As we embark upon the last quarter of this year, 2014, it would behoove us all to do the often times dreaded self-check that is so badly needed in this life. Have I progressed at all, in any way, since the year began? Am I on target to reach the goals I so proudly proclaimed would be accomplished at a set time, likely this year? Am I still living with that same outlook, excitement, and determination that helped me bring in the new year with no excuses, but with bells on and a made up mind? Do I even remember that? If there’s a resounding ‘no’ to these questions for you, the next question should, without hesitation, fall in line with ‘What happened?’.
Well, the easy answer is, ‘Life happened’.
In fact, every single day we awake, life will happen, whether we choose to make things happen for ourselves or simply allow them to happen. But when we’re careful not to only look for justification in our slackness, we will find that we are more willing to do that which is always a most important step in making progress with anything; that of taking things a step further. Once there is a willingness to understand that there’s more to life’s challenges than only the fact that life happens, some soul-searching must begin. If not, life will simply continue to happen with no real effort needed on our part. Making that effort would otherwise include refusing to be defeated by the many unexpected turns that life takes; unexpected turns that are so easily turned once more into excuses.
What really happened?
Truthfully, there are so many factors that can go into the reasons we fall behind, fail to reach our goals, and lose our way. Some of those factors are out of our control, such as the loss of a loved one, an unexpected sickness, and other life-changing occurrences that interrupt our day-to-day normal living. But there are many factors that are not out of our control and those are the factors that, unbeknown to many, are likely controlling us. The factors that we can control, that are hindering our progress, are the ones that we should be willing to take notice of, take heed to, and do away with. However, because the control has likely been in existence for quite some time, we must also take into consideration that it is much easier said than done to break away from such distractions or to reverse them; a consideration not to be used as an excuse, but simply for the purposes of awareness and understanding. The more we are aware of the challenges that come with control factors, the more effort we will put forth against the fight. But what are some of the those hindering, unfulfilling factors? To sum it up, they are the everyday distractions that bring us no real satisfaction and no productivity. They take up much of our time; time we constantly take for granted and because of their use and abuse of our time, have gone beyond the point of simple enjoyment. Each individual life has its own distractions and it is up to each one of us to figure out what they are. It is up to each of us to be honest with ourselves with a willingness to acknowledge that which we spend time engaging in that has absolutely no positive bearing on those goals in life we need to reach day to day.
When we don’t feel like doing much with our lives, hate our circumstances and hate our past, we can also decide to remain stagnant. However, it is very important that we all understand the magnitude of our decisions and how we decide to use our time. Yes, time is drawing near, not only for the end of this year, but for life in general. There is a purpose for the very existence of each life with breath and it is our responsiblity to know that purpose. It is our responsibility to nurture that purpose and to allow it to serve others. Even for our opportunity to live on purpose, time is drawing near. Finding ourselves in the same place year after year after year, is a strong indicator that perhaps there are distractions among us that are keeping us from that opportunity. But only the one willing to make an effort to take notice and acknowledge those distractions can even begin to change and do things differently. Willingness and effort.
Yes, time is drawing near. Not for the fact that our purpose exists. That will always be. But time is drawing near on our decision to make up our minds, to move forward, to take notice of that which and those who hinder our lives, and to do things differently. As time draws on this year alone, reflecting can be very painful or it can be very rewarding. If you find your reflecting to be something that is not a pleasant experience and can acknowledge that the reasons were not beyond your control, it is simply time to do things differently. Too many of us are looking alike, acting alike, and living alike in ways that serve no Godly purpose, when we have been specifically and uniquely made as one of a kind. Time is drawing near, which means we have even less time than yesterday to dare to step into our uniqueness, being not who we want to be, not living as we please. But being who God would have us to be and doing what He would have us to do. Once we become wise enough to decipher between the two and decide to take that leap, our desires will change as well. But if we continue to believe we cannot live without the distractions we allow to exist in our lives today or that we cannot live without the acceptance of many of those around us, we will never understand the impact of wasted time. Time is indeed drawing near. When will you take heed?
Tawana R. Powell
Author of “Life Fulfilled, the Ultimate Goal” (Amazon.com)