When the Thrill of Living is Gone…


If you’ve walked around on terra-firma long enough you know that life isn’t always a thrill ride packed with exciting adventures and challenge. In fact, it seems the older you become, the more routine and mundane it can get. Life by its very definition would seem to belie that notion. So, why does life end for some people long before they are dead?

It seems the simplest, most profound example is found in our children. Sure, you could make the argument that children live on the left side of life with so many experiences still ahead of them. But, I don’t think that answers the question to our total satisfaction. To simplify the math and lessen the boggle, if life had 100 possible experiences and children only occupied 10 of those experiences, then life would have 90 experiences left for the child which would presumably run short at some point. But, life’s expression is unlimited and humans don’t live long enough to exhaust its supply. So, there must be another answer…

Let’s assume because of the vastness of the creation and the endless variable combinations for happiness, the real issue lies not in the experience of life but in the experience of the end-user. Or better maybe, the thrill of life isn’t found in the experience, it’s found in the expectation and mindset of the experiencer! Children in stark contrast to adults are completely wide open to learning new things. Their expectation for life is fully alive and thriving. Instead of wrongly concluding they can already see, they are still looking for something. They instinctively know there is more to learn, more to see, more to experience. Their joy is found in their expectation. They are blessed because of their humble hearts! Their excitement is discovered in what they don’t know. They are all of us minus the life experience and wrong teaching. They aren’t a young version of us, they are a pure version of us…

Children have another distinct advantage over us, not by intention, but by virtue of how they live. Children, the budding prototypes, live only in the moment. Taking them back in time to review some wrong done takes effort. They are eager to move on from there and once you are satisfied, move on again. They don’t carry wrongs around like some weighted anchor, allowing them to color and experience their present. Instead they choose to live now and experience now. That is natural. That is human design. Rehearsing wrongs done; reviewing all that isn’t good with life now; dwelling on everything that isn’t how it “should” be or how you “want” it to be is a sickness that people have learned. It’s a sickness because none of those aspects, though very common, aid in getting you to the life you might enjoy. They serve only to color your experience and help you conclude, “the thrill of living is gone.”

You see, the problem with adulthood isn’t your age, it’s all the stupid, wrong stuff you started toting around to no benefit. You learned some cool stuff also and then wrongly concluded that you knew all stuff. You formed a skeleton sketch of learning then attempted to hang every new concept somewhere on that skeleton. You thought you already knew and in knowing closed yourself off to life; real life! Now no-one can tell you anything. All of your cause and effects have already been caused and effected. You cannot find an answer to your suffering because you already know why you are suffering, but you also somehow know it cannot be remedied. You are smart and by God, you know stuff! And in your knowing, you know that an unfulfilled life or an unhappy life is to be expected and you should just be happy that you woke up today! So I ask, is being awake as opposed to being asleep enough or do you need someone or something to really wake you up?

Have you ever had someone die that you love or suffered some other catastrophic event that sort of snapped you back into reality? Did the negative event truly bring you back around or did the negative event cause you to reconsider or even rethink what you thought you already knew? I think it is the latter… But, I also think we don’t need tragedy or negativity to wake us up. It seems we need to find that humility and coach-ability we had when we didn’t know so much. Perhaps we need to view life through a different lens. One that isn’t so quick to conclude and categorize and judge. Maybe, just maybe all the things we think we know so well, we really don’t understand at all. Perhaps we are doing something in our own hearts that sours and tires our own experience? Maybe we have grown so accustomed to the boredom; to the lack of vitality that we consider it to be normal. Possibly someone has sold us all a lie…

So, how can you get your thrill back? You have to check back in with life. You’ve got to drop like a hot rock your endless presumptions and assumptions, predictions and analysis. You’ve got to come clean with life and quit pretending you know when you don’t know. You must return to asking questions; lots and lots of questions. Inquire about things you previously thought you knew about. Break out of your routines that no longer serve you. Break out of anything that no longer works for you. And above all else, like a child, return to your unchastened, unrestricted honesty. Get honest about how things are and how you feel and quit pretending because everyone else is pretending! Refuse to assume it is just the way life is as life by definition is everything but that!

