest you to know that truth is always clear and contrary to popular opinion doesn’t hurt! The truth is the starting point for reality. The truth isn’t simply the opposite of a lie, which you can boldly declare when you catch someone in error, i.e. “The truth hurts doesn’t it?” No way! The truth is the absolute reality of a thing; the very essence of what is real. Its polar opposite is error which is always confusing, always muddied, always elusive and hard to pinpoint! When you feel confused or bewildered, error is definitely on the horizon or most likely already a part of the picture. Error strings you along, sometimes for years, chasing after things that aren’t real or do not matter. Error sucks away your time and your life energy! Clarity, on the other hand, cuts through the mud and clarifies the picture. Clarity settles you down and relieves you by revealing the real problems and the true sources of disturbance. Clarity eliminates fear by ridding the mind of the phantoms hiding in the closet.

You may have heard of the truth being referred to as light. Besides coming from a Source that is pure light, truth enlightens and illuminates. The truth sets you free, not by deciding not to lie anymore (how simple-minded is that?), but by revealing error for what it is…error. Once you finally can discern what is going on, you can now free yourself from things that formerly bound you up and defeated you. Clarity comes from the truth and is true. It’s the image at the bottom of the pool not distorted by the water. Clarity is peaceful assurance that comes about when the lights are on and everything is revealed. Walking on a cliff top is only dangerous if it’s dark outside. Otherwise you can see the edge and avoid it!

Your life is worth taking the time to get clear on some things. Your happiness is important enough to decide you are going to track down the cause of the things that perpetually defeat you. There are answers to these dilemmas and just because you don’t know the answer yet doesn’t mean you cannot ever find the solution. Behind every truth in this life is the great Architect of Life and He is more than willing to get you where you need to go if you are serious enough to make the decision!

Choose clarity. Choose life…

Just some good thoughts.

 

Untangling the Spaghetti Bowl of Your Mind…


5030637-Boiled-spaghetti-on-white-background--Stock-Photo-spaghettiA good bowl of spaghetti gets there one noodle at a time. No matter the size of the bowl, each noodle is a single entity that only gets tangled when it’s added together with the other noodles, one noodle at a time! Remember that intently because you will never untangle the mess in your mind until you do.

If you are like most people, you tend to put off unpleasant tasks until you are forced to deal with them. It can wait, right? But, sadly, all the little things you put off slither into the bowl unnoticed. Imagine how many random thoughts you think in a day. How many of those thoughts are hurtful feelings of inadequacy? How many seethe with self-criticism and condemnation? What tired notions repeat themselves over and over begging for resolution? The worries, the doubts, the fear? What “what-if” dramas clamor for your attention? Oodles and oodles of noodles…

It’s been said that your outer world is an indicator of your inner world. Have you ever visited someone with a messy house? Or (ha ha) is it your house? Well, how did it get so messy? It became a mess one messy, misplaced thing at a time. All of us are confronted with the mess, but not all of us choose to clean it up. The best time to vacuum up the popcorn on the carpet is right after the popcorn hits the carpet. That’s not being anal, that’s cleaning up. Conversely, how do you feel when you visit the clean house? You feel relaxed, don’t you? You see, someone invested their effort in making the environment peaceful and you got the benefit of it. I dare say none of us really enjoy the cleaning up process, but we probably treasure the cleaned up feeling!

When it comes to your thoughts, sometimes you have to take the time to clean up. I mean you have so much to do in a day, right? You’re busy, busy, busy and there are many demands clamoring for your time. Well, that’s nothing compared to the time you spend sifting through the madness to find your car keys. In this live in the moment life, generally the best time to do something is now. You feel yourself getting a toothache. You don’t like the dentist (who does…they kill lions) or you don’t have dental insurance or you don’t have time to go. So you decide to wait. Maybe it will go away. Maybe it will resolve on its own. Maybe? In reality it will probably get worse until it hurts so badly that you cannot do anything else until you get it fixed; not to mention the two months you put up with the agonizing dull ache in your jaw. Can’t you see it? We have been lulled into a complacent state where we don’t handle what we need to handle. We foolishly think we can wait, but really cannot afford to wait. Each moment we spend unresolved is a moment we don’t get to really live!

If you are honest, what you really want is clarity of thought. You want that noise to quiet down. You need your mind to slow down and take a breath. You need some peace. But, peace normally comes at the end of the fight. You have to win the fight. Unfortunately you don’t get to choose not to be in the fight. The fight is there every single day. God never promised you wouldn’t have to fight, He said He would help you to win it. You win the contest by winning the battle in your mind. When a nation wins a war or a football team wins a game, they have to do it one battle or one play at a time. You can’t skip plays nor can you overlook key battles. The contest starts every single morning. You decide what you will think and challenge any opposition to those thoughts. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, what matters is your willingness to fight!

One day, when it finally dawns on you that your mind has become a hot slithering menagerie of pasta, and your persistent sense of fatigue and depression begins to overtake you, remember you can clean up any mountain of mess if you take it on one small mess at a time. You can’t spend time thinking of the outcome, instead just think of the next play. What thought or series of thoughts are causing you the most stress? Start there! Challenge those inane thoughts. Just because you think something does not make it true. Where did we ever get that idea? Probably from the same source as the thought.

This life we are blessed to live is best lived in the moment called “now!” You have 24 hours in a day, maybe 16 waking, perhaps 8 after work, 5 after meals and maybe 30 minutes after the television. But no matter what is clamoring for our time, whether work or sleep or mealtimes or electronic mediums, we can only work with the time called “now!” The time to deal with the troubling thought is now. The time to vacuum the carpet is now. The time to repair the broken appliance is now. The time to do the task that’s eating at you is now. The time to get things sorted out in your mind is now! Now, now, now!

That peace of mind you are ardently seeking is seeking you as well. It’s there for you, always right there for you, waiting for you to stand up and get into the fight, then win it… WIN THE FIGHT! You are worth that much.

Everyone loves a tasty bowl of spaghetti, right? But a peaceful mind trumps a bowl of spaghetti every single time.

Just some good thoughts…

The Elusive Moments of Clarity…


ClarityRecently my sister in-law suffered through the untimely death of her brother. He had an aggressive form of cancer and despite having lived longer than projected, he ultimately died. The whole experience, besides the unfathomable grief, produced in her moments of clarity she hadn’t really expected. It seems in situations when our own mortality is forced into our awareness, the most important things in life rush to the forefront of our minds. So, that got me thinking… Is the clarity we all desire, contingent upon dire circumstances? Do we have to face life threatening situations firsthand in order to finally see what is most important?

Clarity can be defined as those seemingly rare times in life when we finally “get it” or are able to see the things that formerly eluded us. Clarity seems to follow focus and nothing demands more focus than facing the possibility of actually dying or the death of someone you love. And amazingly, in the face of death we contemplate life. Suddenly the important things take on a huge significance. No one speaks of their beautiful home or their possessions, but instead consider the people in their lives and those significant relationships that mean the most. Near death experiences and the perils of war awaken the survivors to a world they previously took for granted.

This life; this precious life is alarmingly short. And despite the brevity of life, we all march on entranced in our routines virtually asleep to what matters most. We stop looking; really looking at our spouses and our children. We desensitize to our surroundings. The good we enjoy we grow accustomed to and even make time for complaint. We dream and yearn for the day when we finally have “such and such” and when we arrive, we pause then quickly begin our ascent to the next plateau.

It shouldn’t take the threat of losing it all to alert our souls to the perfection we have already. We move too fast. We think too fast. We expect results too fast. We want more and more and need less. We look for happiness in transient things while ignoring what endures. People endure. Relationships endure. Love endures. In those rare moments when I imagine my last days, my children gathered around me, I think what I might say to them. And for the life of me, all I want to communicate to them is how much I love them; how proud I am of them and who they have become and that i did my best to be my best for them.

Clarity isn’t elusive. Clarity is all around you. Clarity is found in the eyes of your child, the smile from your mother, the understanding glance from your best friend. Clarity is found in your relationships with other people and most profoundly with our God that made us. Clarity comes when we finally step out of the rat race of endless distraction and focus on the things that matter most. It is not reserved only for times of pending tragedy and the threat of death, but more for times of reflection at a speed that allows for it. The clarity we ardently seek is seeking us.

If we are honest, our perpetual striving for things that matter less, is based on fear; the fear of what we think we are supposed to be. We’ve bought into the story that says we must have the money, the stuff, the acclaim and lost track of the reason we do it all. We forgot that the excitement of the new car is lost if we don’t have someone to share it with. No one enjoys the vacation in the exotic place, alone. It’s people and our connection to them that makes this life worthwhile.

The maximized, glorious life is a life that makes time for what is most important. To say there isn’t enough time is to admit a loss of control. The rush, the busy-ness, the constraint isn’t from the demands of life but rather from the fictitious demand of what is not. It’s a distraction of unparalleled proportions. It’s a bait and switch game that purports activity equals productivity and urges getting things done over taking care of people; our people. It emphasizes appearance over people’s hearts and facades above humanity. It’s not clear it’s fuzzy and the finish line is out of view.

Clarity is there for us every single day. Clarity doesn’t elude us, we elude it. We miss it a lifetime from being swept away on a current; a rushing river of activities that steal our time; our focus, our life. Clarity comes from focus; focus on what is most sweet and enduring. Our life comes into focus in direct proportion to our willingness to adjust the lens. We adjust the lens on a subject we choose and not on a subject chosen for us.

Thank God for those moments when life suddenly comes into focus and the false; the illusory fades away. Thank God for the glimpses of light that clear the path ahead and captivate our attention in order to make the necessary change. Thank God for the privilege to see and at last understand. Thank God!

Just some good thoughts…