On a recent bowling adventure with my family, I had a thought that reminded me of life in general. A fellow was putting forth plenty of effort but was doing poorly. As a matter of fact, in spite of his valiant attempts, he scored rather low – around 120. It was obvious from his reaction that he wanted to do better. But it just wasn’t happening. He was doing essentially the same thing every time and coming up short. And his failure prompted him to try harder, to bowl with more force. Yet his results barely changed.
Have you noticed that life is often the same way? We try hard, give lots of effort, but the results are disappointing. Granted, when we are bowling just for fun, the score doesn’t matter as much as fellowship. But inside, I believe most of us want to see a high score when we’re done. To get that, however, requires that we do more than randomly roll the ball with little forethought and a ton of hope. Even pro bowlers, who train and practice for years, don’t hit 300 every game. But they do produce high scores consistently. How? Well, there are a lot of factors that go into it, of course, but based on my own experiences and lessons learned from those who were much better bowlers than I am, I want to share three areas where being very intentional goes a long way in determining your score. These same principles apply to life as well. Continue reading
Many people try to find contentment, they search for it, which is why they fail to have it. Contentment, like patience, must be chosen, exercised, practiced. It is not something we bump into or something we find like a hidden treasure. It is a path, and it is attainable by everyone, not just those lucky few who land on the right square in life.
I would add that moderation is a key to happiness and contentment. People who live by extremes are very happy, at times. But then life is bad the rest of the time. It follows, then, that they get addicted to the high of happiness, and in so doing they forsake so many other things in life, even good things, to pursue the highs. And thus they ensure a life of chasing, rather than possessing, happiness.
Hebrews 12:15, Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled
Disappointment is inevitable in life. This is certainly true in leadership, where managing relationships with people we lead has an increased potential for constantly missed expectations and for hurt. Because of the increased interaction with others, leadership is a setup for pain. Sure, being a leader can also be greatly fulfilling, but it would be foolish to think there are no frustrations on the way to that satisfaction.
Proverbs 25:28, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.”
We often cite the above verse when talking about anger. And rightfully so – more often than not, that is exactly what comes to mind when we think of ruling our spirit. But the verse, and the principle it expresses, cover a much wider range of topics than simply our temper. Continue reading