Navigating The Seasons Of Life
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Life has ups and downs, highs and lows, disappointments and accomplishments. We experience joy and sorrow. Life of course, brings with it trials, sufferings, and setbacks. To navigate the roller coaster of life, we need to have a properly calibrated compass. This compass is our authentic ideal. Is our compass pointed in the right direction? Find out, by reading more…
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 makes it clear that life has seasons. It tells us that there is an appointed time for everything. There is a time: to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot the plant, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to weep and a time to dance, a time to scatter and a time to gather, a time to embrace and a time to be far from embraces, a time to seek and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away, a time to rend and a time to sew, a time to speak and a time to be silent, a time to love and a time to hate, a time of war and a time of peace. What time is it right now for you? What season are you going through?
The song, “I Had A Dream,” from the musical Les Misérables speaks to the reality of life’s unfulfilled dream. The song contains this powerful lyric, “I had a dream that life would be so different from this hell I’m living.” There comes a time in most of our lives when we are forced to confront the reality that life has not always turned out according to our plan. Life brings stages when we are forced to pause and ponder our direction. When this happens, what will be the guiding beacon that directs our decisions?
In Philippians 3:13-14 Paul states the following, “Brothers, I for my part do not consider myself to have taken possession. Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.” Without a doubt, Paul had an authentic ideal that drove his life’s decision. He remained focused on the prize of Jesus Christ. Is Jesus the goal and ideal that drives all of your decisions?
Christian movements like Cursillo, Walk to Emmaus, Via de Cristo, Kairos and others define an ideal as: “the collection of ideas, aspirations (goals) and preferences that center our life, decide our will: it is the driving force that turns our efforts into realities (attracts a person and moves him/her towards its attainment). It sums up happiness for the person. It is the axis of that person’s life.” Every person has an ideal, even if they don’t realize it. Not all ideals are authentic, nor are they worthy and good, but we all have one.
If our ideal is an authentic ideal, it will be the beacon of light, the compass that helps us find our way when we are buffeted by storms, and when we attempt to navigate our way through the seasons of life. If, like Paul, we have Christ as our ideal, all the decisions we make in life will orient us towards our Heavenly Father. If we don’t have an authentic ideal, it will be like navigating life with a broken compass.
There are 4 key qualities to an authentic ideal:
- It should be a model of perfection. It should be the “main mast” in which our whole life is sustained.
- It should be more perfect than man can imagine. We should be able to lead our whole life for this ideal because it will lead us to maturity.
- It should have loftiness since it will give dimension to our personality.
- It should be accessible, if it isn’t, it would only be a fantasy.
The most authentic ideal is to be a true and committed disciple of Jesus Christ. A good Christian strives to live a life of perfection. The desire to follow in Jesus’ footsteps leads and orients our entire way of living. With the grace of our Savior, being a good Christian is a lofty, yet achievable goal.
So how can we tell what ideal is actually driving our life? It has been said, that in order to discover our ideal we simply need to observe in what direction our thoughts, our free time, our money, and our energy go.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Where are your thoughts?
- What do you think about most often?
- How do you spend your free time?
- On what do you spend your money?
- What pleases you most in life?
The answer to these questions will tell you what ideal is driving your life. If you discover that your current ideal is not what it should be, make a commitment today to recalibrate your compass and rededicate your whole heart, mind, and soul to God.
If your current ideal, has you going in the wrong direction, take heart in this passage from Ezekiel 18:21-22. “Thus says the Lord God: if the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed, if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him.”
We all have an ideal and it drives the direction of our life. Let’s be sure to have a Christ focused authentic ideal. It is never too late for a course correction.
Heavenly Father, I need your help. There are days when my compass gets stuck in the wrong direction. There are days when I fail to keep my thoughts, time and treasure aimed towards your Son. Guide me Lord in the right direction. Never allow me to lose my way. Amen!
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Your message with it’s questions & hope will take work to delve into. You have challenged me in a good way. Like most things in life it’s up to me to find the answers . Am I willing to do the work?
With Christ at the center ALL things come together.