How are you carrying your loads?

July 10, 2019

A saying attributed to Lou Holtz is this morning’s inspiration –

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”  (Lou Holtz)

It is easy to think immediately about physical loads and the advice that we may have picked up over time about how to lift and carry things. I’ve been amazed from time to time how a couple of appliance delivery guys, or maybe moving company guys, can use a simple set of straps to lift and carry heavy appliances or other items. They know how to carry those loads by using that strap.

Lou_HoltzI suspect that the load that Holtz was referring to had more to do with the loads of obligations or stress or guilt or remorse or sadness that we all pick up in life over time. For many, the “life” loads that occur are not carried well and they end up breaking down under the load. Some point to the inability to deal with (to carry) these loads as the root cause of depression and suicide.

The key to the ability of the moving guy to lift and carry heavy or bulky boxes or items is that strap that they use to gain leverage and the right grip on the load. It is also important to know when a load should be shared with a partner. In dealing with our life loads, our strap is our faith and the partner that we need is God. The life loads that I mentioned above are very real and can be very heavy – the loss of a abusived wifeloved one, the end to a relationship, the loss of a job come to mind. However, the loads can also include the regret at having made a thoughtless remark about someone or the guilt that comes after passing by the person in need of help.

To extend the moving person analogy a bit further, it is also important eventually to put the load down. Using your faith as the strap that allows you to lift and bear the load. Asking God for help when you need it allows you r bear even heavier loads. But, it is also important to find a way and a place to put the load down. Accepting that the person is woman-prayinggone or that the relationship is over or that the job went away or that you did do what you now regret is a first step. Turning that acceptance into a memory that finds its place in your knowledge bank is the next step. Using that knowledge to go on with life is the final step. Dwelling in a pit of disbelief or remorse or regret is a sure formula for depression. It happened. It’s over. You need to move on. Grab your strap of faith and move that event to its proper place in your memories and then PUT IT DOWN.

Prayer is a good way to pause and think about the loads that you might be carrying and how you are dealing with them. Maybe, in addition to asking for help with today’s decisions, you can ask God to help you find the right place to put down some of the loads that you’ve been carrying around for a while. Maybe it’s time to put down the load of sadness from the loss of a loved one and find that place in your heart where fond memories of them will live forever and bring a smile to your face, rather than a frown.depression 5 Maybe you can refocus all of the energy that you have been putting into regret over the loss of that old job into doing better at your new job. Maybe you can turn the remorse of having made that insensitive remark to a fellow worker into motivation for being a better person towards others.

Now that you’ve figured out how to carry and put down your loads, make better use of the strap of your faith to pick up and share the loads of others who could use your help. Help them lift the loads of poverty or infirmity or loss by being there for them, on the other end of the strap. You may be surprised that your own loads start to feel lighter or gods-hands-2that you just put them down without thinking about it.  That is the hand of God and he is on both ends of the strap that is lifting you up. Let God carry your load; you’ve things to do helping others with their loads. Don’t worry. It won’t break you down. You know how to carry those loads – God is on the other end of your strap.

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Living in the Discovery Channel…

April 17, 2019

A recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog had this quote – “Life is based on growth and finding new challenges to face and overcome, new contributions to make to society, and constantly coming to a better understanding of yourself and the universe in which you live.” –  Denis Waitley

Life is like binge watching the Discovery Channel, only better, because you get to be in the show. Life is the ultimate reality show. Waitley sums up a lot of things in that quote, most of which boil down to the constant discovery and learning that living a full life entails.

It is probable that none of us ends each day by reflecting on the challenges that we facedinsight and overcame or the things that we discovered about ourselves or about life in general. Yet it is that collection of insights that comprises what wisdom that we have accumulated in our lives. It is our ability to tap into that pool of wisdom that helps us get through life and face new challenges.

One way to turn life’s events into wisdom is to pause at the end of each day to reflect in prayer on how things turned out. Events may still be unfolding or perhaps you just didn’t have time to internalize what occurred during the day. We use phrases like “it didn’t hit me until later” or “I didn’t have time to think.” Pausing to pray can give you that time, as well as time to either thank God for helping you get through woman-prayingthe events or asking His help tomorrow when you must face them again. That pause also allows you evaluate how you are spending your life and may force you to re-evaluate your priorities in life.

I have posted here in the past about saying a little prayer in the morning to ask God for His help in making the right decisions during the day by praying, “Not my will, but thy will be done.” Perhaps the little prayer at the end of the day is a check of how well you were able to implement that morning prayer during the day. If nothing else, maybe it will allow you to accept what happened during the day as God’s will and let go and move on with life.

So, as Waitley might have put it, tune in and turn on to life; experience it and learn from it; seek out new challenges and opportunities to learn; become more aware of yourself man prayingand those around you; be conscious of how you can contribute to society. However, in all of these things, be aware of your relationship to God and His role in our lives. God watches us all…we are His reality play. Don’t write yourself out of the play by forgetting to pray.


Strengthen your bones…

March 20, 2019

A recent post to my favorite source of inspiration, the Jack’s Winning Words blog,  had this quote – “To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.” – Reba McEntire

While not real anatomical parts of our bodies, all three of these “bones” are important to leading a happy life.

