Excuses, Excuses

I am proud to say that this blog post marks the 1 year anniversary of Random Thoughts!!!!

How many times have you had things that needed to be done but tried to find every reason not to? Then, we try to justify our procrastination with little EXCUSES that we know are menial. This is typically the case for me when it is time to hit the gym. I think of every reason why I should put it off until tomorrow. "I'm tired from work. It looks like it's going to rain. I need to organize some paperwork. I have things I need to write." But, the truth is, I know that working out will not interfere with the majority of these things, and I probably won't end up doing the other ones anyway. We are definitely not the first people to make up excuses for not wanting to do something. Even Moses tried to use the old "My dog ate my homework" trick when God commanded him to return to Egypt and declare that the Pharaoh release the Hebrews from bondage. "Moses said to the Lord 'O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.' The Lord to said to him, 'Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord?'" (Exodus 4:10-11) What we fail to realize is the fact that these are the times that we need to get up and do it anyway! These are the situations that test our will power and determination. It is in these instances that we build mental strength and recognize our true capabilities. My college coach always preached to us about discipline and mental toughness. He said that mental toughness would keep us focused even when we are tired. Being tired doesn't always refer to a physical state; it more often refers to our mental state of being. We can't allow our minds to control us, but instead, control our minds. Our flesh acts like a spoiled brat-- it whines whenever it doesn't get its way. That's why our stomach starts to growl and head starts to hurt whenever we fast. Our body is throwing a temper tantrum and it is the responsibility of our mind to overpower it. I can remember many hot summer days in college during conditioning drills when my body told me to quit. It was over 100 degrees, I was tired, and my lunch felt like it was about to come back up. I had remember that I was working towards something that was more significant than the pain I was feeling at the time. The same was true for Moses. He tried to use his speech as an excuse to stop him from delivering an entire nation! The only way for us to be better than average is to stop making excuses and JUST DO IT!

Have you ever let an excuse stop you from accomplishing something that you later wish you had done?

You ain't seen nothing YET

"If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men,"
-1 Corinthians 15:19. 

As I sit back and meditate, I start thinking about a song by Donald Lawrence titled, "The Best is yet to Come." In the song he sings, "You ain't seen nothing, you ain't seen nothing yet." He is speaking about how the blessings that God bestows upon us here on earth are no of comparison to those that await us in Heaven. That is exactly what 1 Corinthians 15:19 speaks of as well. Our hope in Christ should be our comfort through all of life's situations because we know that the eternal resting place for those who have dedicated their lives to Him is greater than anything our minds could imagine. But, why should this thought only be one-sided? Why can't we strive to go even further in our walk with God? One of my closest friends told me, "Not to let anyone tell me what my love should look like." At the time we were talking about romantic relationships but the concept still applies. At times we worry more about how we will be looked at by man for the things we do to show our love towards one another and God. Instead we should be more focused on how that person views it. After all, They are the ones that should matter, right? In the 6th chapter of 2 Samuel, David is ecstatic about successfully bringing the Ark of the Covenant back to Israel because a man lost his life in the previous chapter due to David's disregard for God's instructions dealing with the Ark. He sings praises and dances unto the Lord until he dances right out of his clothes. That must've been some dancing! Although this display of rejoicing pleased the Lord, it displeased his wife. "When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, 'How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as many vulgar fellow would!'" (2 Samuel 6:20) It's times like these that remind me of when people haven't been so understanding, let alone encouraging about my choices I've made in life. There have been times that people have not agreed with me being soft-spoken in situations that they feel I need to be more vocal. At times, the way I deal with mistreatment is criticized. But, one thing I've always prayed for is wisdom. Sometimes, wisdom tells me to be quiet and let my actions make my point. Other times it instructs me to kill with kindness. Regardless, I do what is best for me. In verse 21 and 22, David tells Michal the same thing, "....'It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord's people Israel-- I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become EVEN MORE UNDIGNIFIED THAN THIS, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor." He basically said that he did what he knew was pleasing unto God and wouldn't let her tell him it wasn't. There's no reason we shouldn't be the same way in our relationship with God, as well as our choices in life.

Have you ever had a time where you had to stand your ground on a decision you've made because other people didn't agree? How did that make you feel? How did you deal with it?