Archive for August, 2006

“It is what it is”

Posted: August 29, 2006 in My Life

Things do not always go my way.  Sometimes I end up in situations where there does not seem a good way out, or that the way I wanted to go was just not gonna happen.  When that happens, I usually end up saying, “It is what it is”, and I move on to solve the problem.  Let me tell you where that phrase came from in my life.

My son is a student at the University of Georgia (go Dawgs!).  I went to Athens a few weeks ago to help him move out of an apartment, and we had more than one challenge.  I won’t go into it all, but Andy had tried to make good plans for where to store things, what to move, what to dispose of, etc., but it seemed that no matter what direction we went that weekend, the plans managed to fall apart.  Now he had thought through it, so the plans falling apart were not really his fault, it just happened.  He had me there only for a short time with a trailer to help, he had to go to work, had to find a place to store things, had to find a place to stay for a couple of weeks, and had to do it all in a matter of a day or so.  Well, it rained, the storage place he was going to use got soaked with a roof leak, etc., etc.  It was a mess.

It was a bit intimidating, to say the least, even to me.  We talked about his options and possibilities, and he made some decisions on hopw to handle the issues.  They were not the decisions he wanted to make, but he made them as the best possibilities available to him.  Now as his father I could have waved the magic credit card, paid for it all to go away, but he never asked me to do that, just because he knew it was his situation to deal with.  He knew however, that in the end, I would do for him whatever he asked if he needed my help.  He wanted to deal with it though, and deal with it he did, always with an eye to the end goal. When we were working through it, we kept repeating the phrase, “It is what it is”.  The situation existed, it had to be dealt with, and there was no sense getting all mad, depressed and upset about it all.  One step at a time is the journey.  It is what it is, now step one is to ……..

It struck me that our lives every day could use a little application of this truth.  I have been thinking a lot lately about acceptance, but mainly in the context of accepting people where they are.  How about accepting where and who we are ourselves?  Do we do ourselves any good by wishing away situations, problems, habits etc.,or wishing we were someone else?  I don’t think so.  Sometimes we need to accept ourselves by saying, “I am what I am”, and knowing that God made us that way.  I wish I was this or that is an exercise in futility.  If you want to improve yourself, then first of all accept who you are, and the situation you are in.  To go somewhere you need a map, and using a map requires you to know where you are, and where you are going.  Sometimes you need to decide on a waypoint on your journey where you can stop and rest, and sometimes you need to adjust the path you are taking, but the bottom line is that you have to know where you are before you can make a move.  Life is a series of great journeys, we just need to start where we are to get where we want to be.

I am very proud of my son Andy.  I think he already truly understands that “It is what it is”, and that things have to be taken one step at a time.  He is certainly subject to being down or overwhelmed, but he seems to really have that understanding in him that no matter what may come, there is a step out of it if you are willing to accept it as it is and look forward without dwelling on the situation.

Now if I can just keep it in mind myself ……  🙂

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Bad dreams ….

Posted: August 28, 2006 in Uncategorized

I had a bad dream last night.  I won’t go into it, but suffice it to say that it was one of those that when I woke up I was VERY glad to know it was only a dream.

What are these dreams for?  What spiritual application can I make from this?  I went and did a little searching on dreams in my online bible (BibleGateway) for the word dreams.  I did not get a major spritual truth from it, but it did generate thoughts.

  1. When we speak of dreams we have, they are always a sort of goal for us, “My Dream Job”, or the “Man/Woman of my dreams”.  Why is that?  I have to say I have more bad dreams than good!
  2. God used dreams to speak to people a lot in the Bible.  I’m not sure about you, but I have yet to have a dream that seems to come from God!  More like the opposite, mine can be pretty frightening.
  3. When I hear people say God did speak to them in a dream, it always sounds freaky-weird to me (sorry).  I do not doubt God’s ability to do so, but the explanation always sounds pretty strange……
  4. What real purpose do dreams serve?  They are not reality, we have no idea what causes them, and from my perspective, I’d be better off without them.

So should I pray for God to speak to me through my dreams?  Personally, I would rather he did so while I was awake so I could be sure and remember them.

The dream I had last night was awful as I mentioned.  What it did do for me was raise my concious level of an issue that I need to deal with, just to be sure this event I dreamed about never occurs.  I guess it was good from that perspective, but man oh man, I could do without any more like that one!

Any deep theological thoughts on dreams?

Proverbs 19:23:
The fear of the LORD leads to life:
       Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

I meet once a week or so with a group of people we call the “Dream Team”.  We help our pastor and another pastor brainstorm and apply relevant themes to their Sunday messages.  The other day we got into a discussion about “The fear of the Lord”.  I am still struggling with it a bit, but it means to me that this fear is not a “scared” feeling, it is more of an awe thing, an admiration.  I came across the above verse today, and it was a good note for me.

