Mid-Summer Reflections

July 28, 2021

Not everything goes as planned. Have you heard or experienced that before? Its on a minor level as far as this blog is concerned, but that’s been the case this summer. Since I am on vacation from the stress and fast pace of teaching, I fully intended to write and share a great deal in the 8 weeks that I have off, both here and with a new book I’m writing. Well, so much for that.

It’s not that I’ve been doing nothing all summer. In fact, at the halfway point of my break, it’s been the perfect mix of peace and relaxation and fun and accomplishment. I should have a lot to write about since I have spent significant time developing my spiritual muscles and feel very close to God. Sometimes I feel like things don’t happen fast enough, but I am continually learning ways to speed up that process. I’ve also been able to travel twice in the past two weeks. One weekend at a reunion with college friends in the Adirondack mountains, and this past weekend on a family trip to New York City. Both expensive, yet priceless experiences. Other rewarding experiences have been the continual development of the golf game I started last summer, and responding to a friend’s challenge to learn German together. So far I’ve learned about 300 words in a month, and definitely feel like I can already use the language in a very minor way. Sehr gut, Joe!!

I can’t say I’ve learned a a whole lot of new ideas, but the great thing about this past month is that I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on and review what I already do know. And that is, that whenever I desire to talk to God and learn more about Him, He is there to help and guide me. Also, life is lived on the inside. I’ve shared it hundreds of times, and I’ve been reminded again in excess that the quality of life (thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs) on the inside are eventually what I experience on the outside in the exact quantity and quality.

I hope that, whether this is a peaceful or extra busy time for you, you can take some time to shape your own thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs to create joyful experiences and manifest excellence in your own life. Enjoy the blessings 🙂


Focus on This to Experience Heaven on Earth

March 30, 2021

I’ve been writing on this site for over 8 years now. It’s hard to believe, but I’ve written close to 400 articles. I don’t say this to brag or promote myself. Instead, I share this because it sometimes creates a humorous situation. When people ask me how I decide on what to write about, I provide the same simple answer…whatever is on my heart. Often times, whatever is on my heart is what I feel like God is prompting me to share, usually because I feel like He’s been speaking to me about it.

I’m surprised it didn’t start happening sooner, but during the past year, there were several times where I was given this great idea to write about it. I started writing, and what I was saying seemed awfully familiar. Not because I had read about it somewhere, but as I continued writing, I started to realize…I think I’ve written about this before. I then realized that was true. In fact, in some cases, I was using the exact same title I used for the previous article that was written years ago. I’ve even shared some of these recently.

The same thing happened this morning. I had been prompted to talk about this heaven topic. I was going to use the title “Can We Experience Heaven on Earth?” That was until I realized, I used that exact same title for an article I wrote in November 2018! You can read that article by clicking on the title link above. In that article, I talked about the Bible verse that says that the kingdom of heaven is among us. Not only is it among us or in our midst, but it is a part of our very being. For today’s article I had a bit of a different take in mind. I watched a message from I preacher I enjoy watching named Martin Trench. It was an excellent message that provides a picture of heaven, and also discusses this concept of experiencing heaven on Earth. The best part for me was how he simplified the process of seeking the kingdom of heaven. He shares several attributes of heaven, the most significant being the constant presence of God. He says that the best part of heaven is that you are constantly in God’s presence, and you continually experience that presence there.

This was really an awakening for me. God’s presence is all over heaven. But it’s also all over everywhere and everything on this earth. I realized that, instead of trying to keep in mind this mysterious kingdom that I can never possibly understand during my time on earth, I only need to focus on the presence of God! That’s something I’ve done many times, and I certainly know the power and wonderful feeling it brings!

Here’s a Bible verse that we can tie this to. Matthew 6:33 says to “seek first the kingdom of God and all else will be added to you.” Using the idea above, let’s just change that a bit and say instead to “seek first the presence of God.” I am not trying to twist scripture verses around. I am just finding that these words are synonymous. Understanding God’s presence is much easier than understanding God’s kingdom. It is not difficult to find and experience God’s presence because it is omnipresent. Any time you want to find God’s presence, you will. The difficult part, at least for me, is having the discipline to focus my mind on God’s presence instead of the circumstances or past failures in my life.

