I tend to be an avid reader. Now one would think that being an avid reader would make me a better writer, but alas, no. Anyway, I have started rereading a book I first read when I began my journey back to the faith, And I thought I would periodically reflect on various chapters as I go along. Continue reading “Don’t Jump Unless the Bridge is Falling”
I finally realized what I am missing in my life, self-discipline. I have patience and I have perseverance, but I do lack self-discipline. You only have to go as far as to look how I post in this blog. I’ll go on a streak of writing a post every day or every couple of days, and then I don’t write anything for months. Continue reading “You Need Three Legs for the Stool to Stand”
Okay it’s day eight and I have written five hundred words each day of Lent so far. Can I make it to forty? I don’t know, but I am going to try. I know today’s post is going to be a struggle. I’m just not in the writing mood today. I suppose I could just copy Psalm 119 but then that would be cheating.
Let’s talk about patience today. This is one of the first things I learned during my journey back, to be patient. this is one of the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit and I certainly believe it was the Holy Spirit that sent it my way. It was just a little over a year ago that I knew I needed to make a change in my life. Things were not going well and I needed to make some hard decisions. I prayed for answers and they were given to me. At the same time I also learned that I needed to be patient and in time the changes would come.
We had to get out of the house we were in, it needed more work than we could afford to put into it. However we had outstanding debt and no credit so it was going to take a lot of hard work to change things. We were going to have to cut our spending, make some hard choices, including not paying off some of the money we owed people, making them wait a little longer, In other words we ticked some people off. But I knew we could and would bo it. We would get caught up. get our credit score up and be able to move. I knew God had my back, I trusted Him and believed we would do it.
My better half didn’t believe. It took her awhille to see we were making progress and that it would happen. Even for several months after we moved she still had a hard time beleiving we would be okay. But we were and are. I would tell her to have faith, that I was praying, and God was there for us. It was actually kind of funny becasue she would ask me why I needed to read the Bible all the time or go to church every week. I would smile and say “Because it is helping us.” Now she sees. Now she believes. that good things truly do happen when you pray and have the patience to wa.it for Him to act. He may not give you what you want or what you ask for, but He will give you the answers. God knows whats best for us.
In my case I asked God, not to send us a pile of money, only to guide meand show me the way. I asked Him to show me the way out of this mess and He did. I have the next four days off and I will go through my Bible and look at the notes I have made to pick out the ones that helped me. The ones that brought me to the point where I finally trusted in God. The point when I got to the top of the mountain and wasn’t afraid to go down the other side
Day 2. I’m on a roll. Let me continue with yesterday’s thought. I was talking about putting things in God’s hands and following His lead. I quoted from Matthew yesterday when Jesus tells his disciples not to worry about tomorrow and to take care of today. When I began doing this it was like lifting a burden from me. Not that I just said the heck with it and stopped trying to do the things that needed to be done, but I came to the realization that a person can only do what he can do.
When I was young my father ran a small grocery store. He used to tell me you can’t make pork chops out of pig excrement. I cleaned it up a little and would say you can’t put 10 pounds of hamburger in a five pound bag. You might get five and a half or even six, but you wouldn’t never get ten. In other words, you can’t make something out of something that isn’t there.
We need to do this in our lives as well. We can only do as much as our time, talents and treasure allows us. If your paycheck is only $500 you can’t spend $600 and expect to get ahead or even stay even. Instead you reign in your spending, cut expenses and work on first staying out of further debt, then working off your debt within your means. It isn’t easy but once you understand this you will see that things will get better, you need patience, but you will get there. You will also be able to see that this will work and then you can stop worrying about tomorrow. You can’t do anything more than you are doing. When (and if) tomorrow comes you start all over and do what you can do.
Believe me it isn’t easy to do this at first but this is where the trusting in God part comes in. You need to shut out all the noise, the bill collectors, the television commercials, your coworkers when they tell you about all the new “toys” they have, and concentrate on your life, and what you need to do, each day. Learn to separate your needs from your wants and better days will soon come.
Once you get rid of all the noise around you, you will then be able to hear the Lord when he speaks. You will be able to hear what he is telling you, you will be able to see the signs he is giving you to keep you on the right path. I know I am not the best at expressing my thoughts but I am trying to get them across. I truly believe if you take the time to listen, God will direct you. When I began looking back on my life I realized that there were many times when he had tried to guide me I just didn’t listen. Even until about a year ago I didn’t always listen and I certainly didn’t completely trust in God. Once I did, my life truly turned around.
You can’t control what you can’t control. And you need to live one day at a time.
I learned to attack the seven deadly sins, one day at a time. These are Pride, Avarice, Envy, Wrath, Lust , Gluttony and Sloth. Once you are no longer a slave to these, you realize that God will have your back and you can get through anything.
I will expand on these and how I have managed to keep them under control in the next few posts. After all I have 38 more to write.
We all know that patience is a virtue and for some of us it can be one of the hardest to follow. Like now for example. I have been out of work for three weeks now and have been working to get my freelance business going. But the work is slow coming in.
I know I need to be patient and use that other virtue, perseverance, to make it go. It is kind of like the parable of the sower and the seeds that fell on the fertile ground. They need to be watered and nurtured; it takes patience for them to grow. (Luke 8) The same goes with my little business.
As I think back over my life, I have not always been patient, especially when I was younger. I knew everything there was to know and no one could tell me any different. I knew more than my sisters, I knew more than my mother, I knew more than my wife and I certainly knew more than my father. It’s funny how as I got older they all got so much smarter. I think of my dad each and every day, things he said to me, things he taught me. Someday I am hoping to see him again so I can tell him I am sorry I didn’t listen and thank him because I am listening now.
I bring this up because one of the reasons I am patient is because my father made me realize what truly is important in life. It wasn’t money, it wasn’t stuff, it was family, it was love, it was being surrounded by the ones you love. My father wasn’t always one to say he loved us very much, and he never said he was glad we were around, but we knew he was. One day, a little while after my mother passed away, I remember him telling me how he never realized how much his family loved him and what great kids he had. That meant more to me than anything else he ever said to me.
Okay, okay, back to patience. Because my father taught me, maybe more showed me, what was important in life, I am now much more patient than I ever was. Even though it is going to be tough for a little while, we will make it. We just need to hang in there, be a little more budget conscious and trust in the One who has never let me down before.
I don’t know what my father’s dreams might have been. I don’t know if he never pursued them or attained them, but somehow I think if I reach mine that will make him happy. And with the help of God and patience, it will happen. If not, it won’t be for lack of trying.
A person is prudent not because he never makes a mistake, but because he corrects his errors. He shows his prudence in preferring to miss the mark twenty times rather than give in to an easygoing ‘do nothing’ attitude. He won’t rush into things foolishly or behave with absurd rashness. He will run the risk of his decisions. Fear of failure will not make him give up in his effort to do good. As we go through life we find ourselves coming across people who are objective and know how to weigh things up, who don’t get heated or try to tip the balance towards that which favours them. Jose Escriva, Founder Opus Dei