I desire to be a lifelong learner. Things change, and I need to continue to change as well. Sometimes those changes move at a faster pace than other times. Being aware of what is going on around you and in you allows you to recognize the growth that is taking place or that needs to take place.
There are a few things that I have noticed recently. Some of them are not new, and I may have even acknowledged them previously. They just seem to be at the forefront of what is going on in my life at the moment. Here are four things I am currently learning.
One Change Can Create A Multitude Of Changes
Recently I sold a large portion of the business I owned. It was the piece that took the most energy. I just did not realize how much energy. In only 30 short days, the freedom it has brought to my life has been incredible. It has sped up the pace of change in several other places. I have more energy to devote to conversations in my marriage, with my friends, and in the church. It has allowed me to do more writing than I had been doing for the last several years. I have lots of new ideas that were just looking for a way to get out of my head. I recently had a chance to stay an extra day on vacation and took it without stressing, where I was usually trying to come back a day early. That one single change has been the catalyst for many things that are breaking through in my life.
Presence Over Presents
Two recent trips have driven this point home. I spent six days with my wife in the Florida Keys. Then I took a day trip with my grandson to New York City. On each occasion, they both remarked how enjoyable it was to just hang with me. We all want to say we know that presence is more important than presents, but we don’t always practice it. Most of us are guilty of trying to overcome our lack of presence with extravagant presents. Don’t stop giving gifts. That says something. Just make sure you are giving your presence. It is the best gift you have.
Every Family Has Struggles
I have been preaching a series on family and marriage since the first week in January. Every week I get feedback from families about how a particular topic spoke directly to their current struggles. Or about how a personal illustration I shared encouraged them because they felt like they were the only ones with that problem. All families have issues – every single family. Some hide it better than others, but they are all wrestling through issues. You can find encouragement in the fact that you are not alone in the deep end. All families are working through their pain and shortcomings. Don’t feel isolated. You are part of the biggest club in the world: the imperfect family.
You Can Find An Example To Support Any Point Of View
There is a statistic for every theory or belief system. There is an example for every idea. There is an outlier for every issue. Finding an example does not make your case. Many of the hot button issues today are around politics or the pandemic. Most of the time, they are intertwined. Examples for and against masks. Statistics for and against a vaccine. Similarities between Hitler and the Democrats or the Republicans (depending on which point you want to make). I have no intention of making a public proclamation for or against a vaccine, but people still want to have conversations with me. Here is an example. Recently someone asked my opinion, and then they shared an example of someone who had a severe reaction to the vaccine. That was all of the information they needed. I asked if they took ibuprofen. They said they did. I then asked if they were aware of the extreme reactions of some people who have tried to take ibuprofen. They were not. I told them to look it up. Some people cannot take ibuprofen because it is dangerous to their health. I said you could find an adverse example for any kind of medicine you want. You may be able to take some medicine freely that causes other people to suffer. It makes no sense to use a single example to refute everything.
I am learning. I am growing. I hope it is something that never stops. Be aware of what is going on in your life, and learn to grow from it. If you don’t, you will pass by a lifetime of opportunities.