Never fear shadows, it simply means a light is shining nearby – evanescence
Every second of life is a gift, it is a moment to be cherished, a moment that we can choose to keep or throw away. Sometimes we do not have a choice but to wait. We get stuck in traffic, we wait for documents and contracts, we wait for marriage, we wait for our children to be born, we wait for them to grow and so and so forth. In a new age where everything is like fast food, instant this and instant that, instant gram and instant messenger, it is amazing how impatient we have become. We get stuck in traffic and beep at the person in front even if they can’t move, we wait for our documents but moan because its taking too long, we want marriage and then want divorce, we want kids and then can’t wait for them to move on. This is not to say that people don’t want to be married or keep there children, it just seems to be that once we have what we want we want something else.
Why is this?
This is because we live in an instant age. What happens when everything is quick and easy is this:
1) We learn not to appreciate things as much. If you wait a long time for a good meal it is much more enjoyable. A quick McDonalds may be okay but it wont beat steak thats been marinated for 28 days.
2) We loose our patience. How long will you wait on your computer while it buffers? Most people won’t wait 1 minute, see how long you last next time it happens. Patience is a good character trait but it takes time to develop.
3) We actually notice less details in life. Think about it, if everything is quick and your patience is wearing thin you will stop paying attention to details. It takes patience to pay attention. So you never noticed your girlfriends new hair cut or your mums new car? Too busy on instant something. Woman, your man just said something nice but your mind was in the technological world. Pay attention because you may miss these beautiful details. It seems cliché to speak about the distraction of technology while writing a post about it, but this is the best way to reach those distracted by it.
So these are just 3 of the many reasons why instant is not always the best way. Of course we always want transport in an instant, pain to be gone in an instant, our character to be built in an instant and so on. Sometimes however we just have to let life marinate a bit, like that steak. It is when things marinate that flavor begins to come out. Instead of scrolling down FB for an hour (I have done this many times) we could instead take a nice walk and absorb the fresh air, green trees and listen to the beauty of nature. Can you hear that? Its birds singing, would you have noticed this if you were on your phone? Can you hear the water, the leaves blowing in the wind? Sometimes its in these places where we begin to hear the voice of God again. Shhh, be still and know… he is there. It is hard to see him when our minds are stuck on instant mode. Its when we step back and take a breath that our minds begin to focus again. Like looking through a microscope, we begin to see the details of life again.
Here’s a challege if its possible for you to do it, I will give this a go myself. Spend one day off technology, go out and take your bible along with your wife, partner children, or just take yourself if you are single right now. Remember Christ is with us always so we are never alone anyway. Spend the day with Gods creation, go to the woods, streams, mountains, valleys or any other place where Gods Creation is. Take your bible and a notepad. Pray and ask God to speak to you, write down what comes to mind and search the bible. Let the peace of God rest on you as you listen to the natural sounds around you. Take a break from the rushing of life and absorb some time with the author of life itself. You only need one glimpse of God, one touch from his hand or one word from his mouth to empower you to continue in life. You only need one day with the Lord, you will see from this that love will grow, patience will develop, your mind will find rest, your heart will flow with love and people in your day to day life will begin to see the glory of Christ in you. We need the sweetness of life back again, so take a bit of time for it to marinate.
True humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less. CS Lewis – mere christianity
Our souls can be a whirlpool of emotions that can take control of our lives, if we allow it too. Emotions are a beautiful gift from God when used in the correct manner. It shows we are human and not robots created as an experiment or for extermination. The difference between the wise and the fool is how we handle these emotions.
The fool gets angry and seeks revenge, the wise leaves vengeance to God and the really wise know how to still love the one who hurts them. The fool becomes jealous of what someone else has and aims to take hold of it, the wise take hold of what they have and enjoys it. Who out of the 2 are missing out on life? Being angry and magnifying whatever the issue was to make you angry only brings about destruction. Wanting what someone else has is an endless pursuit that leads to nothing but loss and pain, this is for all those involved. The wise person will not let anger simmer, when something simmers or marinates it becomes stronger, the wise one would deal with the issue immediately to prevent this from happening. Do not let the sun go down while you are angry ephesians 4:6. In other words, don’t sleep on anger just to wake up in a mood. Forgive the one who hurt you, either before God in your heart or through actions and words by showing and saying you have forgiven them. You can say you forgive someone and still be moody with them or purposely push their buttons, this is why you also need to demonstrate forgiveness through actions.