Your wishbone is where hopes and dreams come from and everyone needs to aspire to accomplish things. It is in working towards those dreams that we accomplished thingsVR2 and experience successes. Wishes, hopes and dreams may start as rather nebulous ideas, but in the fleshing out of those vague thoughts comes our life plans. We set timetables and establish goals along the way. We figure out different paths to achieve those goals and we deal with the setbacks that may occur and we pursue them. Beyond all of that for this life; through our faith, we hold onto the hope for the better life to come.

Your backbone is the resolve that you muster each day or for the day’s happenstances to preserver and find a way through or out of the situation and continue pursuing your predjuicesgoals. It is also the nerve and bravery that you need to stand on your beliefs and principals in the face of adversity or setbacks. Your backbone holds you up when life tries to beat you down. Sometimes we need to strengthen our backbone, our resolve to go on, and that can be done through prayer, where we ask for strength from God to see us through. Our faith works to strengthen our backbones.

Finally, we all need a sense of humor or a funny bone in our lives. Life can get very serious and it is easy to let it get us down, unless we can find ways to laugh in the face of adversity and fear. I’ve posted here a few times about not taking yourself or life soSnoopy joy seriously. Laughter is a release for your soul from the things that would weight it down. Sometimes seeing the humor in even a bad situation makes the difference between being able to deal with it and letting it overwhelm you. Sometimes you have to force humor back into your life, because things seem so bad. Keep a couple of quick links to YouTube videos your favorite comedy routines. That way you can go watch them and they will probably do the trick to light you up a bit.

Like many other important parts of your overall health, these three aspects work best when they are strengthened through regular exercise. Keep these important bones in your body in good shape by regularly dreaming, hoping and wishing; plus standing up for what you believe is right; and, finally, by laughing regularly at yourself and the things that happen in life. Life will feel a lot better and success will come your way.

 


How will things turn out for you?

March 19, 2019

The Jack’s Winning Words blog today shared this bit of wisdom  “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”  (Art Linkletter) Jack went on to write a little bit about Art Linkletter’s life, which turned out OK for him.

How about you? Are you able to make the best of what comes you way in life or do you rail against history? Different people react differently to the twists and turns that life blowhardthrows at them. Some refuse to accept that something has happened or is happening. Strangely, some confuse belief with facts and many have even bought into the concept of “alternative facts” or the thought that “the truth is not the truth”. These people stand outside on a cold winter day and ask, “What ever happened to global warming? We could use some of that warming right now.”  For those confused people ignorance is temporary bliss; however, in the end, it is still ignorance.

Others let life’s downs overwhelm them and slip into bouts of depression. They are unable to see any way to make the best of what has happened and most have no facing the wall 2foundation of faith upon which to base their reaction to events in their lives. For many it is that inability to see a way OUT of the situation that is the key hang up. They are looking for the wrong thing. What they need to focus upon is a way THRU the events that have happened or which are happening – a way forward in life. That “no way out” mentality leads to suicides as an answer. There is always a better answer.

Those who profess to be “people of faith” turn to God for help getting through the things that life throws their way. Some may initially ask God to change history, to make some incident or pain go away. They know in the back of their minds that this is not the way God works in our lives. Eventually they ask for God’s help in the right way, praying for gods-hands-2the strength to get through the events and the continued faith to believe that things will turn out for the best. God shows them the way through the events and leads them out of the dungeon of depression.

So, how will things turn out for you? Do you fight against history or find a way to make the best of how things have turned out. Do you waste time asking, “Why me, God?’ or “How could you let this happen to me, God?”; or, do you find the strength of faith to say, “Thy will be done” and move on with life? You can’t change history (or the facts), but you can waste a lot of time and energy wallowing in self-pity or refusing to accept what has happened and dealing with it in a way that allows you to move forward. Maybe the best that you can make of the decisionssituation is just to learn from it, so that you don’t make the same mistake again. That’s something. That’s positive. That’s making the best of it.

How will things turn out for you? It all depends upon how you react and what you make of the situation. What’s your choice?


Watch or DIY?

March 12, 2019

I don’t watch a lot of television anymore, but when I do it is likely to be a reality TV show. No, I don’t watch the Kardashians; more likely one of the car shows on the Motor Trend channel or American Pickers on the History Channel. My wife likes the Dr. Pol show and other reality shows on the Animal Planet channel and the National Geographic channel.

Obviously, these shows aren’t pure reality TV, since they are taped and edited and the participants know that they are being taped. I suppose that the live action police body camera TV shows come closest to being reality shows. However, the shows that  I mentioned do provide that mindless respite from our own reality that we all need everywatching TV now and then.

Occasionally, I’ll be watching one of these shows and the thought comes to mind, “Why am I watching what they’re doing instead of doing something myself.” Do you ever feel like that? It’s a guilt reflex triggered by the realization that I’m not “doing something”, combined with the inability to let go and relax. My wife gets on my case about not being able to relax all the time.

