Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ready, Set, Go Dust Balls!

What a great day!  I slept well last night and woke up feeling good.  I have more energy lately because I am making good choices about eating and exercise. It is so dang hard sometimes, isn't it?

I don't mean making choices just about food but making the right choice about every decision presented.  (Where's that fresh bag of wisdom each morning when I need it?) I am often so short-sighted that I "sacrifice the future on the altar of the immediate." I have made decisions based on "right now" not thinking about the impact that decision will have in the long term.

Here's the deal: the older I get, the faster the future is catching up with me. That sounds like a quotable quip, but it is also the truth.  I think so much differently about each decision I make than I did twenty years ago.  There is a point in life when we believe we have a "looonnnnnnggg" time to redeem any mistakes we might make. I no longer think that way and should have never thought that way. We all know that we have no promise of tomorrow or even the rest of today.  We don't really believe it or we wouldn't live like we have forever.

We need to think like the little boy that heard in Sunday School "man was made from dust and to dust he would return." That afternoon when his mom chided him for all of the dust under his bed, he marveled, "there's a man under my bed, and I don't know if he's coming or going."  Sweet reader, that pile of dust is you and I.  That's how fragile our lives are apart from our creator.

I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to a group of teachers this week who were preparing their classrooms for back-to-school and their attitudes to be role models for children.  We expect everyone in our company to know the vision.

Part of the strength of the company's brand is that we all speak with One Vision, One Voice.  We have a strong, consistent message about who we are, what we do, and why we do it.  We quoted the company's vision together, talked about the core values, and the Principles of how we serve others.

Those are all wonderful concepts, and when we first started implementing the activities to make the vision and values become more than just words, it made me think, "what is my own personal life's vision?" What are my core values?"  What is my brand? In other words, what do people think of when they think of me?  Have you ever asked yourself that question?

I do.  I talk about the Lord, have walked with Him for many years, sometimes holding his hand, or running head or lagging behind.  I am like a child with my Heavenly Father - much like we all are.  We walk along happily with our Heavenly "Daddy," who remains consistent with a steady gate, while we dance and twirl and kick rocks (His loving arm catches us before we step in big pot holes, because we aren't paying attention or fall in a ditch because we wander off to far from His presence.).

What is my own strong, consistent message for who I am, what I do, and why I do it.  Anytime I ask an audience if they have established their own life's vision and determined what their core values are as individuals, I never have more than a few in each group indicate they have done so.

What is your life's vision?  Remember, "plans or goals are only dreams until they are first written down."  Now, for us "piles of dust," our visions can be written in our souls if we allow our creator to guide their creation; but sometimes we are so "heavenly minded, we are no earthly good."  (I didn't think of that, but it's a "good 'urn").  Let's take it from the spiritual to the practical realm; that is, after all, how we live out the Word of God, right? May I challenge you today to write your life's vision and core values? I want to share mine with you.

Vision - "That I might know Him, the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering, being made conformable unto His death." Phil 3:10

Values:  Memorizing the Word of God, spending time each day with my "Heavenly Daddy," living with personal and professional honesty, keeping a sense of humor, being physically fit, esteeming others better than myself.  (By the way, that is the only lesson the Bible ever teaches about self-esteem. The way to have it is to pour out ourselves in service to the Lord Jesus and others.  That's all I'm sayin' 'bout that - right now.)

I find that when I wander from my Vision, I am weakened and lose sight of my values.  When I do that, I try to fill the craving with temporal things that end up poisoning my heart, mind, and body (sacrificing the future on the altar of the immediate).   God gently pulls me from the pot hole (might have a sprained ankle and scuffed up elbows), sometimes the ditch, sets my feet back on the steady road and establishes my "goings."

We mentioned God pulling us from the pot hole before we fell in earlier in our discussion.  If we remain as children, not growing up and understanding the importance of staying close to Him, He will allow us to experience the pot hole.  It's a pretty silly sight watching a grown man or woman twirling around, giggling, falling in pot holes or ditches because we haven't grown and matured in the Lord or have reverted back to our childish ways.

I can't get aggravated at the children of Israel wandering around for forty years, because I know how my life's story would read when the writer told how I had wandered from my vision and failed on living out my values. I do not want my pot holes and ditches to become your allegory for "what not to do."

I would be the happiest, more joyful person in the world if when people thought of me, they thought of Jesus.  That will only happen if I live up to my Vision and operate according to my core values.  "On Christ the solid rock I stand.  All other ground is sinking sand."

Come on "dust balls," let's get rollin'.  Write your vision, values, stay close to your "fresh bag of wisdom every day, delivered by your "Heavenly Daddy" when you spend time at His feet.  The answer is so simple and so sweet.  I am a hugger and would hug you all right now if I could get my arms around you.  I'm approaching this day with joy.  You do the same.  Your fellow dust ball - Love, Mecca

PS. Any italicized quotes are something I have heard somewhere and just don't know to whom I should attribute them.