Control…


iStock-1055448892.2e16d0ba.fill-735x490It doesn’t take too many negative circumstances before it becomes apparent how much of our lives we don’t actually control. Oh we think we do! We drive ourselves bonkers trying to think through every possible variable to maximize our chances at success. We plan and exercise diligence. We read up and study, and if it’s dangerous, we put in extra time. And all we are really after is some safety and some security. The illusion of control is what sends a person over the edge when they fall victim to a robbery or something worse. We all like to feel secure and we all seek out circumstances that aid in that pursuit. But, have you ever considered how much of our lives we actually do control? Or, to put it another way, are we spending maybe too much time trying to control something that we never controlled in the first place?

Certain things happen in our lives that we didn’t see coming. People get sick or are diagnosed with diseases that despite their best efforts in maintaining healthy habits, happened anyway. People lose their secure jobs and find themselves unemployed. Time and chance happen to them all, as the saying goes. When these events happen, I think it teaches us that our reliance cannot be based entirely on our human efforts. Sure we should do our best and we all know that if you play with fire long enough, you are going to get burned. But, some folks do play with fire and nothing seems to happen at all. Other folks cannot seem to catch a break. This alone instructs us that there is often more to situations than meets the eye. There are forces at work outside of us, perpetually plotting and scheming to bring about negative results. For this the world is usually blind. Instead people try to take on more than they can actually control and are the worse off because of it. You can literally worry yourself to an early grave. You can be so afraid of some potential negative outcome that you end up working to bring it to pass in your own life. There must be a better way. There must be something we can do to multiply our chances for success while minimizing our chances at failure or defeat. Notwithstanding, all of us are going to be punched in the mouth at times and how we respond will ultimately define the result of the contest.

If you really think about it, was is it that we actually control? We cannot exercise control over the economy. We do not control health or healing. We can make healthy choices, but we do not control it. Physicians do not cure, they help facilitate cures. We do not control the weather. We cannot control mechanical things or ensure their continued operation. Ask anyone whose air conditioning goes out in the middle of summer. We alone cannot guarantee our children’s safety. We cannot guarantee anyone’s safety. We cannot control the people we have relationships with, though we are loathe to admit it. In short, most of life, most of our lives we do not control at all. Why spend another moment in futile worries and frets over things we never controlled in the first place. Why run the multitude of foul thoughts through our minds threatening this disaster or the next? Why drive ourselves to the brink making sure we do everything in the right way and at the right time, terrified if we misstep that calamity is right around the corner? There actually is Someone that has control over every variable and we owe it to ourselves to find who He is and then relinquish all back over to Him. Grasping and clutching, hanging on and clinging to our illusions of safety do nothing but exhaust us and take our energy for doing anything good. Relinquish the control you have been trying so desperately to maintain and learn how to trust Him instead. Do your best and let God do the rest! Or as life has taught me thus far, God will do His best for me despite my efforts, good or bad. Maybe the good just helps me feel better.

There is literally only one thing we as humans can control and that is our thinking. (Please read that again!) Stuff is going to come at us. Negative events will take place. At times, we will suffer losses. But, no matter what is going on, we can still control our thinking. We can decide, though all hell paints another picture, that what God said is true, is true. The enemy of mankind is the master of deception. He seeks to persuade you of things that are not true so that you will cooperate with his devious plans for your life. If you don’t fold, you cannot lose as another great man once remarked. Your job, my job is to stop wasting away our lives thinking about things that are not true and focus instead on things that are true. All of your very best thinking does not heal your body, God does. Your discipline of will does not cause you to prosper, God does. Your tortuous exercise routine doesn’t guarantee your longevity, God does. All of that mind boggling stuff you are putting yourself through day by day in an effort to be safe, to stay safe, does not keep you safe, God does! Controlling your thinking means keeping things straight in your mind. You control what you will and what you will not think about. You decide what you will believe and what you refuse to believe. If God can feed one of His guys with a raven, I am sure He can take care of you. Instead of investing all of that effort in your to do list, invest that effort in learning what He says He will do and then in learning how to trust Him. Can you imagine how much easier your life will become when you finally let go of all those things you didn’t control anyway? Control the one thing you can control and see how much better things get for you.

God knows all, sees all, is omnipotent and all powerful. Shoot, He can see the future! He knew what you needed long before you knew. He made provisions for you well in advance. He knows how to heal you. He knows how to prosper you. He knows how to solve all of your heart needs; every single one of them. He is everything you will ever need. And, all He wants from you is your love. He wants you trust Him. He wants you to reach out to Him and lay your heart out before Him. He doesn’t need your good behaviors, He wants your heart. His design for life was that you would go to Him for everything you ever needed. He knows all of the variables and His thoughts are above, far above your thoughts. He wants to do for you what you cannot do for yourself. When you finally turn it all over to Him, you can rest a bit. You can relax. You can start to enjoy your life instead of wasting it away worrying over a million things you cannot control. And best of all, when negative stuff happens to you, He will turn it around for your good and show you things you could have never imagined before. He is a God of abundance and it is all there for you.

