Be What You Should Be

“If you are what you should be, you will set the world ablaze” – Catherine of Siena

This line penned by Catherine of Siena is breathtaking.  The possibilities seem endless.  It’s a promise that nothing in this world should come between us and making this world a better place.

We have to ask ourselves, then, what it is we should be.  In the words of speaker and author, Matthew Kelly, it is to be the best version of ourselves.  We don’t need to deny our identity, we just need to become the best version of it.  If we could unleash our full potential, who knows what we’d be capable of doing.  And with God on our side, we’re be capable of doing anything.

Unfortunately, we all too easily get side-tracked by our fears, insecurities, and confusion.  Perhaps the issues are deeply rooted in childhood experiences or incidents.  Perhaps we put too much stock in what others say.  Whatever the sources of these, they are probably what’s keeping you from being the best version of yourself.

God’s given you every gift and talent you need to be an amazing person.  Take a moment to identify all those God-given qualities.  Courageously tap into your full potential and move forward hand-in-hand with God.  Then get ready to start seeing some change.  Some will respond positively to the change, some won’t.  That’s secondary and out of your control.  What matters is the good you’re bringing.

Be a light that sets your world ablaze!

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/33470929@N05/15893654768″>Fire (II)</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

The Long and Winding Road

It’s a fact of life that most things don’t come easily.  Whatever you want, you have to fight for it.   Sometimes you have to wait for circumstances to align themselves.  If we were to plan a future for ourselves, we’d make our goals easier to achieve than they actually are.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a straight path to follow, bathed in sunshine with the sweet chirping of birds and the tamed wildlife to keep us company?  It would… but our road is long, winding, often laden with risks, fog, and other uncertainties.

Looking back at my life, I see the long and winding road I’ve had to take to get to where I am today.  Although I wouldn’t be thrilled to go through it all over again, I wouldn’t want to go back and take a different road.  It made me then man I’ve become.  It brought me the many blessings for which I am thankful to God.

I look at the present and at what is to come, and there are circumstances in my life that are truly annoying and inconvenient.  I would prefer that they be different, but I know that God will lead me to a better and happier life.  I am reminded of these words from the prophet Jeremiah:  “I have not lost sight of my plan for you, the Lord says, and it is your welfare I have in mind, not your undoing; for you, too, I have a destiny and a hope.” (Jr 29:11)

Be a light to your world today!

Chin Up

As this new year begins, we are given the opportunity for a fresh start and a better year.  Perhaps 2014 was a good year for you, or perhaps it was laden with challenges.  Either way, 2015 is a brand new year.  If last year was great, remember what made it great and carry on.  If it sucked, then learn from it and move on.  This is the time for a fresh start.  Accept that there are things you can’t change and let them go.  Focus your energy on what you have control over.  Just as it takes thousands a footsteps to conquer a mountain, so too it takes many constructive steps to overcome life’s challenges.  Resolve today to hold your head high.  Work hard and work smart, and 2015 will be a better year for you!

Be a light to your world today!

What’s the Point?

That feeling you get when you’ve taken on a project or an endeavor that seems to have hit a dead-end, is what I call discouragement.  It seems like it’s going nowhere and it was all for nothing… at the very least nothing you thought it would be.  Now you’re faced with a choice: fight on and hope that success will surprise you, or throw in the towel and declare it a lost cause.  What do you do?

I’m reminded of Samwise Gamgee’s speech to Frodo in the Lord of the Rings movie (The Two Towers), where he tells him that all heroes had the chance to walk away but didn’t, that it’s because they fought on that we now have their stories to tell (that was the gist of it, anyway).

Those who’ve left a legacy behind have been faced many times with this struggle.  The difference between these and the rest of the population is that they believed in their purpose and fought on.  In times like this, it’s crucial to focus on sowing the seed more than to try and force the tree to grow.  Our path usually doesn’t unfold the way we want it to.  If we’re patient and persistent, however, it will often surpass our expectations.

If you struggle to fulfill your objectives, if you feel discouraged or down because you’ve failed yet again, if you’re at a loss to find a way to make significant changes in your life… hang in there!  Fight on and sow the seeds!  You may not understand yet where all this is going, but your efforts won’t be entirely in vain.  You may not get exactly what you wanted.  In fact, you may end up getting more than you ever imagined.

Be a light to your world, today!

Walking on Water

There’s something thrilling and nerve-wracking about taking great risks.  Life has thrown many curve balls in my life, particularly lately.  The turn of events has opened up a mountain of possibilities that make me want to climb it, and yet there remains the nagging thought that it could all turn out very badly in the end.  Managing feeling both afraid and excited at the same time is almost like being pulled in two directions like a wish-bone.  It feels like something’s going to give sooner or later.

All the great ones in history embraced daring risks in their life, without which they wouldn’t have left the legacy they have.  So why do we hold back?  We’re afraid to lose, to suffer, to pay dearly.

In my experience, it’s been important to find a happy medium between daring and cautious.  The daring part takes that leap off the cliff and trusts that the landing will end well, while the cautious part of us does everything it can to make the daring leap a success.

It’s like Peter walking on water towards Jesus.  The daring part of Peter is to walk on water trusting that Jesus wouldn’t tell him to just to let him sink and drown, while the cautious side of him needs to remain focused on Him and do everything that He tells him to do.  Along the way, the excitement in him fails and fear takes over when he loses his focus and begins to doubt.

I wish I had a fool-proof recipe to taking risks.  I don’t know how things will evolve from here, but I do know that I’m pushing through.  All I can say from experience is that if your gut instinct tells you that you need to take a certain path, then take it.  Stay close to God and trust that He will provide in time, even if it is at the last minute.  Do everything that you can do and He will take care of the rest.

Be a light to those around you today!