Take Your Needed Respite…


respiteThere are times in your life when you find yourself confused, bewildered, worn out. Most people let time sort of glom together and before you know it, an hour turns into a day, a day turns into a year, a year turns into a lifetime. Instead of taking control of the minutes, handling the issues of the moment, wrestling with the unrest, we let things go hoping difficulties will pass and peaceful feelings return. What we fail to see is the necessity to take on every challenge, every threat, every false word that is whispered in our ear. In so doing, our troubles mount up and gather strength. Simple changes become complex changes. Peaceful thoughts become agitated and agitation clouds our vision further. All this could have been avoided if we only took our needed respite.

The challenges that confront human beings are similar for us all. We all get pressed and pressured. We all have to contend with fearful considerations. We all face circumstances that portray loss in some capacity and threaten our future. The key involved in being successful isn’t to finally get to a place where we are no longer attacked, but instead making the decision to take on every mental assault, as it happens, when it happens, every time it happens. There is a reason God exhorts us to live one day at a time. The day you can handle. Endeavoring to live in the past and in the future you cannot handle. When you let things that are bothering you go, eyes fixed upon some future day, you miss the moment that is now and more importantly the fight that is now. And like a fighter, every shot absorbed adds up blow by blow,  until finally you go down. The situation demanded something of you now, not later. You were provoked and prodded and you needed to act. You needed to take it on when it was occurring. You needed to take a respite and get back in control.

Incredible as it seems, you can only live your life right now. You experience now, you feel now, you live now. You cannot live in your future and trying to do so is exhausting. Real life is found in your experiences which you might miss a lifetime if your focus isn’t on now. You are either happy or unhappy today. You are enthusiastic or miserable today. And, you are either peaceful or distressed right now. If you are distressed, unpeaceful, agitated, take some time and figure out why. What are you thinking about that is causing your distress? What threats have entered your awareness that you have failed to confront? What are you so afraid of? Answer those questions successfully and your peace will return. One of my favorite things I tell myself when I feel unrest is that I have nothing to be afraid of in any capacity and that my God is over all. There is no value in acting like you don’t feel something that you are feeling. It’s not healthy or honest to act as if things aren’t what they are. If you are bothered in any way, large or small, take it on and for Lord’s sake, stop running away from it. Fear only takes advantage of you when you retreat! Stop running from whatever it is that is after you! Turn and take it on. Challenge it. Refute it. Quote God’s Word concerning the situation. In essence, win the fight that is happening now. Your peace will return at the end of the conflict. Wishing there was no conflict or trying to escape the conflict will not work. You are in a fight. Sometimes the fight is easy to win. At other times, the fight is intense. But, no matter the form, it is a fight. When it dawns on you, you have been knocked off center, take a brief respite and get it straight. Don’t just move ahead or ignore it. Take it on, all comers, at all times.

The absolute beauty and joy of life comes after you have taken on the challenges that oppose it. Don’t get lulled into the illusion that your life is a collective effort and as long as you finish well, you win. No, my friends, life is a continuous series of right nows, with your experiences and enjoyments happening right now. You don’t need to concern and fret yourself with winning at life. You must needs concern yourself with what is going on right now, today, the only day you can live. Win the moment, win the hour, win the day. Take on those things that have plagued and hampered you. Challenge the stories concerning how your life will turn out. Do whatever it takes to get back to being peaceful and live there. When you find yourself frazzled, take the respite you need and get back to your abundant life, right now, today. There simply is no other way.

Just some good thoughts…

Win the Moment… Win the Day!


Did you know that by the time you are full of anxiety and fear; when you feel like something is wrong and you can’t seem to get it straight; when you feel out of sorts and disconnected, confused, bamboozled, lost, defeated, chances are you have been losing the day, day after day! It happens to all of us at times. We get distracted by the world and all of the things that assault and perplex our minds. We get overly focused on our future and perpetually dragged back to our past. We have failed to live in the moment and win the moment. We have failed to win the day.

