Living in the Midst of Life

shelled and unshelled pecans

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We decide that things are going to be different.  We make a plan.  We have a goal.  We are ready.  Then things happen.  For example, I decided I would eat healthy for 2012.  I have meals planned.  I shared my goal with my family.  Everything was fine.  Then, I found some Christmas presents that had not been put away.  Someone gave us pecan brittle.  I’m the only one who likes pecans.  You can probably guess the rest of the story.

 

In our lives there are often surprises, unexpected events, and bags of Red Rocker Pecan Brittle that can derail us from our goals.  We may be tempted to give up the goal entirely.  We may be tempted to say that the goal was just too difficult for us.  We may go looking for more hidden candy.  The truth is that none of us is perfect.  We all make mistakes, give in to the temptation, and have a hard time changing our way of being.  We do things that we know are not good for us.  We are sometimes thoughtless.  We are selfish.  We all do the wrong thing occasionally.  The question is not, are we going to mess up?  The question is what are we going to do when our life interferes with our goals?  How are we going to handle the bag of pecan brittle, the errant behavior, and all of  our mistakes?

 

After we accept the error or mistake, then we need to keep going.  Don’t allow one momentary lapse to cause you to abort your goal.  Each day we re given a new opportunity to be transformed.  We are able to keep moving forward.  There will be things, surprises, and Red Rocker Pecan Brittle that diverts us from our goal.  Our living interrupts the best intentions, plans, and goals.  We have to decide how we are going to handle life in the midst of this living.  What are you going to do after you make the mistake?  Forgive the mistake.  Seek forgiveness if your behavior has hurt others.  Continue to seek your goal.  God does not expect perfection from you.  You will make mistakes.  You will be diverted.  We all must learn to live in the midst of life.

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Accept your Mistakes

The PBR is back! After their summer break, we will be able to watch the rest of the season. PBR stands for Professional Bull Riding, and it is something that I enjoy watching. This is the second week of broadcast. One aspect of the broadcast is the “Truth Booth” where riders evaluate their performance. Recently, Ryan McConnel visited the truth booth. He described his own ride as pathetic. He knew that he could have and should have ridden better. While most of us have not ridden a bull, we know the frustration that comes from doing less than we are capable of doing. We know the feeling of letting ourselves down. We know the sentiment of not living up to our abilities. Maybe it is a professional skill, a personal encounter, or just in daily living. We all fall short of what we are capable of doing sometimes. Paul, who wrote several letters or epistles that appear in the New Testament, lived with this same frustration. He said that he does the very thing that he hates, the thing that he does not want to do. It is a part of our human condition to do the things that we do not want to do occasionally. The issue is not that we mess up, but it is usually in how we handle the pathetic moments. Yes, we get upset about them. We may deem them “pathetic”, like McConnel. Then what? Do we give up, figuring if we messed up once, then we are going to just keep messing up? Do we wallow in guilt and self-recrimination, never forgiving ourselves? Do we beat ourselves up? When we fail to live at our best, then we must accept the momentary lapse, forgive ourselves, and try again. We all make mistakes. The question is how we handle those mistakes. Ryan McConnel acknowledged the mistake, then he got on another bull. He did not let that mistake define him. He accepts that he is not perfect. Paul, used his mistake to teach others, including us, that we must continually strive to do better. We all make mistakes, but we try again. We seek to be the best we can be, realizing that we are going to make mistakes. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you have made. Strive to do better. Move past the mistake to the next opportunity. Allow God to love you, forgive you, and help you be more fully the person that you can be.