Life happens…let go and move on

October 29, 2018

A recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog used this little quote – “Life is not like Burger King.  We can’t always have it our way.”  (Randi Zuckerberg)

One can imagine that life is unfolding in front of us in a totally random way; or, perhaps, take the approach that the things that are happening are God’s grand plan for how things are supposed to happen. I’m not a believer that God somehow micromanages everything that happens to everyone. Taking that position would seem to go against the concept of free will, which is an important tenant of Christian faith. There are sayings like “Everything happens for a reason”, which seem to be pointing towards God having a say in everything that happens. I don’t buy that either.

What I can buy into is God’s hand in how we react to the things that happen to us in life. The ability to accept things and move on and the ability to forgive those who may have caused us pain or harm and move on with life are different ways to react in which a strong belief in God plays a key role. In both cases, a key requirement is the ability to give up the self-delusion that we are in control of things.

If we admit that we cannot control the things that happen in life; then, what’s left for us to do? The main thing that we do control is how we react to those things that happen to us or around us. Some people spend a great deal of time and energy (mental and zombie apocolypsephysical) preparing for things that they imagine might happen. The recent fascination with the concept of a zombie apocalypse is an extreme example; however, there is a huge contingent of “survivalists” in every corner of the country who are planning and preparing for apocalyptic events that they “see” coming. They have stockpiles of food, water and guns to provide for and protect their families when the imagined worst happens.

A more likely day-to-day happening in life is for one to be faced with some disappointment that comes our way. It may be a social snub of some sort, a loss at a game, or perhaps something at work that doesn’t play out as we had hoped.  No matter what the disappointment or defeat is; we have a choice of how we react to it. The best coulda woulda shouldareaction may be one in which you say to yourself, “Oh well, I guess that wasn’t meant to be” and move on. The worst reaction is one in which you wallow in self-pity, self-recrimination or self-doubt. Those reactions are all the first steps toward self-loathing and depression. Don’t go there. There may well have been things that you could have done differently; but, you didn’t; so get over it, learn from it and get on with it.

How do you find the strength to deal with adversity and move on in life? That’s where your faith comes into play. Accompanying most setbacks in life is a sense (fear) of being alone. Sometimes this is self-imposed isolation, because we try to keep our remorse or woman-prayingregret or shame or hurt to ourselves. Perhaps we have no “significant other” with whom we can share these feelings. In either case, don’t forget that you are ever alone. God is there with you and ready to share and offload your burden. All you have to do is ask God for help and accept that help; in order to experience the peace that surpasses all understanding. Try it. Use the little prayer that I often use – “Not my will but Thy will be done”. Let God lift your burden from your shoulders. Let it go.

Peace be with you. Move on.

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Maybe faith is what we are made of…

January 3, 2018

From a post to Jack’s Winning Words some time ago comes this little piece of advice about life – “The same boiling water which softens the potato hardens the egg; it’s about what you’re made of, not the circumstances.”  (Unknown)

One might also say that it’s how you react to the circumstances that you are in that shows depression4your character. You may know people who seem to “go to pieces” anytime they hit a tough spot in life. You may also know people for who the phrase, “adversity brings out their best” might have been coined. Those people don’t thrive on adversity; but they are able to handle it with aplomb.

We sometimes use the term “hot water” to describe bad situations. Normally these are situations that we got ourselves into, perhaps through bad decisions or maybe even onstubborn purpose. Whatever the reason, some hot water situations cause people to harden their position and perhaps even become stubborn or belligerent. Others may find that their preconceived notions about something or someone soften a bit in the midst of a shared adversity. They conclude, “We’re all in this situation together.”

How do you react to adversity? What does that tell you about what you’re made of? Do you turn inward in adverse situations, perhaps even sinking into depression; or, do you seek help from others with the problem? Do you lose sight of your faith during hard time woman-prayingor find strength by leaning upon it. Do you remember God’s promise – “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” He is right there with you and all you have to do is ask for His help.

Don’t let life’s circumstances harden you and turn you away from your faith. Even the hardest objects can be broken, while softer things tend to bend and flow with the circumstances, getting through adversity without breaking. Take strength from your faith and knowing that you are never facing life’s tests alone. If “what you are made of” is an unshakable faith in God; then, none of life’s circumstances will break you.

Have  great rest of the week. Handle life with the aplomb that faith gives you.


Against the wind…

April 18, 2017

From a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog come this inspirational message – “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”  (Henry Ford) Jack also mentioned the Bob Seger hit “Against The Wind”, which he commented was inspired by Segar’s days as a cross country runner and running into the wind.

Going against the wind, into the face of adversity, can be something that lifts us like the airplane, to new heights. There are lots of inspirational sayings about how dealing with adversity makes us stronger or better people. It’s easy in the midst of a crisis to lose sight of all of those sayings and advice about the thought that what doesn’t kill us make us stronger.

depression3Perhaps the best thing to think about in moments of crisis, when you are struggling into the wind, is that you are not alone. Most real crises in life leave us feeling alone, like it is us against the world or maybe that no one else in the world can know and understand what you are going through and how you feel about it. Yet we are not alone. God is there with us through everything, waiting patiently for us to acknowledge Him and turn to Him for help. Why would he wait for us to ask? He gave us free will and he is waiting for us to acknowledge that we cannot help ourselves in this situation and to finally say, “Not my will, but thy will be done.”

No matter how steep of a dive you are in, spiraling down into the abyss of despair and depression; if you hand God the wheel and let Him take control of your life, he will pull you back out of that pit. You are acknowledging to God that, “I cannot save myself; but Ireading-bible believe that you can save me.” The two main thoughts there are letting go of your ego and the struggle to find the solution by yourself and putting your trust and belief in the power of God. You may still be buffeted by the winds that you are facing and there may still be pain; but, you will also feel the power of God to take whatever the winds may throw your way and use it to lift you up.

Once you hear God say to you, “I’ve got this”, you can let go of those things from your past that have been causing you pain and start to look forward to a brighter future. Life can once again become a journey of endless discovery and new joys and not the dead-end path of despair that you were traveling. You will also find it much easier to use the little sports phrase, “little help here” when appealing to God for guidance and help with future adversities. It becomes easier and easier to turn to Him when you have woman-prayingexperienced His hand in your life in past crises; and the good news is that the result is always the same – He lifts you up whenever you are running against the wind.

So, no matter what the current crisis is in your life; take a moment to stop and invite God back into your life and embrace the help that He can give you. The problems that you have may be bigger than anything that you can deal with, but noting is too big for God to handle, if you let Him take control. If you have to run against the wind, at least take along God as your running mate. It’s amazing how the wind parts in front of you when He is running interference for you.

Have a great rest of the week and don’t fear the winds that may be swirling around you. God will use them to lift you up.