Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for June, 2009

Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers. Garth Brooks

Most of my frustrations arise from my own unmet expectations.

I always seem to begin a project with the unspoken idea that nothing will go wrong. Somehow, I acquired the notion that things are supposed to happen according to my plans.

But life doesn’t work like that. Unanticipated obstacles frequently appear. Important events rarely transpire precisely as I expect. I don’t want to travel through life peering around the corner for the next disaster, but things would be a lot easier and calmer if I learned to perceive the bumps and detours as an integral part of the journey.

Stuff happens. Life is what occurs along the road, not where I arrive at the end. It’s important to plan and prepare, but the quality of the journey is often determined by how I handle the events, challenges, and opportunities I didn’t anticipate.

I didn’t plan on being a quadriplegic, and I wouldn’t choose that circumstance if offered a do-over. But I wasted a decade in anger and depression after my injury, because it wasn’t supposed to be this way. When I finally decided to move forward, I encountered a number of interesting, rewarding opportunities that awaited me on my new path.

How frequently do I miss beauty or generosity or excellence because I interpret an event as a problem? What will “go wrong” today that might lead me toward something better than anything I might have planned?

What’s an expectation that’s caused frustration for you?

Related articles:

The World’s Best Excuse

Regret

The Illusion Of Normal

Rich Dixon is an author and motivational speaker. His first book is Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance.

Learn more about the story of Relentless Grace at: www.relentlessgrace.com

Subscribe to receive blog updates via email

Read Full Post »

Happy Saturday! If you’re new to THE CRAZY QUEST, you may wish to read about it here. Basically, I’m tracing my journey as I attempt to answer the question: What would you do if you didn’t know you couldn’t do it?

This week of training: 103 miles

ENJOY THE EASY TERRAIN

You’re either climbing a hill, you’ve just finished one, or you’re about to begin a climb.

That’s a paraphrase of the way many riders view the terrain, but I’m not certain it’s accurate. The hills are the most memorable, but the majority of most rides contain relatively flat, unremarkable terrain. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Note: This article is a regular Friday feature that’s also posted at SetFreeToday.com

GeeseImitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
(1 Corinthians 11:1)

Do I strive to imitate Jesus? Do you?

I say His prayer, occasionally. I write about Him; I attempt to be aware of His presence; I try to ask myself, “What would Jesus do?” when I confront a difficult decision.

I do a lot of stuff that may outwardly appear as attempts to follow His teachings. But do I truly seek to imitate Him? (more…)

Read Full Post »

The moment God is figured out with nice neat lines and definitions, we are no longer dealing with God. We are dealing with somebody we made up.Rob Bell

God%20speaksI recently encountered an interesting question in Brent Cunningham’s blog: “Does God really ‘forget’ when He forgives?”

For me, Brent’s article prompts another question: “Do you think you understand God?”

My answer would be an unqualified, “No.” But then I’d need to immediately qualify my unqualified answer. (more…)

Read Full Post »

The person who really wants to do something finds a way; the other person finds an excuse.

I’m a world-class excuse-maker. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Happy Saturday! If you’re new to THE CRAZY QUEST, you may wish to read about it here. Basically, I’m tracing my journey as I attempt to answer the question: What would you do if you didn’t know you couldn’t do it?

This week of training: 115 miles

YOU HAVE TO CLIMB THE HILLS

In cycling, as in life, everyone likes riding downhill.

Riding down a hill is easy. You can go fast with little effort, and if the hill’s steep enough you can get a real thrill out of blazing along at more than thirty mph. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Note: This article is a regular Friday feature that’s also posted at SetFreeToday.com

You are what you think about all day long. Dr. Robert Schuller

Do you see the sunrise or the clouds?15_sunrise_raysb

A rule of thumb for providing feedback maintains that ten affirmations are required to balance one criticism. I don’t know whether ten is exactly the right number, but we all know the principle. A lot of positive feedback is required to counterbalance a negative comment.

I think the same model applies to our thoughts. An entire day of exciting, energizing possibilities can be obscured by a single doubt. No matter how many signs encourage us to move forward with passion, one caution casts a shadow over an entire enterprise.

We cannot manage the words or actions of others. We’ll always encounter people who either intentionally or inadvertently rain on the parade. But we can control the direction of our thoughts and responses to circumstances and events.

SetFreeToday rests on God’s promise that we can choose a new beginning in Christ. God doesn’t want us to live in the mire of fear and regret, and He doesn’t want us enslaved by the chains of our own doubts.

I think our enemy understands this. He whispers constantly that we need to focus on problems. He tells us that life is tough and urges us to seek revenge and retribution. The enemy wants us to believe that we are responsible for others’ words and deeds. He desperately wants us to equate a positive attitude with an immature, “rose colored glasses” approach to life’s realities.

I’m not a Pollyanna. Difficulties are part of life. We can’t always simply ignore them, but they don’t have to become the center of our thoughts. We can choose to face challenges and then move on, refusing to allow them to dominate our attention.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4: 8-9)

Beauty and joy surround us. Generosity and good are abundant. We can contemplate the glory of a sunrise or we can turn our backs on splendor and worry about the clouds on the opposite horizon. One choice leads to anxiety about a future beyond our control. The other directs us to awareness of God’s majesty, to a sense of new beginning, to peace.

What’s a negative thought you’d like to move away from the center of your thoughts today?

Related articles:

Regret

Choices That Define

Lessons From The Jar

Rich Dixon is an author and motivational speaker. His first book is Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance.

Learn more about the story of Relentless Grace at: www.relentlessgrace.com

Subscribe to receive blog updates via email

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »