Drinking Coffee In An Airport

I am in my third of four airports for the day. A 14 hour travel day and I am doing what I usually do when flying and when waiting for a flight. Reading and drinking good coffee. And, when I tire of reading and have run out of things to share in an email with my accountability partner then I watch people. 

People are amazing. They come in all different shapes and sizes. They come in different colours. Some speak loudly and others speak softly. They can be relaxed, uptight, anxious, worried, frightened, or apparently at peace with themselves and the world around them. Some look refreshed and ready to go. Others look tired and wanting to finally board their last flight home. Young and old and every age in-between. As I watch some walk with an assurance and a confidence. Others walk with a definite uncertainty and caution. Some are simply lost and can’t find their gate no matter how hard they are apparently trying. People are interesting.

Here is a deep thought… every person walking by me at this moment has two things in common. First, they are travelling from somewhere to somewhere. I told you it was deep. Secondly, every one of them is dying. Some may be young, others may be old but they are all on the journey of life and this journey will, one day, come to an end. They will “pass” as everyone says it today. They will physically die and cease to be a viable human being on the planet as their earth suit (body) is finished. Life has left it.

But this is not the end of life for these people. They truly have “passed.” They have passed from life to death and from planet Earth to … and here’s the rub. They have predetermined their final resting place – heaven or hell. If they have a vibrant, personal, love relationship with Jesus that is a daily reality, then they have chosen ahead of time to enter heaven. And, Jesus, because of His relationship with them, has prepared a place for them for when they arrive. Others, because they have neglected the message of hope and love known as the Gospel of the Kingdom (Matthew 24:14) will have a place reserved for them in hell. John’s gospel speaks of this…

John 3:18 “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

Please note that their sins don’t send them to hell. They chose not to believe in who Jesus is and what He accomplished through His death on the cross. This lack of belief or faith in Christ and His completed work is what opens the door to hell as their final place to spend eternity. They have chosen this place. God did not condemn them to be there forever. He made a way out and sent His Son to die for us (see: John 3:16-17). Jesus made a way where there was no way. And, if we choose not to believe and to ignore or reject His offer then we can blame no one but ourselves for where life finally takes us. 

Every person born upon the earth has a default setting of “hell”. So, when they pass that is where the go. However, we can change that default setting by understanding the true Christian message of salvation by grace through faith. And, receiving Jesus as Lord, Saviour, Master, and the Christ – the only door into eternity and God’s presence. When you come to believe that Jesus has made a way where there was no way and receive His gift of the supernatural ability to have a personal relationship with Him (called eternal life – John 17:3) then you have reset your default setting to Heaven.

So, a lot of people walking past me here in the airport rushing to or from their next destination are also moving forward in life to their final destination. And, not one of us knows when that day when we ‘cross over’ is going to be. 

Makes one sense the urgency to tell people the good news of the Gospel… that Jesus still saves today.  

Reading Is So Important

As believers we should be reading on a regular basis, in fact, daily. Of course, we should be reading our Bible but there is so much other material that we also should be reading and digesting.

A mentor many years ago taught me that believers are readers. And, he emphasized even more strongly that leaders are readers, I totally agree. 

When reading your Bible remember that there is no test when you get to Heaven. So, all the details like how many sons Noah had and their names are simply not that important. The overall purpose of the story has some merit. But, most importantly – and often forgotten – is that the Bible is simply one of a number of tools to help us to come to know God the Father better. So, we read it not just for information. We read it for insight into the character and nature of the God we follow, worship, and serve. 

However, we also need to be reading books written by Christians. A word of warning as you choose what to read – there is a lot of fluff out there. Books with little to no substance. Books that are more self-help than Christian. Books that are launching or jumping on a current bandwagon. Books that are heretical. So choose wisely what you read as you want to invest your time and money wisely. It is often good to ask a mature leader what he would recommend and stick with something that has been tried and tested and proved useful and beneficial. Remember, just because the author is well known or has a large church does not make the substance of the book worthwhile.

Add to this the fact that, as believers, we should be reading some of the more popular books that those who are not believers are reading. Find out what the culture and society is focusing on. I manage to do this by simply walking through bookstores in airports. And, even the Relay stores that stock snacks and drinks also have a small selection of books available. These books are what those who travel are reading and usually a good indication of what the general public is reading. Yes, I know, they are usually not written by Christians but so what? Keep in touch with your world and culture by reading some of what others are digesting and enjoying.