What happens when you seek the presence of God? From my experience, I can share several things. First, it brings an incredible peace. Whatever chaos is going on around me all of a sudden seems very insignificant. Second, I feel amazing! This is because instead of thinking thoughts of failure, negativity, and fear, I start thinking thoughts of love, power, and gratitude. As we think these types of thoughts, our overall energy vibration raises to a much a higher level. This then brings positive situations into our lives that match the positive thoughts and feelings. In essence, we begin to live heaven on earth. Our relationships are strengthened. People want to be in our company. We are healthier. We enjoy life more, which also enhances our careers, financial situations, and whatever else we want to accomplish in life. These are the things that are added onto us when we seek first the kingdom and presence of God.

The answer is the same now as it was in 2018, and it’s the same as it will be in 2028, or even 3018. Yes! You can experience heaven on earth. It may not be as beautiful as it is when we leave our bodies behind at death, but you can certainly experience heaven on earth by remaining consistently in the presence of God, and seeking it wherever you go. You don’t have to wait until you die. You can start right now. Enjoy the blessings 🙂


How to Live Your Dream Life

March 25, 2021

What is your dream life? It’s a question I think we all have an answer to. Or at least we should. Many know what their ideal life would look like. However, they don’t like to think about it because they feel like it could never happen for them. After all, it’s not fun to think about something that’s never going to happen.

I was reminded of this dream life idea while reviewing “A Course in Miracles.” I’ve gone through this course more than once, and I often spend time reviewing parts of it again and again, just like do for many other great books I’ve read. This book is full of great, Biblical advice about living in love, forgiveness, and joy. The part I read is from the Workbook chapter 132, paragraph 5. It says… “There is no world apart from what you wish, and herein lies your ultimate release. Change but your mind on what you want to see, and all the world must change accordingly.” The paragraph later adds that “it (your world) changes as you change your mind.”

How powerful is that? Who’s mind do you have the most control over? There’s only one answer to this question, and hopefully, you already know it. It’s you. Your own mind is the only one you have control over. This is good news! What I get from this quote is that, as you control your mind, you control your world and the circumstances in it. Take control of your mind (the Bible says to take every thought captive). Be sure to think only the highest quality thoughts. That will result in the highest quality circumstances.

Speaking of the Bible, it is filled with verses that back this up. I’ve shared these often, but I don’t think we can be reminded too many times. Proverbs 23:7 says that as a man thinks, so is he. Proverbs 27:19 says that “As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.” The heart in this case is one’s most predominant thoughts and beliefs. The manifestation of our desires in life is quicker and more powerful and stronger our beliefs are. My favorite Bible verse in the entire book is Mark 11:24 which says “I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.” You believe you have received it by aligning your thoughts and feelings as they would be if you had your desire in the outer world.

These are just a few of many verses that show that what you experience in your outer world is a direct reflection of the life you are living in your inner world. Now I know some of you are thinking that we can’t accomplish things by thought alone. We have to take action and make things happen. That is true. We can’t just sit idle and wait for things to happen. We do have to act. However, as I’ve shared many times, you are more likely to take action when your thoughts are right, and you believe you can have what you desire. If your thoughts are good, noble, and praiseworthy as the Bible suggests, the action you take will be inspired and productive as well. That’s another reason your desires manifest much more quickly when your thoughts are right.

So you want changes in your world? Then remember that your world changes as your mind changes. See the positivity, greatness and victory that you desire in the outer life in your inner world (your mind) first. Then the inspiration and direction to act will come to you almost automatically. Eventually, what you see in your mind you will experience in your life. I have seen this in my own life so many times. I challenge you to do this, and it will work for you too. Enjoy the blessings 🙂


The Importance of the F Word

March 12, 2021

During the past few weeks, I continue to be shown the significance of the F word. It is very important that I place my attention on it and use it as much as possible. The reason is that…

OK, stop it! I am not talking about THAT F word. I know you were thinking it. Seriously, I try to avoid thinking about and using that other F word. I’m sorry, I should stop now before this blog post becomes cursed. Anyway, there is another word that I keep being reminded of. I’ve written about it, I’ve heard sermons preaching it, and it has been part of almost every reading material I’ve come across in the past few weeks (do you think God is trying to drive it into my head and asking me to share?).

