Where are You Going?


elephantHave you ever taken the time in the activity and hectic pace of life to think about where you are going? It seems counterintuitive to even pose the question. I mean we are all heading in some direction, but have we given any reflective thought to where? You may find yourself engaged in certain activities you perform habitually and even dutifully, and after a while you are not even sure why you do it anymore. Maybe at one point in time it served you well. Maybe once there was something or somewhere you were trying to get to and that is why you did what you did. Quite possibly you behaved in a specific way to get a specific result and now find yourself, like the drug addict, searching endlessly for that initial high; that early experience that hooked you in the first place. Whatever the reasons, whatever your present circumstances, the question remains. Do you know where you are going?

A funny thing happens to you after you have been living for some time on earth. You can have the tendency to forget your way. Instead of seeking or striving towards some worthy goal, you sort of settle into the routines of life. There is really nothing you are after or trying to accomplish, but instead days of living with no real purpose, nothing that gets you up in the morning. You still do the same stuff, but there is no longer anything behind the stuff. The habits you have developed over the years become your existence and on you trudge day after day, mired in bad habits and things that no longer serve you. And like the crazy person who continues doing the exact same thing without any good result, you persist on a fruitless path ever wishing, hoping something will change. However, nothing can change if you don’t change. Instead of wishing your life was different in some way, you owe it to yourself to give some thought to which direction you are heading. If what you do, day in and day out, is not producing any result (any good result), you have to at least begin to change what it is that you do. At some future point, you aren’t going to have any days left. 

Self introspection and evaluation is not your aim. As imperfect creatures, we will all succeed in finding things that aren’t so good. Instead your end game is to honestly and  lovingly look at your life; how you have been living and see if your tendencies lean towards good things or if your tendencies lean towards bad things; bad things defined by the results they engender in your life. Some things we do, and you know this, serve no other purpose than to wear us out. Oh we persist, by God, but in the final analysis it’s the same bad habits leading to the same bad results over a lifetime. If you do stuff and continue to do stuff that causes you not to feel good about yourself, that is your first clue. Good things, true things, productive things have no downside. That is not to say you always have to produce something, but if you are producing bad things, you are heading in the wrong direction. Look if you are doing things you enjoy and feel good about and they leave you feeling happy, keep on keeping on. But, if you have to rationalize their existence, make excuses and lie to yourself, you’ve got to come clean at some juncture. All things in moderation are acceptable lest you be too severe with yourself!

Sometimes the issue isn’t so much what you are doing as it is what you aren’t doing. Every day has contained within it demands that must be accomplished. Ignoring those demands, in favor of some fun or other distraction, doesn’t leave you the better for it, but rather the worse. Do the important things however seemingly small. Every brick you leave unstacked gathers power over you. Soon you find yourself buried under a weight you can no longer discern. Doing nothing of value day after day, shirking your responsibilities, forsaking any discernible goals or plans, halts your forward progress and thus guarantees you will not reach any desirable destination. How could you? Maybe your life has become such a drag not because of your circumstances, but because you stopped moving forward. You stopped setting things to aim at or pursue. There’s nothing about getting older that suggests you should no longer have things you want to accomplish nor stop making plans to improve and increase and to grow. If you don’t have anything to aim at you’re going to spend a lot of time wandering in futility. And perhaps we have all been there at one time or another, faded out and lacking motivation. But, it is never too late to change and it is never too late to start moving forward again. 

So, where are you going? Do you know? Is there something specific you are aiming at and want to achieve? Is your life getting better and better? Is your life getting worse? Or maybe worst of all, has your life become an endless episode of ground hog day offering no promise, no hope, no blessings, no goodness, nothing? Whatever your life is with every conceivable combination therein, you owe yourself some reflection concerning where you are and where you would like to be. It’s okay to be stuck as long as you know you are and are seeking the way out of it. There is nothing as good for the soul as some sincere realizations followed by a vigorous desire to change. You can always change directions. You can always learning something new. You can always get to where you want to get as long as you know where you are going!

Just some good thoughts…

Wasted Days and Wasted Nights…


dam_asset_image-27230920200606-6634-14jvdp4Every day you spend in fear, in anxiety, bound to some potential, negative future outcome is a wasted day. Whenever your options for living are limited, reduced, paired down and minimized, you are being stolen from and subsequently your life is being wasted. Each new day is a glorious opportunity to live and experience and pursue, but when distractions enter in, you begin to unknowingly squander away your days fixated on the wrong things; looking in the wrong direction, missing the life that was given you to enjoy. How many people find themselves living wasted days and wasted nights?

Life, undistracted and unencumbered, has within it a certain energy level; a vital life force; the capacity to do all that you ever want to do. In its most basic essence, life naturally contains the vitality and excitement necessary to sustain you and render you contented and satisfied. Yet, on the other side of that life, an opponent works behind the scenes to steal from you that which was yours to enjoy. And like the robber that creeps in undetected, you are unable to recognize the theft occurred until long after the valuables are gone. So many people today only half live. Sure they are going through the motions and dutifully carrying out the day’s responsibilities, but they are not really living. They spend their days consumed with negative potentialities and that nagging, annoying something back there claiming they cannot really live and experience because of something soon to appear to thwart their efforts. Instead of moving forward they sort of hover there, caught up and entangled in something too elusive to lay ahold of or recognize. They know something is wrong, but cannot quite put their finger on it. All they know for sure is that their life has been reduced, hemmed in, hindered in some vague way; some undetectable way. 