Scenario. Bill is your best friend and has been for many years. You always tell each other the most personal things and go out everywhere together. Bill has been through much loss and pain and you always stood by him just like he stood by you. One day Bill started a new job and made new friends. It was cool at first and you were happy for him, he was going out with them and catching you up on funny stories. You knew by the stories that his new friends were not the best influence. However you kept on listening to him and showed his importance to you. Over time Bill was seeing you less and seeing his new friends more, which as a good friend you accepted. What was difficult is when Bill stopped coming to church every week and justified it by saying he was praying and studying at home instead. It was even more difficult to find out that Bill was going out clubbing on the week ends, that’s why you were no longer hanging out on Saturdays because Bill was recovering. He would tell you he couldn’t make it and to hide the shame of being drunk would lie. Bill was on a slippery slope and you were trying to reach out your hand. Now you have told a few faithful people at church the situation because you knew they would pray. Stories of Bills mad nights began to spread, along with stories of woman he began to sleep with. His new friends would cheer him on saying, ‘she was hot, go on son get in there!’. Bill knew in his heart that this was not right but now he felt ‘why bother stopping now I have started’. So continues this cycle, the more it continues the stronger the hold becomes. This makes you sad because you care for Bill and you always want the best for him. You could never give up on him because you know Jesus never gives up, and thats the example you follow.
Bill is a prime example of someone who has been pulled away from the faith by the temptations of the world. This story is so common to so many people, it is just written in a different way. When we know a Bill we can pray, if we are in danger of being like Bill then we need to have good friends who will never give up on us. Being Bill may bring a thrill for a season but always ends in sorrow. Never give up on the Bills of life, never stop praying for them. When Bill returns he will have a testimony of the grace of God, he can testify how good you were as a friend even if for a while he mocked you with his other so called friends. What Bill needs is grace and not a judgemental attitude. Pointing out his faults in a way that makes him feel condemned will only push him further from God and the church. Remind him of the victory of Christ on the cross, that it’s not too late to turn back to God and that God can restore him. This is how we win the Bills back to God.
We have all been a Bill at some point, but thanks be to God the price has been paid 💲👑🌎
The difference between a fool and a wise person depends on our choices. Everyone makes mistakes and can sometimes be like Bill, the foolish way is when we choose to live that way. We all fall short of the glory of God Romans 3:23 We can all be deemed a fool. Yet through Christ we can all be wise too.
Here is a message to anyone on the slippery slope. Jesus loves you, he died for you to be saved. Don’t allow the guilt to consume you, theres no condemnation in Christ Jesus Romans 8:1. We make mistakes, God knows this and still chose us as his special possession to be children of God. Does a good father abandon his child? No, so hang in there you are not too far gone because you are here today. Come just as you are and let Christ work a miracle in your heart as he heals you. Amen.
‘You can do it, keep going… don’t stop!’ they shouted as the finish line approached. Sweat dropping off the tip of the brow, the sun beating down, those last few hundred metres always seem the hardest. The legs are tired now, so close to caving in, yet the roar of the crowd as the finish line approaches somehow gives a strength beyond imagination. ‘Yes I can do it’ the runner thought, ‘and I will do it’!. The finish line was crossed, the race was over. Looking back… ‘how was that even possible’? I thought I would give up’. The reward, a nice bag of goodies such as sugary sweets and drinks and other luxurious goods. Any reward after a half marathon appears luxurious.
If you have ever ran a long distance, been in other sports events, or just gone for an interview for a new job, you will know what difference encouragement makes. Encouragement holds a power of its own, a power that can give strength beyond imagination. It is difficult to continue when weariness sets it, when there are obstacles to overcome, when we are injured. Thats when we need those words, ‘take heart, don’t give up and be encouraged, your doing well’. Even before Jesus began his mission on earth; before the race began, the father said, ‘this is my son, with him I am well pleased’. This was all Jesus needed to begin the race set out before him, the race that will enable many others to join him. It can be tiring to keep going without hearing words of encouragement, that’s why we need to develop our own encouragement. ‘Yes I can do this, yes I am strong, I won’t give up’. After all if we hear others say this we will accept it and gain strength, funny how it’s harder to accept ourself saying it. We are quick to accept self pity, ‘this is too hard, I give up, Im not good enough’. Yet when it comes to self-encouragement it is harder to believe, maybe this is due to self-doubt.
Our greatest encourager has already finished the race that was marked before him. He took up his cross and he finished the course. Jesus calls us to take up our cross and follow the course set out before us. Yes it is difficult, sometimes we won’t hear the encouragement we want as it is drowned out by other sounds. This is why encouragement needs to dwell in us not just around us, ‘take heart’ Jesus says, the finisher has completed the hardest course. Your course is easier and the burden is lighter, but when we listen to those wrong thoughts and words we carry around with us a weight that we are not meant to carry. Try running a race with a bag of weights on you, it’s practically impossible! So take off the weight, be encouraged because at the finish line, when Heaven is in sight, eternal luxuries await for the finishers. Saty the course, keep the faith and run the race.
