When I look back on my journey, it looks a lot more like the photo on the right than the one on the left.
Billy, one of my good friends, sent me this last week. I loved it because its so true.
Success is never a straight line. Its a journey back and fourth, up and down. Its a path that God himself sets you on so that one day you can look back and say, ” Wow, that was fun”.
Enjoy your squiggly line.
A while back I was watching a tv show where a guy was making knives by hand. He would take a useless piece of metal set it on the anvil and form it into a beautiful knife.
When I saw the anvil, I couldn’t help but remember the old Looney Toons cartoon where Wiley Coyote would try his best to catch the roadrunner. No matter how hard he tried, he would always be left with a growling belly and a lump on his head.
There have been times in my life where God has clearly been the master blacksmith. Molding, shaping and making me into the man he wants me to be.
There have been other times when I have treated God like the road runner. I chaise, I pursue, I try to trap Him. Ive even tried to out smart him. When I do, I always end up feeling hungry with lumps on my head.
This is the difference between the God I want and the God who is. When I try to trap God with my plans, schemes and preferences, I always end up under the anvil. But when I recognize God for who he is and submit myself to his direction, I end up on the anvil.
God wants me on His anvil, not under it.
Being molded on His anvil will always be better than the pain an loneliness of being under the anvil with a lumpy head.
I love accomplishing goals. Whether it’s finishing a book, reaching a sales goal or running a race. I thrive when I set goals and compete against myself.
Sadly, it’s easy for me to get caught up in accomplishing goals and forget my most important goal, true success.
What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? (Mark 8:36 NLT)
I have to constantly remind myself that God doesn’t call me to be successful as our culture defines success. God calls me to be obedient to Him. That is the essence of true success.
Obedience to God means walking in a relationship with Him, leading my family and serving my wife.
Providing for my family in a monitory way is only one aspect of success. Somehow men loose sight of that truth. Money is important but Godly success is more important.
When I reach for earthly success, even if I obtain, its in vain. When I set my goals on Godly success, I achieve both.
Have you ever felt anxious for no reason? That was me last week. I just couldn’t shake it. I had this weight on my spirit. I have no idea why. I wasn’t having a bad day. My wife & daughter were giving me no reason to be anything but happy. But I wasn’t. I was just anxious and couldn’t seem to shake it.
My wife could tell I was having a tough time with my attitude so she took my daughter into another room and suggested that I lay down and relax by myself for a little while. As I was laying on the sofa, alone, I tried to think about what I might be making me so anxious. I couldn’t think of anything. My mind was blank yet racing. I was calm yet mad. It seems as though my subconscious mind was keeping a secret from my conscious mind.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (Philippians 4:6 NKJV)
I was not doing that, I was anxious over nothing.
I realized that my anxiousness was spiritual immaturity. I serve the creator of the universe. I should be anxious for nothing not over nothing.
My anxiety was a glimpse into the mirror of my flesh. I was so weak in my flesh that I would allow nothing to make me anxious. Its almost funny. I have the creator of the universe, the almighty who loves me and calls me friend and I am anxious about nothing when I should be anxious for nothing… Crazy.
So after thinking about how stupid I had acted, I decided that I owed my wife & daughter an apology. I went upstairs and told them how sorry I was for the way I had acted. She looked at me, shrugged, and said, “Not every day can be your best day”. It was obvious that she wasn’t fazed at all by my weakness & immaturity.
I was as amazed at her wisdom as I was disappointed by my stupidity.
Not every day will be my best day but God is in control of every day.
I cant do anything about tomorrow but I can make today glorify God.
During my run yesterday, I was thinking about how I’m doing as a parent vs how I’d like to be doing. For some reason the phrase, “Stuck between a rock and a hard place.” came to mind.
My exact thought:
“I can be the rock that my daughter stands on or the hard place that she has to one day overcome”
There are tons of kids who grow up with parents who are incredible examples of how to live, how to love and how to experience God. There are other parents who give a different example.
It is important to me that I give my daughter the best chance at a happy, healthy, God filled life. Not that I personally am her rock but that Christ is the rock that I lead her toward.
Every day we make a choice to be a rock for our kids to stand on or a hard place they will have to one day overcome.
Choose the Rock!
“We often project our view of God based on our experience with our earthly father not based on what the Bible says”
Everyone has their own view of who God is. Many of us get our opinion of God based on our opinion of our parents. If our parents were impatient, we expect God to be impatient. If our parents were loving and forgiving, we consider God to be the same.
As you can imagine, projecting your parents character onto God can be dangerous.
As a husband & dad, it is important that I am an accurate reflection of Gods love to my daughter and wife.
Take some time to consider who God really is (not who you think he is). Have you unfairly judged his character? What does his word say about his character? What does he think of you? What does His word say about you? I believe you will find what I have found.
He is Love.
And I said: “I pray, Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. (Nehemiah 1:5-7 NKJV)
I think its interesting that Neheniah didn’t just recognize his sin but he also recognized his peoples sin against God.
As a man, this struck a cord. I asked myself the following questions:
1. As the leader of my household, do I feel accountable for the state of my wife & daughters relationship with God?
2. Should I?
3. Do I have the courage to stand up and care enough to make it personal?
4. Would I lead with more passion if I ultimately felt responsible for the actions & attitudes in my home?
I think the answer the those questions is, YES.
Our relationship with God is not just about us. Its about everyone around us as well. You cant make anyone do anything, true. But you can take it personally and lead with a level of accountability. Dont be afraid to get emotional about your (and your families) relationship with God.
Emotion brings Passion. Passion brings Action and when action runs after God it has a way of gaining wings and flying higher than we could imagine.