Another Year Wiser?

Today I add another year onto my life. I would like to say something profound about how much wiser I am but I can’t say that I would believe it. Experience teaches us all and we hope it helps us to become wiser.

It would be nice if we always made the right decision but as we all know, it doesn’t always turn out that way. We do the best that we can.

I grew up with a strong church influence and have had to make my own way through it. It hasn’t always been easy and I have done some really stupid things but that’s all a part of life.

I have learned to pray about things, make the best decision I can and trust God with the results. Some people stress about making the absolute right decision on everything but life is filled with twists and turns. Sometimes you just don’t know if you made the right choices until you are down the road and look back.

One thing I always say is that the best ability that someone can have is the ability to adjust. We all get into routines and when those routines change, we have to be able to deal with them. Whether it is a job, new home or other changes we face. My wife and I recently moved and this move changed several routines and my ability to adjust has been tested. I am still a little out-of-sync but I also realize it will take time and then the new changes will be the routine.

Today as I reach the number of 55 years, I can say I don’t think of myself being 55 but physically I feel it. I can tell you that at this point in life the years add up quicker than you want. The world seems to move faster around you while you slow down. I guess that’s the way life works. I can’t say that I am happy about that but sometimes you just do best to accept things that you can’t change.

Am I wiser today? I don’t think so.

You just live and be happy. Everyone has their own idea of what makes them happy and how to live their dream. Some actually realize their dream while others continue to chase theirs. Sometimes you have to make difficult choices to be happy. I know I have been there myself and you just have to do what you have to do to get there.

Don’t rely on looks because looks fade. When you find love, hold on to it and fight for it. True love is ageless. It is always wise to choose love. Yeah I know that sounds a bit mushy but if I am wiser about anything, it is love. Love is worth it.

Live your life and make wise choices and hold onto love.

First Day of a New Life

Yesterday another life was created. Our second grandchild was born and we welcomed her on her first day on Earth. When I have a chance to think about it, it really is quite amazing that yesterday was the first day of her life.

Life will change for her parents and even more for her two-year-old brother who will soon learn the lessons of sharing and what it means to be a big brother.

Life is a precious thing. We enter it so delicately but it changes as we grow older. We learn bad habits and unhealthy diets which become a part of our lives. I think we would all like a do-over. Unfortunately, we don’t get a chance to start over. We have to live with our mistakes. Those mistakes form us and we learn to adjust to the changes of life.

I often watch movies or read fiction that deal with alternative reality. A lot of wondering about what would have happened if? What if we had made a different decision at a crucial point in our lives? What if we had not missed the bus? So many things forge the course of our journey.

The first day of life is an amazing thought. Looking down at the innocent face of a newborn and seeing the first step in her life’s journey. Her only thought today is to stay warm. That is her priority. Her priorities will change in the years ahead.

So many things form us from our parents, our family, our education and the many people that come into our lives. I think about how some people come into our lives for a brief time while others are in our lives throughout our life. I have been influenced by both. You learn lessons from people and your the choices you make.

Are there things we wished we had done differently? Absolutely. We all have those times that we look back upon but we can’t dwell on them because none of us can go back in time and change it. We keep moving forward. We are all given time and chance each day.

As I looked at her face and hear the first sounds she makes, I am honored to be one of the many people who will be a part of her life. She is lucky to have the folks that welcomed her into the world. They are all good people and I am glad to be a part of that. Each one of us will add a little something to her life and she will learn life through us all. While it is an honor, it is also a huge responsibility.

Life is a miracle but it isn’t an accident and while there is time and chance along the way, there will be wise people to guide us.

Yesterday was first day of another’s journey.

The “Drop-Your-Burrito-In-Your-Lap” Moment

burrito

My wife recently told me the story about the time she was going through during a difficult part in her in life.  She was at the point of making a life-changing decision when she went through the drive-thru at Taco Bell and ordered a burrito.  At some point the burrito fell apart and into her lap which was the push she needed to make her decision.

If you live long enough, you will reach that point when a “burrito” falls into your lap which nudges you into the direction you need to go.