Whenever you are feeling bored; trapped in predictable routines; mired in responsibilities and rules for living, you are being stolen from. One by one the things you enjoy are questioned and subsequently curtailed to the point where your enjoyments all must be censored, contained and controlled. God forbid you start having too much fun. Enjoyments need to be only half enjoyed and all supposed excesses reigned in and brought under subjection. Soon you find that all your enjoyments have been scaled down to acceptable levels, leaving you, the one called into question, questioning all of your choices; limiting all of your fun; afraid to experience and live. You’ve become irresponsible in your responsibilities. You are super safe and at the same time, almost dead. You don’t go too far, but you also don’t go far enough. You have been tricked into thinking that all fun, all good times, all enjoyments should be questioned, while never considering the source of your constraints. You consider that maybe God favors the bland lifestyle and all apparent good should be reexamined. In this, you have been deceived. Life is to be enjoyed and routine, rote, unthinking behaviors excluded at all costs. 

Much of our wasted days and wasted nights are centered in an over preoccupation with self. What a dichotomy that pursuit of self leaves you with an unhappy self. The more you look inward; the more you evaluate and assess; the more you focus on your own emotions and your own feelings, the unhappier you become. You feel as if you are getting to the bottom of you, but you are not. You seek to discover yourself and instead discover everything but yourself. Self-focus distracts you from your life. You cannot see the moment you are in. You cannot experience others because your are experiencing your own self and every fleeting emotion associated with self. This is a deception of untold proportions. You falsely assume that if you can just get to the bottom of you, all will be well. However, there is no bottom of you of which to arrive. Instead there is nothing but imperfection more closely examined leading nowhere. But, once you turn away fully from almighty self, you quickly find joy and peace and the energy to live. You experience not you at the center of all things, but you experiencing all things of which you are not the center. 

Wasted days and wasted nights are the by-products of distraction. Whatever distracts takes away from that which is real, genuine, true. Distractions concerning worries and fears blind you to the true essence and blessings in your life and slowly, but surely, grind your life to a halt. Distractions concerning behaving properly or not sinning, not making God unhappy, not being good, not being worthy, rob your life of fun times and work to censure your enjoyments, limit your pleasures and generally suck the life out of all that contains life and vitality. Distractions over self, preoccupation with self, obsessions concerning self and only self, paint a picture of failure and defeat lived out in varying, fleeting emotions which are no more true than the moments they appear within. They distract from the experience of others and isolate you, trapped within a prison cell of your own making. All are nothing but distractions leading you away from the reality of your life over to some other place that doesn’t exist, or exists only in your own mind. 

You owe it to yourself to recognize where the distractions of life have crept in and robbed you of your blessed existence. Take note of those times you aren’t there, but only half there caught up in the web of your own thoughts. Move your mind and thoughts to another place. Stop standing around mesmerized by what appears to be going on and get busy experiencing what is actually going on. Engage yourself fully, single minded and unafraid. Get outside of yourself and turn your focus outward. Every night you spend worried; every day you spend caught up in self evaluation and judgment; every day you spend consumed with your own feelings is a waste of your time and life. Rid yourself of the distractions and get busy living the day you are in. Get busy living the one short life you have been given. Move ahead and do it now…

Just some good thoughts…

Life Requires Your Participation…


1_1X2KtJHaDNEr3MBghmUA5wI was thinking the other day about how your life can go sort of stale on you. Things don’t appear different on the outside; there haven’t been any major changes; nothing dramatic has occurred, yet suddenly it feels a bit pointless and dry. It’s almost as if there isn’t anything to look forward to and your existence seems to have slowed down to a crawl. The more deeply I considered the emotions, the more curious I became. What is it that happens to a person that takes away the joy and adventure of living? What event or series of events have been at work behind the scenes stealing away precious life and vitality? What could have possibly been going on in a person’s thought life that led to these negative and hopeless conclusions? Then, I knew the answer. Life requires your participation!

The way you stop participating in life is when you stop moving forward. You don’t necessarily feel like you stopped, but if you are honest you know you no longer have anything you are pursuing. You aren’t on an exciting adventure full of discovery. You aren’t on a journey towards some worthwhile end. You have no grand plans for your exciting future life, but instead have settled in to mediocrity and silence. You’re going through the motions, living, but not really living. There was a time when you had a zest for living and carried a mind full of expectations and desires. But, something happened to you. Something worked you over and wore you down. Someone or a host of someones chipped away at your ambitions and goals. One by one, little by little, your mental plans were closed off and nullified. It wasn’t your age that did it to you, but maybe the considerations you entertained concerning your age. It wasn’t the circumstances of your life that took away your dreams as you had similar, if not worse circumstances, in your unknown and untraveled youth. What changed was your interpretation of your circumstances and what they meant in terms of your future life. Your lack of energy and exhaustion didn’t come about from extreme efforts, but instead lack of effort; lack of movement and ultimately a lack of participation in your own life. You stopped doing your part. Life requires your participation.

