Get a Grip…

April 11, 2016

“If the mountain were smooth you couldn’t climb it.”  (Quoted by Wintley Phipps)  – From the Jack’s Winning Words blog. Jack went on to write – Many of us were fascinated in 2015 when TV showed two people climbing the sheer face of El Capitan, using only hands, feet and a rope.  They were able to succeed because small fissures in the rock allowed them to get finger and toe holds.  There are some life problems that seem impossible to solve.  Usually there’s a way.  Keep searching, climbing…And keep hanging in there!    😉  Jack

Before you can keep hanging in there, you need to get a grip on something. In the case of rock climbers it is those tiny imperfections in the rock – the fissures or knobs that they climbewrcan grab or force their fingers into that allow them to keep climbing until they reach their goal. In life we may have to look hard to find the things that we need to hold onto to provide us those grips that let us keep on moving towards our goals. Many times rock climbers may have to traverse the face of the rock that they are on at an angle because that is where the little grips that they need take them. Life can be like that, too. Sometimes we have to move sideways in order to move up. We may even encounter dead-ends that require us to go backward a bit and search for a different path, but the key thing is to keep searching for that next place to Get a Grip.

One of the more improbable and inspiring stories that I have seen was written about Erik Weihenmayer, a blind rock climber and mountain climber. Imagine, if you can, not only needing to find those tiny crevices and imperfections to grip, but having to do it in the dark, completely blind. Eric does it through his ability to feel the face of the rock with his fingers and tongue. He has not only scaled shear rock walls but was also the first blind climber to summit Mount Everest. You can read more about Eric by clicking here. Eric was not born blind, but suffered juvenile retinoschisis, a disease that took his sight. Eric did not let his loss of sight hold him back in life or in climbing. His positive attitude allowed him to Get a Grip.

Most of us will never climb rocks or mountains and that’s OK. We all have our personal facing stairschallenges to overcome and we all need to find ways to hold on and keep moving forward. For me and for many, our faith provides those things to hold onto, whether through prayer or through reading the Bible, there are always thigs that we can grab onto that will help us through whatever we face in life. We don’t need a safety rope to make sure that we don’t fall, because we have been told in Isaiah 41:10 – Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. (New Living Translation) How comforting is that? It enables us to face our challenges without fear of failure because through our beliefs we are able to Get a Grip.

Let God help you overcome your personal challenges. Get out there this week and Get a Grip.

Don’t wait for the perfect situation…

April 5, 2016

“Do what you can with what you have where you are.”  (Theodore Roosevelt) – as seen on the Jack’s Winning Words blog recently.

waitingDo you tend to procrastinate because things aren’t just right for you to take action on things? We often hear people lamenting that that can’t do something because the timing isn’t right or that they aren’t where they need to be or that what they can do is not as much as they want to do…so they do nothing. “Do what you can with what you have where you are.” 

I think that Roosevelt’s advice is particularly important when one considers the big issues of our time – the poverty and need that surround us or the prejudices, intolerance and bigotry that seem to be all around us or perhaps or perhaps the pain and suffering of wars and natural disasters that we see on the nightly news.  After all, what can one individual do about those big issues? Take Roosevelts advice and “Do what you can with what you have where you are.” 

You can’t solve those problems by yourself, but you can be a part of the larger efforts thatgiving are underway to help. Join the efforts that are underway by groups like the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, Lutheran Social Services or other non-profit groups. Contribute to them or, better yet, join in their fund raising efforts or in the work that they do to collect and distribute needed items of food, clothing or household goods. Volunteer to work on a house that Habitat for Humanity is building. Fill backpacks with food for the Blessings in a Backpack effort to provide food for needy school children who might not otherwise have anything to eat over the weekends. Donate money or food or household items to local groups like Community Sharing. In other words, “Do what you can with what you have where you are.” 

When you see a friend, a neighbor or relative in obvious pain due to the loss of a loved one or perhaps in a state of depression, due to the burdens of life, don’t hesitate, waiting for them to invite you to help or for that perfect moment to offer your help. Jump in and offer a shoulder to cry on, a hug to offer support and an ear to listen to their story. You don’t have to be a physiatrist to recognize their need nor a professional counselor to offer them support or relief; just, “Do what you can with what you have where you are.” 

seerving othersSo, don’t wait for life’s perfect moments to jump in and do something to help. Those moments are now, when you recognize the need and the something that you can do, the something that is needed, is for you to get started and take action. There is a theory called Chaos Theory that postulates that even the flapping of a butterfly’s wings half way around the globe causes an effect on the weather on the other side of the globe. So, be the butterfly and start flapping your wings and your little efforts to fix the problems that you see around you, where you are, with what you have to give will have an impact around the world. “Do what you can with what you have where you are.” 

Have a great and action filled week ahead.