The weight of the world comes crashing down…

So, mornings are tough when the weather changes and even more tough when crisis strikes…and even more tough when both strike at the same time.  Ha, when it rains it pours.

It will not keep me away from sharing with all of you, though.  Many things have happened to shed more light on life and I am eager to be transparent…to your benefit, I hope.

The weight of the world comes crashing down.WeightoftheWorld

You had one of those moments before?  I woke up the other morning and I felt like stress found me.  My pastor had said in his message the day before that in an average day, a person makes approximately 168,000 decisions.  Now I could have let that statement go, maybe zoned out during his talking and not let that sink in.  But for someone who has fought through some major and minor decision-making issues in his past, that statement sunk my boat.

I usually do not know when stress is happening until I physically feel it…and WOW! did I feel it.  A mental fog set in and threw my day out of whack.  I was just operating on auto-pilot the whole morning.  I am glad that some good habits were formed in me so that I could work by going through the motions, though.  It took some real intense thought and prayer to claw my way out of the most of it.  Some of it still remains.

But what if I would have chosen to stay there.  Have you ever had that happen to you and you stayed there…in that muck and mire…wishing for someone to reach down and pull you out?  Or maybe you didn’t hope for someone to show up but you just gave up?

When this happens, it really is a matter of perspective.  Our society has become so computerized that we have forgotten the value of the physical pen and paper.  Getting yourself transparent and writing things down is a humbling experience at times.

Questions to yourself need to be answered.  Here is one:  How much of this can I change the outcome?  Can I somehow produce an outcome that will decrease its “worry” weight?  If not, then you are just a spectator.  Prepare for how it will affect your world to lessen its effect.

Another question is:  Is it my problem?  Is this based on someone else’s decision?  Even if it is your adult child that you raised, does lamenting over the crazy things they do change what they do?  Again, you are just a spectator.  Prepare for how it may affect your world.

Final question:  Can I talk to someone (close friend or spouse), that can offer a different perspective and will I shut my own mouth and listen?  This is the key many times.  When you have experienced levels of distrust in their life from those who are supposed to be responsible, you tend to lean on yourself because at least you know what to expect from yourself.  You may have heard the saying “Behind every successful man, there is a strong woman”.  I will tweak that saying and say “Behind every successful person is a trail of people who teach”.

Plain and simple…You do not know it all.  The answers to all of your problems are not lurking around in your subconscious, waiting for you to catch them.  I know that there have been self-help teachings that say the “Greater Consciousness” will give it to you if you ask.  Well, here is a shocker for you:  Just like God uses you to help others, He will use others to help you.   Part of the problem with “self-help” teaching is just that:  It teaches you to only rely on yourself for answers.  Don’t act like the word “ASK” is a four letter word.

We do not know it all.  Never stop learning.

Lay down the weight of the world.  It is not for you to worry about.  You do have responsibility to make good decisions for the future, not for the past.  All 168,000 of them.

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Trust and fear

So I have been on vacation (as you could probably tell) and have not posted for a few days.  I have been working on some other projects and spending time with my family.  This post has been in the incubator for a couple of weeks and brewing during that time.  I am scolding myself in much of it but many of my posts are aimed at myself and you get the brunt of it as well.  Welcome back…it’s therapy time.

I have heard that when analyzing problems, when you get to the 5th “why”, you are probably at the source rather than the symptoms.  Sometimes, habits that are holding us back are sourced by something totally different and deeper.  Just like putting a bandaid on cancer…

Dig a little deeper

Never Let Them See You Sweat

I use the phrase “Standing on Giants’ Shoulders” for a reason.  It is because I do not just think of this stuff; it comes from the experiences of myself and those that came before me.

The phrase “Never Let Them See You Sweat” does not apply to marriage.

Here’s a short explanation about why…

Read More

GoalPraying

     Life is really a set of goals, if you can look at it that way.  You are born and as you learn new things, you challenge yourself to do new things.  Sometimes those new things are goals you shouldn’t accomplish, like testing the heat of a hot stove.  While others are good to achieve such as catching a ball headed for your face.

 

     You can look at goals as simple tasks to set and achieve throughout your life but at some points in your life, you are hit with rejection, discouragement and pain.  You learn that the stove is hot, glass breaks, baseballs are hard, and so on.  When learning these tenets of life, you still move forward with a mixed set of emotions about these experiences that inevitably form the person you are in the future.

 

     For example, you can take the experience of baseball.  When you join a baseball league, remember the first time you tried to play with a team.   Now if you say that you just went out there and started playing and learned as you went, you need to think back a little bit.  Think of what you did in preparation for it.  What about the first time that you caught a ball, was it on the baseball field?  The first time you ran as fast as you could to a certain point?  How about the first time you hit something with a stick?

 

     When playing on a baseball team for the first time, you get an idea of what you are supposed to do, but a coach and a few other experienced players guided you through the experience, using what you already learned to apply it to baseball.  You may or may not have done well but the experience shaped you.

 

     The process of succeeding in life is just the same.  You work at the basics, little by little, until you reach each goal that you set.  So why is it so hard to do goal setting?

 

     Sure, you can say “I am not going to stop until I make $10,000 per month!”  Yes, it sounds good but there needs to be a plan because that $10K/month is not usually going to happen in a short amount of time.

FootballGoalpost

     The art of setting goals is as much needed for success as it is to achieve them.  If you do not know how to set yourself up for success then when you fail, it will be more difficult to get up.  Each goal has to have some key ingredients and each one is important for its own reason:

 

1. Challenge

2. Interest

3. Definition

4. Finish Line

5. Believable

 

Challenge

     What would a goal be if it were not a challenge?  It would be a “motion” like turning off your alarm clock.  No achievement necessary, just do it because if you don’t, it will just annoy you.  Some people set goals to where the consequence of failure is painful.  Truth is that all goals cannot work this way.  There needs to be more.

