One guy's thoughts on life, love, faith and his world

Friday, October 13, 2017

Life is like a box of chocolates... Sort of

Forrest Gump was partially correct when he uttered those famous words – “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”  The detail that Mr. Gump neglected to let us know however, is sometimes you get one of those chocolates and it isn’t exactly the surprise you were hoping for.

It hasn’t been the easiest of days as of late.  It is a very difficult thing to have to look in the mirror regarding mistakes that have been made and while it is necessary for all of us to do, so we can learn and grow, it certainly does not make the exercise any less difficult.

Life is going to be easy, said no one ever.  The fact of the matter is, we are all dealing with something.  What is small to one person may be big to another.  At the end of the day, everyone is dealing with something because no one on this earth is perfect.  The fact that we all struggle at times – fairly or unfairly -  is simply a part of life. 

Consider being the hand that reaches out to someone in need, whether you know that individual’s situation or not.  What you consider small may be something very big to another person.  In my experience, I’ve come to find that most times it helps me even more than the person I’m attempting to help.  These are the things that help build His kingdom here on earth. 

Do your best to have fun along the way and keep trying those chocolates in the box from time to time, even if you get one you don’t like.  That’s called life. 

Because if you keep trying, sooner or later, you’re going to find that one chocolate that is just your taste.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tasks, Elephants and Lunches

Have you ever felt like you know a task must be tackled, but you’re just not sure where to begin?

Maybe the task is a big one – an important presentation at work say.  Perhaps it is not as big but still needs to get done, like mowing the lawn.  The task could even be a necessary evil such as making lunches for your children so they can eat at school the next day (making lunches – the bane of my existence).

The situation can get murkier when multiple tasks need to get accomplished.  The circumstances can get even more daunting when you don’t know where one starts and the other ends.  Before you know it, your head feels like it is going to explode! It begs the question…

How does one eat an elephant?!?!

The simple answer – one bite at a time.

We, as human beings, have the uncanny ability to make ourselves feel bad about ourselves when we don’t get everything done RIGHTNOW.  Part of it is societal nature with a never-ending news cycle, part of it is the constant demand of social media posts and buzzing phones, but I’d venture to say most of it is just human nature – people being people.

To keep our heads from spinning constantly, it is imperative to find time to take a break every so often.  And if we can’t find time to take a break, we must make time to rest.  Even the good Lord rested when He created the universe and well, if it is good enough for Him then it is for sure good enough for us.

Be careful not to confuse peace with boredom lest that guilty feeling of not getting everything done can quickly creep back in.  We have heard all of them before - “Stop and smell the roses”; “Life is a journey, not a destination”; “Take a step back”.  There’s a reason people came up with quotes like this.

So, don’t forget to take a break occasionally.  Find joy in both the little and big things.  We only get one shot at life and not only is it important, it is healthy.

Besides, that’s what they make lunch money for.


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Mistakes, Growth and Cookbooks

I’ve heard it said the greatest cooks in the world have made the most mistakes at their craft.

If that is the case, I must be Julia Child.

Last week, I wrote a bit on forgiveness.  Quite often, the prerequisite for forgiveness is a mistake, but there is a wonderful opportunity for growth when a mistake is made.  The key is to take action to learn from the mistake and grow from it.

I can own the best cookbook ever written.  But if I never open it up and learn it….. Well, I’m still going to be hungry. 

A friend of mine once told me that it isn’t a mistake the first time, it is a learning experience.  I’ll take it a step further because some of us can be a bit hard-headed every so often.  We may even make the same mistake multiple times before we fully learn the lesson.  However, if we are trying to take action and the learning process begins to take place, we are headed in the right direction.

Sometimes, it takes a few tries with a recipe to get it right.  Truth be told, there may be some recipes that we continually trip over time and again.  That’s okay though, as long as we are still trying to learn from the mistakes and are still in the kitchen trying our best. 

Thankfully, we are and always will be but a Sous Chef.  The Master Chef is lovingly watching over us, teaching us, guiding us.  He gives us the ingredients, recipes and tools to get it right no matter how long it takes because the Master Chef knows we will all make mistakes and is patient.  He gives us the cookbook.

It’s up to us to open it.



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Forgiveness

To forgive means taking a person as they are – strengths and flaws. 

It means not clinging to past hurts or resentments caused by someone. 

It is about accepting the imperfections of a person.

Forgiveness can be hard.

To be able to truly forgive, however, you must forgive yourself first. 

To forgive means taking me as I am – strengths and flaws.

It means not clinging to the past hurts or resentments I’ve caused someone.

It is about accepting my imperfections.

Takes a bit of a different tone, doesn’t it?  Forgiveness can be hard, really hard.  The best things in life never come easy.  However, there are few things more beautiful and few ways to live more peacefully than to be able to give and receive forgiveness. 

To give forgiveness, you must know forgiveness and to know forgiveness, you must accept it yourself, from yourself first.

There is only One person that has ever walked this Earth that has had no imperfections and although people have tried to play that role throughout history – including all of us in some way – no one ever has or ever will come close.  Yet the One with no imperfections is constantly forgiving us. 

Take some time to forgive today.  Start with yourself, even if it is something small to begin with. 

Besides, it is arrogant of us not to forgive ourselves when God already has.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Mountains and Valleys

To climb a mountain, you must start in a valley. 

I’ve been in a valley lately, but I’m alright with it.

Simply put, life is like that.  Cliché, yes, yet true at the same time. 

I had a very good friend say to me just the other day –

“Better is always good.  Without the worst, we wouldn’t know better.”

I truly believe that and I also believe that God has us exactly where we need to be, because God doesn’t make mistakes.  Sometimes, that takes a lot of faith and even questioning, but that’s okay.  I’ve also come to find through this journey that what we want and what we need are often two entirely different things.  It may take some time to recognize this, but He knows what He is doing.

It’s when I think I have all the answers that I find myself trying to dig deeper in the valley as opposed to trying to begin to ascend the mountain.  I’ve found it better to throw away the shovel, let go and let God. 

No one can climb a mountain alone.  Friends, teammates and a support system are a must.  Sometimes, those people are more than willing and even want to be there but don’t even realize you are trying to climb.  It’s important – imperative even – to ask for help along the way.  Sure, it can be scary and it may even take swallowing some pride.  Never feel bad about asking for help, because no one can do it by themselves.   

I’ve been in a valley lately, but it’s okay because I’m looking up at the mountain and beginning to climb.  There are some amazing friends and family that are latched on and ready to climb with me.  Plus, I’ve got the best guide of all in God leading the way. 

And if there is anyone that needs any help out there, don’t be afraid.  Just ask. 

We can climb together.