Loosen your grip brother. Relax your hands sister. God is in control no matter what it looks like. Control the one thing you can control and see how wonderful this life can be.

Just some good thoughts…

Happiness and What You Might Be Doing to Eff’ It Up…


Ahhh happiness, the most talked about feeling in the whole world! Yet, for all that is inked regarding the subject, there is one thing that leads to its discovery and that one thing is you. Is happiness eluding you? Are your happy moments few and far between? Are you only truly happy when the circumstances line up perfectly? Can you even remember the last time you were happy? The answer to the questions is found within your own mind and within your own mind alone… Are you effing up your own happiness?

Happiness, substitute the word blessed if you’re a believer, is such a simple concept and its attainment is always found within your grasp. Life doesn’t make you happy, you make you happy. Favorable circumstances don’t make you happy, you have already decided which circumstances make you happy. Material riches don’t lead to happiness unless you have decided that they do. Happiness is not a mental state to be sought after, but a decision you are making every moment of every day. Even our great God cannot make you happy without your full consent! When you are unhappy, chances are you are doing something in your mind to eff it up.

Why, if happiness is so vitally important to us, would we consciously screw it up? Well, it’s not so much a conscious decision as it is learned behaviors; learned ways of thinking we have unconsciously been programmed to adopt. Something somewhere is ever at work to steal away your happiness. Someone, unscrupulously scheming, behind the scenes, has been tirelessly chipping away at you day after day and night after night. He seeks to define your narratives. He, with help from the world’s media machine, adeptly puts a spin on your perspective. He (or it) falsely outlines which conditions produce happiness and then makes sure you cannot meet those conditions. (You can never meet the conditions because the conditions are always a lie; a false portrayal.) You are not alone in your conundrum because what you are facing is the human condition, absent the truth. You are on a universal journey where how you vote determines the election. If you don’t choose, the choice will be made for you. You eff up your happiness by allowing something or someone else to dictate the conditions!

Happiness is always very personal in nature. What leads to your happiness won’t necessarily lead to my happiness, though the mechanics of being happy are the same. The world; the systems of the world will always lead you down the rabbit hole. You end up chasing not what makes you happy, but what someone else says will make you happy. The amount of money you need to be happy will always be a little more than what you have. Instead of finding happiness in your relationship, there will always be something missing; something you wish you had; some trait you find less than perfect; something that informs you that you don’t get to be happy yet. You can apply this formula in finding happiness to every aspect of your life. Notice carefully how there will always be some condition that isn’t quite fulfilled; some destination to get to; some missing piece, which craftily informs your mind that you are not allowed to be happy yet! Please read that sentence again! You are waiting to be happy. You are waiting for conditions to line up. You are waiting for something that finally gives you permission to be happy. But, the only one impeding your happiness is you…waiting. You’re effing up your own happiness by waiting for something else to produce it for you.

When it comes to happiness, it is something you must decide for yourself. Decide to be happy now, not just on the weekend. Decide to be happy at work. Decide to be happy in your relationship and behave as someone who is happy. Stop waiting for the future when conditions are right and you have everything you ever wanted. Look, you may one day have everything you ever wanted, but a lot of living will have transpired in the interim while you were waiting. Happiness in life is found in the journey, not the destination. Happiness is found not absent any challenges, but in overcoming the challenges. Happiness comes from controlling your thinking and refusing everything that confronts or challenges that happiness. Stop measuring yourself against impossible standards and enjoy your life. You are what you are today, the good and the bad, so you may as well make peace with yourself and live. Each day time slips away and your opportunities for happiness diminish as your time on Earth diminishes. Cherish what you have and where you are today. Hug your children. Spoil your grandkids. Kiss your wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend. Love the unlovable and help the folks who need the most help. Give your life your all with no holdbacks! Life is a treasure with happiness infused in the creation, if you are willing to see it! You may just be effing up your happiness by what you are refusing to see…

God, the source of all possible love and goodness, created human life with one grand intention, that His children would be happy. (If you’re a parent, you know how that feels!) So let Him show you what life and happiness is all about. You were not designed to figure everything out on your own! You were not built to pack around a world of worries and cares. It was never intended that you try to do life by your own human logic. Instead you were made to live with Him as your Daddy, casting all your problems on to Him. Then, after having done that, relax and enjoy your life! Allow yourself to be happy today and just trust Him to take care of everything in between. Allow yourself to be happy, today, right effin now!

Don’t eff it up! (smile) I love you…

Just some good thoughts…