 

Interest

 

     Compare this to eating when you are full.  God has ingrained in you certain interests that excite you and make you want to move but there are others that are necessary but not fun.  For example, what if your goal is to find everyone you have wronged in the last 12 months and ask for forgiveness.  Not fun, but you have to generate the drive inside of yourself to be able to accomplish the task.

 

Definition

 

     This is an area that you need to spell out clear and concise.  If you do not, it is just a direction or vague purpose.  So lets define it.  A goal is the result or achievement toward the effort is directed; aim; end.  It is what constitutes the end of that journey.  Define it.

 

Finish Line

     With the way society is today, if you did not put a time limit on goals, they would never get done.  If you set a goal to write for 30 days, how would you feel if it took you 6 months to complete it? What about if it took 40 days?  34 days?  30 days?  Yes we fail and would feel better if we did it perfectly, but it is better to fail at a goal than to never set one to achieve.

 

Believable

 

     This depends on your definition of believable.  Your idea of impossible is just that…impossible.  Take these words at face value.  Set yourself up for success.  Chop those big goals into small nuggets that will seem monstrous when they are done, but not while they are being done.

 

     Combine your goals with your prayer list.  Read through the list when you go to bed or early in the morning before you start your day.  Edit it, change it, tweak it.  Make it YOU.  It is for you.  Keep it on your computer, smartphone, tablet and/or notebook.  It is notes for you to steer your purpose.

 

Do you remember the first time you were supposed to memorize something?  A verse, a poem, a song.

After you were successful with the memorization, how long did you remember it?

Do you still remember it?

Do you think that if you read those words again today, it would all come back to you?

It has been proven that putting information to music helps the brain remember things.  Some cultures sing their prayers.  Do you think they are onto something?

 

     Your prayers are your heartfelt desires and requests.  Even if you really don’t FEEL the desire to “goalpray” for something when you put something on your list but feel that you need to, it still is beneficial.  Put someone on your list that you have a difficult time getting along with.  You may not want to but just the act of seeing it everyday will guide you.  Sometimes you will see that the problem was more of you and not of them.

 

Each goal is a prayer.

 

Guarded

There is an amazing little story, probably a legend, that I read the other day about a guard post in England.  The guard post was set up next to the castle walls and had one guard posted there, kn shifts, 24 hours a day.  The post was not near a gate, door or any sort of entry, but just a guard along a stretch of sidewalk along the fence.  When a tourist asked the sentry what was being guarded, he answered, “I do not know. This post has been here for over 100 years and it is commanded that a sentry is placed here  at all times”.

Sentry

The tourist, amused, decided to find out what the reason for the sentry was.  After asking around for a few days, the answer was revealed.  Over 100 years ago, the Queen of England (at that time), planted roses at that very spot because she felt the walls were too uninviting. She hoped that the climbing roses would cover the walls and fill the air with its sweet scent.  It was commissioned that a sentry be posted there to guard the roses so that they could grow unhindered.  That Queen had since died and so did the roses, but the sentry post had been there ever since, guarding what looked now to be a regular grass-covered plot of ground.

There are things in your life that you hold on to.  Things that you have started and not finished.  Things that are gifts but not a way to make a living.   Things that are guarded but are no longer there.  These can be physical, mental…even spiritual.

They can be things that were started by someone 100 years ago or yesterday but all they do is take up space, time and money;  resources that you have longed to have more of.  It is necessary in life, just as when you re-evaluate a budget that you look at life’s budget and remove the items that are robbing you and your family.  Seek out the sentries that are being wasted and guide them to the places they are needed.

A Different Power

Have you ever been driving down the road, having an OK to great day, cruising at a safe speed, listening to the radio…and then, out of the corner of your eye, you get this:

Hey...Pay attention to the road!!!
Hey…Pay attention to the road!!!

What is the first thing out of your mouth? “What?!?” “Idiot!!!” “Where does he get the right to…!!” Maybe worse.
Well, congratulations! Your mind has just been controlled. You went from mellow to blood pressure issues in a few seconds and it was your choice. Yes, it was your choice to be controlled and you chose to allow your emotions to go in that direction.
Now, we can think about what you could have done. Something a little more “controlled”. Just like we talked about a couple of days ago, certain things make the “true you” come out.
Examine this power. Not the power that you gave to that guy who pulled up next to you and yelled, but the power in you. It is you who has the power here.
The power is forgiveness and the way you read about it here, may not be what you are expecting.
When exploring your own heart, digging around for nuggets, soul-searching…what are you finding? Are you finding things that make you sad, angry, beaten? Forgiveness is a power that you have…not only to forgive those who wronged you. You have the power to let go and forgive those who have inadvertently made your life take an unintended direction…and they actually did nothing against you. Maybe I need to rephrase that. You forgiving in this way is about straightening up your life, not theirs. It could have been anyone from your father to some guy on TV…It could even be God.
God needs no forgiveness from you for Himself…
but you may need to forgive Him…for you.

Back to that guy in the car (although we might need to meditate on some of the previous words for a while).
He does not need you to say “Oh, you poor soul. I forgive you”. Truth is, that guy could have been you and you probably would not be interested in forgiveness at that time. But you need the act of forgiveness coming out of you.
This is a gap that many fathers forget because they have not learned to deal with it themselves. This is a power that when wielded properly, can lay spiritual and physical enemies to waste quickly. One that empowers you.
A different power.