Your mind was designed to function within a 24 hour period. The great processor, your brain, was built to handle all of the demands of the day. It was never intended that you would tax your brain cells to decipher and figure out a future you could not possibly discern, nor waste its resources on a past you can neither change nor modify nor improve. Instead, you function best devoting your full attention to the moment at hand. The moment at hand is always something you can handle. Otherwise, you quickly find yourself losing track of the moments, rapidly forging ahead when you needed to slow down. It is in the moment that negative thoughts hit your awareness and it is in the moment that you must handle the challenges with which you are presented. Anxiety, for example, is simply misplaced fears that whittle and carve their way into your thinking. Once misplaced, they surface as feelings of fear that you can no longer put your finger on, much less address! Confusion and feeling lost don’t happen today, but during a hundred yesterdays you failed to recognize appropriately. Feeling out of sorts and disconnected doesn’t just fall upon you suddenly, but develops slowly, imperceptibly over time with one misconnection following another. The reason you cannot get something straight is because by the time you are experiencing the dilemma, its cause has long since hidden itself. You cannot track backwards and solve your issues. You solve your issues by winning the day.

The source of your troubles works in secret. The less you know about your opponent, the better success your opponent enjoys. Every thought stone you leave unturned turns again to rend you. Your opposition works by distraction; by overloading your awareness with worries over the future and regrets about your past. Your enemy convinces you to let things go you should not let go and instead focus on things that do not really matter. Your opposer cooks up a gigantic spaghetti bowl of confusing and distracting thoughts which when completed leaves you wading through the noodles, in vain searching for solutions you are long past obtaining. They count on your lack of attention and sneak in again and again until they render you defeated. You will never find them in the collective, but only in the singular. Alone they can be overcome, but fortified in your awareness they gain strength. The intensity of the contest demands your full awareness; your full attention. And your full attention is found only in the moment in which you find yourself. You need to win the moment.

You learn to win the day by learning to win the moment. What negativity or threat just hit your mind? What prediction of doom or future danger just took a swipe at you? What accusation about who you are; the motives you have; who you really are as a person, just took aim at your heart? When you live, as best you can, in the moment, you are much more likely to see what just happened to you. And, in seeing and hearing, there is something you can do about it. Like any good fight, you have to learn to fight back. Just as you would not tolerate (for long) someone punching you repeatedly, in the contest you have to fight back. Sure you don’t feel like it, but it doesn’t matter as long as you are getting hit. Yes, you can lament and wish it wasn’t this way, but it is this way at least as long as there is evil in the world. So you fight, in that very moment. You confront the wrong thoughts. You challenge them. You take a stand against them. In fact (or better in truth), you fight back until it they shut up. You are in a spiritual fight so you don’t try to fight with your human logic or by being rational. You fight by countering the negatives with the positives of God’s Word. Don’t try to be so smart! What does God’s Word say that counters the evil consideration? Say that! If your opponent threatens your health (i.e. Corona Virus), you counter by proclaiming God’s promise to keep you healthy or forever heal you when you need it. Somewhere in that Good Book, God says often fear not; be anxious for nothing; you are not wrong and He will make all of your paths straight. He says you are always connected; have the answers you need; have been found when you were lost; are not confused and definitely have not been defeated as He always causes you to win! It’s all in there folks and is the perfect answer to every challenge you will ever be confronted with!

Learn to slow down a little and live in the moment. Take on the obvious challenges of the moment. Deal with what is standing right in front of you. Recognize what is traveling through your mind in the moment and decide whether it can stay or it can go. Take it on in the moment! And, as you win the moment, you decide to win the next moment and the next and the next. Pretty soon, you find yourself able to win the day! Tomorrow is tomorrow and yesterday is yesterday. No matter what happened or where you may have fallen short, win the next moment. Soon, you enter the realm of the kick-ass human that God always intended for you to be.

Don’t you want to win the day? I know I do!

Just some good thoughts…

The Wonder Filled Present…


8-article-hr-rm-gettyimages-83591401I learned through trial and error that you can give your growing vegetables too much water.  You’d think that more water meant a more abundant crop, wouldn’t you? Veggies need some water and some time to dig their roots down into the soil in search of water. If you make it too easy for them, they don’t dig down and they don’t grow. If you make it too hard by neglecting them, they wither and die. As humans, our joy is found in discovering how the system works already and cooperating with it. We were never asked to invent the process, but rather work within the frameworks previously established for us. Sure we can spend many years bucking against the system, trying and erring, trying and erring, but it’s always a wonder filled day when finally we learn how it works and work with it!