When you remove all of the covers, when you take off all the disguises, when you peel away all of the layers, a person’s arch nemesis in life is always fear. It is fear that enters in an impedes your forward progress. Doubt causes you to hesitate. Worry slows your progress forward and fear eventually freezes you in your tracks. Like the mighty roar of a lion, fear roars to stop your forward progress, rendering you helpless from the enemy’s pending attack. The name of the thief that stole your ideals is fear. The hunter that trapped you in a cage of mediocrity is fear. The robber that made off with your enthusiasm and zest for living is fear. Absent fear your mind is free to function at full speed, full of ideas and dreams and wishes, hopes and plans. What happened to you was not a function of aging or gaining wisdom concerning the world. What happened was in some capacity, in some imperceptible way, by repetition and habit, fear got to you. Fear tricked you into stopping your forward momentum. Fear pointed out why your plans could not work; how foolish you were for thinking them and how many obstacles existed to impede your progress towards them. But, it wasn’t fear’s lies that defeated you, it was your acceptance of those lies as evidenced by your lack of progress toward your plans. You, because of fear, stopped moving; stopped doing; stopped trying. Your dreams require your participation in their attainment.

Often people pray for God to take away their problems and troubles. They beg God to simply step in and remedy the situation for them. And while that sounds beautiful, further inspection reveals that is not how life works, indeed not how God works. God moves in people as they move. Waiting and praying and wishing won’t restore the life you have lost as a victim to fear. You have to move again. You have to take some steps. You have got to start moving forward. However it happened to you, it already happened. Bless God for helping you see what you need the most to see.  Praise God for those times you got to recognize and understand it for yourself. What happened to you is common to all men. The acid test for your soul is to look back at your former dreams and goals, your plans, your enthusiasms for things, and note how you stopped pursuing them. You gave them up. It’s like the man that hates his job; complains about his job; is stressed out by his job, yet does nothing to change the situation. Sure he prays and pleads and waits and cries, yet does nothing to change the situation. What would he have God to do in his story? God will move when he moves and not a second earlier. If you are no longer looking for the things that have the most appeal to you, how could you ever find them? If you have given up on even trying something, how could you ever succeed at it? If you already know everything, what else is there for you to learn? The problem isn’t God or the world or the circumstances, the problem is you. Fear (look no further) has tricked you into halting your forward progress and life won’t return for you until you decide to move again. Life requires your participation.

Friends, the doldrums, the boredoms, the lackluster and mundane would overtake us all. However, we are only so because we have ceased our forward progress. We stopped moving and will remain abject and defeated until we take charge and move again. Get back in the game. Remember what you love the most and begin to pursue it again. Take a step then another step and then another. Don’t allow the liar fear to color your world drab gray any longer. Move ahead and see the beauty and vibrance that life is and once again see the God that called you and loves you. Make some moves and see it for yourself. Participate in your own life!

Just some good thoughts…

Keep it Moving…


The peculiar thing about life is that it only moves in one direction. All living things are in a constant state of flux. Nothing stagnates and survives. Like time, life can only be played forward and the key to your success is to keep moving ahead. Failure comes not so much from making mistakes as you move, but your failure to move altogether! Keep it moving!

You were designed by your Creator to live and move and have your being! (Acts 17:28) You have your days that you might live them, be done with them and enjoy the prospects of the new ones. As the sun travels across the sky ever moving, you travel through your life ever moving also. How many times in your life have you been exhorted to “move ahead” or to “move on?” The essence of that sage advice is that you cannot afford to sit still or to dwell in some long since past event that you can neither effect, live, nor change in any way. Cleaving to the former days; to your former enlightenment; to the former good days when life was “simple” is always a deception. It’s a deception because it is based on a perception you no longer entertain. Back then you were who you were back then. Today you are who you are today. Sure you may have enjoyed a certain innocence, but you also suffered many bruises as you gained perspective and learned your lessons. There’s nothing more sad than to see a person desperately trying to cleave to a period long past. Doing so concludes that today no longer holds the promise that yesterday held. Instead you must move ahead embracing your special memories, recognizing the influence they had on the person you are today. You have to keep it moving!

Moving forward keeps the barnacles from adhering to your deck! Things that have stopped moving corrupt and rust. Similarly, when you stop moving forward, for whatever reason, you also begin to decay. A stagnant pool is so because it has no influx of new water. Soon it begins to stink and becomes a breeding ground for disease. What has stopped you from moving in your life? Was it some catastrophic event? Was it some epic loss that rendered you forever incapable of experiencing life again? When the patriarch David’s son died, despite his enduring grief and emptiness of soul, he knew he had to wash his face and move ahead. It didn’t serve to minimize the tragedy of his loss, but instead afforded him a chance to continue to live. No matter what has happened to you, painful as it was and is, you have to find a way to move ahead.

The great enemy of life lives amidst a perpetual scheme to stop you from moving forward. He probes and plots to produce the conditions that cause you to stagger and stop. The lion roars to freeze his prey! The adversary, through fear, roars to stop you in your tracks. As long as you move ahead, he cannot pounce. But, fear will impede your forward movement. In reacting to and considering the devilish proposition, your forward momentum begins to slow. As you slow down, you begin to recognize more and more from which to be afraid! Now, sitting there frozen in fear, life becomes a living hell. The only reasonable solution is to move forward. Do something! Take action on the thing that is making you so fearful. Go to the doctor. Take the test. Have the conversation. Do something. Have you ever noticed that often in the midst of great stress and anxiety, moving your mind forward in some other activity often helps you to gain perspective? Go help someone. Move your thoughts in a different direction. Let whatever it is go for a minute and focus your attention elsewhere. Fear is a human conundrum from which it can be very difficult to escape. When you are afraid life slows to a standstill! How long the night lasts wrapped up in some worried, anxious concern. Instead of participating in an endless game from which you cannot escape, give the situation to God and move ahead! Make your mind move ahead!