It can be a scary place… the unkown. We all must go there sometime. I hear you calling me, how do you know my name if I don’t know you?
I look over to the distance… the future is calling me. That’s how you know my name right? One day you and me will be acquainted, no longer the unknown but close friends.
I see the distance between us right now, even Mo Farah would struggle with that. Yet I’m not phased by distance, because from now until then is the exploration time.
Yes you wait there in the distance…I will be there soon. Wait… am I not already there? If your the future then you are not just in the distance, your right there in front of me.
Time only ticks forwards, that means that every tick is a glimpse of the future. So I already know you, yet you still seem so unknown.
So this is a parallax, you change whenever I move position. One moment you seem so far away, the next we can have a staring competition.
So close yet so far… yes you are. Sometimes I see far ahead like a light shining through the dark, yet sometimes I can’t see the next step, there’s not even a spark.
It’s a strange but wonderful thing… the unknown. It is a place that takes courage to reach, a place where some won’t take the next step. Yet, how can the unknown become known if we never take a step?
How limitless are the thoughts for you’re future? Or should it be said, how limited? Is the glass half full or half empty?
Many people deny the potential they have simply by believing they have no potential. They fall at the first hurdle and throw in the towel, ‘this is too hard’ they will say. ‘There’s no point, I give up”. Many people think this but never say it, many people say it but never do it, still many people say it then do it. They give up. The key to this lesson in life is to remove the option to quit. All will start with the thought and that’s where it should stop, sadly if it doesn’t stope there… well you know what happens. If you have a plan, or better yet believe in a God who has a plan for you, then here are a few steps to success…
- Remove the option to quit.
A bodybuilder aiming to be the worlds strongest man would not expect to be in shape after a few gym sessions. It takes time and dedication, it is a commitment that he would ritually follow through as often as possible. The same for the buisness person that wants to set up their own buisness, they need to learn how to run a buisness and maintain it. The same for the athlete, the musician, the actor or the parent that wants the best for their children. One simple factor that makes all of these people heroes in their own way, they would never give up. Winston Churchill said this, “success is the ability to move from one failure to another without loosing enthusiasm”. So hang in there, don’t you quit.
- Never stop believing
Remember the excitement you had when you discovered what you wanted to achieve? Or when God himself cast out his vision to you? You were invigurated and full of passion and enthusiasm for this vision. Yet it was much harder to keep that when things didn’t go to plan. You couldn’t get that big place for your business so you settled for a smaller one. The team you started with has changed and they are not quite what you expected. You have worked many hours and not seen much fruit for your labour. Yes these are the challenges that face every person that wants to step out the comfort box. In these times it is about keeping your belief and making the most out of what you do have. So your team has changed, teach them and help them to grow. You didnt get the big place then make the most out of this one until you get a bigger one. Not seeing fruit for your labour? Keep planting seeds and watering what you have already planted, you are guaranteed a harvest if you don’t quit, its the law of sowing and reaping. How strong we believe in what we aim to achieve will be our anchor through every wind of change. This is how we keep stable in a world that seems to be toppling with the pressure and demands of life.
- Never loose focus
So you have made a choice not to quit, you have your belief now all you need to do is remain focused. Writing this from a christian perspective and on a journey in this gift called life, the most important aspect for me is to keep eyes fixed on Christ. Focus is how you pay attention to detail, it is what could get you out of that financial difficulty or guide you to what step to take next. We live in an age of billboards, video games and social gatherings that can easily lead us the opposite way of where we need to go. We need what can be termed as ‘tunnel vision’, you see the light, you know where you need to go, neither look to the right or left and keep focused. Of course life may throw tragedies at us, we may have to take a break to recuperate. These things are extremely important to bear in mind when wanting to achieve goals and accomplish Gods will. Rest is important, social times are important, you are important! So don’t let your vision crush the person you are, if God has given the vision he knows how to take care of both the vision and you so pay attention to his leading. Even with all these things and possible set backs and failures, we can still remain focused. Keep planting, keep watering and keep watching, you will see the fruit when the season comes.
Sometimes we need to step out our comfort box and explore beyond those walls. It is when we take this risk that we discover how capable we are, how mighty God is, and how the future has endless possibilities. You cannot see all that when you live in a box, step outside and watch the world transform around you, and watch how God transforms you once you’ve took a leap of faith