Who are you now?

April 2, 2018

From a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog come this thought for the day – “I can’t go back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”  (Lewis Carroll)

Lewis Carroll wrote the nonsense poem Jabberwocky, which was included in his 1871 Alice in Wonderlandnovel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, the sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Alice in Wonderland was sort of the Ready Player One of its day – an adventure in a made up land where anything and everything was possible. The line between virtual reality and actual reality exists in our minds and is a choice that we consciously make. Perhaps for some, that line also demarcates the boundary between sanity and insanity.

The truth in Carroll’s little quote is that we can never go back to who we were yesterday. We cannot un-learn the experiences that make us who we are today. We are faced with the reality that the only direction in which we can travel is forward. We may linger a while in the warm afterglow of a success in life or perhaps pause a while longer in the pain of a loss or defeat in life; but, in the end, we must move forward.

boredSo, who are you now? What have you done with the experiences of your past? Did you learn from them? Were you able to forgive, if that was necessary? Are you able to put the praises for your successes in the proper perspective, so that they don’t delude you into thoughts of entitlement? Are you able to turn your experiences into knowledge and wisdom? Who are you now? Are you comfortable with who you have become?

A term that we often hear about successful, happy people is that they are “well grounded”, which Webster’s Dictionary defined as having a firm foundation. Having that firm foundation allows you to weather the storms of setbacks and to properly position and assimilate successes. A well-grounded person really remains the same person that they were yesterday, only with a little more knowledge and wisdom.

How do you build that foundation? I can think of no more solid foundation upon which woman-prayingto build your life than a strong belief in God.  If you start with a strong, unwavering faith in God, you are free to build the character upon that faith that will serve you well in life. You will be able to absorb the defeats, disappointments or sorrows that life might through at you. You will be able to humbly accept the successes that you have in life as God’s gifts to you and not of your own making.  You will be well grounded. You will always know who you are and in what direction you are headed.

Have a great, well-grounded week ahead.

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Keeping yourself grounded…

February 16, 2018

In today’s installment of the Jack’s Winning Ways blog, Jack quoted Oprah Winfrey – “Wealth hasn’t changed who I am.  My feet are still on the ground.  I’m just wearing better shoes.”  (Oprah)

Jack went on to write about his experience as a child of The Great Depression, during which his father would put cardboard in his shoes to cover over the holes that had worn through in them. As I thought about that and the quote it instantly flashed in my mind that there are millions of people in the world today who don’t have shoes of any kind, some not that far way in places like Hatti. My second thought was about the thousands who would love to have to worry about their shoes – those who have lost their feet or legs to things like buried land mines. The further down the chain one goes the more humbling the thoughts become.

One doesn’t have to be wealthy to lose contact with the ground (with the reality of the bootsworld around us). It is easy to become complacent, one might use the advertising phrase “nose dead”, to the needs that are right in our own back yards. There is not a city, town, or village in America that does not have people living out on the edge. Some are homeless, many are hungry, some are trapped in the world of substance abuse, some have mental problems, but all need help just to survive. Most of the time we do not “see” these people because we choose not to look. We are too busy with our own lives to worry about them. We think, someone else will take care of them. Sometimes that is ground that we choose not to walk upon, because we might get our nice new shoes all dirty.alexander-andrews-11911

As Christians, we have an obligation not only to see the need all around us, but also to do something about it. It is not enough to put on our new shoes and go sit in church. It is not enough to put a small portion of our money in the collection plate. If you search your heart for the answer to the question, “What would Jesus do?” you would take off your new shoes and go find a homeless person and give them the shoes. For most that is going too far, but at least head in that direction. So, don’t just commiserate with the problem, take some actions. That is the best way to keep yourself grounded in the faith that Jesus was talking about.

Maybe one action that we could all take is to look in our closets and find those 2-3 pairs of shoes that we seldom wear anymore and take them to a donation center of some sort and give them to someone who has no shoes at all. It’s a small step, but a step in the right direction and maybe it gets our feet back on the ground that we should be walking, if we bootswant to walk with Jesus.

Look down today and see beyond your new shoes to see if your feet are still on the ground.