Don’t underestimate what it took to get you to where you are now so if you want to turn your life around you will definitely have your job cut out for you.
If you’ve ever been on a large ship such as a cruise ship or a naval vessel, then you know that ships don’t turn quickly. When a ship turns it must do so with a great deal of effort, and it has to be done very slow. It takes twenty six miles for a large vessel to turn around at sea. Slowing the ship down, turning it, getting it up to speed again; these things all happen so slowly that if you’re standing on board the ship, in the middle of the ocean at high noon, you may not perceive any movement at all for quite a long time. There’s plenty happening but there’s no evidence of progress.
And likewise… 99% of what we receive in life is on the way long before we’re aware that we are receiving it.
You will need to be patient and even respectful of the momentum you created to propel yourself in the wrong direction. Don’t underestimate what it took to get you to where you are now so if you want to turn your life around you will definitely have your job cut out for you. You’ve traveled a long way in the “wrong” direction for a long time and you were probably picking up baggage that you now wish you didn’t have. So, don’t take what you’re about to do lightly. The day everything begins showing signs of change will not be immediately in sight. But, it is just around the bend. Don’t give up, because when you get there, you’ll see you’re a lot closer to your goals than where you used to be.
In many assaults, help doesn’t always reach the scene until the worst is done. In response to a fire the fire truck won’t get there until after some damage is done but hopefully before the worse is over. In a 911 call, emergency medical attention is on the scene in time to make a difference and in some cases not. Most situations needing outside help or support are reached in time, or very close to it, but sometimes it doesn’t work that way. The time element is very critical and what you do in that span of time can mean all the difference in the world. That’s why in classes for assault or robbery, and it’s just as well in striving for success in any endeavor, we say fight with the thought that help is just around the bend. Don’t die, don’t quit, don’t go broke, don’t give up, don’t do anything in any way without knowing it’s just seconds before help will arrive … keep fighting. Staying alive physically, staying alert mentally, staying calm emotionally, staying strong financially, staying grounded in Christ spiritually – each is a process that is quite the same regardless of what details are inherent in the goal you’re after, namely, “Never Give up, Never – Never Give Up.” Winston Churchill
The Stimulus is needed to alert us that we’re off course
Is the way we’re living life making it
The Decision has to be made
Will life be better with change
Can I affect the change
Is what I have to go through worth what the change will give me
The Brakes must be applied
Do I want to give up what I have
Will my brakes work (they can’t be worn out; they are never used)
Then, Stop heading in one direction
Quit doing what I was doing
Quit going where I was going
Quit running with who I was running
Now, the Turn
To whom and what direction should I turn
What is needed for me to have faith in that direction
The new Start
In order to start heading in the other direction…
you have to get up and move
The Egypt Exodus …
Required people to get up and move; step out on faith… then,
the Red Sea was parted.
What Motivates you to get under way
When we talk about doing better with our lives, people are
always asking, “But how do I do this … when do I do it …
and where should I apply myself, now… and after.
Persistence is needed
It has to stay the course.
Now, In the end
What progress is counted as progress
Are goals realistic
Will attainment of goal fulfill God’s plan for my life
Is all this easy?
No, it’s not!
Think about that person you respect … now stop and think … just what is it about that person that makes you respect him? Why do you think someone who is respected is respected? Who can be respected if everything is given to him and he never has to face a challenge? In my book, the person who I respect isn’t being respected so much for what he has done, as much as he is being respected for what he is not doing.
Let me tell you a little secret … drugs feel good … alcohol feels good … sex feels good … having people think you’re tough, good looking, or that you’re cool because you have a lot of things, that all feels good. The devil doesn’t come to you and say, “Hey, man, look … here’s something that tastes terrible and it will make you feel even worse. Do this thing and you will be so happy to see your relationships, your job, your family, and eventually your whole life go down the drain.”
The devil doesn’t say that.
He says, “Hey this will make you feel good, it will allow you to think fast, take the edge off. Your personality will come alive and everyone will think you’re the life of the party and it will be a lot easier to meet people … you’ll make contacts and get ahead. This stuff will get you to where you’re going. And, when you want to slow down, I have something for that too.”
It’s the person who knows which one of these statements is true that I respect. I’ll tell you the person I respect. Someone who I know, with the world in his hand, lived a modest life and one day he decided to go into the desert and fast and when the devil thought he was weak enough he said, “Look how weak and hungry you are … here, take this stone and tell it to become bread.” My friend could have done it; but he didn’t. The devil said, “Ok, I’ll tell you what,” and then led him up to a high place and in an instant showed my friend all the kingdoms of the world and said, “Worship me, and all of this will be yours.”
My friend, again, turned him down.
“What?” The devil was furious. “Who do you think you are? Ok, then, if you’re so high and mighty throw yourself down from here and let me see if it’s true what I hear about you … that you will not strike your foot against a stone. Go on, Mr. High and mighty, show off.”
Again my friend refused.
I love him for what he did for me but He couldn’t have done it, if it wasn’t for what he didn’t do. And now these are placed before us every day of our life. We all fight with those same three offers every day, and we don’t always do well at it. Yet, those three offers represent the only sins that exist in this world. There are only three things that can separate us from God and we fail so often when we come against them. Every illegal and sinful act you can think of will fall under the category of one of those offers the devil tried to make my friend accept.
Look at them a little closer.
Turn to the original sin.
In Genesis 3:6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food (lust of the flesh) and pleasing to the eye, (lust of the eye) and also desirable for gaining wisdom (pride of life), she took some and ate it. All sin will fall under the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.
Is this really sinful?
Well, ask yourself… is any of this something that will separate us from God? If it is, know that the separation from God is sin.
“Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
Is any of this easy?
No, it’s not easy… but it’s simple to do, once you’ve made up your mind to do it.
I remember a story about a boxer who worked in a hardware store during the day and we trained at the same gym at night. He was in terrific shape and I asked him how he did it. He said he was up at five every morning and ran several miles before he had to go to work. I tried to do that for a couple weeks and then stopped. When my friend and I talked about my training schedule he asked me why I wasn’t doing my road work in the mornings anymore. I told him it just wasn’t for me. It just seemed natural for him to do and I told him, “It’s alright for you because you like getting up and running early in the morning, I don’t.”
He said, “What? Who said I liked doing it. Just because I do it doesn’t mean I like it. What I like is the results. I prefer pleasing results more than restricting my training to pleasing methods that will fall short on results.”
Now, that’s the difference between a winner and someone who is always falling short of the mark. Is it easy? Is always doing the “right thing” something people like to do? Maybe not right away… it may take time for the benefit of pleasing results to overcome the desire of doing something enjoyable, that doesn’t meet your goals. I do believe, though, that “doing the right thing” is an acquired desire … getting hooked on the results is what gives you the strength to do what it takes to get those results.
Do you really want to turn that ship around?
I’m sorry to say, it won’t be easy. But, it will be worth every bit of effort, every bit of discipline, every bit of love that you can put into building a new you, discovering a new hope and setting out on a new course of life. And, along as you’re going to do all that, enjoy the journey because as my old friend Ed Wallace would say… “it’s a hoot”.