Seek the miracle, not the struggle

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. ~Chuck Swindoll.

The older I get, the more obvious it becomes: Life just isn’t fair. Or at least it’s not equal, and you certainly can’t compare with the next guy.

Everyone is dealt a different hand, different cards, and sometimes the hand is incomplete or lacking. Whether it’s health, relationships, family or other wild cards, our journies are distinct and diverse. They become even more convoluted when we make choices and decisions based on the hand we’re dealt. That’s when it becomes downright complex or confusing.

Know this, though: Life is unfair to everyone. Everyone! Indeed, it can come in differing doses for you or me, but everyone has different talents, different abilities, different starting points, different circumstances. While your best friend or spouse may have an advantage over you in a particular area, you have a better starting point over someone else. That’s your path, take it and maximize it. Seek the miracle, not the struggle.

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. ~Albert Einstein.

Many a good person has ended up at a dead-end or stalled on a wrong road in life after a painful experience or unforeseen event. But, as Chuck Swindoll is so keen to point out, it’s what we do with what we’ve got that will make the difference. No, life may not be fair at the time, and we can’t always use the same mold to move on that someone else uses but it’s where we are. Seek the miracle, not the struggle.

Moreover, each of us must walk the road and path of our own lives. Sure, we can choose not to walk down many of those roads and those are good choices. But there are many dark or gloomy avenues we must traverse that test our souls and minds, not to mention our strength, integrity and character.

There are only two things that shape you: The people around you and your attitude. ~Unknown.

No doubt, you are a product of your surroundings and the people with whom you associate. If you have a strong inner circle that has solid common sense, strong principles and values — and is a source of encouragement, stability and fortitude — you’ll be prepared for crunch time and difficulty.

You will not get very far without a proper perspective on life. “Woe is me” and deflecting fault, and shirking responsibility assuredly comes back to haunt you. Indeed, we all face those temptations from time to time, but, again, it’s what you do with those temptations that will determine your destiny.

Dwell on this for a moment: How you deal with Chuck Swindoll’s 90% tomorrow will be determined by the choices you make today regarding these matters:

  • The people around you. Can’t overemphasize this one. Your inner circle of friends is critical to your long-term peace and sanity. Jesus had 12 disciples, and they were his friends, and one of those was a ghastly influence (Judas). But when the rubber met the road, there were three: Peter, James and John. For the most part, he took them everywhere. Who are your three?
  • Your attitude. This goes back to what you put into your mind. Garbage in/garbage out. What you watch, who/what you listen to, what you read, social media, idle time, friends. It’s really as simple as that. It leads to what you think. What you think leads to what you say and what you say leads to what you do.
  • Your habits. These are related to what goes into your mind and what you dwell on, but you must shape them. Discipline in your life goes a long way to determining the road you travel, and the path you stay on. You can break bad habits; if you don’t, they may break you.
  • Your choices. We make thousands of them every day — often with little thought. But our choices shape our character and we should not — must not — make them in haste, under duress or with undue emotional influence.

It’s not a simple 1-2-3 process, but make strides in the areas above, and you’ll be closer to a happy, peaceful, content life. Attitude is often the toughie, but it’s also one you can choose to change. You can:

  • Be bitter or become better.
  • Choose life or death.
  • Take the high road or the low road.
  • Live in freedom or create walls that separate and divide.
  • Live in jealousy, turmoil and envy, or learn to cherish, admire and appreciate.

It’s true: Today’s choices determine tomorrow’s destiny. It’s not the circumstances, it’s not what happens to you that you can’t control, it’s not what people say about you or what they do and it’s not the life that is unfair.

Indeed, it is what you choose to do with what you’ve got, making lemonade out of those lemons, finding the silver lining or taking what’s meant for your bad and turning it into gold.

It’s tragic, but people often build prisons in which they languish for decades. Even more tragically, they build onto those prisons and hand them down for generations.

No, life isn’t fair to be sure and we don’t all have the same starting point. Just ask Joseph, Daniel, Job or even stuttering Moses or Noah who had to build a boat when it hadn’t rained in years! You can blame someone for your past problems and leaving you in a bind or in a prison, but you can’t blame someone else for your decision to stay there.

Wherever you are in life, you can make life better, and there are people around you willing to help. If there aren’t, make that your first change today and find your three-member inner circle! And, remember this: God is on your side, He’s pulling for you and His hand will be the first one you see.

No one said it will be easy, but there is hope and you can become a champion! Let’s go!

THOUGHTS FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN THERE.

There is not a single darkness in your life that God cannot bring His light upon. ~Beth Moore.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. ~Isaiah 43:2

Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it. ~George Bernard Shaw.

He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. Psalm 40:2.

You can’t soar with eagles if you’re surrounded by turkeys. ~Unknown.

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