Tag Archives: challenge

It’s Been a Year Dad: Lessen or Lesson

It’s been a year now, 12 whole months since a life here expired. I remember the weeks leading to the day that we all knew would come sometime. There was so much support, many prayers and efforts, regardless of being tired. Amid the details though, it wasn’t too difficult, a beautiful love, to find.

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How bad do you want it?

Maybe it’s just me, but, doesn’t it often seem like the degree to which we go after certain things in life, the things we would have battled our parents over, or defend to the hilt with our spouses, contradicts what is best for us? We lose ourselves in something that should be lower on our priority list, if on it at all. Or at least our priorities at times if rated one through ten, would be inversely rated as to what would be best for us at that time. Like I said, maybe it’s just me. How bad do you want it? How long will it last you? What more can you do if you have it? What will you have to give up to get it? Before I get carried away asking too many questions let me narrow this down a bit.

The good things in life, the good people, the good times worth passing on, the good that helps others, the good that gives back, the selfless act that helps someone just because you can, the betterment of one’s self, etc. These are things I think most people would agree are worth pursuing. Yet, the situation one often finds themselves faced with, would determine, perhaps, the relentlessness necessary to pursue such a thing or result. In other words, staying on the course you’re on might be the easy way and maybe it even means nominal success for you. Although, you feel or maybe even know that a change, or a rise to your own challenge could mean a whole new level of success. Yet there you stay. I mean if it’s good for you, good for others, helpful to many, etc. then shouldn’t we go after it? We often times do not though, we get caught up in complacency, the trivial, or what is easiest, and put we stand. I have been guilty of these actions, or lack thereof, myself. We all have at some point for some reason.

This is about going out and getting it. No excuses. No settling for what is easily available. Fight for it. The biggest fight is often with ourselves to actually change our own direction. We have all heard it said that the human mind is powerful, or that a mind is a terrible thing to waste. It’s true though. Even though every day it seems that some human or manual function has been replaced by something automated or something a robot can do. People still make the world go ’round. The human element is the most powerful force this side of God, and the human mind is the most powerful asset we humans have. So unleash your mind to achieve those things that are worth achieving. Don’t get caught up or bogged down with the things that don’t matter at the end of the day. It matters not how big or small that achievement or goal is, more important is your will to reach it. “They” say it’s not the dog in the fight, rather it’s the fight in the dog. “They”, say and do a lot of things. So when all is said and done and the stories are told, don’t be the one telling the stories about what “they” said or what “they” achieved, be the story.

I write this as a challenge to myself as well. There are things I need to do. Some achievements that must be achieved for the greater good. Dramatic sounding or not, it’s my truth, and I know I am not alone. If you read this and there’s an obstacle you wish you could overcome, or an outcome you would rather see, or even a different ending to your own life story, then we’re in this together.

There have been more times than I would care to admit that I froze and let something happen or I let a scenario continue, something that I felt passionately about, but did nothing at all. I came so close to throwing in the towel on many occasions, instead I hung in there. I know God has a plan for me, a plan for us all, and I wasn’t ready to give up on whatever that plan is. What it really comes down to is, how bad do you want it? A follow-up question you can ask yourself is, will it help anyone but you? For me, it’s a check and balance as to how important the situation should be. We all feel good when we do something nice for ourselves, but don’t we all feel infinitely better when we do something for someone else? There’s not much, if anything, better than giving of one’s self for another. Remember, we are the most powerful force this side of God, and when we are able and willing to give of ourselves to help others, then that’s powerful stuff, and it’s why it feels so good.

There are most certainly times when we need to push ourselves to be the best version of ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. By bettering ourselves, and committing to a higher level of performance in an area, we often help others by relieving them of duties we should be handling on our own. God has a plan. We don’t know how long we have here on earth, we don’t know what’s going to happen to us, to our loved ones, and so on. So we should make the most of it, yes? Hey, none of us are perfect, and I know writing words is easier said than done. I also know that we have more control than we think.

If you want it to change, then change your thinking, and do something about it. Focus not on the thing or things holding you back. We all have a million excuses for why we can’t. Open your mind and let it flow. Find little reasons to do what needs to be done if you can’t find the big reasons yet.  Be true to yourself, be true to your character, and those are two fewer battles you will have to fight right off the bat. There are things in life you can be passive about; doing right and doing that which needs to be done would be a couple of examples when passive will set you further behind. Half of this is knowing yourself and where you can push and where you can’t. One of the best things I have learned, an continue to learn, is myself. That will be a topic for another time.

Get in there, mix it up, roll up your sleeves, and work at it. You can do it. You can do that thing. You can be that person. You can be that example. You can be that picture of health. You have so much to give. Just when you think you have given all you have, ask yourself again, and I bet you have more to give. You are powerful either way so make it count. It’s up to you. How bad do you want it?

Dad, I know you can

Dad, I know you can do it. You may doubt yourself or maybe even wonder if the effort is worth the trouble. I am not sure if my opinion counts or not, but I think it’s worth the trouble. I know life is long here on earth, yet compared to eternity, it’s just the blink of an eye. So before this eye blinks again, do what you can. You’re my dad. I don’t have another one, and I want this one functioning at his best for as long as he is able. I know that may be selfish of me but I am human.

I have seen you at your best. When all systems are go and all engines are firing. I remember. You’re not as far from that time as you might think. I know not everything is a matter of choice, but a lot really is. I have heard a lot of preachers over the years and you are still my favorite. You were meant to preach, to use that wildly humorous, imaginative mind of yours to its fullest. I know you aren’t preaching anymore, but the mind that poured over notes and scriptures to compose an artfully delivered sermon week after week is still there.

I worry about you dad. I am just going out on a limb here and delivering a written pep talk of sorts. I love you dad. If I can help, please let me know how. If I have to get after you and push you to be the best you can be, I will. You were driven to deliver to your family and your congregation for many, many years. Now we are both. I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with you the other day, out in the yard, in the warm autumn air, with nothing to do but enjoy one another’s company. I want more of those moments for you, for me, for the entire family.

It feels to me that if you give in on a challenge now it will be easier to give in the next time too. Some of these challenges can be overcome and doing so would improve your well-being. With each win, you are closer to overcoming yet another challenge. You and I both know that God has a plan for you. What if His plan is to keep you here on earth ministering with your words and by your example for the next 25 years? Are you ready for that? I am.

We all know you have been through a lot with your health in recent years. It’s not easy to pick yourself up each day and rise to the heights of the day, week, year, or decade before, it’s not impossible either. You still have tools in your belt. Which I know is a bad analogy because none of us know how to use any tools, but onward we go. When one thing is taken away, it does not define you. It’s just you, with one thing taken away, and chances are you have something else to offer that had otherwise been hidden. Do you think your ability to ‘shoot the lights out’ on the basketball court came without going through the trouble of taking time to shoot those thousands of shots? Were the sermons you preached, that touched the hearts of thousands, worth the trouble of the tens of thousands of hours it took to prepare them? I think you and I also know that both these things were worth the trouble to you.

So now we stare down an obstacle on the road to recovery. What next? My worry is that this obstacle seems mildly insignificant to you, and letting this go will just make the road harder to traverse. It will make the next obstacle easier to slow you down. Not to sound morbid here, and I know your heavenly home awaits, but our days are numbered, and wouldn’t you rather hit the finish line running?

Let’s work at this dad. Leave no stone unturned. I want to see that sly grin and hear your comical remarks for years to come. You have grandchildren who might seem busy or caught up in other things, but I know they all want you at your best for as long as you can put the effort in. I am glad to see you every single time I do. I love you dad, and I will finish this with; Dad, I know you can.