Have you ever wished you had made better choices? I have.
It’s late Summer and there is evidence of Fall fruits everywhere. The Mums in our yard have reached full height and are about to burst into orange flames. A Pumpkin seed took root by our front porch and it’s broad leaves stand on erect stems ready to collect rain.
Then there are the weeds. I don’t know all of their names, but it’s been a wet Spring/Summer and there are lots of them along my back fence line.
The same can be said with our personal lives. We are constantly reaping the benefits of our good and bad habits.
For example, I was in the habit of blogging weekly. Generally trying to get it out before the weekend. With the advent of a new job and Summer activities, that habit has taken a hit. Today I’m attempting to rectify that.
You too, may get discouraged from time to time. In fact, you may find yourself in a season right now where the fruits are far from gratifying. And if you take a minute and look back, you can see where habits went south.
The good news is you can start a new habit today or pick-up where you left off. But I don’t recommend taking a huge leap, I recommend taking a small step.
Simply order the book you’ve been meaning to read.
Start the computer and leave the blank screen staring at you rather than thinking about completing the whole task.
Get some gas for the lawnmower.
Purchase some totes for the decluttering project.
Sign up for the marriage counseling.
Call about the anger management sessions.
Do the research of finding a mentor or Life Coach.
The problem is it’s so easy to beat ourselves up about the past. We want to go back and fix our mistakes and take a re do. Some of those things are too far down river to go back and amend. Dip your paddle and keep moving forward.
The journey is never easy. This past weekend I threw my bike in the back of my truck and drove into the heart of the Adirondacks. The plan was to bike in six miles to an area I’d heard about. I parked the truck and began riding uphill for about two miles and after cresting the hill I rode downhill for about a mile before coming to a parking lot…full of cars! The access was a lot better than I’d thought. I was under the assumption you could not drive beyond the first parking lot!
After riding three more miles (Keep in mind along a dirt path) I reached my destination. The whole time I was asking myself what God was trying to teach me.
I’m still not quite sure to be honest. BUT, I did learn a couple of things.
1) The farther I got away from the truck, the more committed I was to reaching my destination. I kept telling myself I’d gone too far to turn back. Now if you’re deep in your journey and God’s telling you to turn back, you’d better. But if this is something you believe he wants you to do, then go for it.
2) The journey was less difficult when I took time to look around me and spent less time focusing on the path. I know this sounds counter intuitive but it helped me. I think we can get so focused on the destination that we get weary and we stop enjoying our lives. As I rode, I thought about how far my wife and I had come in our marriage. I thought about how our children had grown and the stages they’re in now. I thought about my career and the payoffs and setbacks I’ve experienced. Again, the journey isn’t always easy, but it has it’s rewards.
3) Next time I’m going to drive in as far as I can and take some peole with me that I care about. That day I needed some time to get my head back on straight. The woods is where I do that. But now that I’ve done the difficult exploratory work, I want to go back with loved ones. I want them to experience the fruits of my labors and see the body of water at the end of the path like I did for the first time.
So, in hindsight, don’t get discouraged if you’re in a difficult season right now. This may not have been the path you chose, but now that you’re here, it’s important to realize that it’s not too late. In fact, this path taught you some lessons you wouldn’t have learned otherwise.
Now, you can stay on this path and this level or you can climb higher. Maybe right about now, you’re telling yourself that this path isn’t going help you become a better version of yourself. It that’s the case, do something about it.
Having said all of that, I promise you that you’ve reached the end of your rope, you haven’t. There is a whole new life waiting out there for you. It’s just a matter of making different choices and accepting the things that cannot be changed.
Moreover, I want you to know that God knew life would be difficult, so he sent his son Jesus to die for you. Jesus lived the sinless life that we’re incapable of living and we can be totally forgiven and free simply by recognizing our need for him.
Then, something amazing happens. It’s called grace. That means although we are undeserving, he wants to bless us. That means that regardless of the season you’re in, you have the assurance that he is for you and is actively working behind the scenes in your life to make sure that you succeed and prosper.
I don’t know about you, but I need that kind of assurance because I have times when I don’t perform well and feel unloved because of my poor performance…as a husband, dad, believer, friend, co-worker, etc. The good news is that as believers, we are loved, deeply and wholly. Our lives matter. We can make a difference and when we don’t we can rest assured that a difference has already been made.