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Archive for November 15th, 2014

Dear Friends,

Bad things happen to good people… But good things also happen to good people. It is what we choose to do with what happens to us throughout our lives what makes the difference on how our lives turn out to be. Every choice we make, since the moment we have the capacity to make decisions at a young age, has a consequence—good or bad. As children, when we knew what our parents told us to be “good or bad behavior” and chose to do the bad behavior, we made a decision that brought consequences to our lives. Maybe at that point was a punishment of some sort that our parents came up with, like missing going to the movies with our friends, or not getting ice cream that day. As teenagers, the world presented us the choices of doing drugs, drinking alcohol, stealing, or getting involved in sexual relationships before marriage. The fact that “everyone’s doing it” doesn’t make any of it right and there are severe consequences to each one of those choices.

As young adults, we chose to finish high school or not. We then chose to go to college or not. Even though for some people it is difficult to attend college when we wanted to due to outside circumstances (like in my own life example), it doesn’t mean we should give up on our dreams and the choice we made earlier in life to further our education. We simply need to do it later.

Our lives move on to adulthood when we have responsibilities of work and having a family. Some people choose to simply have a job with no career aspirations. Others choose to have a career and select each job as a stepping stone to their ultimate goal. Some people decide to get married and others don’t. Some people want to get married but haven’t found the right person and need to wait. Some couples choose to have children and some don’t. As we have children, some couples agree to continue to work and some choose to have one parent stay home caring for their children.

All those choices we make throughout our lives have good or bad consequences. Then life happens. Something unexpected happens that leaves us wondering what to do next. It could be anything like the loss of a parent, a child, a spouse, or a sibling, or simply a loved one. Or it could be the loss of our jobs, which is painful at any age but more difficult to recover as we get older. A natural disaster can hit our town and we lose our home in an instant. Or the market crashed and we lost our entire life savings, which happened to many people in the last financial crisis. Life as we know it is gone. We have to rebuild our lives again.

It doesn’t matter what the life event is or why it happened. What matters is how we respond to each incident, how we get up after the fall, and how our attitude matters each time. There are some things we can do to help us get back on our feet:

  1. Never let go of God. Good and bad things will happen to all of us and we need to have God on our side at both times. During bad times, it’s easier to recognize our need for God in our lives and we seek His hand as well as His heart. During good times, it’s easy to forget God and that we still need Him. We may not need His hand (meaning financial help) but we still need His heart.
  2. Be humble. At any time in our lives we need to stay humble at heart. In bad times, we need to be humble but confident (confidence doesn’t mean pride or arrogance). Our confidence comes from knowing that God is with us. Being humble is recognizing we need the help from others. In good times, we need to be humble and not forget that everything we have came from God because He entrusted it to us.
  3. Get up and start again. With a positive attitude, avoiding a victim mentality, and hard work, we can get up and start again. Being grateful for what we do have in times of loss or lack is key to our survival.
  4. Help others. Life is not about us. It’s about helping others. When we help others during their time of need and also during their times of success, they will be there for us when we need a hand.

So when you look at your life right now and find there are some things you don’t like or want, think of the choices you have made along the way. You always have the opportunity to make changes in your life. Some changes may take longer than others to produce results but I truly believe our lives are the result of each choice we have made during our journey.

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