In order to live the best life, in order to gain the most from your days, you have to determine yourself to keep moving ahead. You find yourself distracted for three months concerning some dread and suddenly for whatever reason are able to let it go, only to find that the thing you so ardently dreaded never happened anyway! But, you sacrificed three months in the process. Although you found a way to win, you still lost precious time along the way. You have to learn to live the day fully and not carry it into the new day. Move ahead. Let the past go and be now done with it. Keep it moving. Quit looking back and look ahead. As you move, God moves with you. In the new day you are free to be whomever you want to be. Why continue carrying around that dead carcass of the past? Today you have fresh new perspectives. Today you have opportunities unlimited. Move, move, move ahead!

We are all in the same boat together folks! What has scared you has scared me also. You have your scars and I have my scars as well. Those scars may remind you of a painful time, but they don’t have to hurt anymore. Often things heal the most rapidly when we at last loosen our grip on them and let them go. How quickly things resolve when we decide to move ahead! Yet how long things seem to endure when we stop our forward progress focusing only on what may not be right about our lives. Whatever it is that is troubling you, whatever it is that has impeded your forward progress, whatever it is that has caused your life to slow to a standstill, know this – you can resolve it once and for all when you finally decide to move ahead!

You have to keep it moving!

Just some good thoughts…

Life Moves in One Direction Only…


“Life moves in one direction only – and each day we are faced with an actual set of circumstances, not with what might have been, not with what we might have done, but with what is, and with where we are now- and from this point we must proceed; not from where we were, not from where we wish we were – but from where we are…” ~ Richard L. Evans

I came across this quote today and found myself immediately filled with inspiration regarding its great reality. Your life, my life is always an ever present ‘now.’ There is no such thing as what might have been because what might have been hasn’t happened yet. Similarly, what we might have done is equally deceptive in that we have not yet done it yet. Instead in full ownership and without excuse, with full accountability, our life is what it is today. We are where we are today and where we are is the only place from which we can move forward. We cannot move from where we were nor can we move from where we wish we were. Life only moves in one direction and it can only move forward and progress when we accept what is for what it is and resolve ourselves to change the things we need to change.

As human beings, there will always be things in our lives we know we need to change. Some things will come easy for us and fade away like fog when the sun comes out. Other things will not come out without a great and arduous struggle, sometimes demanding years to overcome. But, make no mistake, nothing can ever change for the better until we come to full terms with what is. Our flaws, our foibles, our errors call aloud for resolution and we are loathe to admit them for what they are. We excuse them, we justify them, we explain them away, secretly hoping we can someday gain a magical grasp on them and be that much better for it. But, at the end of the day, they are our problems and no matter how they gained control over us, they call aloud for remedy.

It’s not easy to admit our issues as like a disagreeable friend they have become a part of us. However unwelcome, they are a part of who we are today. But, they are not our friends and the effects of their influence over us only leads to suffering and misery. They are our great hold-back and hinderance. They stymie our joy and blessings. They lead us down paths we never sought to traverse. They are bumps in the otherwise smooth road. They are ditches and well-worn ruts sent to defeat us. And we will never master them, though master them we must, until we allow ourselves to see them for what they really are – lies… There are enjoyments and pleasures in life to bless us, but when overdone and not controlled, bring pain instead. But, you cannot control what you refuse to acknowledge. Nothing good starts as excess, but in excess becomes nothing good. What you fail to control eventually controls you. What you choose to ignore gradually gains ascendancy like a rock in your shoe ignored over many miles. The lesson required you to make a change the first time it hurt you.

There’s a great freedom in accepting your life for what it is both the good and the bad. No man is all good and no woman is all bad. We are all shades and mixtures of both with everything in-between. We may possess great strength and great weakness. We are all subject to like passions. We all feel and perceive deeply at times and other times are numb and without perception. We are both sensitive and have callouses over parts of our hearts. We have all been harmed at one time or another and we are all in need of healing. But, in order to be healed we have to once again recognize where we are hurting. We have to acknowledge what is…without judgment and self chastisement. No man goes astray on his own without first being led. No-one in their right mind would purposefully choose suffering and pain. But, we do suffer at times and need someone to deliver us. We need love, not a lecture. We need forgiveness and often first from ourselves. We need God!

In short, we need to be honest with ourselves and honest with God. Our  relationship with God is not politics whereby we seek to present all of our actions in a favorable light. Instead it is a relationship based on trust. It is a willingness for us to see ourselves right we are no matter how dirty, confused or deceived we have become. It is having the humility to admit we have gone astray and an earnest desire for God to help us get back on track. He is not here to judge us or condemn us for where we have ended up, but instead like a loving Father welcomes us back into His arms with solutions we haven’t been able to fathom before. Discipline doesn’t get the job done, love does! We need Him to love us back into loving ourselves again, not because we have only done right, but because He only does right and He is love.

You’re not going to travel very far in life before you find yourself totally screwed up over something. No matter what it is, that is not the end of the road. Be grateful it finally got clear enough for you to see it. You can’t sink so low but that underneath you aren’t the loving arms of God. Acknowledge it. Admit it! It is what it is, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Life truly moves in one direction only and the only way you can move ahead is for you to accept where you are at this very moment and move up from there. Get back up! God loves you and so do I…

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

 

What are You Looking for in Life?


