Are you a backseat driver? Can you sit back and enjoy the ride, or do you have to continue to “turn here” “watch for that car” “it’s faster turn here?”
The hardest Christian decision I have had to make is “Let Go & Let God!” Faith in something that you cannot see.
You must learn to let God drive. Sit back in the car, shut up, do the work, stay in the word, pray,, and God will do his thing!
The Bible says:
Hebrews 11.1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Faith is hard when you cannot see God cheering you forward. It’s particularly tricky when results are not appearing. During these times, most will simply give up. Only to say all the God mumbo-jumbo does not work.
Faith will be tested by the enemy with a relentless barrage of self-doubt, negative thoughts, and anything else that can be thrown at you. Important to note! This will pass. Your faith will be tested, and it will give if you stay in faith.
Can’t see the end, stay in faith. Can’t see hope, remain in worship. Can’t take another moment of pain, stay in faith. All of this will pass. Yes, it hurts at the time horribly. This is when you simply fall to your knees and let God know you don’t have anything left, it’s all up to him.
Do that with a sincere heart. Your life will change!
For those of you that read me, you know one of my favorite examples of faith. You quit that which you desire just moments before God had planned change. Example: You asked God for a dream job. The job God has in mind to give you is currently occupied by a beautiful person getting ready to enjoy a well-earned retirement. This person is a short six months away from a beautiful life.
You’ve been busting your fanny trying to find a dream job for some four months. No responses, nothing coming at all. God has moved your destiny into play for the job that will be vacant in just thirty more days. Your head is telling you that what’s the point five months of searching and nothing. A flat zero!
What you don’t know is that in just thirty days more. God is moving people, places, and things so that you get this dream job. The enemy is in your head, telling you it’s hopeless. You give in, and life passes you by again.
Staying in faith is damned hard. You have to believe as though there is NO other outcome other than you will have your dream job. Whether it takes one day or six months. It does not matter to you, it’s yours. No plan, B! Laser focused.
How do you stay this way, you may be asking.
Prayer that includes gratitude that you already have the job!
Meditate, see yourself doing the job. See yourself already working in the position you desire.
Stay in faith, even when you see NO way!
Throw any Plan B out the window! Plan B suggests your faith has a limit; ask yourself, does it?
Resources vs. Resourcefulness (Learn the difference, your life with rocketship to the moon.
Do the work; don’t sit on your ass and expect things to just come running to you. We all must do the job. Nothing comes for free.
Train yourself to see the outcome. Look towards that which you desire with affection, love, and the unrelenting knowledge it’s yours. Do it, and your life will unfold in ways you never dreamt!
“The key to forming good habits is to make them part of your ‘rituals.’ I have a morning ritual, afternoon ritual, and Sunday ritual. It’s one way to bundle good habits into regular times that you set aside to prepare yourself for the life you want. Rituals help you form habits.”—Lewis Howes
With no real easy way to tell you this. Your head is going to be at times, your most formidable adversary. Wanting to stay status quo. Comfortable in misery. So much so you don’t feel the pain at a level like the beginning.
Changes in our lives, new paradigms to replace old thought processes is what is needed now. The past will not give up easily. Prepare yourself for a title fight.
If you’re a Christian, the enemy is preparing an attack like you’ve never fought. Why? He wants you to continue miserable. He hopes that you will implode. As we move further in this chapter, I will share with you how I made it through the toughest times.
The enemy will attack you to keep you down. He is afraid of losing you to an excellent team. So he will fight you in the form of:
Depression (not diagnosed or medicated) Just feeling depressed.
Keep your mind on past mistakes.
I am feeling hopeless.
I am reliving the past over-and-over in your head.
Dark thoughts of self-harm.(NEVER AN OPTION)
Working through this will be difficult, and you will be tested. You can and will get through this time.
We are making it easier to understand. We all buck change at work. If a policy changes everyone in the office complains. “Why are they changing, the old way worked.”
Let’s say, for example, you’ve done the same thing, the same way for years-and-years. Change won’t come easy. Excuses like:
I’m too set in my ways.
I’m too old to change now.
Too hard f*&^ it.
Don’t fool yourself into these false statements. You can change, you’re not too old, stop limiting yourself!
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”—Nelson Mandela
Allow yourself to change. It won’t happen overnight; I can tell you I still fall into traps; however, I can happily report that the bear traps are further apart.
So how do we bring about real change, especially when confronted with real pain? Here is how I brought myself out of the dark:
Learn to quiet your mind. Declutter all the garbage that goes through our minds. Meditation can be life-changing if you practice daily.
Something that seems innocuous has tremendous value — taking times daily to slow your breathing for sixty seconds only. Slows your pulse, helps relax your body, relieve tension. Tension causes aggravation. Breathing several times per day for a minute or so will slow you down.
