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…