Have you ever asked yourself exactly what it is you are looking for in life? What are you after? What do you want? Where are you going? Deep questions indeed, but are they? Some people, it seems, aren’t looking for anything at all. Others are looking for something, but in all the wrong places. And some blessed individuals are looking for and seeing clearly what they want and how to go about getting it. Which one are you?

Life in its basic essence is all about movement. Nothing that God has made stays the same. It is always in a state of flux, always growing or dying, always thriving or decaying. Nothing remains the same and it is impossible to stand still physically or mentally unless of course, you are dead. And sadly, some people die long before they are dead. Oh I get it! I know what happens to you, if you’ve lived long enough. The system of things sort of gets to you. You can get terribly disillusioned and disheartened by how things have turned out. Lost hopes, dissolved dreams, little or nothing to look forward to, mar the portals of your mind. Pretty soon and unbeknownst to you, all the doors and windows have been shut, leaving you alone in some empty, dark place with seemingly little opportunity for change. So there you sit, exasperated and done with it all. You’ve checked out. You’ve cashed in your chips. You’ve played your hand and lost. But, have you really lost? Has life really stopped for you or have you stopped doing life? Are the doors and windows of your soul been barricaded shut forever or is it just an illusion? Has your fire been snubbed out or is there still a flicker waiting for you to fan it? The system, the wheel of things may be iron clad, but there is still, and always will be a greater force, waiting for you to ask the right question, make the sincere request, and seek solemn help outside of yourself to recover your missing life. It doesn’t matter how old you are. It matters what you believe and do…

Many people, busied, harried and distracted by things in life, are looking for their precious life in all the wrong places. They haven’t stopped moving, but instead are moving in the wrong direction. They are seeking things that aren’t true, were never true and will never be true. They have believed the Hollywood version of life; a life where you can have your cake and eat it too; a life where your personal decisions and actions carry no weight; a life where you can do what you want, when you want, however you want without any regard for anyone else involved. They have foolishly put themselves first, second, third and every place thereafter. They think the “good life” is found in money and fame and fortune, which they pursue to their own demise. Oh, I understand them as well. The deception they follow has been artfully crafted. It is paraded on the television, promoted in social media, wished for and worshipped. It is a life of ease and good times. It’s a life where you no longer have to work and produce, but instead can tell your soul to take its ease and simply enjoy. But, can you really enjoy it? Like the poor folks that have stopped moving forward, seduced and deceived, you too will stop moving forward. Once you stop producing, however small, you will find yourself miserable and unhappy. The joy of life is found in the pursuit. You do not ever arrive to remain forever. You get to your destination to discover your next destination. There is nothing wrong with the money or the fame or the fortune, unless they become your end point, unless they become about you and about you alone. All of us know how easy it is to get pushed or pulled off course and all of us have done it. The measure of your life is not found in how many mistakes you made or didn’t make, but rather in your willingness to get back on track; your willingness to find the right path; your willingness to admit you have gone astray. You too can find it if you really want to find it…

Finally, we have all encountered that one guy or that one girl. They know exactly what they want and are busy about making it happen. We admire them, we feel jealousy towards them, we laud them and we revere them. We think they must have something special or enjoy favor we don’t enjoy. We don’t see that they are people just like we are people. We don’t see their doubts and fears, we just see their results. We don’t see their dogged persistence, but instead call them lucky. We don’t regard their efforts, but instead conclude they must have had advantages we didn’t receive. Their success comes because they move forward. They have setbacks, they have disappointments, they fail, but they keep moving forward. They have learned by trial and error, by steadfast endeavor, by strong beliefs, that the way to achieve; the way to acquire your dreams; the way to reach every goal is simply to never allow yourself to stop moving towards it. Oh they might pause, may be pushed off track, may feel disheartened, but they get back up and get themselves moving again! They don’t have access to the secret or to some inside track, it is more simple than that. Any worthwhile thing in your life will require effort and sacrifice on your part to bring it to pass. Life requires effort, not thought alone, effort! You make no moves, you get no results. How many people are waiting for something to happen without doing anything to make things happen? How many people wish and dream and fantasize, but never get around to any concrete action? Life is about movement and effort, however small. Believing without any action is dead. If you want anything, anything at all, you have to act on it. You supply the effort. You don’t get to see the second step until you take the first step. You don’t start at the top, you start at the bottom. But, you have to start! God is so good that even if you make all the wrong moves trying to reach a goal, your movement will be rewarded with learning, leading to the right moves. But, make no mistake, you have got to move! It’s there for you, it’s there for me, but we have to make the moves.