Do something physical every day. Walk, gym, run, get off your butt, and do something to relieve stress in your body.
Helping others will get you outside yourself. Reminding you that life is not all about you. Be a blessing to someone!
Changing our lives takes time and work. You can’t all a sudden tell God you want to make a million dollars this year, order a Pizza and wait. Sorry life takes real work.
The most important of this is discipline and organization. Set reminders daily to do the tasks laid out in this book. Otherwise, you wake up a week later and go, “crap, I was supposed to meditate every day.”
If you want lasting and real change, fill your calendar with an activity that fosters change.
You are fighting with yourself. I call it kicking your own ass. Your noodle will run from the pain of change. Your mind is falsely convincing you that you cannot change. It’s too hard. Don’t listen to these false prophecies of your life. Years of conditioning will take time to shake off old paradigms.
At times this will seem relentless the attack on you to stay status quo. The enemy will come at you in ways that look as though you cannot win. You will feel alone, like nothing you can do will ever help. Surrender to God. Let him know that you can’t see a way, but you know he will take away.
When I first moved from my home in South Texas to live in West Texas. My ex-wife wanted a divorce that I honestly at the time did not want a divorce. Financially in dire straits, the woman I believed to be my soulmate now gone.
Could not at the time be in more of a dark place. I had so many times thought I had no reason to live. Scary how close that came to pass. For whatever reason, I never acted on dark thoughts. Thank God I did not.
With some lucid moments of I need to start over. I began to think about life without my wife. I decided I would get into Church and try to understand the spiritual side of my life. I was drawn to this need to find a Church home.
After finding a Church that was recommended to me by someone that I trust, I became a regular attendee, most times staying for two of the three Sunday services. Because my head would clutter with such garbage; I was fighting so hard to hear what the Pastor said; it was exhausting.
Most Church services end with a call to give your life to Jesus Christ. To confess, you’re a sinner and that you accept Jesus as your Lord and savior. For a few weeks, I had faithfully attended sitting mostly in the back of the sanctuary.
One Sunday during this altar call; I raised my hand. The Usher came and gave me a CD, and I confessed and prayed the short prayer to accept Jesus Christ. At the end of this part of the service, the Pastor headed across the stage stopped and turned.
He began to say “sir, sir,” not realizing he was trying to get my attention for a moment. As I realized he was trying to get my attention. Pastor Don said to me God had put in his heart for whatever I was doing artistically to keep going, don’t stop.
Here is the real kicker to the story. I had been blogging, take pictures with my camera and stating to myself that for the last half of my life I was going to do what I wanted to do not what I have to do. I wanted to be a freelance writer and photographer.
Not one person in this Church, including the Pastor, knew me from Adam. I stayed to myself and never said as much as a good morning unless first approached.
No way could the Pastor know that I was doing or working on anything artistically. This Pastor stopped in the middle of the ending of this service to tell me that God told him to say to me, keep doing what I love to do.
To say the very least, I was utterly in shock. It took a bit for this to sink in. Nothing in my life to this point was so profound.
This event helped me to go further and keep trying. Freely I admit stumbling and falling post this event. However, remembering that God has come into my life then and several times since then.
When I thought a couple of times all is lost something would happen to show me that even with a Mustard seed of faith left, God would bless me so that I knew he was still protecting me.
My point of this is even in your darkest moment when you see nothing, but my life is worthless not also worth being here. God if you try, if you fight through when you cannot see anything but dark, let God know you are trying to hold on, God will answer.
Today after many events from small to abundant miracles. God has convinced me that if I focus my faith, he will lead me through anything. Now I run after God.
The old me would not have hung in the darkness to realize the blessing. I would have long before quit and moved on. That is the old paradigms I must break. When enough-is-enough, you will change. My time was when I moved to West Texas, once you make that decision, you will be amazed at how life opens for you!
No matter what happens, you cannot quit. Take one more step, always.
Let me share with you why having patience will serve you well.
The dream job of a lifetime is something that you now focus your attention too — searching far and wide for this wonderful job. Some time goes by with nothing happening, and you cannot see any hope.
What you don’t know is that a beautiful person occupies the job you seek; someone that has had a fantastic career, beloved by all at the job. This person is getting ready to retire; the job will come available for you to apply for and get!
This person is another thirty days from retirement, and well-deserved retirement. God has you in mind so that this job will cross your path. Your search has gone on for five months with no results, so you quit thirty days before the position of a lifetime comes available.
Your focus moves on to something else, and the Universe moves on because you did.