It is also good to read the classics like Moby Dick, The Phantom of the Opera, David Copperfield… these help to ground us in the wider world of literature and remind us where things have come from. They give us literary context which is always good. 

Reading a book a week is not difficult. My mentor taught me that you simply take the number of chapters in any given book and divide that by seven. This shows you how many chapters a day you need to read to finish an average book in a week. Of course, that might mean less television, less idle (non-productive) chatter, less time to gossip with others, and a cell phone on ‘do not disturb.’ But, believe me, it is worth it. 

In my busy life I have chosen to stop watching television and talking to family or others at 10:00p. This gives me 90 minutes to go to my study and read. It has made an amazing difference in my life. And, I read widely. My Bible reading is a morning event. Early, before others wake and phone starts to rink and ding. However, just before bed and after reading my book a week (really two a week) I read a chapter of the book of Proverbs and usually three chapters of the psalms. Great way to relax and refocus before bed.

So, believers and leaders are readers. Reading is so important in the life of a Christian. Summer is a good time to add reading to your somewhat slower good weather daily schedule.

Is Jesus Really Enough?

I often ask the question, “Is Jesus really enough?” And, if He is do I live my life as if this was true?”

It seems to me that for many believers Jesus is not enough. They are not satisfied with just Jesus and their personal relationship with Him. It seems that they need Jesus plus something else. Jesus and a healing. Jesus and a miracle. Jesus and prosperity. Jesus and a new and better job. Jesus and an angel. Jesus and the power to heal. Jesus and a prophetic word. Jesus and….

In their daily lives these believers are seldom content with what they are experiencing in their walk with Jesus. And they are certainly not content with the situation in life in which they find themselves. So you see believers often striving for more money and thus a higher wage. They want a bigger house, a better car, better holidays, nicer clothes. They are looking for bigger, better, and more. They are discontent with what is. 

This is true in ministry as well. They want to have greater recognition as a minister of the Gospel. They want bigger crowds coming to hear them. A bigger church. Greater recognition. Being on radio and television, writing books and blogs. Recognition, authority, and popularity.

It seems that people today are simply not satisfied. And, as a result they are not thankful. Nor are they content or at peace with their life as it is. They are always striving and struggling. 

As a result they live unsatisfied lives. They are disappointed with the hand that life (or God) seems to have dealt them. They are discontented with life as they are living it. They are unfulfilled and simply not content. Surely Jesus wants them to have more and better so there must be something that they are doing wrong. 

I believe that this is a sign of a relationship with Jesus that is not healthy. It is lacking depth and substance. Jesus is not at the center of the life of these followers. He is an add-on. He is there for times of crisis and when things are not going as they think they should or as planned. If, and it is a big if, Jesus was at the center of their whole life then He would be enough and they would no longer be striving for more of anything. They would be trusting Him. And, they would be content and not discontent.

Paul states, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”        Philippians 4:11-13

Jesus is always enough. In fact, He is more than enough. And those who have a solid, in-depth, daily, ever-deepening, personal love relationship with Him are people who live ‘content’ regardless of their situation or the circumstances.

Here’s the question the Lord asked me a long time ago when these verses from Paul’s letter to the Church in Philippi first spoke deeply to me… “Content or discontent, which tent do you live in?” That question, these verses, changed my life, my priorities, and my perspective. I live content with what I have and what is happening because I am dwelling deeply in Him allowing Him to live His life through me.

Galatians 2:20 states, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the life that I now live in my body, I live by faith, indeed, by the faithfulness of God’s Son, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

So, when we are content it is because we have a deep relationship with the Lord where we find satisfaction, fulfillment, and total acceptance. So, we can stop striving and pushing for more. Because, He is always more than enough. 

Going For Walks

When home I walk my dog two sometimes three times a day. We cover either a short distance or do a marathon depending on how he is feeling and how I am feeling. We are both getting old and sometimes we are just not up for the long ones. But, we enjoy the walks and speak of many things as we move from bush to tree to light standard. 

