STOP AND THINK – Everything that is done in the world is done by hope. (Martin Luther, 16th century Reformation leader)
Many different factors motivate people to move ahead, to pursue a dream or a vision. But, no doubt, as Luther suggested, hope may be the greatest motivation of all. If we think the future is uncertain or that what we are pursuing can’t succeed—in other words, if we have no hope, our dreams will certainly fail. It’s a certain hope that keeps us seeking worthy goals.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope. (Romans 15:13)
STOP AND THINK – The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. (Marcel Proust, 19th-20th century French novelist)
Is it possible that we have become so attached to our surroundings and our limited experiences that we miss seeing the potential around us? Are we wasting time wishing for new vistas, longing to visit new places, wanting new situations to experience? As Proust suggests, perhaps all we really need is to look at what we have with fresh eyes.
Do you have eyes but fail to see? (Mark 8:18)
STOP AND THINK – Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for? (Robert Browning, 19th century English poet)
Ambition is sometimes thought of as an unworthy attribute, especially when one seeks to achieve more for his own pride of accomplishment. However, Browning seems to suggest that we should strive to achieve more and more, trying to go beyond what we think we can do. When we succeed, we will likely have a sense of worth and value.
Your beauty . . . should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3:3-4)
STOP AND THINK – Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow! (Mark Twain)
That’s the reverse of the usual admonition to do today what you should without putting it off. Twain’s comment gives a whole new meaning to the big 50-cent word, procrastination. It describes well the attitude of the really lazy person, yet there are probably times when we would all like to defer action to sometime much later. It’s not a healthy habit, however.
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor,“Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you” when you already have it with you. (Proverbs 3:27-28)
STOP AND THINK – Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new. (Inspiration Line)
Emotions come and go; they are affected by circumstances, events, and how people treat you. Even happily married couples have to work at maintaining a healthy love relationship. Unlike what you might read or see in romance novels and movies, love is hard work. It demands attention, consideration, and effort. But, it’s worth it, of course.
Love … is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:5, 7)
STOP AND THINK – The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all. (attributed to Timothy Luce)
The author may not be widely known, but the quotation is challenging. Some people fear change and are afraid to move “outside the box.” As a result, they may accomplish very little, and their lives go unnoticed. The brave person who takes risks and ventures into the unknown may very well leave a legacy that far outlasts his lifetime.
Be strong and courageous. … Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
STOP AND THINK – Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance. (Samuel Johnson, 18th century English writer and critic)
It’s not only the big and the strong who succeed. We often are amazed at the achievements of smaller and weaker people who accomplish surprising feats, not because of their strength but because they didn’t give up. Life has taken them through hard times and over difficult obstacles. But they persevered.
As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. (James 5:11)
STOP AND THINK – The problem with prosperity is that one is never satisfied. (Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist and radio commentator)
When is enough enough? If asked how much is enough, some would answer, “A little more.” If you think having more of something will bring you satisfaction, you are putting too much emphasis on things, and you will soon discover that fulfillment lies beyond mere possessions. Building relationships with people and seeking their good will bring greater satisfaction.
Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. (Ecclesiastes 5:10)
STOP AND THINK – We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an
infinite expectation of the dawn. (Henry David Thoreau, 19th century American Writer, Philosopher, and Naturalist)
Thoreau was not speaking of sleeping sickness or a penchant for “sleeping in.” No doubt, he was thinking of discouragement or even depression—a withdrawal from life, an inability to face life as it is. To keep going with anticipation demands looking forward with expectation, assuming there is something worthwhile to accomplish, some worthy goal to achieve.
Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare. (Proverbs 20:13)
STOP AND THINK – If you’re not comfortable within yourself, you can’t be comfortable with others. (Sydney J. Harris, American journalist)
Harris wrote, “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.” What we dislike in others is often merely a reflection of what we dislike about ourselves. We’d do well, then, to work on our own improvement before we judge others.
Think of yourself with sober judgment (Romans 12:3). Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. (Romans 14:13)