Category Archives: Life

DWYL Pt 2: Finding the Variable

I told y’all I’d make it a series…LOL

“When times are good, be happy;
    but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one
    as well as the other.
Therefore, no one can discover
    anything about their future.” (Ecc 7:14)

You know how it goes…You’re at the New Year’s Eve service or just talking to people concerning the new year coming and this is pretty much what you hear:

“Man, 2015 was a tough year for me. I went through so many trials this year. The devil really had me down but I know this next year is going to be my year. I know that blessings will come for all the pain I went through this year…”

Of course that was the church version, but I’m sure you can translate that to any setting. The majority of people look back to this year and recount all the bad things that occurred, the issues they had to go through, the obstacles that had them down, and then they look at the coming year as that light at the end of the tunnel, that remedy to all their pain that this “evil” current year gave them.

But what if I said that wasn’t the case? What if I said that the solution to all your problems wasn’t the upcoming Jan 1st? What if I told you that the problems you have at 11:59 on Dec 31 will still be there when the ball drops at 12? What if I told you that the year won’t change anything if you don’t change first?

We are going to have problems. That’s inevitable. Jobs are lost. Friends betray. Relationships fail. People pass away. There’s no grace year where life says to us, “I’ll give you a break. See you next January.” That’s just the way it is. I’ve heard it said that everyone is either in a trial, getting out of a trial, or about to get into one. There’s nothing we can do to change that. As volatile the actual issues may be, that truth is the constant in this situation, so what is the variable? We are.

The peace we look for in the coming year is not one that deals with the problems, it comes with how we deal with the problems. It’s said that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, but truthfully if something doesn’t kill you this time and you don’t learn from it, you’ll be just as weak when it tries again. But it’s what we do with the experience, the lesson we learn from it, and the application of said lesson, that makes us stronger.

So what am I saying? Don’t fool yourselves into thinking that this next year will come with no problems. It may come with even more. But pray and hope that you can see the good in the midst, the patience that’s being worked, and the peace that can be attained in the midst of it.

Lastly, for my believers, consider this:
William McDowell recorded a song, “You Are God Alone” (forgot who wrote it). The hook sings:

You are God alone
From before time began
You were on Your throne
You are God alone

And right now,
In the good times and bad
You are on Your throne
You are God alone

The song declares that BEFORE time began God was on His throne and He was God alone. And now, not only has time been created (by Him, might I add), but we have been able to even separate it into “good” and “bad” times. But what hasn’t changed? God is still on His throne and He is still God alone. Your anchor in the midst of changing winds is God. The verse quoted in the beginning calls us to consider that God is still in control. You may not know what your future holds but you know Who holds your future.

Stay blessed. Have a happy and safe new year.

-OnePurpose

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Don’t Waste Your Life

Time….

It’s free but it’s priceless. We don’t own it but we have it. We can’t keep it but we can spend it. Once we’ve lost it, we can’t get it back. We delegate how it’s used. We have a limited supply yet we don’t know what that limit is. We plan what we want to do with it while in the same moment, it’s diminishing.

Okay. Enough of the deep metaphorical talk. LOL. The point is that wasted time equals wasted life. The Bible talks about how life is but a vapor. In the past two months, I’ve lost three people, one at age 21, one at 29, and the other well into his 50s. We never know when our time is up. So what do we do with that fact? We waste a lot of time with useless activities that don’t benefit us in the long run. Then we spend more time thinking about the time that was wasted instead of making up for that time. I’m sure you agree that most of us are the worst stewards of time. So how do we fix that?

I’m learning more and more how to be IN the moment. I’ve learned that I’ve lived a lot of my life on autopilot. I sit back and recline as my life passes before me. I live out the “Whatever happens, happens” saying. But what if that was one of the most popular ways of wasting your life? The good steward of time understands that we must make things happen.

“But Alan, what about God’s sovereignty? Are you trying to say we should play God in our lives?” No! Of course not. (I felt like Paul just now, ref: Romans 6:1 lol). As a matter of fact, the best way to waste your life is to not give it to God. But the life of a believer is not one where you’re sitting around twiddling your thumbs waiting for a big voice to tell you when to get up and do something. Look at Paul. He moved from place to place as he saw fit but all with the agenda to glorify God. When God needed to send him a detour, He did.

That’s how we should live our lives. Everything we do must have the chief end of glorifying God. When we read the Word, we learn about His character and what pleases Him. Once we get that, we can apply that in many ways. As we grow more and more, we’ll be able to discern better what is wise and what isn’t.

So what am I saying in a nutshell? STOP WASTING TIME! You just read this. You used time to read this. Now you have a choice. If you don’t apply it, you just wasted time. But take this and apply it and your use of time will be enhanced. As for me, that’s all the time I have for now but I feel like I’ll be continuing this…

Stay blessed

-OnePurposewasting-time


The Volume of Silence

boy-shh

“Can I talk to you?”

It’s a simple and specific request, yet sometimes we, who are asked the question, misunderstand it. There are times when someone will come to you, telling you that they need someone to talk to and thought you would be the one. But there are times when we do them a disservice by doing one thing…

…speaking.

There are times when someone approaches you with an issue and they need your insight on how they should handle it, but a lot of times we need to realize that this is not the case. There are people that will seek not your words, but your ears. Every conversation is not meant for us to show off our wisdom or insight on the topic being discussed. It’s not every time that someone needs to hear that what they’re saying is far fetched. A lot of times, they already know that. Sometimes they just have something they’ve been holding in and they just need to let it out.

Here are three reasons silence is the sometimes the best response:

The less you speak, the more you can observe.
We all tend to do it. Someone is telling us something and something they say triggers a response and now until we find the end of their point, we’re forming our response in our head to respond to that point. You can miss out on something more important than what you’re holding onto. I’ve been in conversations where everything shifted because in observing that how the person was talking spoke louder than what they were saying. But if I was hooked only on their words, I would’ve missed that and only get surface deep with them rather than getting to the root issue.

People tend to feed you the rough draft, not the edited version.
I don’t know about you but a lot of times, things that don’t make sense escapes this mouth. I know when I’m at work or when I’m speaking to a crowd of people that I need to really process what I’m about to say to avoid making a fool out of myself or offending someone. But when I’m with my closest friends and something is boiling in me, I have in my mind that I’m in a safe zone where I can let out my unprocessed thoughts and not feel judged and allowed to filter them out. Sometimes, we don’t need to be quick to correct someone. A lot of times, they know what they said doesn’t make sense. We need to be careful not to make someone feel as if their feelings aren’t valid. Let them let it out. When they ask you, then you can filter the nonsense with them, not for them.

The speaker feels like you care about them.
Some people don’t listen well because they care more about being heard. This tends to come off as if you have no concern for the person standing in front of you but you care more about your point getting across. When you actively listen without interrupting the person, they feel as though you actually care about what they’re saying. They don’t feel as if they’re trying to prove a point. Instead, they feel like you are hearing what they’re saying and validating their feelings. This even allows more acceptance for when you do respond to them. They feel that you’ve given them a chance to say what they need to say and that your response is coming from an understanding of their perspective.

So next time someone approaches you asking to talk to you, don’t steal their spotlight. Keep quiet. Let them speak. Stick to questions that simply guide them to go deeper. Refrain from quickly correcting. Believe me. You’ll see the difference in their interaction with you. Stay blessed.

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;” -James 1:19

-OnePurpose