I am on holidays. The dog is at home. Miss walking him. However, I am still walking every day regardless of the weather. Where I am camping it is seriously sandy soil so when it rains – and it certainly has 9 out of 10 days so far – the ground dries quickly. And, I am surrounded by forest and camped beside a gigantic lake. There are a lot of trails through the woods and numerous hills to climb as I walk with the friend I camp and kayak with. Often we walk in silence. Some times we talk about our journey with Jesus, the Church, the Bible, and especially how we are changing, growing, maturing, developing, and adjusting as we come to better understand ourselves, each other, and the Kingdom call on our lives.

Of course there are many cups of coffee in the early morning around the campfire so we can stay warm as we wake up. And, many cups of decaf coffee around the campfire in the late evenings as we cook supper on the open fire and chat about the day and an assortment of other things. In between I am catching up on my reading – summer reading is always mystery novels, murder mysteries, and legal dramas. My favourite authors – Peter Robinson, Jeffery Archer and John Grisham.

I love to walk. Back home, walking Cuddles my dog allows me a little time to think, plan, and sort. But, mainly it allows me to connect with my neighbours and chat about life in the neighbourhood. And, as always, a comment or two about Jesus and His Kingdom. During my walks here in the woods I enjoy the flowers, the berries, the eagles, the pelicans, and the other assorted wild life. But, I also find it conducive to connecting in fresh ways with the Lord. 

Maybe it is because I am not following my regular routine of time in the study (5:30a to 9:00a), time in the office (9:00a to 1:00p), time with non-believers (1:00p to 5:00p), and then preparing supper and time with my wife or an evening family event. Maybe it is because I have had a week to unwind, relax, and not think about ministry, people, church issues, writing teachings. and travel. Maybe it is the setting itself – sunshine all day (when it doesn’t rain), bright moon and stars at night, forest, lake, and simply being away from people. Maybe it is because it is “me” time and I am not needed to do this or that, not available to take calls and answer texts, emails, and connections from a variety of apps that beep and squeak demanding my attention NOW. 

Getting away and living with the basics like a tent and a campfire brings you back to the basics in life. And, frees up the time to walk with Jesus in a renewed and fresh way. It frees up time to simply focus on Him and fall in love again. It removes all the regular daily routine with all of its chores and demands that we live with the rest of the year freeing valuable time to simply be.

I am away camping and kayaking and walking in the woods with Jesus. I am being renewed, refreshed, and reconnecting with my inner being, the life Jesus has called me to live, the ministry He has blessed me with in so many places and nations, and, once again, to walk even closer to Him who is life than I ever have before. 

Glad you are not here!

Cart Before the Horse

I recently have been speaking with a Christian who is a leader in his church. As I spoke I risked sharing that recently he looked (in the spirit realm) like he had lost his vital connection to Jesus. That he was drying from an empty well. That the vehicle had run out of fuel and he was sucking fumes. I was right.

We began talking about what he was planning to do to repair the situation and reverse the drift that had happened and was, in fact, continuing to happen (Hebrews 2:1 talks about drifting from the faith). His immediate response was that he was working to reestablish his devotional life – early morning prayer and Bible reading and whatever else he thought might help put his relationship with Jesus back on track, so to speak. To me, that is a religious answer. Most might not agree with me. 

Why do I think it is a religious answer? Thanks for asking. Because to reestablish the structure in your life called “devotions” will not reconnect you with the Lord. And, it will not renew your passion for Jesus helping you to fall in love with Him once again. It can help in some ways after you have reconnected but it is not the way to reconnect. That devotional time has no intrinsic life of its own. It can’t give you what it does not have. It is simply a structure, a program, a way to do things. It is religion.  

You have a relationship with your spouse. If the passion fades and you find yourself emotionally and even physically distant from one another, creating a structure will not rebuild the relationship. You could establish a structure called a date night and go out once a week and still not renew or kindle afresh the passion you once had. You need to relate, talk, share, discuss, even argue. Then as the relationship (that is the key word here) begins to gain some traction you can put the “new life” you are experiencing into the structure called a “date night.” 

The Christian faith is a relationship between a person and God, through Jesus Christ, shared with other believers called the Church. If the relationship has faded and you have drifted then creating a structure will not rekindle your relationship. You need to simply work on your relationship until the love returns and then whatever structure you should need – like a date night or a devotional time – can come alongside the “life” you are once again experiencing and support and encourage that life. The structure called “devotions” cannot and will not bring back your love for Jesus. 

