So how is your new year so far? I hope things are going according to your intentions. In many ways, the year is off to a great start for me. However, there is one area that really has me thinking, yet has me very confused and shaken.
At my job we have dealt with several tragedies since the year began. One teacher is still recovering from an accident sustained while attending a football game a couple of months ago. Another on my team is grieving the sudden death of her 27 year old brother. Our head of schools is out for an extended, unknown reason. Our principal lost her father in law. Another teacher on my team is dealing with his father’s stroke from a couple of days ago, though luckily it seems like it was nothing more than a major scare. The final (hopefully) axe was dropped yesterday. We were all called to a meeting to learn that a married couple of teachers in our school unexpectedly lost their 1 year old daughter.
As our assistant principal pointed out, “we are being tested”. Since I have been in major prayer mode all year, I don’t know why these things are happening, but I later dropped to my knees and asked God to release the Satanic hold on our school. I am confident that He will.
My faith is at the strongest point it has ever been. Still, as mentioned, I am confused and shaken. As I reflected on this and asked God for assistance on how to put it together, I was forced to put my life in serious perspective. Although you never know when something tragic can happen, I quickly realized that I have never had to deal with any of these types of situations. At that moment I thanked Him for the health and protection of my family.
Life has been very kind to me, and although I have struggles like everyone else, I am blessed. Still, like anyone else, I have goals to grow. There are several unfilfilled parts of my life. However, it is now in a much different perspective.
At the same time I reflected on this, I was presented with a sermon from Rick Warren about goal setting. I find it amazing that, the first of the 10 steps he provides is to consider and realize where you are now in your life and assess your current situation. I don’t know if this is exactly what he meant, but as I considered where I am, I received a flood of thankful thoughts, regardless of how some areas of life remain unfulfilled. For example, I am not satisfied with my job. However, I have one and it pays decent. I was also reminded that at one time it was my dream job realized. I desire more wealth and sometimes complain and worry due to the debt bondage I have. I was reminded though, that based on what I have, I am more wealthy than 90% of this world. I sometimes complain about lack of freedom, yet I am at least physically able to do and go whatever and wherever I please.
Sometimes it takes difficult situations to experience the necessary perspective. As I watch the people I work closely with grieve and struggle, I am certainly viewing my life in a different perspective now. It’s amazing how this feeling of extreme gratitude has provided peace for me during this difficult time. As I plan my goals according to this message I heard (you can hear it at rickwarren.org), I realize that where I am is not so bad after all. I challenge you to do the same. Please don’t stop pursuing your goals, and make constant attempts to learn and grow. However, I recommend you assess where you are. Hopefully you will see that, even though you may not be exactly where you want to be, you have come a long way. Hopefully you will see that the road to your goal is not as long as you may have thought. I always say it…when you are thankful for the small things you have now, you are provided bigger reasons to be thankful and you receive greater blessings. That’s my prayer for you today 🙂