Life should be viewed like a lollipop- one of those with the chewy chocolatey treat hidden inside. First, you have to “lick” it (pun intended 😄). You have to break through the hard stuff. But that’s part of the sweetness. Finally, at the end, you do get to the reward.
It was the simplest of things. A choice. A decision on whose advice to follow. It had unimaginable consequences. Certainly, they could not foresee what it would lead to – especially with their own beloved children. Surely, that result was unintended.
Or was it?
It had to be made right, after all. Was it a neccesary part of the plan?
I know I was destined to write this entry. 😄
The inspiration – a little of it, anyway – was the movie Edge of Tomorrow, which I’ll describe simply as ‘”Ground Hog Day” during wartime,’ so as not to spoil it for you too much. A bigger part of where this post started was my thinking on how to answer the question, “So what do you do?”
The best response is “G.H.R.O. W.I.S.E.R.” This is, of course, an acronym, a handy literary tool that helps me remember stuff. In this case, it’s where I want my focus to be. I’ve determined what’s important after careful deliberation. And that included deciding what I can live without. If you’re curious, the acronym stands for:
Income or Investments
Singing and playing music
Recreation – that is, an appropriate amount of downtime
You might say GHRO WISER is my mission statement. It’s my list of priorities, the areas of life I want to concentrate on, in some kind of order. Today, however, I’m not writing about the goals I have, but more about the need to have a firm idea on what they are. I’m talking about the act of choosing and planning, and whether it makes a difference in life. Or not.
So you may have heard the saying, “Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.” This is basically a consideration of fate vs free will. Which is it? Can life – a Christian life – be both? I think it’s critical to make the following distinction:
“Do my choices make any difference?” is one question;
“Does God already ‘know’ what I will choose?” is an entirely separate matter. And, it’s the less vital one.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.
The gist of this verse is, I think, that there are things I can know, and things I may never know. Much of what God has done – and how He does it – falls into the latter category. I want to concentrate on the former and not waste too much time speculating.
What do or can I “know?” Here are three crucial choices:
- I can choose some very important stuff, like my attitude and acceptance of circumstances; like getting up when I fall; like asking without shame for help from others and from God; like not worrying about the aforementioned unknowables; like who I live and do for
Here’s a quote off of inwardquest.com which sums this up nicely:
“…Instead of our story being … linear… with a set beginning, middle, and end, it is like a ‘choose your own adventure’ book. Each choice you make takes you to a different fate… destiny… future. Who we are is made up of our responses to events in our lives. If we change our responses, we change our future responses, as well.”
This is the heart of recovery from addictions and compulsive behavior.
- I can realize that I do, but God determines the results; if I don’t do, nothing will be different
This emphasizes the importance of action, of not being “so heavenly-minded as to be of no earthly use.” I love this quote from Ronald Reagan:
“I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do.
I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing.”
Remember the definition on insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
- I can remember and be aware of the evidence of my past, and that, by far, it has been good
I’m still alive, and the analogy of a sports team in the post-season is a great one. I like the direction my life is going now, and that has everything to do with living it for and with God.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.
To sum up, for me the question of whether I have had any hand in what’s happened to me, past and present, is a definite “Yes!” My choices certainly brought me to rock bottom. I believe I was saved when I finally chose not to force my own decisions on life.
Ecclesiastes 12:7 GOD’S WORD® Translation
Then the dust [of mortals] goes back to the ground as it was before, and the breath of life goes back to God who gave it.
Quote from C. S. Lewis: “You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”
Curiously enough, I just posted about this yesterday: Who’s In Charge In Here, Anyway?
In this post, I give my thoughts on the differences between the body (the dust, the ash, the soil that makes the physical me), and the soul (the breath of life, the spirit, the real “me” who directs my body’s actions).
I say “curiously enough” but, as one who sees The Creator’s hand everywhere, it’s not really all that surprising.
Blessings to you all!
Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution? Ever had to make the same one more than once? Have you ever started a statement with the words, “I want to…” “I’m going to…” “I think I should…”? Have you actually reached those goals in your life? Do you have compulsions to act in certain ways or have plain old bad behaviors? Are you a serial procrastinator? Are you addicted to anything?
Think about this for a moment: If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, then quite simply, You are doing something Yourself doesn’t want to do. Did you catch that? Does it sound like there are two people, two wills, operating inside you?
There are. There is the one doing those things and the one who doesn’t want to do them and instead, wants to do these other things, that are probably much better for your health, wealth, and your true happiness.
Would it surprise you to learn that this has been a problem for people for thousands of years? Here’s a quote from quite a long time ago:
“Instead of doing what I know is right, I do wrong.”
Or to put it another way:
“I do not do the good things I want to do, but I do the bad things I don’t want to do.”
So I have a question for you, “Who’s in charge inside of you, anyway?” One way to answer this is to think of those two selves as your body and your mind. Body wants everything that’s fun and pleasurable; Mind has dreams of being something in this world. The two are at war because bringing dreams to life requires hard work and sacrifices; it means Body gets less – sometimes far less – of what it lusts for.