That magical F word is focus. Focus on what? It’s come up several different ways. Mainly, the discussions have been about focusing on positive thoughts. Focusing on whatever is “true, noble, right, lovely and admirable” according to Philippians 4:8 in the Bible. Focusing on who God says I am, not the false thoughts that I have or others may have about me. Focusing on the good in everyone else. Focusing on the fact that God is constantly working for my good. Focusing on the fact that in God I have all things, and all things are possible.

That’s a small sample of where my focus and your focus should be. Another reminder with this and why it is so significant is that what we experience in life is a direct reflection of what we focus on. If we focus on those things I mentioned, we experience situations and circumstances that back them up! If we focus on what’s wrong or what’s missing, that is what we will continue to experience. It’s such a simple formula. Yet so many (and I certainly add myself so many times) try to do things the hard way by trying to change the circumstances instead of the mental focus, which is the root of the problem. I’ve said it many times, but this is so liberating to me because it gives me full control! No one in this universe except for me determines my thoughts. It’s all in my control. Only you control your thoughts. It’s simply a matter of controlling your thoughts (remaining focused on them) and then letting the circumstances play out accordingly. If you like the thoughts, you will like the circumstances!

So keep reminding yourself of that F word… FOCUS! Constantly check in with your thoughts, to make sure they are high quality, just as you want your exterior life to be. The more you do it, the easier it gets, and the more rewarding your life will be. Enjoy the blessings 🙂

 


Driving Home the Point That Thoughts Matter

March 3, 2021

This may be a different way to begin a post than I normally do, but I will admit that I am not the most patient driver. In fact, if I’m being honest, I will say that I am rather nasty. I have many pet peeves when I drive. I don’t drive very fast, but I get frustrated easily when people drive under the speed limit unnecessarily, or I get angry at those who don’t use their turn signals. Others annoy me because they are simply clueless on the roads.

Now, I am not painting a very positive picture of myself so I’m going to quit while I’m behind. It always surprises people when I share about how impatient and inconsiderate I am on the road. Most that know me well would tell you that I am one of the most mild-mannered, patient, kind, and sympathetic individuals on the planet. In fact, some even criticize how far I will go just to avoid a conflict. Perhaps it’s because I learned to drive while living on Long Island (one of the most difficult places to drive), but for whatever reason, driving is the only time I behave so poorly.

I share this with you because my negative driving habits came to light this past week. We added another (and last) daughter to our auto insurance policy. In order to keep costs down, we are offered discounts for enrolling in an online defensive driving course. I spent the day on the computer and actually enjoyed this excellent course. It was also a major wake-up call. I realized that my bad attitude and corresponding bad driving habits like illegal passes, balancing all kinds of foods with the steering wheel, and spending more time checking what’s on the radio than what’s in front of me were not only dangerous to me, but also to those around me. I realized I needed to change these negative habits. I decided that I was immediately going to become more courteous and more focused when I drove. In fact, I was going to take it a step further. Not only was I going to be courteous. I was going to be the most courteous driver on the road!

After being such a nasty driver for so long, and having enough experience to know how life works, I expected immediate tests to my patience. I was curious to see how long this new attitude would actually last. For the first few days, I held my end of the bargain (even though my end was the only end). However, as the days went on, there were no tests! No slow drivers or series of red lights to test my patience. Everyone was doing what they were supposed to be doing. Traffic was flowing smoothly every time. Drivers were even being extra courteous to me!  Even the weather cooperated. On the first day after the test, it snowed for most of the day… except for the times I drove that day!

I’ve written countless articles on this site about how the circumstances in our lives reflect the quality of focus on our thoughts. If we focus on positive thoughts, we generally experience positive outcomes. Of course, the same correlation is true for negative thoughts. I’ve seen many examples of this in my life. However, this experience has been a very powerful reminder. I realized that, even though it was on a subconscious level, every time I got into the car, I expected negative situations, that I ultimately encountered. Now, as my focus and attitude changed, I stopped encountering these negative circumstances. Driving was actually a joy. And this change occurred instantly!