Stay in faith even when you don’t see a way God is making a way. You won’t know what is having to take place in front of you before God can move this part of your destiny to unfold for you. The Universe won’t cut you in line. So have patience!
Here is the real kicker that will blow your mind. You can’t move yet because God is blessing someone you don’t know with something you currently have. He is driving your life around to be a blessing for someone you don’t even know.
Point is none of us know. So why stress over a fair outcome that may take a little more time. How many times have you quit than if you had not your life might be completely different? Think about that. Patience can make all the difference in your life. Faith, Hope, resolve, need to be your mantra!
A chapter from my book Tying It All Together. Click the book cover to see all my works on Amazon.
One of the hardest traits in my life to learn, from my New Book: Mastering Life God’s Way:
“I believe that a trusting attitude and a patient attitude go hand in hand. You see, when you let go and learn to trust God, it releases joy in your life. And when you trust God, you’re able to be more patient. Patience is not just about waiting for something… it’s about how you wait, or your attitude while waiting.”—Joyce Meyer
Without which, you will stifle growth by imposing your own will that goes against what your destiny shall become.
Keep in mind that life, you must allow destiny to adjust itself, change trajectory, for your destiny to unfold. Changing your life means a whole new direction, so you must allow God to move things around to fulfill your destiny.
Let’s say you want a fantastic job that is currently filled by an amazing person. Someone that has left a real mark in this life. Someone, that if you knew them personally would be a friend! Let’s say this person is going to retire in six months. God’s plan is for you to fall right into this job that currently you are totally unaware of. Without patience, you may give up just a few yards from the finish line. Don’t be that person!
Nothing worth having happens overnight. Shortcuts get rich quick; you have to work seven days a week; it is all garbage. Beautiful flowers don’t bloom overnight. The sun does not rise all at once. Everything in our lives happens in the time our destiny is supposed to unfold before our eyes. Any faster, and you lose the real blessing.
God’s will, not our will. Let that naturally happen, and wow! When you impose your own will, we tend to want everything right now. Do this, and you will receive, tension, stress, overwhelmed mind, and misery. Then you’ll quit, instead of receiving the beautiful blessings headed your way.
If I asked you to make a choice right now to be happy, but you’re suffering through a terrible divorce. Could you be satisfied just by making that choice? The short answer is yes! Before you hit the refund, button hears me out.
What stops you from choosing to be happy in a moment is you. I should say years of conditioning yourself that you can’t just simply change. Why can’t you? Should be the real question.
Let’s take our divorce scenario to a little higher level. If divorce is imminent even though you don’t want a divorce.
Stay bitter, sad, emotionally done, not having any thought as to a new future.
“Choose” to be happy. Yes, the person whom your life revolved around is gone. The Universe, in its infinite wisdom, is taking you down a new path. Presuppose for a moment that this new life if given a chance, has more love, joy, happiness, and fulfillment than you ever thought possible.
If you choose to be happy, “Option B” certainly has more promise. The simple act of choosing one from another is incredibly powerful.
Over a year ago someone that I am proud to call a friend explained away my own pain from divorce like this: “If you could have your wife back today and go right back to the way things were, OR, you could have the relationship you never thought possible. Which would you choose?”
That’s when I knew that I had to make a choice for myself. If something in your life is meant to be, then it shall.
The real rub is that for years-and-years, we conditioned our minds towards limiting beliefs. We end up saying:
If I just change, she will come back.
If I learn to keep my mouth shut.
If I lose twenty pounds.
The problem is NOT you, it’s the paradigm that is so entrenched in your head you can’t shake it off. Using the divorce analogy just scrapes the surface of this problem. This book is not a “how to get over divorce” book. NO, far from it.
How to change limiting beliefs, the unknowing lies we tell ourselves every day. What our journey well reveals to us, we can make a choice and move on, NOW!
Choice do you really want me to pick?
Yes, friends easier said than done. However, very doable. With some guided practice, you can learn to decide, stick with it, no regrets, and blaze a trail for others to follow. Pardon the cliché!
How do you we make these changes you ask? Training our minds to a new healthy reality. Who says you can’t do something; you need only look in the mirror? That’s who!
How many years have you heard phrases like?
You/I don’t have that kind of luck.
No education, you can’t do that.
You’re too fat.
You’re too skinny.
You’re not part of that social group.
Oh, honey, why don’t you lower your sights to something more realistic.
From as many years ago as you’re able to remember we’ve all heard the limiting phrases getting stuffed into our mind.
What is being communicated to you is, “If I can’t do you surely cannot.” By well-meaning parents, family, friends, and other well-wishers. So, if these lovely people are telling me this, it must be true. NO, not only NO; HELL NO!