The Church and her traditions are lifeless without the presence and power of God. However, we go out and build the structure – the organization, the charter, the legal documents, the network association, the statement of faith. Then we open the doors and hope that the Lord will meet us in the first and every consecutive service forever and ever. That is religion and there is really no life. Instead, we should gather as a few believers and experience His life together as we meet. Then, if structure is needed to maintain and enough the life we are experiencing, then add some structure. But only that which encourages and releases the life we are experiencing, His life, so that others can join us in our fellowship. 

This is best seen in the conception of a child. When a child is conceived in his or her mother’s womb there is no visible structure. There is only life – a blob of life. But, as that life grows we see structure forming – arms, hands, feet, legs, a neck. The structure is there to support and encourage the life. It is the life that is most important, not the structure. And, when the baby is born we remove the structure that is no longer helping the life to grow… the umbilical cord. Life is what is important, not structure.

The same is true for the local church. The same is true for your relationship with the Lord. Get the love back into the relationship – let Him breathe life into it once again – and then add only whatever minimal structure is needed to encourage that life to continue, to grow, and to touch others. You may even call that structure “devotions.”

Consistency

Consistency is doing well all the time, not just sometimes. We, as believers, should be consistent in the way we live life and the way in which we treat people. Our attitude and the our approach to life should be consistent. This means that the way we live life is determined by our beliefs and not based on our feelings, situation, or circumstances and, because of this, we live in a way that is stable. We can be counted on at all times.

Consistency is so valuable to the believer that it is difficult to list all the benefits. Here are a few:

1> Consistence establishes your reputation. 

Nearly anyone can be good once. Being good continually is difficult. However, continued repetition leads to a positive reputation.

2> Consistency makes others feel more confident and secure

Perhaps the greatest compliment a person can receive is. “I can depend on you.” A consistent believer or leader inspires others to become more confident, bold, and courageous.

3> Consistency allows for accurate measurement of your growth

It is difficult to gauge the progress of inconsistent people. The consistent track record we establish shows what we have done and how far we have come.

4> Consistency makes you relevant

People who bounce back and forth between engagement and disengagement always have to play catch-up. They are, because of this, no longer in touch with what is happening and thus, in many way, they are irrelevant. By staying consistently engaged, you don’t fall behind and people can count on you to be there for them.

5> Consistency models your expectations for others

When you consistently model your values and work ethic, others know what you expect of them because they see it every day. Consistency always reinforces expectations.

6> Consistency maintains your message

When a believer or leader communicates a vision and approach to life but acts in ways that are inconsistent with that vision the result is confusion. It distracts from the message you are communicating and makes it more difficult for everyone who relates to you and who believe in you. 

Consistency is lacking in the life of many Christians. It is something we need to ponder and then move forward, making changes so we can be more consistent and thus more impactful. 

Something Is Happening

In my local church the other night I thanked them for their commitment to pray for people during the week. During our fellowship time each week before worship we ask for needs that we can pray about. The list is getting longer. The needs are getting greater. However, one really wonderful change is the number of requests for prayer for people who are not saved or born again. Six months ago we were praying for one or two who needed to encounter God. Now we are praying for a dozen or more each week and the list is growing.

This is a major change in focus. A change from what we need and where we hurt to those who are outside the Church but not outside the reach of the love of God as found only in Jesus. Of course, praying is not enough and we know that. Along with praying for these people we are also speaking with them and looking for opportunities to touch their lives in practical ways so that they see the love of God in action. 

The Church, as we know, exists to “seek and save the lost” just as Jesus did (Luke 19:10). Jesus gave us only one focus and one command – “Go into all the world and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). This is why the Church exists. And, I am seeing changes happening in many of the areas where I am privileged to minister that are leading to the fulfilling of that command and task.  

Overseas, in the city of Kostanay, Kazakhstan there is a young man called Ivan. I met him recently when ministering in Nur-Sultan – the capital city of Kazakhstan. He is on fire for Jesus as are many of the youth in his local church. Recently they were out praying for a specific area of their city and witnessing to people about Jesus. Which, by the way, is not legal in their nation. On another day they went and cleaned up a local beach picking up garbage and then having a cook out as a youth group during which they prayed for the area. They are determined to change their country. So much so that they have also headed out to surrounding towns and cities to minister on the streets and speak to young people about Jesus.