What are you looking for in your life? What are you after? What do you want? Where are you going? The answers to these questions may not always be clear, but one thing is clear! If you want anything in your life, you have to supply the effort to get it. You have to move. You have to act. You…you…you! If you have been broken down and defeated, God can heal you, but you have to move. If you find yourself woefully off-track, God can get you on track if you are willing to move. Keep moving, keep acting, keep taking steps, even baby steps because life, your life, will always be found in movement. If you are still alive, you always have a chance to win. Just move forward…

Just some good thoughts…

Just Walk Away…


You’ve probably been a part of a situation where someone wanted to draw you into their drama or to get you to fight about something. Then, because of the advice of a trusted friend or maybe through your own thought processes, you decide it’s not worth it and maybe you should just walk away. Many situations in life draw far more than their fair share of our attention and our focus when perhaps the best option might just have been to walk away. And sometimes even considering a situation or someone’s words or words bouncing around in your own head becomes your problem when you should have just walked away from those thoughts. Just walk away…

It has oft been repeated that where you place your attention, your life moves. And life, if you haven’t noticed by now, is chock full of little life suckers that appear like mosquitos nibbling away at your flesh, one irritation at a time. They don’t represent life threatening scenarios or circumstances demanding your full, focused attention. Instead they are most often represented in annoyances, aggravations and frustrations carefully placed to rob you of minutes and hours, then days and years. They surreptitiously steal your energy, your vitality, your life force. They are raindrops at your picnic, the blowing wind while you are fishing, the clouds at the beach. They move with such subtlety that you rarely see them coming, only to recognize them after their work is done, leaving you depleted and lacking your original enthusiasm. They contradict life by occupying it and busying it until there is no joy left in it. They are not worthy of your attention or your time and are best dealt with by refusal or simply your decision to walk away.

While life demands at times that we must fight, not every fight is worth fighting for. Some fights serve only to draw you into the mud also where both parties have to get dirty. Some fights don’t represent your cause, but another’s cause. Some fights are grounded in frivolity, not engendering sufficient reason. There is a fight worth your effort, unless that is, your energy has already been squandered on things that do not matter. How much time do we invest into things that do not matter? We allow words and opinions and judgments to push us off center, desperately defending ourselves against an idea or a concept that didn’t accurately represent us to begin with. Yet there we remain, rolling around on the pavement getting scuffed and bruised, wrestling with someone or something that didn’t really matter at all. Negative opinions and their associated judgment have never helped one person get better and never will. The only fight worth your time and effort is the fight between good and evil, whereby you do your part to choose the light and love and goodness in oppostion to a whole world full of darkness. The rest exists only to waste your precious time. Just walk away.

The great competition of life takes place in your mind. The great fight is fought between your ears. You win and lose by the thoughts you choose to entertain. Wrong thoughts, negative thoughts, contrary thoughts, fearful thoughts, condemnatory thoughts, self deprecating thoughts, accusatory thoughts, guilty thoughts, threatening thoughts, all carry within them seeds of failure, that in order to grow must be held onto and cultivated. Your consideration is the cultivation. They appear as reasonable in an appeal to your reason. They display themselves as truth but only have a kernel of truth in them. And no matter their appearance, their poison remains within. The more you sip, the more poisoned you become. And if you drink enough of them, they will kill you. These thought enemies appear harmless and beg for further inspection, consideration. And like the cat that curiosity killed, they clamor for your attention. They itch and ask you to scratch them. They tempt you and seduce you for the opportunity to remain, to exist, to have a place. Once you have given them a place they spread out and occupy, fixing little strongholds, seeking stronger attachments until eventually they bring down the entire edifice. And all along while you fight and struggle and reason and worry, desperately trying to figure it out, their hold is strengthened and permitted and allowed. It never dawned on you that your solution was simply just to walk away. Let them go. Stop your consideration of their potential reality and just walk away.

Your time on Earth is limited. Your opportunities for an impact are finite. You have one and only one shot at this thing. You have got one life and not for very long. You owe it to yourself to maximize your existence. Your life demands that you learn where to place your efforts and when to walk away. There are a million worthy causes, but for you only one worthy cause. At the end of your days, you won’t remember all of the petty aggravations and frustrations. You won’t think of all the time you spent in useless worry and consideration over some awful thing that never appeared. You won’t wish you had fought more and challenged more and set people straight. Instead you will reflect on all the good things you enjoyed and the time you spent rightfully on the things that really mattered. You will remember the people you loved and the people that loved you. You will rejoice over those times you got it right and helped people and lifted them up; your time spent on worthy efforts and the time you invested that impacted lives. You will hoped to have left a legacy of love and kindness and goodness that no-one will forget. And finally, you’ll be so eternally grateful for the times you had the good sense to just walk away and no longer squander your precious life on the things not worthy of your time and effort. Thank God you had the good sense to just walk away!

Just some good thoughts…

Getting Rid of the Hurt and Dirt in Your Life!


You know, if you’ve lived long enough, there are things in life that serve no other purpose than to hold you back! No matter how hard you work to be successful and happy, these things are guaranteed to severely retard your progress. We don’t hold on to these things on purpose, but somehow they manage to stick around and thwart our every move. It behooves us all to figure out how to get the hurt and dirt out of our lives.

All of us have been hurt by someone or something in some capacity. Maybe you were raised as part of a beloved organization that really let you down in your later years. Maybe someone you cherished left you for someone else. Perhaps you gave your all for some important job only to discover that your value was fleeting and transitory. Perhaps you suffered some tragedy involving your loved ones that you are still scratching your head to try and figure out. No matter what has happened to you, and some things are frightfully dreadful and incredibly painful, you have to find a way to move ahead.

Holding on to wrongs done and the multiplicity of injustices you’ve experienced does nothing more than to stymy and squash your current enjoyment of life. Your heart, in response to the hurts you are holding onto, has no choice but to resort to hardness to protect itself. And, once your heart gets hard and calloused, you no longer have the capacity to feel the things you are supposed to feel. The whole world suffers from this malady… People wander aimlessly their whole lives through searching and tirelessly pursuing that heart they remember with great fondness. Yet, they fail to realize that they themselves are doing the very thing that keeps their own heart hard! You absolutely must do whatever it takes to move ahead and let those things go. You have to move past the hurts in your life.