The only person on this planet that knows whether YOU can do anything is YOU! It does not matter what your Mom, Dad, Grandmother, Friend, Boss, has to say about what you can do. The ONLY person that knows is your period!
People close to you will naturally want you to play it safe. None of us want to see a friend hurt. Who the heck says you must hurt? I’m not shouting at the top of my lungs “oh God, don’t write the first Novel you failed English literature.”
Again, I go back to the systematic brainwashing society shoves down our brain. How many folks have completed Marathons in wheelchairs or with lost limbs? Hundreds if not thousands. Why Choice! The choice NOT to allow something horrific to bring them down.
Mediocrity is a disease of the mind. It’s a cure; “Choice!”
How to break free, so Choice comes at will.
Meditation / Prayer: see yourself through this practice as free of limitation. That my life, my choice to see it through as a vessel of the Universe. Not some, “I don’t have this or that mentality.”
Put the affirmation “Choice” Refrigerator, bathroom mirror, reminders on your phone daily.
Learn to believe in yourself. Take the training wheels off your life. When you feel you can’t do something learn to ask yourself; who said! With enough training and knowledge, you can bloody well do anything you want!
Practice, Practice, Practice! Do not give up or in at the first sign of difficulty. This is something you must want as much as air. We’ve all heard the businessman who asked a guru “how do I become successful,” the Guru replied, “meet me at the beach at 6:00 AM and don’t be late.” The next morning the businessman is on time, and the Guru takes him out into the water up to there chest. The Guru grabs the man and holds his head down in the water until the man was in great distress. Lifting the man out of the water, the businessman screams, “Why did you do that?” The Guru calmly replies, “When you want success as-bad-as, you wanted to breathe, then you will find success!”
Gain knowledge. The reason people quit is insufficient knowledge. If people aren’t saying to you, “Wow, I have no idea you could do that.” If the wow factor is not WOW, then gain more knowledge. Become a voracious reader.
Nothing on God’s good earth prevents you from achieving anything. If you set your mind to something, trust that God will give you the knowledge, and move the Universe into alignment for you. Believe that as much as you want to breathe (like our Guru analogy).
All it takes is a choice. Your choice to stay status quo or your choice to live a life most would only dream about.
“Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.”–Bradley Whitford
“It doesn’t matter how you pray. Just pray. All religions are beautiful, and they all have one common belief. There’s something bigger and greater than us that can give us and take from us life. It is better than the here and now.”–Mattie Stepanek
Prayer often times all we have in our darkest moments. My belief when we have nothing but prayer to hang onto. This is God giving us his private number to call.
At this moment, don’t beg for what you need, don’t need something for you. What you need is God’s favor upon your life. We must learn gratitude in the face of total ruin. If you learn from the quote, take a moment to learn about Mattie Stepanek.
This little boy died in 2004, but before this amazing lads final day, he left the world a much better place than he found it.
From Mattie’s website:
Mattie J.T. Stepanek, a well-respected poet, and award-winning peace activist lived a life that was brief in length but powerfully blessed with depth. Born on July 17, 1990, Mattie began creating and sharing Heartsongs at the young age of 3. He explained that Heartsongs are “gifts that reflect each person’s unique reason for being.”
Mattie ultimately published six collections of his Heartsongs poetry books and one collection of Just Peace essays and e-mail correspondence with Former President Jimmy Carter. All seven of Mattie’s books became New York Times Bestsellers and touched millions of lives around the world.
My point to all this is. No matter what life throws at you, and for this beautiful child, it was a lot. You can choose life, or you can roll up and die. No matter the circumstance in our own lives, we can go to God in prayer.
God knows what you need, so just tell him to thank you for bringing it to you. Be grateful. Yes, I can hear many of you saying this child Mattie died where God was in that? Beyond our comprehension, it was Mattie’s destiny (hugely painful loss) to go home. We will never understand the reason but will need to accept that while he was here, he touched many souls. His gifts live on in his books.
This child if anything taught us that no matter what this life throws at you; choose to live or want to die. It is a choice. This precious child decided to live.
Our stewardship of his legacy is that we follow our hearts in prayer just as Mattie spoke. As he said, “Just Pray!”
Just as Mattie died from a disease, we will never comprehend. You too may be suffering through something in your life beyond comprehension. Makes no sense and seems terribly unfair. On some level, it might be. The choice is ours how we choose to live. When we go to God in prayer, life will open up in ways, none of us expected. In a good idea!
Life can throw at us losses we will never comprehend. It’s our obligation to that loss, to live. It might hurt from time-to-time but live we must!
If you’re in pain, I pray that God gives you the wisdom, strength, and hope to see your way clear of the rocky shoals ahead. Once you clear them, you a free to navigate the seas open up for the next adventure.