If success has eluded us, when we know we could be doing so much more, the time to reevaluate life is here. We must be honest with ourselves, the hard choices made, a plan with defined goals, yet with the flexibility needed in the real world should be thought out. Change begins when we recognize that must master ourselves, holding in check our desires, passion, and excesses.
We close out another year and usher in a new decade. All of us tend to make resolutions on New Year’s day and yet how many of us follow through? We often give up within a month, why? Change is hard, leaving our comfort zone is not easy, does it mean we do not want to improve our lives? We all have dreams and aspirations, but are we willing to put in the work that it will take to reach them? If we want something bad enough, we will make the time, find the funds, be consistent and throw away the excuses.
There are many uncertain things in life, but there is one thing I have always been sure of: I am responsible for what happens to me. In the late eighties, a friend gave me a book he found at a yard sale. It was, “A Man Thinketh,” by James Allen, written at the turn of the twentieth century. It opened my eyes to how much our mind influences our lives. I later bought another book by James Allen, “Man: King Of Mind, Body, and Circumstance.”
I cannot even begin to guess how many times I have read and re-read these books by James Allan over the years.
One day last week there was a brief period where there was nobody in the gym but me.
I had the music up loud and I was moving around in the ring. I was trying to shadow box, but something someone had said to me earlier kept going through my mind.
They had said I was lucky to be good at boxing and to be in shape.
So as I was moving around the ring fighting my imaginary opponent I had that thought going through my head. I chuckled a bit when I thought of James Allan’s books, because now that I am a Christian his books have a much deeper meaning. I used to read them and only take away what I wanted to use. He also writes a lot about being moral and honest and those were the parts I skipped over.
I am today where my actions and thoughts have placed me. There was no luck or chance involved. My mindset, thoughts and work ethic determine the outcome of my days, weeks and years.
My current circumstance is actually the culmination of thousands of seemingly unrelated small choices over the years. I am not saying that I am defined by my past choices, because I know that good or bad they are just temporary. They will change with the present day and depending on the decisions I make now, they will either put me closer to where I wish to be or set me back.
My boxing skills and fitness are not by chance. Each day is an opportunity to push myself closer to my goals. I want to encourage you to keep pushing forward. Dreaming and setting lofty goals is important, but so is the day-to-day grind and hard work that will get you there. God has given you the tools you need to accomplish the plan he has laid out for you, and it’s up to you to use those tools to the best of your ability.
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.