I share this reminder with you, my cherished reader. Be conscious of your thoughts. Continually watch what you focus your thoughts on. If the circumstances in a particular situation are not as you would like them to be, I challenge you to change your focus. Instead of thinking about what’s wrong or what you don’t have, focus instead on what is already right and good, or at least what could be positive about it. I find this very encouraging because this strategy puts us in full control. We may not be able to control some or all of the circumstances around us, but we can all control our thoughts and attitudes which have the ultimate effect on how the circumstances turn out. Your results may not be as immediate as they were in my situation, but in most cases changes occur very quickly.

Once again I remind you that you will experience in life whatever you focus your thoughts on. If you constantly see the negative in people and things, that’s what you will continue to experience. If you see the good in people in things, you will only experience more of it. In addition, as they did with my new driving attitude, the negative situations will eventually diminish if you keep focused on the positive. Not everything is always going to go our way, and I’m not saying you’re wrong if you’re not happy every minute of the day. However, I have learned from many experiences (and now this recent one) that good things happen when you look for them. Enjoy the blessings 🙂


Keep Me In The Moment

July 21, 2020

Singing oh Lord, keep me in the moment
Help me live with my eyes wide open
‘Cause I don’t wanna miss what you have for me.

These are lyrics from the latest Jeremy Camp song. They serve as an excellent reminder for me to focus on this moment. I often speak about the importance of living in the present moment. It is the only moment where we have full control of our state of mind and emotions. And remember, it is the quality of that state of mind and emotional level that controls the quality of our lives.

People always ask… is it ok to even think about the past? I would answer yes. It is good to think about the past if we are either re-living a positive memory or even using a negative situation as something to learn from and build upon. However, when we do that, we are doing it in the present moment. It is not good to think about the past if we are longing to go back to “the good old days” instead of living in the now. Or it is not good to dwell on the negatives in the past and feel angry or guilty about them and allowing those thoughts to affect your current emotional state in a bad way.

Is it ok to think about the future? Again, I would answer yes. I believe it is sometimes necessary to think about the future because it is valuable to use as a planning tool and for getting a solid picture and goal in your mind for what you want your life to be like. Once again though, you are actually doing that in the present moment. It is not good to think about the future as a way to escape your negative situations you may have today, or to fill your mind with worrisome thoughts about what bad things can possibly happen. Why would you negatively affect your present moment with thoughts of something that hasn’t even happened yet? I know it’s easier said than done, and I would be rather hypocritical if I didn’t admit that I’ve done it myself. In fact, I’ve been quite good at it for most of my life. However, I’ve learned that most of the situations I worried about never actually occurred, and more importantly that the quality of my thoughts and feelings on the inside now, at this moment, determines the quality of my life on the outside now and in the future.

The great news is that we have full control of our thoughts and feelings. And when we do have that control fully? In the present moment. Think about it. At this very moment, as you are reading this, what negative thing is happening? Ok, I guess I shouldn’t set myself up like that. Perhaps the negative thing is you think this article is horrible. Let’s step back from that and assume you’re enjoying the article. Seriously, unless something life-threatening is coming at you right now, if you focus solely on this moment right now, there is nothing negative about it unless you place your thoughts on it. That is true for any moment. There is nothing negative about the present moment unless you believe there is. Knowing this and the fact that you are the only one who can control what enters your mind and heart, I challenge you to pray this prayer to God. Ask for His help in keeping you in the moment. It is a glorious place to be, mainly because God helps keep your eyes wide open and ensures that you don’t miss the opportunities and blessings He has for you.

Prayer is one way that I anchor myself to the present moment. Simply meditating on the presence of God is an amazing way to feel the peace of the moment. Visualization is another way. I realize that we are often imagining future events when we visualize, but the key is to picture them as they are happening right now. When you remain aware of the present moment upon visualizing, it makes the process extra powerful. There are other ways to remain in the moment too, such as immersing in nature, listening to music, taking a warm bath, dancing, and many others. I would suggest you do what works best for you and adds the most joy to the experience.

As I live more in the present moment, I have a greater longing to remain there. Hanging on to the guilt of the past just isn’t attractive to me anymore. Worrying about the future is not worth it to me. I share this with you in the hope that you will join me in this peaceful, joyous place called the present moment. There is no better place to be. Enjoy the blessings 🙂


The New Normal

May 22, 2020

As we go through this Covid-19 crisis, we hear some often-used terminology that corresponds to it. For example, we hear that “we’re all in this together.” Even though I relate that more to High School Musical, I agree. We are told that our lives will be permanently changed and things won’t be the same as they’ve been. As a result, we’re told that we need to get used to “the new normal” that our society will become.