In the city of Almaty, one of the young men I work with has opened a number of coffee shops in the university area as well as downtown. He is declaring Jesus in both the way the people are served as well as the decorations in each coffee shop. Many young people are coming in, enjoying the coffee and the atmosphere, and having an opportunity to hear about Jesus.

It is happening in many areas – I could give many examples from Russia, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Vietnam… Something is happening! The Holy Spirit is moving and the Church is working with Him to expand the influence of the King and His Kingdom.

Continued prayer is required. 

Who Are You?

St. Catherine of Siena once said, “When we are who we are called to be, we will set the world ablaze.”

As Christians we are called by Jesus to be like Him letting Him live His life through us (2 Timothy 3:12). We are called to follow Him and do what He did and then even greater things (John 14:12). We are called to be “fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19) as we move out from the Kingdom into the places of spiritual darkness as ambassadors of the Kingdom and ministers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:20). We are literally “new creatures in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  And on and on the list of Bible verses could go. We all have a great calling in life – every one of us. Every believer.

Then, on the foundation of this generic call that is upon every believer we can add the specifics of your own call. Because each of us has been created unique and different from all others we have a specific call upon our life that is uniquely yours. It lines up with your motivations (Romans 12:408) and the gifts that you flow in (1 Corinthians 12:4-11) as well as your unique set of skills and talents you were born with. Add into this mix your personal experiences (2 Corinthians 1:4) and you have the call upon YOUR life. 

So, we need to work hard and receive God’s grace to remove those things that prevent us from being uniquely ourself and thus be who we are called to be. Fear, shame, overwhelming expectations, unrealistic demands, the world’s lifestyle tempting us to buy into it (Romans 12:2), and on and on this list could go as well. There is always one or two key things that hold us back and hinder our becoming who we really are. Your main issues are well known to you and often unique to you as well. So, don’t let (fill in the blank) hold you back from being who God created you be.

Thomas Merton (a favourite author of mine from 50+ years ago) wrote: “You find peace not by rearranging circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.”

This is the life task of all who call themselves believers. Find the real you at the deepest level. It takes work because the real you is often buried beneath layers of pain, neglect, rejection, criticism, wrong judgments, wrong choices, tough and painful experiences, and busyness. 

Then learn how to express that real you to those around you and to the wider world as you move out to fulfill the call of God on your life. Then we will set the world ablaze with the good news of the Gospel of the Kingdom and the life changing love of God. 

Everywhere You Go

So, the other day I headed out to the bank and then to the drug store and post office to do some messages and catch up a bit on some office work. It is summer here and so I attempt to spend more time outdoors gardening and reading. But, the weather was a bit on the cool side so I decided to do some necessary running around. I did, later in the day, have time to just sit and read in front of the fire pit in the side yard. But I digress.

As I entered the bank I was faced with – it was rather loud and obvious so confronted by – a huge presentation celebrating the diversity we have in Canada and focused on Pride month. June has been designated the month where we recognize this segment of our national population. June has been designated Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride month. Then, entering the drug store there were large posters pointing to this month’s special focus and special sales, of course. And, again, at the post office. 

I am not against having a month to draw attention to all the issues within society regarding this segment of the population. And, I think it is good to come to know the history behind the movement and discover all the less-than-humane treatment that this group has suffered at the hands of general society. I believe, as well, that we need to take a look at how the Church in general has treated those who are part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community. We don’t have a very good track record either historically nor in the recent past. In some cases, even today they are not understood or treated in a loving manner by the Church.

Some segments of the Church have elevated this lifestyle – and the Bible does consider it behaviour that is not in line with God’s plan – to the category of major sin. It is the sin that the Church is targeting, emphasizing, and condemning. However, I believe that it is simply one of many sins and that in God’s eyes all sins are equal (James 2:10). So, homosexuality is no worse nor better than drunkenness, divorce, gossiping, abortion, or dishonouring your parents. Yet, we have elevated this one specific sin to a special place and taken aim at it while ignoring many of the other sins very evident and rampant in the Church and in society.

I believe that Jesus loves sinners. And so should we. I believe that Jesus accepts sinners just as they are because He knows that if they begin to walk with Him that He will change them. We should accept them as well – unconditionally. I believe that Jesus forgives all sins (except blaspheming the Holy Spirit) regardless of the gravity of the sin or what the sinner is involved in. He loves unconditionally, He accepts us just as we are, and He forgives us totally.

