These are interesting days we are living. A few weeks ago, we would never have guessed where we are today. Life can and will take a few twists and turns and a detour periodically thrown in for good measure. There is only one way for you to go, and that is forward! You may be tempted to run and hide, but ahead is the correct course and the only way to move through any difficulty in life. As we work our way through stressful times, what are things we should consider as we move forward?
- You are on a journey. Life is a journey, an adventure. Every journey has joy, sorrow, ups, downs, mountains, valleys. As on any journey, the journey of life is one of movement. We never remain the same and we cannot afford to stand still for long. Keep moving forward.
- Ask yourself this question: What have I learned in the hard places of life? Learning is a life-long process. The difficulties of life seem like a teacher that helps us to take a look at ourselves and our world and provides us with lessons that we would never have learned if ease was our constant companion. What are you learning these days?
- Make friends along the way. “Good company makes the journey seem shorter.” We are made for community. Friends make traveling easier and much more enjoyable. To have friends you must be a friend. Of all the things that one could neglect, do not neglect relationships with family and friends.
- Be kind no one has traveled this road before. “You are headed where we have never been before.” (Izaak Walton) Just as you have never been down this road before, neither has your family or friends. This is an opportunity to help and encourage one another as we each seek to make our way forward.
- Remember you are not in control of everything in your life. One of the sure signs of adulthood is the realization that I do not control everything. The reminder of the past few weeks has been that there are times when the banks, government, good intentions, and well-devised plans are helpless to make sense out of life. You and I do not call “all the shots.” I am glad today that I believe there is a God who was and is and always will be in control.
- Feed your heart and mind. Do not go backward and do not give up, keep pressing ahead and one of the ways to make sure that this is happening in your life is to keep learning and growing. Read good books, listen to podcasts, learn something through a webinar. Read the Bible and great devotional literature. When surrounded by much negativity, it is crucial to feed your heart and mind with good things.
- Remember you are a work in progress. Give yourself a break! Kindness should not only be extended to others, offer it to yourself as well. You will make mistakes. Things will not always work out as planned. Do not give up.
- Be Kind to others. “If no one around you measures up, you might consider using a different yardstick.” Just as you should be kind and generous with yourself, use the same yardstick for others. Most people are doing the best that they can, and you never know what they are going through. Kindness is an essential ingredient for life.
- Focus. For most of us, our problem is not a lack of time, but a lack of focus.
- Get things in order. Go ahead clean that closet or garage. Start saving for emergencies, get out of debt, set some goals. Preparation for the next difficulty begins right now!
- Stay in touch. Reach out to your family and friends. The best medicine for discouragement is to reach out and encourage someone else.
- Make a plan. What is your plan moving forward? What are the areas of your life you are going to work on? What needs to change? Write it down and begin to take incremental, consistent actions and over time you will see huge benefits.
Do not give up, we will get through this time and if we take the proper attitude and actions we will be stronger and better prepared for the next detour we encounter.