My life seems stalled! How do I fix it?

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were stalled and just didn’t know what to do?  I have – a bunch of times.   So many times as you grow up and try to find your way, you run into these “walls” where you just don’t see what to do next.  You can’t see any options.  You’re stuck!  You may have never had to come down this road before and you don’t see the next step. What do you do?

dash lights & Tach

THATS NOT GOOD!!!

Not long after my parents divorced, my mom needed stuff done to her car.  She didn’t know what else to do, so she asked my grandpa, her dad, for help.  My grandpa took me, little Artie, out to the garage that day (I was 10) and I thought “Oh awesome, Grandpa’s going to let me help him”.  Grandpa helped me get the front end in the air and break all of the nuts & bolts loose, and then sat on a stool in the garage and step-by-step talked me through the process of performing a complete brake job on my mom’s car.  He only got up to check the torque on the nuts & bolts and to help me “slowly” get the car down.  That was the first of many times that grandpa helped me do things like that.

That marked me that day.  I began to watch him. He probably didn’t know how closely I was noticing the things that he said and the choices that he made.  He had an entire wall in his breeze-way that was made of brick and had a fireplace right in the middle of it.  He built the whole thing.  I asked him one day how he did it and he replied “I went to the library & got a book, then I went to the store & bought a diamond edged saw”.  I can’t even begin to estimate how much he helped me and imparted wisdom to me over the years.

The Bible says in Leviticus 19:32 (BBE) “Get up from your seats before the white-haired, and give honor to the old, and let the fear of your God be before you: I am the Lord”.  As I grew and matured I began to realize that the Elders that God had put in my life were and are a wealth of wisdom to me.  I can think right now of some very significant people in my own life that gave me excellent counsel in my difficult times.

  1. Grandparents – Never sell them short.  Your grandparents have seen things and have the wisdom to help you navigate some pretty sticky situations.  Besides that, they are probably your number 1 fan and love you. They are on your side.
  2. Teachers – I have not had many, but there were a few teachers that reached further & demonstrated that they cared more than the others.  I have on occasion gone to them with questions about how to get past road blocks in my life.
  3. Counselors – I have had the pleasure of knowing some great people in this area.  Nearly all of them were interested in helping young people.
  4. Elders in the Church – This is true even today.  I have received some of the best counsel and advise from older gentlemen that I have submitted myself to.  They have been down the road, and have probably seen what you’re facing before.
  5. Elders at work – Most of the time I have found that co-workers are not that close.  There are occasions though where an older co-worker will become like a mentor to you and help you steer your career.

In all of these relationships, the key to receiving wisdom and advise is to ask. You must be willing to receive the help.  Again, I can’t stress this enough, you must humble yourself and be teachable.  Remember, God hasn’t left you twisting in the wind.  He has provided help for you.  Honor the Elders in your life and listen.  They have lots to say.

Join the conversation.  How has the wisdom of the Elders in your life helped you?  Please post your comments.

 

 

Blow the lid off of your vision!

IMAG0352My dad left our family when I was 10. After that he had very little contact with us. I’m still not really sure why, but it left me messed up. To borrow a phrase from the song “Father of Mine” by the band Everclear “I will always be weird inside, I will always be lame” was pretty much the way I lived. Having no real example of how to be a man, I became what was easy to become, kind of a directionless loser. By the time I reached 18 years of age, I had a broken heart, no job, no money, no Driver’s license, no direction and no future. THANK GOD I’m not there anymore!

What I want to talk about isn’t the tragedy of my life though, but instead to focus on the road from there to where I am today.

I wanted three main things out of life back then:

  • I wanted EVERYONE to ALWAYS AT ALL TIMES think the very best of me.
  • I wanted life to deliver up to me all of the opportunities that I would need to be rich and live on easy street. You know, to not have to sweat the small stuff…and to own a Lamborghini.
  • I didn’t want to have to work very hard for it.

After all, I was a pretty good guy. I wasn’t unnecessarily selfish or self serving. When I had to be that way (which was a lot of the time) it’s because I was proving that I was worthy of being taken seriously and that I was anyone’s equal. You know, the image of the young man with his breast swelled up, trying to stand toe to toe in conversion with men who were much more seasoned than he was. The image I have is of Eddie Haskell from “Leave it to Beaver”. That guy had a different face for nearly every person he knew. The truth though, was that I was NOT anyone’s equal. I was “Limited Edition”. You know, like Microsoft Word “Starter edition”. Not all of the wonderful features were working or available.

