Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Never Settle

Life is meant to be engaged!  Never settle.  The greatest enemy we face is complacency.  No hero accomplished anything great while being complacent.  The most memorable events of history never just happened; they took blood, sweat and tears.  Sometimes before, sometimes after.  We lull ourselves into a general apathy, a desire to follow the norm because we’re too tired to stand up for anything and eventually fall for nothing.  We have turned our society into a large machine of idolized novel ideas which are simply remakes of old clichés.  Most of us think we know what works and would rather fail doing it than try something different.

I am saddened with the inability of our generation to communicate with one another.  Truly communicate.  We focus so much on external distractions like words and pictures that we have lost the art of connecting heart to heart.  We feel it’s too intimate to speak honestly with a stranger and cringe at the required vulnerability.  To an ungrateful soul we can offer a kind word and sometimes a kind deed, but hardly a kind attitude.  And why this lack of ability to connect with those around us?  It’s simple really.  How can we truly connect with another human being if we have not fully connected with who God has created us to be?

We vacillate between what we want and what we know.  We struggle to define ourselves, to live up to the standards and goals we deem important.  We look around us and see people who have their lives put together.  Clean-pressed robots all programmed to act as society should dictate.  Yet we never take the time to end the charade and get to know the individual beneath.  Life is full of pressure.  To achieve.  To excel.  To become the hero everyone wants to follow.  There are hundreds of motivational speakers inspiring us to stand out as a winner.  Yet few of them highlight the beauty of living without recognition, fame, or fortune.  They fail to recognize the success in a life lived in simple perfection.  A man who knows his place in the world is far more powerful than any election or recognition or talent improperly used.  Are you a mechanic?  Know your place.  Are you a pop star?  Know your place.  Be confident in who you are and comfortable in the life you have been given.  Change that life if need be.  But never, ever settle for what is, because the moment life stops changing, it stops.  Lights go out and cold creeps in.  Take a look at the people around you.  The ones you see every day.  Not simply your friends, your family, or the close buddies you see at the gym every other day.  I mean everyone.  The young girl waiting in line behind you.  The older gentleman with the disheveled hair reading a book across from you.  The young mom with a van full of crying children who stopped beside you at a red light.  Quit dwelling on your own life long enough to focus on what’s important.  Individual lives.

You may say money is the most valuable possession here on earth.  Or assets.  Or any financial upperhand which you can use to gain most anything in life.  But you would be wrong, oh so very wrong!  Time is the most valuable possession you have.  You can obtain money with time, but you can never obtain time with money.  Each year you are allotted 31,536,000 seconds and while you may think 31 million is a lot, they begin to bunch together into minutes and hours and all too soon slip into that irretrievable place called the past.  So focus.  Focus on bettering yourself – by bettering those around you.  Speak to each person individually and use words if necessary.  Words are empty if they are not spoken with time.  “I love you!” can sound sweet one day yet burn the next unless it is backed with committed time.  Promises are empty unless time has spoken them.  Some things we’d rather not say simply because we don’t want to use the needed time.  And while we hesitate, time slips by, people vanish, life spins on.

We can’t stop the clock.  It’s simply a visible marker for that quiet, steady march of something no one fully comprehends.  The future isn’t here, the past is gone.  Focus on the now.  Embrace your loved ones.  Give compliments freely and mean them.  Be the change you want to see in the world by becoming a person you can admire.  Discover the plan God has for your life by spending time with Him each day.  Life is meant to be engaged!  Never settle.

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