1. The importance of persistence. Sometimes, people are too quick to give up. Things get a little hard and they don't have time for that. But here's the thing: anything that leads to blessing or reward is going to get a little sticky now and then, and you have to commit to seeing things through. If you're brought to it, the best way to deal is to go through it. Even if you get around that mountain and you still can't see what good it did or what the point was, there's no denying that you probably took some valuable knowledge, skills, or lessons from it that will be greatly beneficial in the future. People are too quick to run when things get hard, and then they wonder why things never seem to work out better. It's because they get caught in a cycle of mediocrity, when getting through that one big, huge, awful thing was in itself the key to a better life. Yes, hanging in there can hurt like hell, but the only way to get to better ways and better days is to work through the pain and defeat what's trying to defeat you. You never win if you give up. Sure, there are times when it's best to gracefully walk away, but they're usually tied to things we went into in error or that are damaging to us, which leads to the second big lesson of 2013 which is ...
2. The importance of discernment. It's so easy to get bogged down in the tunnel vision of your own perspective and to forget that not everybody sees the world or experiences life the same way you do. People by and large fail to pull back and consider a "big picture" perspective of things. I know I fell in this trap, and it took going to The Grand Canyon and literally leaving everything familiar 2,700 miles away to realize that the world is a lot bigger than I realized, and that the situations probably were too. We get too comfortable, even with our problems, and fail to see solutions or things that could be extremely valuable and beneficial with us.
So basically, I learned that it's important to take the long view and to not give up, because it's all bigger than we realize. Does hitting a butterfly outside my house make it rain in New Zealand? I don't know, but it's certainly possible that even the smallest thing can cause waves and ripples far beyond anything you realize or know. A careless word or action can change how somebody thinks of you forever; just as a carefully planned, wise response can be the building blocks to blessings more amazing than you can imagine.
It might not seem like much, but they're significant realizations that have shifted my paradigm. So how about you? What has 2013 taught you? And how will you take those lessons into 2014 and beyond?
That's all today. Have a Happy Friday and a great weekend.