That fear can produce contentment.  My admiration and awe of God, gives me great peace and contentment.  Why?  My God is HUGE.  He is POWERFUL.  He is able to overcome anything, and he is my friend and Lord.  Everything I worry about is so miniscule to Him, that it is laughable.  Laugh in the face of peril, that’s what I want to do, trusting that God is always by my side.  There should be contentment in that every hour of every day.

Content?  Yes, I am.  I still have wants, needs, issues, etc. in my life, but when God gives me verses like this I know in spite of all that is happening around me, he is offerring me contentment.  I’m gonna try and accept it more often…

Help me wih the “fear of the Lord” thing.  What does that mean to you?  I do not want to think that God wants us to be “scared” of him.  What do you think?

Okay, here was the verse in a devotion I read today:

Ephesians 5:15,16
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.

Seems as though the theme continues.  Is God really telling me something here about using my time better?  As I look back on the last year or so of my life, I really see a lot of stress, caused greatly by a poorly organized schedule, and too many commitments.  I have so many GREAT things in my life right now, and the blessings of them are huge to me, but all the the things in my life are not necessary.  I spend time on things that while not necessarily bad, are not really that good either, or certainly not as good as some other choices I have.  There are certain gems I should maximize, and I need to focus on those.

So today I am going to do a little prospecting for gold!  I am gonna look at all my activities, and decide which ones are worthy of my energy at the highest level.  That may mean giving up some good things, should definitely mean losing the bad, but the bottm line is I should have more time on the Gold!

The saga continues.

Okay, I posted about my rut.  Now it is time to do something about it.  I’m not gonna go read someone else’s version of how to do it, I am going to pray my way through it, and take it one step at a time.  Here is where I will start:

  • Take some time and just think and pray about it (check, did that today)
  • Take some time and write it out (or in my case use Mind Manager to do so, check, I did that today)
  • Pick about 3 things to concentrate on this week, continue that each week
  • Go back to the first point and do it again!

Seem simple?  It is, and it just has to be for me to make any headway on it.  I have tried several times to use someone else’s method, and it always seems to feel uncomfortable.

Hmm, seems like a good life statement there.  I have to go my way, to get a hold on my life.  We each have our own lives, and we can’t try and live it through someone else’s biography.  I realized that one in raising my kids.  My son is in college now,and I have had much better luck not trying to make him do what I would like, and now realize that this is how I want to be with everyone I know.  I have tried too many times to unsuccessfully move people in my direction, without truly considering that it may not be the right one for them.  I also have had trouble trying to please others by going their way — it just doesn’t work.

Now I am not proposing that we all live a selfish life, just that we try and celebrate our differences and work more to allow people to be themselves.  I did a training session a week or two ago on “acceptance and rejection”.  I really want to accept people where they are and help them along THEIR way, not along mine.

Romans 15:7:
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

Gonna take a lot of prayer….

The rut ……

Posted: August 18, 2006 in Uncategorized

Ecclesiastes 2:17
So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.

I don’t know why it still amazes me, but everytime God’s word reaches out to me exactly where I am, it is awesome.  I am so thankful for it.  This verse addressed a current dilemma in my life.

I am in a rut.  It’s not really a good rut either.  I seem to repeat the same activities day after day, just in an attempt to keep up.  Now my rut is not one of get up, go to work, come home and watch tv then go to bed kinda rut.  It’s a much more modern day kinda rut.  Here is how my day goes:

  • Get up, get coffee
  • Check email, etc., try and plan my day (which is a pain)
  • Hit the road and start running around to 6 different places
  • Come home tired
  • Check email, etc.
  • Work some more
  • Have dinner (or forget to because I am working)
  • Try and have some family time (which is hard becuase my wife works retail hours)
  • Do some more work, check email, etc. again
  • Go to bed and try and read a bit to get my mind off of work

Seems like everything revolves around work.  I don’t like that.  Work is what I do, not who I am, so how did I get myself into this rut?  I think it is expectations.  I have let people expect too much of me, and in my quest to make everyone happy, I am failing everyone, espcially myself.  I have simply taken on more than I should have, and now have a modern day “I am too busy” rut to deal with.  This kinda rut causes a ton of stress!  Maybe I need to go live in the wilderness for a while …

So how do I get out of it?  I guess I need to take stock, choose the BEST, eliminate some fo the GOOD, and get rid of the BAD.

 I’ll let you know how it goes ….

Family …

Posted: August 13, 2006 in Uncategorized

Wow, what a day.

Today, I was surrounded by family and friends.  What an awesome feeling.

I had my wife, my son and daughter, my mom and dad, my neighbors, and even extended friends that feel like family.  We cooked, we talked in groups, swam in the pool, and shared what is going on in our lives.  I just cannot help but feel that this is what God intended for our ultimate level of enjoyment.

My son shared how much he appreciated what he had in comparison to so many kids he knows at college, which was pretty awesome for a father to hear.  Young and old alike interacted all weekend, and I hated to see it end.

So many people don’t have this kind of family and friends.  I am thankful.  Plan a day like this with family, you never know when you will get the chance again.