Our lives are busy. A lot is expected of us. Working full time eats away a lot of hours, and then you have to make the rest of life happen after that. Honestly, I don’t know how people with children do it, because we run ourselves ragged and are lucky to have a spare hour on a work night! The struggle is real, and it’s easy to allow your world to collapse in on itself. Unfortunately, that means that we usually develop tunnel vision and don’t see anything outside of ourselves and our inner circle, which is defined by the four walls of our home. We forget that there’s a bigger picture that we’re a part of, and that if our efforts aren’t reaching “out there,” then we’re wasting our time.
I don’t think it’s any coincidence that I heard the story of Paul’s conversion in Acts 9 on the radio twice this morning while on my way to have labwork done for my annual physical, and then again on my way to work – and on two different Christian stations, no less. I think this story is a perfect illustration of what it really takes to change people, which is nothing short of divine inspiration. No human being can bring about a paradigm shift that will force people out of their heads and open their eyes to the bigger reality. It took life kicking me around for five years of constant struggle and change for me to finally realize that I wasn’t going to succeed at anything until I got my eyes off myself, purified my motives, and considered the implications and outreach to the bigger world. You have to decide that you want to do what’s right because it’s right and will make God happy, regardless of what other people think.
This is the mindset that all active Christians should have, and you’d be amazed at how rare it is. It’s even harder to live it, because people want to use it to their advantage in a world that celebrates the almighty “I.” And here’s the secret: if you’re truly committed to walking the path less traveled, then you can’t worry about them. You must set your focus on the larger goals and keep working toward them, even if it means you do it from the periphery where nobody sees you or even cares about what you’re doing until something big comes out of it.
People can change, but they won’t do it for you. Don’t be offended, because the fact is that they won’t do it for anybody, and sometimes they even resist God. Leave that alone, focus on your pathway, and trust the Lord to work it all out. Yes, it hurts when others disappoint you. It hurts when they break promises, ignore you, or even turn on you and try to drag you down. But you must remember that your business is to serve your purpose. Whether people “get it” or not isn’t your problem. You’re bigger than that, so act like it. Jesus is the only one that will never let you down, so focus on Him to forgive and move on. And remember, forgiveness doesn’t mean that everything is excused. It means you choose to let it go so you can move forward. That may mean letting the person go, or letting some aspect of the relationship go. Trust the Spirit to show you the right way where all of the pieces fit into the bigger picture, and keep your focus on right things and right ways. Don’t let people or things with wrong intentions or motives cast a shadow over the light of your purpose.
I don’t regret the realizations that came from my disappointment late last week. In fact, I’m grateful for them, because they drove me to scripture and prayer to clear my mind in the Spirit and find a better focus for the future – and that’s a path that I have a lot of hope in. I'm making necessary adjustments and changes in how I interact with the people and issues that inspired the last entry. I also realize that if they choose to accept mediocrity and negativity in their lives, then that's their business. I can't stop them or change them, but I also don't have to accept it in my own life. I'm committed to the path I'm on, and boundaries are good things to keep it all on track.
That’s all today. Take care, and have a great week.