I have good news and bad news for you. There is a way to break these habits, BUT it’s no miracle cure, no single button to be pushed or spell to be incanted. Transforming your life is a day-by-day journey, a voyage of discovery, and likely is a lifelong trip.
If you want to be the best you can be, take hope, it is very possible, but there are a few important facts to know before you start.
#1 The right word
First and most importantly, your “best” is that condition you have reached when you’ve run out of time. It’s the furthest you’ll ever get in this life. Were you ever to reach your “best,” you’d have nowhere to go but down. Better to want to be … better. Better today than you were yesterday, last week, last year. Behavioral change is all about progress, not perfection.
#2 You can’t do it alone
There’s a saying, “People don’t lack strength, they lack will (power).” The way to build the determination you need is with support, especially support from others who are traveling the same path as you are. This is the idea behind 12-step programs like “______ Anonymous” and “Celebrate Recovery.” You meet with and get to know people who understand what you’re going through and why, and you share the struggle, out loud. You talk about it. You listen. You learn helpful stuff.
It also is a benefit (a huge benefit) to have an “authority” figure with expertise in self-improvement, in renewing lives. (For many, that ‘higher power’ is God or The Creator of everything. The reasoning is that He created each of us, so who better to know how to get us working well and feeling good?)
#3 You can’t “stop,” you must replace
I have a saying, “Thinking about not doing something, is the same as thinking about doing it – you are still thinking about it.” Call this a Law of Attraction. If your mind is focused on a thing, your body will follow right along to that thing. When you try to leave one habit behind, you must have somewhere new to head toward. With Mind focused on that (and not the old actions), Body follows and becomes able to do things you never thought possible.
#4 It’s no overnight stay
Here’s a great example: Imagine you’re relocating to a foreign country. It’s a permanent move, not a vacation. You have to learn the language, the customs and geography you now find your self in. You immerse yourself in it, but it’s still going to take time. Eventually, you’ll feel at home again. Each day you’ll make progress – sometimes only a little. It’s a process of improvement. It’s growing.
To conclude, I have a quote from one of my favorite movies, The Matrix. The characters in this film leave the real world to enter a simulated environment – a virtual reality. Their bodies remain behind, comfortably seated. If they die in that alternate setting, their bodies die, too.
“The body can not live without the mind.”
We could go deep into philosophy and theology here and argue about whether the mind continues without the body or not, but the body definitely does not live without the mind. For me, that means that “I” am first my mind (the order giver) and secondly my body (the order taker).
“You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”
I love a clever title, but I had to go with the plain truth for this one. This post is wholly for my wife, my everything in life. Note: Barb, you’ll want to read this one 😉
Barb is my best friend, my soulmate since the beginning, my partner in love, in nights of drunkenness and (now) sobriety, in parenting and grand parenting and everything else homey in this world today. I can’t possibly list all the ways I have “obtained favor from the Lord.” I am “he who finds a(n unbelievably great) wife… a good thing.” (Proverbs 18:22) Words fall utterly short of describing her and my (something far greater than) appreciation for her.
Through every day of this miracle-filled life, she’s stuck with me. And she is my biggest blessing of all. Through my drunken tears; through my dragging her down into it and then in ongoing recovery from it; through the attempt and every other crazy phase I’ve fallen (or risen) into; and through such health crises! Even being told, “he might not make it.” And through last night, when I watched one tv, feet up, daughter on the other, Barb doing all the chores, and it hit me just how much she means to me. Kinda made me sure I should show it in some way.
So, in the ways that are the most to me, I speak in one of her love languages. I write it. I search the Bible for it. And I yell it from my rooftop. (I must keep it blogging-functional, so here are the top three:)
#3a & b: (ok, I couldn’t do it in just three.)
Luke 12:34 ESV “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” I am a homebody. I don’t need to go out all over. I like routine, and you are my biggest, steadiest rock on this world.
Ecclesiastes 9:9 CEV “Life is short and you love your wife, so enjoy being with her. This is what you are supposed to do as you struggle through life on this earth.” I have friends, but you are by far the best, the BFF. I wouldn’t trade the struggle with you for winning lottery after lottery without you.
#2: Genesis 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
#1: Proverbs 3:28-29 ESV “Her children shall rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but your surpass them all.'” No gift can do as much as the words I can say – to you and to others – about how much you mean to me, to this family.
Adding another link
<p>Source: <a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/moxie/”>Moxie</a></p>
First time responding to daily prompt and using a pingback. Hope it’s done right (I’m posting from my phone.)
Moxie, the drink. When I was a kid, my dad would drink this stuff- a lot. Comes in an ugly orange can? I never tried it then.
Years years later, I came across Moxie on a store shelf! “They still make this stuff?!” Of course, this was my second chance, so I picked up a six-pack.
At home, I popped the top and took a sip… And promptly poured all six cans down the drain! Nasty! But it made me think if my dad. That was a good thing!