Still, there is a message there that living one’s own life is better than watching someone else live his or her life. Doing it yourself (DIY) is better than watching someone else do it. I am often inspired by that thought to get up and turn off the tube and find things to do. There are always things that need doing or that you know you should do. Even reading a good book is better than sitting there watching someone else reading a book (how dumb would that be?).

The next time that you find yourself mindlessly watching Duck Dynasty, The Real dinosaurHousewives of Wherever, or whatever reality you have tuned into, ask yourself if there isn’t something that you could/should be doing that would add more value to your life or the lives of others around you? I suspect that you’ll put down the snack, turn off the TV and start DIY. And that’s a good thing. Living your life to the fullest is a whole lot more exciting than watching the lives of others on TV and you don’t have to wait through commercials to get to the next good part.

Watch or DIY – you make the choice.


Live in the moment, live for the moment…

January 8, 2019

Seen on an email message recently – “Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” – Omar Khayyam

There was one of those “miracle” stories on the national news last night about a man who had been given up for dead by his doctors and family. He had suffered what was thought to be a fatal stroke. He was completely unresponsive and appeared to be brain dead. The family had made the decision to take him off the life support systems in the hospital and had begun making funeral plans. Then “the miracle” occurred. He woke up. Apparently, he had been suffering from a rare condition in which the brain literally shuts down. There is a big, fancy name for it.

Now, after a period of rehabilitation, he is back to a normal life with his family. Saying that he and his family now appreciate the moment and live in the moment is probably an understatement. None of us should have to go through a situation like that, but all of us should appreciate the moment and live in the moment. Just being alive to enjoy the moment is a great thing that we take for granted and don’t appreciate.

Take time each morning, when you wake up, to thank the Lord that you did wake you and that He gave you that moment to live in. If you start out by just appreciating that youthis-is-me are alive, it will make planning and doing something with those moments that you have been given more meaningful and fulfilling. There are no boring moments, no dreaded routines or jobs, no wasted time, no crushing fears or aching loneliness. There are only moments that you have been given here on earth to be alive. Live in them and be thankful that you got the chance to experience them. And, live for the next moment, for things will be different then.

One never knows how many moments we have in life. Being more aware and smell-the-rosesappreciative of those moments as we live them heightens our experiences and allows us to learn and grow with each passing moment. It also allows us to avoid living in the past and helps us focus upon the future – the moments that we anticipate just ahead.

There is a saying that goes something like “Live life as if each moment is your last”. The underlying philosophy which that saying is espousing is not to live life dangerously or stupidly, but rather appreciatively. As Khayyam put it –  “Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”


Make a best choice…

December 3, 2018

In a recent post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, Jack Freed used this little saying that he saw on a plaque somewhere – “You’ve got 3 choices in life: Give up, Give in, or Give it all you’ve got.” (Wall Plaque)

There are tons of those types of plaques and posters and other “motivational” materials out there and tossing off little sayings like that one is the fodder of most sports lockerVince Lombardi room talks. Legendary coach Vince Lombardi was a master at those types of sound bite, motivational advice. All of those sayings and plaques and posters are built around the same principal – that you alone are in control of your own destiny. The key thought is that if you give it all that you have, try your hardest and do your best, that you will achieve the things that you desire.

There is certainly merit in trying your hardest and doing the best that you can. Very little can be achieved without effort on your part; but, perhaps there is a fourth, and, I submit, the best, choice that you can make in life that would help you even more – give it to God. That is not to say that you can just pray, “OK, God, you got this” and then sit back and it will happen. That’s not how it works. Rather that you man prayingshould pray, “God give me the strength, perseverance and wisdom that will help me achieve my goals. Watch over me and guide me. Lift me up when I stumble. Keep me humble when I succeed. Help me to show the world your strength and glory through my actions. Most importantly, God; thy will be done.”

There’s a short phrase in sports that participants use when they need some assistance from a fellow player – “A little help here.” That what you are praying for when you give it to God – a little help here on earth. You see quite a few athletes pausing after a success,help-me like a touchdown run or catch, to point to heaven and thanking God. Their prayers were answered and they got that little help here in the game. Were they trying their hardest already? Probably, but it was that little something extra that made the difference.

Most of us aren’t athletes and most of what you might need help with is not a game. Maybe the help you need is with grief over the loss of a loved one. Perhaps you need a little help here to deal with depression or with your fears. Maybe you need to see a way out of where you find yourself and towards a better life. It could be that you are struggling with a debilitating health problem. You might be at the point of making those bored2first two choices to give up or give in, because you feel like you have given it your best and failed. You still have that fourth choice. You can still put your life in God’s hands and allow Him to give you that little help here. Try making that choice.

Once you put your life in God’s hands you will notice an immediate change. A great weight will be lifted from your shoulders. Your perspective on life and your priorities in life will change. Your outlook on life will emerge from the dark place that it had been living and a long-lost smile will return to your face. Good things will begin to happen insmell-the-roses your life and you will notice and appreciate them. You will again find beauty and satisfaction in the things and people around you. All because you made the fourth choice and gave your life to God. With God at your side, giving it all that you’ve got will bring new success and satisfaction.

So, you’ve got four choices in life. Make the best choice today…