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I’m going to take a step today.
It may be a normal step.
Or it could be a leap.
Maybe just a shuffle.
But it will be a step nevertheless.
It will be a positive step.
You have flaws.
You have idiosyncrasies.
There are still aspects of your life that you can improve.
I’m not saying this to be mean, it’s just reality. We all have such faults.
But they don’t disqualify you from living your purpose.
I’ve had one of those weeks.
The two boys have been unwell for a couple of weeks and their recovery is taking longer than anticipated.
My business has been challenging, with a couple of “interesting” clients and a lot of evenings and weekends in a row.
I’ve been wrestling with a couple of issues with God and don’t seem to be making much progress.
I’ve had a couple of (very minor) ailments that have been annoying me.
And it seemed that nothing I was doing was getting me the results that I was after.
It got to me a couple of days ago, and I found myself in a surly mood, feeling slightly sorry for myself.
And then I realised that this is the week of Thanksgiving Day in the States.
The sun doesn’t always shine…
but it will come out eventually.
Flowers aren’t always in full bloom…
but spring will return.
Not every innovation that you try will work…
but eventually you’ll get it right.
We need courage to act in spite of our fears.
We need courage to stand out from the crowd.
We need courage to confront the (external and internal) voices that tell us we’re no good for anything.
We need courage to have those difficult conversations that we sometimes need to have.
We need courage to be kind to those who don’t have the means to reciprocate, or may even reject our kindness.
My daughter Madison goes to gymnastics lessons every week.
She absolutely loves it and over time you can see how much she has improved.
Her favourite apparatus is the balance beam, which is a bit scary for us as we watch her balance precariously on a small piece of wood a few feet above the ground.
But of course, she didn’t start that high.
She started on a soft beam that’s at ground level. It’s not scary, and if she falls, she doesn’t hurt herself.
Then she moved onto a normal beam that’s a few inches off the ground so that she still can’t do too much damage if she has a spill.
As she mastered her technique and her confidence improved, she gradually moved onto the usual three metre beam, four feet off the ground. It still seems scary, but less so when there are hours of practice put in on the lower levels.
A farmer and his family were experiencing a period of extreme drought.
In frustration, the farmer gathered his family around the breakfast table and prayed, “God, please make it rain soon, we so desperately need it to survive.”
After he had finished, the farmer got up from the table and went to leave the house.
“Dad, where are you going?” his 6 year-old daughter asked.
“I’m going out to inspect the damaged crops. Why?”
Are your memories more vivid than your dreams?
Do you spend more time contemplating the past, or planning for the future?
Are you thinking about your regrets, or ensuring that you don’t have any?
Are you dwelling on past missed opportunities, or looking for your next big break?
When you remember, are you focusing on your past failures or replaying your finest moments?
It seems very easy to incite fear.
We live in a world where too many people are pointing fingers, calling others names and cursing their enemies in the name of their god.
And there are too many people stirring the pot, moving them to new, dangerous levels of violence, hatred and suspicion.
Fear is one of our most primal emotions and it doesn’t take much for it to become one of the most influential feelings in our communities, driving important decisions and dominating our airwaves.
But is it possible to incite love?
It’s great to read books by inspiring and expert authors.
And to listen to amazing speakers is always a positive experience.
But here’s the thing, are you being informed or transformed?
Because it’s nice to learn new things.
There’s nothing wrong with being entertained.