If you are like me, you will quietly take things for much longer you should and then reach your breaking point.  Each person’s moment is different.  When that breaking point is reached, there is no going back.

I reached that moment when my spirit was totally crushed by comments that pushed me to the point of making a change in my life.  I didn’t like the life I was living.  At one point I remember hearing a statement in a movie that asked:  “Are you ready to be who you are?”

I was and I made the change.  I burned a lot of bridges in doing it but I’m a better person today because of it.  Sometimes there isn’t a “plan” to do it, you just do it and you follow the path with each step you take.  Prayer is important but you also make decisions the best that you can with the information you have.

You can’t always depend on your friends, family or co-workers to have your back.  They won’t.  In my case, the people I thought would say the most or do the most – didn’t do a damn thing.  I expected a backlash that didn’t happen.  I chose the fork in the road and have been on it ever since that “burrito” moment.

Here are seven things to remember when making life changing decisions:

  1. You have the power to make decisions.  You are the only one that can make the decision.  Other people can’t make it for you.  Advice is good but only if they truly know you.
  2. Go with your gut not with your guilt.  Sometimes we choose not to make a decision because we are afraid.  Even if you make a mistake, you will adjust and learn from it.
  3. Don’t be a chicken.  If you make a decision – do it.  Don’ t look back or hang on to the decision you didn’t make.
  4. Tell others about your decision.  This will help you to stick to it.  Not that you need their approval but you will be more committed to it if you tell others.
  5. Learn from your past decisions. 
  6. Be flexible.  It won’t always turn out exactly as you think.  Be prepared to adjust.
  7. Pray, meditate or do whatever you do to have moments when you are silent.  Quiet your mind.  Remove distractions that will keep you from being focused.

You don’t need a detailed GPS for your decision, you just need to get in the car and get started.   I think many times we are much too concerned about disappointing others than we are in disappointing ourselves.   That part was always a huge insecurity for me until I realized that I was trying to make everyone else happy while I was totally miserable.  At that point when my spirit was broken, I realized all the times I was too chicken to do anything about it until that moment.

Not making a decision is STILL a decision.  It is an endless, frustrating cycle of procrastination until you drop the burrito in your lap.

Is it time for you to order a burrito?

 

A 50-Year Perspective 

This past weekend we celebrated our grandchild’s first birthday.  The little guy was happy and full of smiles all day.  You couldn’t help but to smile if you were around him.  

One year old.  One year of being on this earth.

I think about the 50+ year age difference between us.  He is yet to make the choices in life which will shape his future.  I have no doubt he will be successful.  His parents are smart and he has a wonderful support system around him.  His future is full of possibilities.

I look at my own life and amazed at how it has turned out but not in disappointment but in how the choices in life guided me to where I am today.  

The earliest age I can remember I wanted to be an astronaut.  I grew up during the NASA Apollo Moon missions and was fascinated by it all.  That stuff was high tech then.  A few years ago I read that the technology in a Nintendo game system was more advanced than the Saturn V rockets.  

Nope, I never became an astronaut.  

Some folks thought I would become a preacher like my father and grandfather.   I did test the waters at some point but quickly learned it wasn’t for me.  Being a preacher is a whole lot more than preaching a sermon on Sunday mornings.

I can’t really point to any one decision that totally set the course of my life.  It was a series of decisions and following the way that laid out before me.  The Bible says:  “Time and chance happens to us all” (Ecclesiastes 9:11).   We all follow the destiny of our time and chances and the decisions we make.  It is scary to be an adult and have to make your own decisions. When you lived at home you could easily blame your parents but now the decision is on you and we are all worried about making the wrong decisions.    I learned a long time ago that you make the best decision you can based on what you know and then adapt if you to.   One of the best abilities to have is the ability to adjust to the changes in life.  

One phrase I have heard repeatedly recently is “Trust God and leave the consequences to Him”.

Sometimes that’s hard to do.  But, when you have come through the other side and look back at the days, months or years you can see the path you’ve taken and understand it a little better.  

No, I didn’t become an astronaut or preacher but I am content on the way my path has led me here.