Lisa and I went for a drive the other day. I wasn’t on call, and the morning was sunny, clear, and brimming with hope. We needed to get out of the house, so we loaded our son’s dog Dude into the truck and hit the road.
We drove up Casper Mountain Road, through Beartrap Meadow and over the backside of the mountain. We came to a junction of two roads we’d driven before: we could go straight and up to Muddy Mountain, or turn right and wind through gorgeous countryside and back to Casper the long way around.
The third option was a little two-track road to our left. We had no idea where it went, but we both felt adventurous and we had time, so we turned left.
On the GPS, it looked like this road would eventually lead us back to civilization on the east side of Casper. Twelve miles of muddy, sometimes scary, low-4×4 terrain later, we still weren’t sure. But we came around a bend after going through a beautiful mountainous pass and were stopped in our tracks at the view.
The past is seductive, my friend.
Regardless of whether our past is full of victories or stocked with defeat, our inclination is to look back on it. To be defined by it, believe its stories about our future. But if you want to win tomorrow, you have to stop retreating to the past.
You’re not defined by what you do for a living. Your higher purpose is about living out your calling and reflecting the aspects of God’s character He built uniquely into you.
Our purpose in this world is to honor God and help other people see Him more clearly.
You can do that if you’re a plumber, an insurance agent, a stay-at-home-mom, a literary agent, a bestselling author, or a retired garbage man.
But in order to do that, you have to understand your calling, and how very different that is from your occupation.
It’s a tough world out there. People lose jobs, they become disabled, they miss out on opportunities or fail to get into certain schools. And if those things happen, you can be crushed and feel adrift if you think you’re defined by your job.
If you want a happy future, you have to learn to pick better memories.
In recent weeks I heard different people I care about say all of the following things:
“Why does everything always have to be so hard?”
“I remember that trip. We fought all the way.”
“She feels like her life will never be good again.”
It’s tough out there, in life. We’re all in it together, but sometimes it seems like we’re being singled out to go through some particularly hard things, or a sequential string of very difficult days (or months, or years).
Eventually, after having experienced enough of these difficult events, we can resign ourselves to that being how it “always” is, or “always” will be.
That’s when we bring out the “never” or “can’t” or “always” labels and start sticking them all over our lives, our capabilities, our relationships, our health, or our happiness. I’m personally guilty of this at times, so I’m not singling you out, but I have to tell you that this behavior is very damaging to your neurochemistry, your psyche, and your future happiness.
What you allow yourself to think about is directly tied to how you feel. It’s not the other way around, although you can let it feel that way.
If You Had a Rough Year,
You might be asking yourself some big questions.
If you had a rough, painful year, you might even be asking God those questions, or wondering if He’s really there.
Trust me, I understand.
If you’re tired of being stuck in the same old year over and over, this post will help you get ready to make 2017 your best year ever. If you really want a great new year, keep reading.
My youngest daughter Kalyn loves quality time. It’s her love language.
Kalyn and I have a tradition of going to breakfast together. Over the years, those breakfasts have been some of our most special moments.
This was the bookend to the breakfast we had six months ago, the day before she left for Australia and Nepal for her Youth With a Mission training program. It was amazing to see how much she’s learned and grown in such a short time. Her love for the Lord and her heart for people are so powerful.
I hope you have opportunity to make some special moments like that happen with those you love.
One of the things we talked about was how important it is to be purposeful in making plans for next year.
If you don’t approach the new year with purpose, it’s very unlikely that anything will change for the better.
Hope is a crucial component of a healthy, happy life. When we begin to feel hopeless, everything can spiral out of control.
I was reminded of that fact one night in the emergency room, when hopelessness won.
If you struggle with feelings of hopeless, hold on. This article will show you where to find hope, and help you feel better.
Next-Level Thinking is the Most Important Secret to Success
It separates ‘good’ from ‘great,’ and it can really transform your life if you’re trying to reach new milestones in any area.
Falling Through the Ice: When Life Gives Way Underneath You Lisa and I went hiking on a beautiful mountain in Wyoming with our friends, Al and Kristen. It was a beautiful Saturday, and having four adults, two kids, and two dogs made us feel safe that we’d scare off any bears or mountain lions that […]
Mission creep is a productivity killer. It spreads you thin, so that you sometimes can’t even remember what the real mission was in the first place. In this episode of YST, we learn to stop mission creep in its tracks.