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…

You Are Not Your Behavior!


It is common, in the highly philosophical world of social media, for people to have license to say whatever they think is true. Living in America, it certainly is their right! However, not all that is written is necessarily accurate. Some things, while sounding good on the surface, work against people’s best interests. One such conclusion, usually stated in an attempt to confront hypocrisy, is the declaration that people “are” what their behaviors indicate! Are you the sum total of your behaviors? Read on…

To conclude that who you are is based on your behavior falsely assumes you are operating in a vacuum. It does not account for circumstances or the environment. It wrongly assumes that all human behavior is simply the individual acting, free of any outside influence. It does not begin to consider the vast impact of social media which spreads negative messages like wildfire. It summarily discounts your upbringing, your difficulties and your troubles. It reckons in arrogance that all people have the same opportunity to make good decisions completely removed from the situations they find themselves in, whether arduous and perilous or delightful and easy. In short, it fails to take into account the human condition, the foibles, the errors in judgment, the emotions and passions, the capacity to see the choices clearly and therefore choose wisely.

The spectrum of human behavior is vast and wide. What is wrong for one person is right for another. The person who is hurting will naturally hurt people. But, the solution for “hurt” people is not to condemn their behavior, but rather seek to remedy their hurts. People that steal and cheat and manipulate, do so because they have learned to do so, not because they are inherently bad, but because they learned no other way to get their needs met. And while their behavior is assuredly wrong, condemnation and judgment do little to offer a chance of escape. The person that consistently does “wrong” does so for a myriad of reasons. Simply demanding that they do better or assigning more and more punishments, does nothing more than telling a beggar to get a job! Surely the person that begs, whether legitimately or as part of a deception, does so at the expense of their own self image, shamefully begging as a last resort solution or in futility for not finding any other way to make it. Wrong behavior can be remedied, but whether repaired or worsened, is not an indicator of the value of that person.

God’s love for people is never based on their behaviors. God loves unconditionally and he does so because that is what people need the most. God has the ability to see what cannot be seen and understands exactly what is behind the wrong behavior. He is all-knowing and as such knows who the person really is absent all the evil influences. He looks on the heart. And in His provision for man, provided a way for men to escape the confinement of their own past behaviors. He gave man a Savior, a man subject to all the wrong choices possible for a man, yet without a failure to always make the right one. He gave him as a substitute for the man, so that the man could move forward according to the accomplished works of another man, thereby being set free from himself. In that acceptance of the Savior, His precious man could finally have the opportunity, the free will opportunity, to make a different choice. Then, men aren’t simply the sum of their behaviors, but instead a new creation.

In similar fashion, our job as fellow human beings experiencing the human condition, is to extend that same love and acceptance to other people. We must stop judging everyone and foolishly comparing their behaviors to our own in an attempt to feel better about ourselves. Though we cannot look on their hearts, we can at least acknowledge what stinkers we can be at times compete with all of the past behaviors we would like to forget! People that act poorly or rashly or foolishly, do so from a lack of understanding, not an understanding of what is right, but rather an understanding of who they really are or can be. People need your love, not a lecture! People need compassion and understanding and kindness. The kid struggling at school or exhibiting bad behaviors needs love and forgiveness more than an extended restriction! Inside we are all the same. We need lots and lots of love and acceptance. We need people to think well of us despite our wrong behaviors and as such, influence our behavior for the better. We need copious amounts of forgiveness which enables us to start again, over and over again if needed, free of judgment, resentment  and long harbored ill feelings.

Maybe you aren’t feeling so good about yourself right now. Maybe you have made some mistakes and some bad choices. Maybe you have been choosing poorly for many, many years. Well, my friend, that does not define who you are at all. All it defines is where you are at this moment in your personal evolution and growth. Your life is not wasted. It isn’t too late for you. God will give you a new beginning if you want one and it does not matter what you did in the past. It is that big and God is that good! As a writer once noted, “You made a choice in the moment that seemed reasonable in the moment, but to look back upon it in your later years with new eyes is at a minimum unnecessary and foolish.” Let your past be the past even if it extends only five minutes ago.

You are NOT the sum total of your behaviors! You are a person subject to a wide variety of influences, some of which will have assuredly led you astray. The only remedy for being led astray is to rediscover the course. Remaining lost and lamenting is a fool’s game! Know this day and everyday, that you can be exactly who you choose to be without any restriction. “Judge not another man’s servant as God is able to make him stand!”

Just some good thoughts…