In similar fashion, we all have those parts of our lives we wish we didn’t have. We are all human beings and as such are often easy to beat. We like things and then we like them too much! We cleave on to the very things that make our lives miserable. We know our excesses and propensity for more than enough, yet on we go traveling down the same roads over and over and over again! Certain behaviors, certain activities always turn out bad, no matter how they seem in the moment. Yet so goes humanity swirling and boiling in its passions leading wherever it gets led, never really taking the time to consider and thus choose.

If we really want to soar; if we really want to travel the high roads in life, we need to get rid of our dirt. We need to rid ourselves of those things both subtle and obvious that always return us woe. Why stagger we between two opinions? We know those choices that bring us peace and we also know those choices that cause unrest. It behooves us to simply recognize what is going on and change it. All humanity wrestles with this same conundrum. We want our cake and to eat it too! We seek to travel the roads of high endeavor with pockets full of sand, rocks and debris. We think we can somehow fool the system; straddle the fence; commingle truth and error. But, we cannot. We have to make a choice. We have to finally rid ourselves of our dirt!

In order to live life; to really experience all that God intended for you, you have to rid yourself of the hurt and all the dirt. Both, though very cleverly disguised, are thorns in your flesh, oil in your water, sand in your machinery. They are distractions and they are lies. Often your solution isn’t to do something, but to stop doing something! Life can be more about the things you choose not to do rather than the things you should do. Holding onto hurts and wrongs done chokes and suffocates your life. Insisting on doing things you know always turn out wrong buries your heart in bad feelings and remorse. Both are crucially important and both are matters of the heart.

In order to win at the game of life, you have to protect your heart. You have to make choices that encourage tenderness of heart. A tender heart; a heart that feels and loves and gives, is the heart of God. Once you rid yourself of the poisons your heart begins to recover. Remove the cause and the body heals!

Decide now to get rid of the hurt and dirt in your life. You don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to do your part… You deserve to fly!

Just some good thoughts…

 

Getting Unstuck (Take It On Already)…


I would hazard a guess, based on my personal experience, age and general listening plus paying attention, that many people get stuck along the way in life. Something happened or didn’t happen. They have endured some affliction. Some gotcha got them or even they may have enjoyed way too much of a good thing for way too long… Suffice it to say, they have become stuck, as in not moving forward, aka stopped in their tracks, fast forward, stagnating away in a perpetual pool of nothing happens. What sticks it to you to make you stuck and how can you escape it?

All of life is on the move. Only dead things stay still. You can either egress or digress. You flourish or you wither. You continue to grow or you begin to die. No matter how you wrap it, life was designed to involve forward action. People, in general, are at their best as long as they are moving towards something. You don’t have to be in a full sprint and at times you are allowed to pause, but when you stop altogether, that’s where the trouble starts. People stop moving for a variety of different reasons. Some find themselves embroiled in a problem for which there appears to be no solution. Others have long given up on their dreams or accepted the falsity that they had no dreams. Some think they are too old, too fat, too dumb, too lazy or too anything that convinces them it’s okay to surrender. For others it may be a mistake they made 40 years ago or even last month. Some are just plain old worn out by life. Regardless of the shape or form it comes in, ceasing from forward movement is always not true!

Full speed living means that you take on an issue as soon as it appears. Like children do so beautifully, you create a large fuss about your needs not being met then not let it go until something happens. Children are persistent. Adults are complacent. Children are honest. Adults lie to themselves to make things okay. Children ask for help right away. Adults ask for help just after all hell has broken loose. The quickest and easiest way to solve a problem is right when it occurs. You take it on and deal with it right now! Letting things go, a national epidemic, allows our difficulties and troubles to become entrenched. Once entrenched, like allowing yourself to weigh too much, is that much harder from which to escape. And, your habits of letting it go must be confronted with that much more resolve, a habit you have not been practicing. Then, no wonder you find yourself stuck! People aren’t talked out of their dreams overnight. They are talked out of them over days and months and years. You can’t become too old or too fat or too lazy unless you have let something go for too long! You are worn out not by life, but by your refusal to fight back. Even mistakes, no matter how egregious, represent a moment in time; one you can never get back.

Each precious day of your life you are in a contest. Your mind is the arena. You can battle and strive or you can give in and retreat, but no matter what you do, you are in a fight. Wishing away the fight won’t end the fight. Ignoring the fight just leads to eventual defeat because you are still getting hit. Numbing yourself to the fight is more of the same. You have to learn to fight back! You have to learn what exactly is going on. If you don’t and many, many don’t, then you lose. You get stuck then whittled away in a shitty existence always wishing you would have and should have etc. And worse, all that crap that’s been threatening you a lifetime starts settling in on you. Can’t you see it? You stopped moving forward. You quit fighting for yourself. You gave in…

Your life is not over, no matter what has happened or where you find yourself! You may have stopped moving for awhile, but if you are reading this, it aint over yet! You still have hope. You can change once you finally learn what has been perpetually kicking your butt! But, learn you must. You aren’t alone in your quest. In fact, you are just like all the rest of us. You are in the contest because all people are in the contest. You may not have been competing very well, but you can learn to compete. You can learn what it means to fight spiritually with spiritual enablements and quit relying on your intelligence, your brain, your extreme rationality. You can see because God wants you to see. All you need is a little humility and a little willingness to ask for help. Or you can sit there, defeated, pretending to be okay, and wait for the end. “Why sit we here until we die?”