If I’m being honest, I will say that I have already heard enough of these cliches. Yes, I believe in teamwork and I am very happy to see the world unite for some wonderful causes. I also fully support those that are going way above and beyond their own personal strength to attend to the lives of others. I am also aware that the world as a whole will be different, and some of the things I’ve become accustomed to will be different. I’m just tired of hearing cliches and I prefer to listen for solutions instead. So I politely ask the media to please stop keep telling me about the new normal.

As I thought about this further, I thought about how far I’ve come personally since this whole world lockdown has begun. I am a teacher still working from home, but my available time to spend in self-reflection and in quality family time has significantly increased. Being away from the negative school environment has also completely renewed my mind and soul. I then began thinking about the things I could make the “new normal” in my own life, such as un-accomplished goals, unfinished projects, necessary changes, etc. Here are some things I came up with:

  • I am quick to act. Now that I have so much extra time for an indefinite amount of time, I have no reason to procrastinate. I’ve become quite good at that, unfortunately. I know how to fill my mind with great thoughts and to use my imagination to visualize the greatness that my life can be. It’s putting this to work and allowing it to manifest that’s been the problem. But now in this new normal, things get done immediately. The new normal is taking swift action towards what needs to be done to accomplish any task. I’ve already learned some excellent strategies about prioritizing to help maximize my time. Starting early and doing the most necessary tasks at the beginning of the day has helped immensely.
  • I am in great physical shape. Boy did I realize how much I had ignored my body in my pre-Corona life. I often take it for granted because I am in good health, and for the most part I appreciate my appearance. However, I’ve been slow to exercise for a long time. I know I would have far more positive energy if I was more active. In the new normal, I exercise regularly and I am in excellent shape. During the past few weeks I found an excellent exercise resource and I’ve been using it to add some spice to my exercise life. This along with regular family walks and some tennis time has led to major progress in this area.
  • I am others-focused. I love people and always enjoy learning about different ways that life is lived around the world. However, all through my life I’ve been a little too self-centered for my liking. I know it’s necessary and healthy for me to have quality me time and for my own needs to be met. My own love tank needs to be full before I go trying to fill the tanks of others. However, my own tank is quite full. So it’s time to really focus on filling up others with love. I make attempts to do that through my writing, and actions I do for my family and friends. The new normal in my life is a focus on meeting the needs of others and making a greater difference in this world.
  • I am anchored in the present moment. I often write about the benefits of remaining in the present moment. In the now, I am at my greatest point of power. I have nothing to be guilty about from the past, and nothing to worry about for the future. I have everything I desire and I am what I want to be in this moment. I realize how, when life gets busy, I tend to stray from the present. That’s when regret and anxiety creep in. In the new normal, this doesn’t happen. The only moment that matters is the present one, and I stick to it like glue. As a result, my life is empowered, and I take others to this higher level with me.
  • I see God in everything. This should actually be first as I “seek first the kingdom of God.” However, I put this one last as it’s the one I want to stick with me the most as I look at this list. Remember, when we seek God first, all else is given to us automatically. In my quest to accomplish things, I sometimes look to the outside and to the goals themselves as the ruling motivation in my life. However, in order to accomplish on the outside, I know I have to be right on the inside. Focusing on God and seeing Him in every person and every thing is where my true motivation should be. Thanking Him for what I have, being joyful, and being in constant communication with him (see I Thessalonians 5:16-18) puts me in a position to bring God maximum glory, and adds immensely to the blessing I desire my life to become. This is the new normal in my life.

So how about you. Let’s put the cliches aside. What’s the new normal in your life going to be starting now? I challenge you to think about that and find ways to put it to practice. I encourage you to share them on the comments here. Doing so will provide more excellent ideas for me to aspire to, and for anyone else reading this as well. Thank you in advance. Enjoy the blessings 🙂


How to Increase Your Blessings

April 16, 2020

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” – Zig Ziglar.

