When To Look Back

As much as I can, I try to write in a journal that I keep. A journal that is talking about the events in my life at the moment and my thoughts and feelings. Every few months or so, I like to look back on the things that I wrote, and often times I find myself laughing. I look back and read these words and I think to myself, “Man, you sound like a 13 year old” or “Wow! What on earth was wrong with you?” On the other hand, there are times when I think, “Wow, you handled that pretty well!” or “Maybe you shouldn’t say that to her again.” The interesting thing is I think that doing this can be good thing. Looking back on your life and reflecting on where you were, and where you are now. Here are some reasons why I believe that looking back can be a good thing:

  1. Growth: How can you know if you’re growing if you don’t have a frame of reference? Looking back on past decisions and how you reacted, as opposed to how you might react presently can be a huge indication of personal growth.

  2. Insight: How many times have you reacted to a problem in the heat of the moment? Maybe you said something you didn’t mean, or reacted in a way that you wish you could take back. Looking back on these times can help provide you with a good idea of how to approach similar situations in the future.

  3. Accountability: There have been times in my own life where I have written down things that I need to get done, or would like to do in the future. Looking back and remembering these can encourage you to get back on the horse and finish what you started.

These are only a handful of advantages to looking back on your life. While there can be tremendous gain from doing so, be wary to not “dwell” on the past. Often times people can get stuck in a rut, depressed, angry, or bitter about things that have happened in their lives. You have an amazing ability to choose your attitude. Choose to look at those events not as a way to pull you down, but rather as a method to learn and grow from. 

 


When Justice is Done…

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If someone were to ask me if I could tell them what was happening in the world right now, my response would have something to do with living under a rock. I have intentionally turned a blind eye to the world and what is going on in it for the past two years for the sole purpose of my own sanity. Everywhere we look, watch, and read we see what terrible things are happening across the world. Revolutions for freedom and liberty turning bloody and violent, dictators rising to power, wars raging, people dying. Injustice. Why would I voluntarily choose to let these things influence my thoughts, my emotions, my outlook on humanity? 

This was my line of thinking two years ago, and while I can’t say that I’ve completely changed my perspective on this matter, I can say that I view it differently. I look at the things that happen in the world, people starving, tortured, and murdered, and I think of only one word; injustice. Shouldn’t the right to vote and express your opinions in a non-violent and civil manner be something anyone can do without fear of being imprisoned? Shouldn’t everyone have the opportunity to make the best life for themselves and their family that they can?

“Where does this injustice stem from,” you may ask. I would like to offer a different question. Instead of asking, “Where does injustice come from,” I ask, “Where do we get our sense of justice?” How are we, as human beings, able to discern an action from being just or not? There must be a standard to which we are comparing justice and injustice. So what is this standard? Simply put, apart from a good, loving God, we would have no standard to measure an act being just or unjust. We would be living our lives, selfishly pursuing our own ideals and only doing what is best for “me”.

Asking myself this question has changed my cynicism towards the news. Do watch it everyday? No. Do I think that the greater majority of it is hogwash? Yes. But it is a constant reminder that apart from God’s goodness, I would have no possible way of discerning right from wrong. Justice from injustice. Light from Dark. Good from Evil. I want to leave you with this thought:

“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless -I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality namely my idea of justice was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning.” 

C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)


“The deeper the grief, the closer is God”

It’s interesting how a seemingly normal day can take a sudden turn, and remind you of what’s important in life. Today, my family received news that a man that we’ve been friends with for a few years passed away today. Upon hearing this news, my stomach dropped. I immediately felt sorry for the man’s family; his wife, children, and those who were closest to him. I can only imagine how I would feel if my own father had passed away, and the mere passing thought of it brings me to tears. I guess you can call me “lucky” that I haven’t had someone very close to me die. I can only imagine how deeply it hurts, and to know that there are people feeling those emotions right now is gut-wrenching.

There is a light in this dark time, however. For one, I know that this man has finally gone home and is with our Father. His time on earth was deeply cherished, and I know that he touched the lives of many people. There is solace in knowing that he was a great man who is know, finally, home. This has also turned my thinking towards my own loved ones; my own family and friends. I firmly believe that when our time on this earth is ending, that our thoughts won’t be on what great car we had, how much money we were able to save, or any petty things of that nature. Rather, I believe we will be thinking about the people that we invested in; the relationships and the people that matter most to us and how well you served those around you.

This news has put into realization that money, jobs, cars, and all that stuff have such little value compared to the vast riches of the people around you. Please pray for the family who lost their husband, father, uncle, friend; pray for strength and peace.

“The darker the night, the brighter the stars, 
The deeper the grief, the closer is God!” 

                                          – Fyodor Dostoyevsky


Failure to fail

lukevanley:

I think we need reminders like this to not be afraid to try new things. Failure is fertilizer, it helps your grow!

Originally posted on Blog Blogger Bloggest:

failedI was watching a reality TV show recently and one of the eager young contestants proudly boasted, “I have never failed at anything I’ve tried to do!”

He smirked for the camera, and I thought, “Loser!”

Why? Because failing to fail is the greatest failure of all.

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“Everybody can …

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

It’s an interesting thing how a day of remembrance for a person, a group of people, or an event can remind you of so many different principles that we should be reminding ourselves of daily. Days like today are days where I sit back and try to understand what I can learn and how I can grow as an individual. If I can learn one thing from a man as inspirational and passionate as Dr. King, then I think that the quote above speaks volumes.

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve.”

To serve someone, to cast aside your own desires and put their needs above your own is such a simple, yet wholly satisfying way to live. 

You don’t have to have a college degree to serve…You only need a heart full of  grace. A soul generated by love.” 

I think Dr. King understood that when you serve others with grace and with your motivation being rooted in love for others, then greatness will be within your reach. 

“For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 4:13-14 (NASB)


“Friendship is …

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” C.S. Lewis

Every time I read anything from C.S. Lewis, I’m almost always taken aback at how profound of a man he was. I’ve come across this quote more times than I can count, yet while reading it today, it resonated deeply with me. Can we survive without friends? Can we live life without experiencing deep interactions with other human beings? Sure, but what kind of existence would that be? In my experience, living a life that is devoid of these interactions has been, for lack of better words, miserable. Don’t take for granted the people who are closest to you. Like Lewis said, they add value to your survival during your time on this earth. 


Where Have I been?

That’s the big question. Where have I been? While I could say that “I just haven’t had the time to post anything new lately” would probably suffice, that wouldn’t be very accurate. Rather, I simply haven’t made the time to sit down and write. 

While I know that my blog is still very new, very fresh, and my audience isn’t very large, I still feel responsible for posting my thoughts more frequently. So for those of you who have enjoyed reading the few posts that I have made and have been wanting to read more, I very sincerely apologize to you.

However, I’m not “out of the game” by any means! Actually, quite the contrary. I’m in the process of completely redoing how I run my blog. I’m in the process of reading “Platform” by Michael Hyatt and I’ve been nothing short of inspired. If you know anything about Mr. Hyatt, then you know that his blogging “platform” is outstanding and I’m learning and growing tremendously from his book. I’d recommend it to everyone.

So, in short, as I grow closer to finishing this book, my goal is for my posts to get better and better. More professional, more entertaining, and in short, better. The goal is to always improve in everything we do, right? Be on the lookout for some great stuff being posted soon!


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