Finally, come back to life’s Author and Creator, who can make known to you the path of life, in whom’s presence there is fullness of joy and at whose right hand there are pleasures forever more… That, my friends, is a thrilling, exciting and adventuresome life!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

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Consider Your Ways…


thinkThe aforementioned title, borrowed from a verse in the book of Haggai (in the Bible), has oft been associated with condemnation from God for having bad behaviors. This of course fits with the common erroneous notion that God is uber-interested in your behavior and somehow takes pleasure in monitoring it and finding you, wait for it…… unworthy! Well, God already solved the bad behavior issue once and for all, for all of mankind! Instead, considering your ways has more to do with your allegiances and the subsequent results of those allegiances. Considering your ways leads to positive results, if you’re willing to consider. Are you willing?

Life doesn’t suck! To think that life sucks is to be ignorant of the forces behind life and rather than discover them, draw negative conclusions about life itself. Life doesn’t suck! Your viewpoint towards life sucks. Your lack of willingness to learn and consider sucks. Your presumed understanding and subsequent refusal to look any further is what sucks. But life, as God intended it to be lived, is the polar opposite of things that suck! It’s sort of maddening how humans with all of their analytical skills; who can figure out why tomato plant leaves turn yellow; when a combustion engine is only functioning at about 70% power; how to calculate the mathematical trajectory of an object flying at thousands of miles per hour in space, cannot discern why things are not going well in their lives! Indeed it is time, if things aren’t going so well, to consider your ways!

Life at its foundational level is spiritual. It is not made solely of the things you can see, hear, smell, taste or touch. Your life, whether you choose to believe it; choose to accept it or outright deny it, is spiritual. Your spiritual allegiances lead to the results; blessings or consequences you are experiencing today. Not getting what you want out of life isn’t life’s fault. Life was not designed to be arduous and hard. Life becomes arduous and hard again based on your spiritual allegiances. Pared down to the smallest level, there are only two choices. No sane person would choose the bad option, so the spiritual forces behind all negativity and pain must employ some trickery to gain allegiance; the greatest treachery coming from promoting ignorance concerning that which is good. Deciding not to choose is also a choice and sadly, not a good choice. Again, consider your ways…

Absent holy spirit and a knowledge of God’s Word (spiritual words), you will not be able to discern the differences between your choices. Oh you can recognize the blatant stuff, but the more subtle choices will escape you. It’s in the subtle choices where you find defeat and worse aren’t able to even know it is occurring. God is well aware of your limitations and offers instead for you to consider your ways or said another way, consider the results or lack thereof you are presently experiencing in your life! Have you planted with much effort yet only brought in a small harvest for your efforts? Have you eaten much but still don’t have enough to eat? Have you had plenty to drink yet still find yourself thirsty? Do you have adequate clothing but still you’re not warm enough? Does the money you make feel like it goes out faster than it comes in, like your purse or wallet has holes in it? Consider your ways…

The singular, most important maxim in life centers on who or what holds first place in your life? When God is first, as He rightfully must be, then He promises to supply your every need in every category and phase of life. When you or some other thing holds first place; when you take it upon yourself to supply your own every need; when you seek to the world or the things of the world to meet your needs, you will find yourself increasingly unsatisfied and unfulfilled! True satisfaction comes from God and from God alone. Other things promise us satisfaction, happiness and fulfillment, yet often leave us empty or seeking more and more. In our quest for more, we receive less and less not because we don’t work hard or aren’t trying, but because we have allowed our priorities to get out-of-order. Considering your ways is simply an admonishment to check your priorities and to realign yourself with those things that are the most important, indeed God alone who is sovereign! Consider your ways…

Once you get things back in order, which is purely a decision, you’ll find the sunshine where you used to find storm clouds. You’ll find an abundant harvest far beyond your efforts at sowing. But most importantly, you’ll find deep-seated satisfaction and fulfillment in terms of your hungers, your desires, your thirsts, because you will have finally discovered the meaning of your life and its originator’s intentions for you! The world will keep telling you that you don’t need God and that you can figure it all out, and you are certainly within your rights to keep doing just that, but the measure will always be found in your satisfaction meter (heart) and on the inside you always know whether your needs are being met or not. Unfulfilled heart needs are simply the result of seeking to get fulfillment from the wrong place!

Consider your ways my friends, not to find yourself unworthy, but to discover who you really are and how your life needs will always be met…

Are you willing to consider?