This quote is one I’ve done my best to live by for years. In doing so, I realize its truth. Not everything goes our way all the time. However, I know from experience that when we are thankful for the great things in our lives, and for the not so great things, we are rewarded by God with more reasons to be grateful.

I can say that it also makes the quality of our overall lives so much better. When you are sincerely thankful with all your heart, your overall energy vibration is greater. That also opens you up to receive greater blessings in life and helps you do the same for those around you.

Although it may be difficult in today’s situation, I challenge you to look around and find things you can be thankful for. As you enjoy the comfort of your home, eat a nice meal, breathe clean air, use the technology, or whatever you can think of, be thankful for it. It will boost your emotional state immediately.

And as I end this short post, I sincerely thank you for reading and visiting my humble site. Have a great day 🙂


What Should You Focus Your Thoughts On?

March 19, 2020

As we watch the news during this Coronavirus outbreak, we can see that the entire world is focused on it. It is understandable, as this is a truly unprecedented event. However, I think too many of us are placing too much of our mental focus on this. Even though it is a very concerning situation that does need some of our attention and vigilance, I remind you that there are still so many good and positive things in the world to focus on as well.

My challenge to you today, among the negative news blitz, is to try to find those positive things. Those who know me well hear me say this on a regular basis…YOU GET IN LIFE WHAT YOU FOCUS ON. It’s a simple fact. If you focus on what’s wrong with the people or circumstances of your life, you will be given more reasons to complain. On the other hand, if you appreciate what you have and find the good in people and events in your life, you will experience more things in life to be thankful for.

I am not saying that simply thinking positive thoughts will make this disease or any negative situation in your life just go away. You do need to be vigilant and take common-sense, precautionary steps with this dangerous sickness. You also need to find solutions to other negative issues in your life. However, let us not put all of our mental energy on these things. Instead, let us focus on the thoughts that will bring blessings into our lives. Philippians 4:8 says to continually place your focus on positive thoughts. The Amplified version says it like this… Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].

Not only are we to focus on these thoughts, but we are to focus on them continually. I like how it adds that if we center these wholesome thoughts in our minds, they sink into our hearts. What that tells me is that the more we focus our minds on these beautiful, edifying thoughts, WE BECOME WHAT WE THINK ABOUT!

I challenge you again. As difficult as it might be these days, find times throughout the day to monitor your thoughts. What am I thinking about right now? Am I thinking worrisome, anxious thoughts? Or am I thinking pure, beautiful, positive, and wholesome thoughts? The more you do this, the more it becomes habit. If you find yourself thinking negative, unwholesome thoughts, do not fret. Simply turn your thinking around to reflect what is excellent, worthy of praise, etc. The more your thoughts are of this nature, the more the circumstances in your life will reflect the same positive, praiseworthy nature. If you need help in finding good things to focus on, I provide a day to day guide in my book 30 Days to a More Powerful Life.

The great thing about this is that the process doesn’t take too long. Sometimes I have gone days before I realize I’ve let my thoughts get out of control and I am feeling negative as a result. Once I regain control of my mind and think these positive thoughts, it is almost immediately that I begin feeling good and start to experience positive life results as well.

As the Bible verse would convey, God wants us to maintain positive thoughts about His goodness instead of the negative events going on in the world. Continue to think these thoughts, and let them sink into your being. You will then not only experience peace through difficult times, but you will also see the corresponding blessings play out in your life. Enjoy 🙂


Can This Coronavirus Shutdown Be a Good Thing?

March 18, 2020

As you know by now, the Coronavirus is taking over the world, forcing people and businesses to put life on hold. As of this writing, we are in the middle of the first week of schools, businesses, entertainment, and pretty much everything else shutting down. In fact, some cities have just begun mandated quarantines.

This adjustment and drastic slow down in life is definitely very difficult for all of us to get used to, especially for those of us who are so used to moving at a very quick pace. However, is it possible that this shutdown and life alteration could be a positive thing?

Before I answer the above question, I will first say that I understand how serious this situation is. I admit that at first, I didn’t. I had difficulty figuring out how a sickness that was less significant than others in the past was taking over society, while before life went on. However, as we are in the middle of it now, I realize how serious it is. Many people are becoming ill. Some are dying. Others have people they love that are being affected. For these people, this virus is not a good thing.