Your mind and more specifically your thoughts are also a system. The system was designed to produce something for you. It is neither random nor whimsical. It’s not happenstance, nor is it something outside your control. You can neglect the system and it will begin to wither and fail. You can overload the system and it will start to break down. It, like all of the systems that exist in this world, is always a delicate balance that requires an effort on man’s part to learn and master. You begin to neglect the system when you stop thinking and deeply considering in favor of habit and rote behaviors. It happens when you think you already know and have the audacity to conclude there’s nothing new for you to learn. The system becomes frightfully overloaded when you burden it down with worries and cares. One central theme of worry will overshadow all of your thinking and suffocate the life right out of you. Thoughts of your past failures and anticipating the doom of some future state, short-circuit the whole operation and reduce your vitality immeasurably.

Thought processes, though highly debated, have been estimated to number between 50,000 and 70,000 per day. Clearly the system was designed with a large capacity in mind.  However, the Wisdom behind the massive system planned for the thought processes to be managed one day at a time. The reason we miss the “wonder filled present” is because our minds are all over the damn place! Our minds have been schooled to flick around like dragonflies, changing directions frenetically, running from thing to thing to thing! We can barely tolerate the present moment without some additional source of information streaming into our consciousness from devices we must recharge every hour. In interactions with other humans we half participate at best. We nod and reply with 20% agreement having only partially registered what was said. With reverted eye we drift in and out of the moment, scanning backwards and forwards like radar, yet missing the target in the center. And as we faithfully miss the mark, our personal fulfillment suffers a mortal blow.

The precious moment called “now” is not found only in moments of quiet repose in a shaded wood or glimmering off the surface of the ocean. It’s not location dependent nor reserved for sunrises or sunsets. It’s not something saved as a celebration for the hard-won fight or worthy goal accomplished. It is life happening right now in the midst of the 50,000+ with the whole sum participating each one by one by one. It is your next idea, your next activity, your very next move. It is you waking, preparing, eating, walking, driving, parking, entering and working. It is the work to be done next in priority. It’s your opportunity to do good for your co-worker and his co-worker and hers. It’s in noticing her furrowed brow and asking if everything is okay. It is looking at the faces in the meeting and seeing them all one by one. It is pausing to think whether those words should be said out loud and choosing silence instead. It is observing the whole drive home then arriving with a determination to bring light and happiness to those with whom you interact the most, despite your familiarity with them and every imagined insult. It is your glorious opportunity to win the moment, the hour, the day and in so doing honor the God that made you!

Alive in the moment, you’ll find your mind relieved of a vast load of cares with the only threat to your existence being that which you can discern now and not that which has been deeply amplified within your fearful thoughts. The fretful pushing and driving to make something of yourself will be replaced by your recognition of a well-lit path that has been carefully marked out for you already, with your only requirement being to find it and keep yourself on it! Living your life one day at a time allows your soul to slow to the pace for which it was designed to run; a pace designed for the whole race. And like an athlete well skilled in how much energy to expend on a thing, you will finally sit atop the perch and with grace decide just how much of you the thing requires and whether you are willing to give it.

The wonder filled present has the antidote to life’s deepest problems because it works away at the bricks in the fortress without rashly seeking to rip out the whole edifice all at once. Obesity and poor health are tackled by the next decision and the next, until working in concert they produce a cumulative, dramatic effect. The root of financial problems are at last found out in today’s earning and spending without relying hopelessly on some false windfall of the future. Indeed all that plagues you, wrapped up and mystified in distracted backward looking and forward seeking thoughts, will suddenly come into laser clear focus begging to be addressed and remedied at last!

The wonder filled present is God’s solution, His gift for a weary, overburdened people, offering the promise that is found in today and only found in today. Life, as you well know, is far too short to miss it or waste it bamboozled and distracted by a world hell-bent on depleting your resources and squandering away your precious existence! Love your one life by making the decision to live it fully, comprehensively, completely, starting with today!

You owe yourself this gift!

Just some good thoughts…