The simplest way out of your dilemma is to begin moving forward again. Move forward! Stop looking around you bewildered, confused, distressed and decide to make a move. Take some action. Come to my Bible fellowship. Pray about it and then listen carefully. Read your Bible. Talk to a friend. Do something. Don’t just sit there mentally, do something. You will quickly learn that once you make a move, God makes a move. Once you act, God acts. God won’t make you move (trust me), but He will honor your believing efforts. There is an answer. There are always answers.

No matter how entrenched you’ve become in that giant bowl of spaghetti, know this, once long ago there was just one piece of pasta, from which you could easily escape. You just need to start grabbing at the strands, one at a time until they’re all gone. With God’s help you can do it. You can move ahead. You can the life you have imagined!

Just some good thoughts…

 

Getting Out of Your Own Head…


Have you ever had a scenario play out where the answer to your dilemma was something totally unexpected or not at all what you had envisioned? At times in life, in your personal distress and commitment to solving a problem, you conclude that the more time you spend in resolution activities; the more you expend yourself in searching for a solution; the more you refuse to let it go, the more likely you are to come across the answer. But, what if it doesn’t work that way at all? What if the answer isn’t to keep seeking, but rather to simply move ahead. What if the peace you are after comes not from holding onto but rather from releasing? Maybe you just need to get out of your own head.

Have you ever had the experience whereby the harder you try to remember something the more elusive it becomes, but when you finally let it go, it comes to you perfectly and without any strain. Life wasn’t intended to be brought about by strain. Nature doesn’t strain. Love doesn’t strain. The best things in life come about as naturally as breathing or sleeping. But, if you obsess over your breathing or falling asleep both become impossible and labored. That alone should prove to you that life was not designed to spring forth from strain, but instead the absence of it. That which you do with stress; with ardent pressing; with over-effort fails to deliver the things you need the most.

Your human condition; your ego; your insistence on solving your problems yourself lead only to frustration. Stress and worry promise that if you put in enough time; enough focus; enough persistence you will eventually find the solution. But, has it ever been successful? Have you ever, in the midst of your frenetic worry, been able to get to anything useful or helpful? If you are honest you know that only after you have conceded or in your futility and misery decided to let it go, have you been able to see something you weren’t able to see before. In the absence of troubling worry your answer comes; it always comes as it necessarily must. Anxiety and worry serve no other purpose than to drive you inward and keep you there. In churning and debating and distressing you begin to work against yourself. You cease from helping and instead hinder.

Getting out of your own head is about recognizing just how much time to give a thing. It’s determining quickly whether this issue; this false threat to your existence;  this foreboding series of thoughts deserve your valuable time and attention. Perhaps you have been feeling like maybe something is wrong with your body. In the final analysis if something is wrong it will come forth whether you like it or not. It will reveal itself. No amount of consideration on your part will alter that reality. And, God forbid, you would have to take on and deal with that reality. Your hours spent in dutiful consideration would have no impact on that reality. Instead they would serve only to rob you of the moment that is right now. Day after day, night after night absorbed in worry and fear would do nothing to change  that reality, but instead encourage it. In short, all that time spent in your own head will profit you nothing! Also, I should add, most of the time that dreaded  reality was not a reality at all, but rather a skillfully executed drain on your existence.

Getting out of your own head is based upon understanding just what it is you do and do not control! What part has been assigned to you to manage and what part are you not supposed to try to manage? Trying to manage affairs out of your control is a prescription for heartache and pain. No human that has ever lived has successfully thought their way out of things over which they have no control! Good thinking; excellent problem solving skills; exceptional capacities to discern difficulties are all powerless against things in which they have no power. Dwelling on and living in those variables does nothing more than to keep you captured, a prisoner in your own thinking.

Hidden behind your insistence in solving all your problems with your thoughts is fear. You are afraid! You are terrified that something is going to get you. And you know of yourself that there is really nothing you can do to protect yourself. All of your time spent sincerely seeking a solution to things that threaten you are wasted time, failing to recognize where true protection and guidance come from. Your preservation from the awful things in life come only from God. He alone can preserve you and watch over you. You alone won’t get the job done. Thus, time spent challenging that assertion is wasted time; pointless activity.

Getting out of your own head means to leave your problems; your issues; your dilemmas with God and to move the hell on!  Let it go. Let them go! Get outside your own head. Walk away. Drop it all off. Pitch them all into God’s bucket and if you accidentally take them back, pitch them all in again. Refuse the temptation to solve fear because you aint going to solve it! Fear, always an illusion, cannot be solved by consideration, but only by refusal of consideration. Fear and worry must be starved out. Thinking and stressing and worrying act as food strengthening and encouraging fear towards more and more damage. Thank God for taking care of you and give it ALL to Him! Walk away my friend, walk away…

Your life, though you may not yet be convinced, was not supposed to be focused on everything that could go wrong. You are not equipped to take on the prospect of every bad thing that might assault you. Instead you were intended to give it all to something, Someone much bigger and smarter than yourself! In doing so, you are finally able to relax; to trust; to rely on Someone else to care for you. That is real, blessed life. That is getting out of your own head!

Just some good thoughts…