Feeling ready is overrated. (Kelvin Cooke, American pastor)
Cooke goes on to say, “If we are truly honest, none of us ever feels completely ready for what’s ahead.” Don’t you find that true? Uncertainty makes you feel you may not be as prepared for the future as you’d like. However, Cooke notes, further, “Ready comes faster if you are already moving.” So, let’s move ahead in the direction we know we should be going.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts. (Marcus Aurelius, 2nd century Roman emperor)
Your happiness can’t depend upon outside influences or circumstances; they are transient and impersonal. The idea that “You are what you think” is attributed to Buddha, who also said, “What you think you become.” So, it is critical that we put into our minds thoughts that are righteous and edifying. Then, we have a basis for a life of quality.
Whatever is true, whatever is noble . . . right, . . . pure . . . lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Philippians 4:8).
STOP AND THINK – Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. (Carl Bard, Scottish theologian)
We sometimes wish that we could just start again. “If I could just do it all over,” we might say,” thinking we would do things differently and have success instead of failure. But, of course, we know we can’t go back. But, as Bard says, we can start again where we are now and, knowing what we know, see a new result.
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please (Isaiah 46:10).
STOP AND THINK – It’s surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves. (Sydney J. Harris, late newspaper journalist)
Apparently, our self image greatly influences how we view other people and, perhaps, life in general. If we’re sad and pessimistic, we probably view life as sad and hard to cope with. Is Harris right when he concludes, “If you’re not comfortable within yourself, you can’t be comfortable with others”? If so, we need a spiritual adjustment.
Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. . . . A cheerful heart is good medicine (Proverbs 12:25; 17:22).
STOP AND THINK – Tough times never last, but tough people do! (Robert Schuller, late television preacher and author)
It’s often been said that “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” No matter how difficult the present problem, we can be glad that it will eventually pass. And Schuller also encourages us that when those tough difficulties come, “Problems are not stop signs; they are guidelines.” In those times, we need to determine to persevere and win.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised (Hebrews 10:36).
STOP AND THINK – Trust is the foundation of leadership. (John Maxwell, motivational speaker and author)
People may be attracted to public figures because of their music, acting, or athletic skill—or, perhaps, because of their persuasive speaking ability or their success in some public venue. But unless you find that person to be trustworthy, you will very likely look to someone else for leadership. Character and integrity are not built on skill or attractiveness but on trust.
Select capable men . . . who fear God, trustworthy men . . . and appoint them as officials (Exodus 18:21).
STOP AND THINK – A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. (Nelson Mandela, late president of South Africa)
After imprisonment for his anti-Apartheid protests, Mandela saw the collapse of that racist policy and was ultimately elected to the highest office in his country. He not only had the necessary intellect (head) for his grand achievements, but he also possessed the compassion (heart) that enabled him to succeed in the most difficult of circumstances.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart (Proverbs 3:3).
STOP AND THINK – Love may not make the world go around, but, I must admit it makes the ride worthwhile. (Sean Connery, Scottish actor)
Romantic novels, plays, and movies often picture love as the cure for all of our ills. If we can just find love, we can be successful, happy, and admired. Mankind was created to enjoy healthy relationships of mutual benefit, but too often love is selfish and self-centered. If on the other hand, it is focused on the benefit of the loved one, it will be like God’s love.
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love (Ephesians 5:1).
STOP AND THINK Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life. (Dr. Herbert A. Otto, author)
There is no doubt that growth often involves a willingness to make changes in your habits and lifestyle. Many people are unwilling to take that risk, fearing failure and embarrassment. And Dr. Otto’s challenge to experiment with life could be dangerous. You need to have a healthy self image and a solid foundation of good behavior.
Teach them [God’s] decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave (Exodus 18:20).
STOP AND THINK: Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. (Albert Einstein, noted theoretical scientist)
Bike riders know full well that the slower they pedal, the more difficult it is to stay upright. As Einstein suggests, life is a lot like that. Occasional rest stops are essential for good health, but inertia can make us useless. It’s so much easier to steer a moving vehicle than one at a dead stop. So, keep moving forward to maintain a healthy balance in life.
My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion (Proverbs 5:1-2).