That is what I call The LAF Principle. And, we would do well to remember that this is how God treated each one of us who call ourselves believers. And, that Jesus expects us to do unto others what He has done unto us. We are to treat others in the same manner that He has treated us. If we were to actually do this we would embrace all sinners and simply love, accept, and forgive them. We would not separate one sin and make it the BIG ONE for today. We would, as God obviously does, simply see sin as sin and love the sinner regardless of the sin.

This means we do not judge those who are in sin – recognizing the sin in our own life helps us not to judge others. We must not be critical of others and the lifestyles they choose to live. And, we must not reject them because Jesus died for them just as He died for us. We, the Church, must welcome all sinners and not fall into the traditional denominational tendency of having big and little sins – mortal and venial sins. Sin is sin and Jesus died for the forgiveness of all sin no matter how big or small, significant or insignificant we may consider them.

I am tired of the way we segregate people into “us and them.” We are all sinners and no matter what the sin is we are all saved by grace and faith. We must welcome all sinners without categorizing the sin and declaring one worse than another. Let’s learn how to love, accept, and forgive. And, in doing so, learn how to no longer judge, criticize, and reject. 

Another Lesson Learned

On my recent journey in life I have learned that what people think about you means nothing in comparison to what you believe about yourself. Essentially, my identity then depended on outward approval, which changes on a dime. So you dance and you please and you placate and you prove. You become a three-ring circus and in each ring you are an entirely different performing animal, anything anyone wants you to be.

The crucial journey, then, for me, has been from dependence on external expectations, down into my own self, deeper still into God’s view of me, His love for me that doesn’t change, that will not change, that defines and grounds everything. 

When you are running your life on what others expect and demand, you are running on the fuel of anxiety, desire to prove, fear or rejection, shame, and deep inadequacy. When you decide to walk away from that fuel of every-day life for a while, there is, at first, nothing but confusion and silence. You are on the side of the road, empty tank, no idea what will propel you forward. It is disorienting, freeing, terrifying. For a while you just sit, contently, and contentment is the most foreign concept you know. But you learn it, shocking as it is, day by day, hour by hour. You sit in your own skin, being just your plain self. And, it’s okay. And it will change everything. 

After a while, though, you realize you were not made only for contentment; that’s only half the puzzle. The other part is meaning, calling, love. And this is, for most people, a new conversation, almost like speaking a second language – faltering, tongue-twisting, exhilarating. 

As I change the pace and live life instead of speed through life I am living in a slower way. It is simpler than the way I use to live. It is sweeter than I can ever remember life being. It feels more like a glass of water and less like taking a drink from a fire hydrant. Pride tells us we are strong enough to drink from the hydrant, and gluttony tells us it is needed and so so delicious.

But those old voices are liars. The glass of cold water is more lovely and sustaining then the fire hydrant will ever be. I’m now trusting the voices of peace and simplicity more than pride and gluttony. They are leading me in a new direction, and it is a direction that I am enjoying.

The more I listen to myself, my body, my feelings, and the less I listen to the “should” and “must” and “to-do” voices, the more I realize what my body and spirit have been whispering all along, but I couldn’t hear them over the chaos and noise of the life I had created. I was addicted to this chaos, but like any addiction, it was damaging to me.

If you are not like me – prone to frantic levels of activity, swirling chaos, fast-moving cycles of over-commitment and then resentment – then you might look at my life with something like wonder and a little confusion. “Why don’t you,” you might suggest, “just slow down?” I understand the question, but it is a little like asking people who are ruining their lives and health with an addiction to alcohol or drugs or both why they don’t just stop.

When I did stop and sat still and silent for a long while – I have to admit that the stillness felt sort of like walking on the ceiling – totally and utterly foreign. What makes sense to me: pushing. Lists. Responsibilities. Action, action, and more action. What’s changing my life: silence. Rest. Reflection. Taking time to enjoy life instead of just live life. 

Why did I wait so long to reach this part of my journey in life. That’s a good question that I have often asked myself. I was highly invested in maintaining my reputation as a very capable and reliable person. I thought that how other people felt about me or thought about me could determine my happiness and contentment. I now know how deeply flawed that idea really is – even how silly it now seems. So, I have left the three-ring circus and am enjoying my glass of cool water as I sit staring at my flower garden and enjoy an evening by the fire in my back yard.