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

Unfulfilled? My Little Pretties…


Heavy-Duty-Warehouse-Trucks-in-MiamiMany people nowadays are suffering from feeling unfulfilled. In other words, you feel as if your life isn’t going in the right direction or is lacking in one or more categories. You aren’t sure what exactly the remedy is but you do know that you’re stuck. So, the question of the day is, “What causes us to ‘feel’ unfulfilled?” Is it something that happens to us, like life? Or, is it something we are doing to ourselves? Is there a problem with our expectations or our perceptions? Is it permanent and terminal? Or is there something we can do about it? Hopefully I can answer these and many more questions if you will just stick with me ~ my little pretties…

Picture that your mind is a like a large warehouse. It’s your own private storage place for your thoughts. There’s temporary storage for certain thoughts; longer range storage for important thoughts and beliefs, and permanent storage for things that you never want to lose. It is truly a marvelous thing ~ your mind. I mean think about it, how many thoughts do you think in a day? A conservative estimate is 50,000 thoughts a day, 350,000 a week, 18,200,000 a year. And if you are 54 like me, oh Lord, don’t even do the math!

Now, of those 50K you are working on today, of how many are you even aware? My guess is very few. And to take it one step further, if you are not even remotely aware of them, can you tell how many are entering into your warehouse? Sure, it would be all peaches and roses if they just went away, but they don’t just go away. They enter the shelves (unmarked of course) and seek to work their way into the more glamorous and important longer range storage. From there they can take up residency as your beliefs and slowly but imperceptibly start controlling your life. Then you get all down and dissatisfied with the warehouse you control. You blame God and life and your spouse, your lack of opportunities, yet remain ignorant to the reality that the warehouse still belongs to you!

Day by day you think, “What am I doing with my life? What’s the point of this? Why even bother? I’m never going to be anything or do anything!” Then, you think that over and over and over again. The more you entertain it, the more evidence you start to compile that seems to confirm it. Your friend Bill is doing so well. In fact, everyone is doing so well, except for Sally. I’m at least better than Sally (smile). Your storage unit is alive with a multitude of new clients. But, you didn’t know they were coming, much less invite them. But, there they are, seeking advancement. You see, you’ve almost unknowingly thought that stupid stuff for so long that you are starting to believe it. And to add insult to injury, while you are simmering and brooding, you aint doing a damn thing to change the situation! After all, what’s the point?? So, I’m wagering that very often it isn’t your life that is so unfulfilling, but rather your thoughts toward it…

Fulfilled is defined as to be happy or satisfied due to fully developing one’s ability or character. That’s worth thinking about a little deeper (50,001, 50,002, 50,003). Who the hell is ever satisfied these days? Your life is something your ancestors would have died for (and many did), yet you need more, more, more. It seems that another potential cause for feeling unfulfilled is never being satisfied about what you already enjoy. I know, I know, our American culture sort of did that to you! But good grief, stop pursuing every once in awhile and take time to enjoy for a bit.

However, you may not be caught up in the more, more, more club. (More, more, more, how do you like it, how do you like it?) You may just recognize that you have so much more ability to develop. Now track with me here. If you know that to be true, it seems your focus should be on further developing your abilities! Storing up a multitude of bad thoughts of frustration and dissatisfaction serve only to halt your progress. Where should you start? What are you good at now? Start there and get busy developing. Did you catch that? The definition refers to you fully developing, as in a process that doesn’t just happen tomorrow. Work on it now. You may be a good distance from your goal but you are working on it and thus can feel fulfilled. What is crazier than whining about not feeling fulfilled and yet doing nothing to become fulfilled? It’s your warehouse, by God!

I think you will find out quite quickly that the nagging in your soul is an urge to start doing something now! Don’t worry about how it is going to end. Instead focus on enjoying the journey. You will always be develop-ing so you may as well enjoy it. I’m sure when you are 85 you won’t be angry with yourself for not reaching master perfection status, but you will regret never even having tried.

Feelings of frustration, discontent and not being fulfilled come from the 8 million little bits of data you didn’t notice or resist. Don’t allow the mindless ways of today rob you from accomplishing all you could accomplish. You may not be able to control every thought, but you can dang sure confront the little liars and set them straight! Imagine what your warehouse might look like if most of its storage was thoughts that actually helped and encouraged you.

Feeling unfulfilled is not a terminal condition. It can and will change as soon as you decide it will, because my little pretties, it is your warehouse…

Just some good thoughts (50,004, 50,005, 50,006)…