The best way out…

June 6, 2022

It sometimes seems like we are always looking for a way out of whatever unexpected circumstances we may find ourselves in. Usually this involves avoiding the obvious way forward – straight through. We expend a great deal of mental energy trying to find a way that will void any real or imagined pain or to shorten the duration of that pain.

Life can feel like this sometimes

The reality in most instances is that we are just wasting time and, in fact, lengthening the time that it will take to get through the situation. That is the message in the graphic. There is, really, only one way forward and that is to go through whatever we are facing. It might be an uncomfortable personal situation, such as breaking up with someone or maybe leaving a steady, if unsatisfying job to pursue other ways to achieve your dreams. Whatever is facing you today, don’t waste your time looking for a way out – just get through it.

Some people pray for God to take away the situation at hand, but the more realistic prayer should be for God’s help to get through it. Pastor Freed, in his blog Jack’s Winning Words, today used this quote from Malcolm Boyd – “Are you running with me, Jesus?”  That was also the title of a 1960’s book of informal prayers by Boyd. Freed made the point that we don’t need long, flowery “church prayers” in order to ask for God’s help. I’ve opined here in the past that I find comfort in the little prayer, “Not my will, but thy will be done” quite often. I also wrote that something as simple as the sports saying, “A little help here God”, is just as effective if you have paused to earnestly address it to God.

The best way out is through and the best way through any situation is with God’s help. So, start your day and the week by being sure that you know the answer to Boyd’s question – Are you running with me Jesus?

“Ask and you shall receive”, – Matthew 7:7. Ask for God’s help to get through…it is the best way out.

Machismo not required…

November 26, 2014

“You got to go through it to get to it.”  (Joel Osteen) – as seen on a recent post at the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

That little saying, if taken out of context, seems to be just dripping with machismo, to which I would reply No Mas! The phrase men butting heads“man up” has taken on way too much testosterone over the last few years. To be a man is not about being able to withstand pain or shaking it off and getting back in the game. There is way too much evidence that the whole “shake it off” mentality is wrong and harmful. “Man up” was, is and should be about taking responsibility for your actions; and it really isn’t just about men; although “person up” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

But, do you really have to go through it to get to it? And what are the two it’s in that little phrase all about? I guess you had to hear the context in which Osteen used that phrase and it had nothing to do with going through some sort of trial or pain or test to get to heaven. Osteen’s sermon was about persevering through the tough times by remembering that God is always with you and will not abandon you, just because things are tough.

We’ve become a country full ofpills people who believe that taking a pill for things like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol  is a better answer than doing the exercise and weight loss work that really would help the most and maybe even provide a cure. Sometimes we don’t preserver and do what is needed in our relationships either; we take short-cuts or the easy way out of resolving issues with people, by using email or text messages, rather than confronting them in person.

So, there are some things that you may have to go through or figure out in order to get through life; however, you do not have to fight your way through them. I have found that taking the time to analyze the situation and trying to find a win-win solution is a good alternative answer. Life is not a football game; life is more a game of compromises and partnerships; small set-backs and small victories and making sure that you are striving for the right things and not just things. Maybe the saying should be, “You’ve got to figure it out to get to it.”

The other issue that the quote can seem to allude to is that you have to go through life’s trials alone – Mano a Mano!  Macismo, again! That was not the point of his sermon, which brought God into the picture and assured his audience that we are never alone. After all, he is a preacher and that is one of the most powerful messages of the Good News that he is trying to spread.

In Maine they have created a program called Mano en Mano (which they define as Hand in Hand) to provide assistance and guidance to those in need, especially those of diverse cultural backgrounds.  Somehow that seems to be a much better answer than just standing back and telling the people in need to tough it out.

Community Sharing logoAs we approach our uniquely American holiday of Thanksgiving, we should be thankful for people who create and run programs like Mano en Mano and all of the rest of helping and sharing programs that provide help to those in need. In our area, Community Sharing, Lighthouse of Oakland County  and Meals on Wheels and so many other volunteer organizations provide assistance so that people don’t have to go through pain and suffering just to live day-to-day. If you want to be a part of the solution and not just stand by lamenting the problem, sign up to volunteer at organizations like these. Then you can say, “”I’ve got to do it tothanksgiving family help others through it; then we’ll both get to it.” Machismo not required.

Have a great Thanksgiving.