I will add that the virus and its impacts are not good for anyone. However, for this rest of this article, I admit I’m going to be a little selfish. Not in a bad way, but I will share things from my perspective and my situation. I am sure some of you are in a similar situation and can relate to what I’m about to share. My hope is that this post can ultimately be an inspiration to anyone who reads it.

So back to my question above. Please allow me to share some personal background. For the past few months, I’ve been a little down emotionally. Even though I have many great things and people in my life, I feel like I’ve been going through the motions, and feeling basically spiritually dead. I still pray, read the Bible, and listen to inspirational messages, but it has been just taking in info instead of being applied to make a difference. I’ve been feeling content, but not joyful. Satisfied, but not fulfilled. I know I’m here for a great purpose, but I still don’t know what that is, and feeling like I’m nowhere near fulfilling that purpose. I’m obviously tired of feeling this way, so I had a real heart to heart prayer with God, asking for His intervention. In my prayer, I was so desperate that I even at one point asked for some debilitating injury or even traumatic event in my life (not that I REALLY wanted that) because I felt like the only thing that would truly wake me up and drag me out of my comfort zone would be something that big.

Well, here we are. In effect, my prayer has been answered. I feel bad that it comes at the expense of other people, but the bottom line is that I am now receiving the downtime and chance to truly wake up and reach my destiny. I am a teacher at a school that may be off for 5 weeks, or it could turn out to be 5 months. I am unable to travel or take advantage of this time by attending sporting events, going out to eat, taking a road trip, or anything that I would typically do for leisure. I watch hours of sports every week. That’s gone indefinitely. I can’t even go to church these days.

Please know I don’t say this to complain. Yes, I miss my primary forms of entertainment. However, as I said before, this is exactly the golden opportunity I’ve been waiting for. I’m not happy that people are sick and dying. Everything is shut down. Yet, I know I have an opportunity to turn my life around. I vow to take advantage of this new life-style. I am hoping that I am so ingrained in it that, once things do eventually get back to normal, there will be no going back. The changes I want to make in my life will already be firmly entrenched, and I only go forward from there.

There are several areas I desire to change, and that can be done starting now. Perhaps some of these resonate with you…

Personal/Spiritual – I have been fighting a major confidence battle lately. Much of that is because I have not spent sufficient time in prayer, meditation, or being spiritually in touch with who I really am. With so much downtime and very little interference, it should be much easier to get back on track spiritually, spend quality time with God, and see His spirit and energy in everyone and everything.

Family – I have the best family in the world, hands down. However, I tend to take them for granted. Since my wonderful family is in the same situation as I am, this is a wonderful time to strengthen the bond that we have. Quality time together will certainly be treasured.

My life work – As I mentioned earlier, I believe I am here for a reason. I am here to somehow make a difference on this planet and glorify God in the process. Overall, I am happy to be a teacher in a school and I believe I am making a small difference there. However, the negative environment, the sometimes difficult people, early wake-up calls, and constant stress on my brain leaves me unfulfilled and again thinking I was made for much more than that. Here is a golden opportunity to seek and find my true purpose, and to actively pursue it as well.

Health – I am generally a healthy person. However, as I have often neglected my spiritual side lately, I have also neglected my physical body. I have not exercised or kept very physically active. What a golden opportunity this is to get on an exercise routine (definitely not in the gym which is shut down and I never went anyway) and strengthen my body along with my mind.

Friends – I have some great friends. Again, I tend to take them for granted. This is a great time to renew friendships. We may not be able to meet in person as much (if at all), but modern technology makes it easy to stay in touch and share good times

The bottom line is that, as long as society is shut down, I want to take full advantage of the situation in order to renew my mind and body, and to renew my relationships with those closest to me, and with God. Once again, I want to be so changed for the positive and be living at such a high emotional energy level that when the pace of life gets back to its normal level, there will be no going back to the lower spiritual vibration I was at, even if I wanted to.

It’s not just me that has this chance. It’s an opportunity for everyone to do the same. I pray that you stay healthy. Use this time to make mental and physical changes that will make you a better person than you already are once this crisis is over. It’s my prayer that God will use this to bring people closer to Him, and it will actually make this world a better place. Enjoy the blessings 🙂