Archive for May, 2008

Graduating

May 28, 2008

My son, Ryan, will be graduating from High School this week.  It reminds me of a message I sent out a few years ago about moving to the next level.  You know how sometimes you are rolling along with life, feeling that you are getting your stride and figuring some things out when WHAM!  Something throws you for a loop, or you find yourself slipping back into some modes that you thought you were past.  I’ve talked with so many people who get discouraged when they see themselves struggling.  This is a common human experience – and it does NOT mean that you are failing.  It may mean that you are moving to a higher level.

 

Think about it like a video game.  In these games that my kids like so well, you always start out at the first level.  It can be a little challenging, but as you learn the game you get better at it.  When you master the first level, you move on to the next.  Suddenly, the game is more challenging.  You struggle a bit to succeed, which eventually happens and you move on to yet the next level where the game is again “kicking your trash” as my kids put it.  As you struggle with each level, your skill and confidence increases.  It is not that the game gets easier, but that your mastery of it increases.  Stop every once in a while to see the ground you’ve already covered in your life and learning.

 

Congratulations to Ryan, and all of those other graduates out there – best wishes on your next level!

Advertisements

Shake It Off

May 21, 2008

My good friend, Kirk Weisler, shared a great story this week that I think you will find relevant.  You can link into the original post here: http://kirkweisler.com/t4d/2008/05/19/dry-off-and-do-something-step-up/

 

One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well.  The animal cried pitifully for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.  Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

 

The farmer invited all his neighbors to come over and help him.  They all grabbed a shovel and began to toss the dirt into the well.  At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly.  Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well.

He was astonished at what he saw.  With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing.  He would shake it off and then take a step up.  As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up.  Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

 

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt.  The trick to getting out of the “well” is to shake it off and take a “step up.”  Each of our troubles is a stepping stone.  We can get out of the deepest of “wells” just by not stopping, never giving up!  I also love what Jeffrey R. Holland said about the various troubles we face in life.  He said, “no misfortune is so bad that whining about it won’t make it worse.”

 

Shake it off and take a step up

 

 

Why Are They There?

May 14, 2008

Occasionally along the path to our dream we encounter giants that stand in our way and threaten us.  In a menacing way, they insist that we turn back, trying to discourage and intimidate.  These giants may be immovable objects, opposing individuals, sluggish systems, or crushing burdens.  In a scene from Harry Potter, the kids encounter a huge three-headed dog-like beast named “Fluffy”.  After fleeing from the beast, Hermione chides the boys a bit for not noticing that the beast was actually guarding something – a trap door.  Ask yourself what your particular giant is guarding.  Only by moving beyond and through the giants can we attain the dream.  Sometimes the brick walls are there only to test how badly we want something.  Make sure you have something bigger than your giant on your side – namely your God, your resolve, and your dreams.

Flowers For The Living

May 7, 2008

This weekend is Mother’s Day.  It is also the time for a funeral for a neighbor of mine.  For both of these events, people will bring flowers.  I was having a chat with a good friend of mine last week about how sometimes we give the least to those who matter most.  He shared a story about a friend of his who died before he really was able to express his love and appreciation.  “Give em flowers while they’re living!” is Dino’s advice.  What a gift our life and relationships are.  Don’t be so caught up in the stuff of your life, that you fail to connect with the ones who mean the most to you.