I had a lid over my life and I could not rise above it because I didn’t know it was there. It was a massive limit on my thinking. When I thought of nice cars, nice houses, good neighborhoods, respectable standing in the community, I was thinking of someone else’s life. The life that I knew wasn’t like that at all and I couldn’t identify with it. It was a desire, but it was a detached and kind of surreal desire and I couldn’t see myself there.

I began to think about all of the young people that I know today that find themselves in the same kind of place in their own lives. They may have a parent that is also gone or absentee. Here’s the thing though. God will not leave you without help. What I realized as I look back on my own situation is that God brought many wonderful people into my life to be examples to me and to help me. I can think right now of dozens of people who taught me, helped me and were examples for me. Some even developing deep relationships with me that we still share today. When I think about how big of an idiot I used to be, I am thankful for the patience that many of them displayed, all because God would not leave me without help.

Guess what? He didn’t leave you without help either. Ask God to bring people into your life that can teach you what you need to know. He will connect you with people who will show you where your thinking is limited and will help you develop greater vision for your own future. You will be able to see yourself going places and doing things that you could not have dreamed of before. Jeremiah 29:11 (WEB) says “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says Yahweh, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a hope and a future”. God’s plan for your life is far above your limited thinking. He will take you places that you never dreamed possible. A note of advice though. You will have to be teachable. You must make this decision now. The people God brings into your life may not always speak to you in comfortable tones and if you get easily offended, you will miss out. The truth is, you’re not perfect so decide in advance to be willing to accept correction. If you will do this, I promise you will grow.

I’m thinking right now of the people who helped me to blow the lid off of my thinking and helped me to develop greater vision. I am so thankful for each and every one of them. He will do the same for you too!

Please leave a comment & share your own examples of lifting the lid.

The road of honor – Where to start.

New Year’s Eve 2009, my family and I were on our way home from my wife’s parents’ house.  We had spent the evening eating junk food & playing games but everyone was getting pretty tired so we decided to go home.  It was right about midnight (I remember because of the fireworks) when a small Mazda coming toward us spun out of control. It hit the big pickup truck in front of us, turning the truck in the road about 120 degrees & then tail whipped right into the front of our car.  It hit us so hard that it slapped the front of our car clear off into the ditch. The Mazda was wrecked in both the front and the rear.

We were all okay, escaping with just a little seat belt rash and some muscle stress from the accident, but our car was totaled.  The 19 year old young man driving the Mazda was okay too.  He kept apologizing and it became pretty clear that he was under the influence of alcohol.

A lot happened that night.  The Highway Patrol & the Fire Department showed up, made sure everyone was okay & took our information. Then I realized that the young man’s father had also arrived. He made sure his son was okay and was now talking to the state trooper. The father had a weary look on his face.  It seemed by his actions that he was very embarrassed by his son’s behavior that night.  When he was also informed that his son had refused towing service because “his dad had a guy” the father sighed and his head just dropped into his hand.  He was ashamed.  I remember thinking as I watched it “This is the exact opposite of honor”.  Accidents sometimes can’t be avoided, but that night there were some very bad choices made that led up to this one.

Proverbs 17:2 says “A servant who does wisely will have rule over a son causing shame, and will have his part in the heritage among brothers” (BBE).

It’s so important to understand that the first part of honoring your mother and father is to NOT cause shame.  I know there are plenty of times when I was a fool and embarrassed my parents.  I am personally responsible for many of the gray hairs on their heads.  It took me a long time to understand what it really means to honor them. I wish that someone would have helped me understand honor and why it’s important when I was a much younger man.  I will share more about honor in upcoming posts but the simplest way to define it for me is “to heavily value”. As we grow up we sometimes forget that we’re still sons & daughters and that what we do directly reflects on how we were raised.  God holds us strictly accountable to honor our Father and Mother (Ex. 20:12).  We do that with our life, by being quality people, and it doesn’t end when our parents are gone. We honor them for the rest of OUR lives.

I would love to hear your thoughts on honoring your parents. Please add your comments.

Welcome to my Blog.

Hi, My name is Art.

I’m a Christian, a father, a husband and a son.  I have created this blog in an effort to talk about these relationships and to reach out to people who may need a word of encouragement in these areas.  I look forward to being all the help I can be.

I intend to post a new blog entry at least once a week (probably on the weekend) but I may adjust the frequency after I get a feel for it.

I will always be looking for ways to improve the blog and increase the value of the content.

I am looking forward to connecting with you!