Before we awake each morning, our day is already set. The day unfolds like a steeplechase course with hazards and barriers. Circumstances test our wit and our grit. People cross our path. Some encourage or assist and propel us forward in the race. Others impede our progress with distraction or obstruction. As the reality of the day hits, we either struggle to stay afloat or make peace with life. The former results in stress and frustration; the later, in shalom—feelings of satisfaction and significance.
Five principles form an empowering framework to meet each hurdle confidently. They help us to keep our focus, undeterred by anything or anyone along our course. The freedom derived from these 5 concepts enable us to run strong and finish well. With these principles firmly embedded in heart and mind, we quickly recover when we stumble. By them, we make peace with life.
1. Nothing in life happens by chance nor by accident, but by design and with intention.
We may not understand the greater purpose or design, but that in no way alters the fact that everything happens for a reason. We are told that just as any artistic masterpiece reflects the genius, character and personality of its creator, so the entire universe reflects the glory of its Creator.
At each phase of the creative process, the Almighty stepped back, as it were, to consider his handiwork. Each time He declared, “This is good!” A master craftsman knows intuitively when his physical creation perfectly expresses the idea his mind conceived. There is nothing random nor haphazard about the universe. Trust the Almighty with the design and intention.
2. God is good—everything He creates is designed for a good outcome.
Two attributes describe the Almighty— God is Light…God is Love. Light generates life, love nurtures life. All that the Almighty created and continues to create day by day is designed to generate and nurture life. As we negotiate the barriers and hazards on our course, we come through better, stronger, wiser, happier and more enduring.
What about disasters and calamities? In 1988, we experienced Hurricane Gilbert, one of the worst in Jamaica’s history. The devastation was massive and recovery took months. Two observations emerged.
Farmers and environmentalists noted that the affect of the hurricane was similar to a giant broom sweeping across the island leaving a clean floor on which healthy new growth sprang forth. Second, local and international journalists noted the overwhelming response from relief agencies and governments of various nations to the ensuing desperate need. The same occurred after the earthquakes in Haiti and Nepal and the tsunami in Japan. These ‘silver linings’ do not compensate for the horrible loss of life, but they do give hope that human compassion is not yet extinct.
3. Each day is filled with assignments and tasks—some are endurance training and some are preparation, each will be repeated or rewarded.
Every incident we encounter is an opportunity to test our mettle and to exercise our skills. The purpose of some situations is to equip us for a later assignment. We must pay close attention and learn the lessons well. Otherwise, we may have to repeat the experience until we get it. Assignments that are completed well are rewarded with greater responsibilities and more demanding assignments from the Almighty.
We must learn to connect with people we meet. Many remain friendly acquaintances, but some connections become important relationships. Their value is not only the benefit they bring to us, but also the blessing that is ours as we bring benefit to them. Some may play a significant part in an assignment down the road.
4. Some assignments are bigger than us—they require skill, knowledge and power beyond what we have.
Our tendency is to look at circumstances (and life) in a natural way only. Some situations we encounter in a day, however, are more than we can handle naturally. These remind us that there are times we need supernatural help. The impossible circumstances provide opportunity to cultivate authentic faith for living in the real world. We learn how to invoke the Holy Spirit’s power and experience the assistance of angels. The Almighty does not intend for us to run the race in our own strength.
5. “Why” is this happening is not as important as “what” will I do with what I’m facing.
Our ultimate purpose in life is to be the carriers of God’s glory (i.e. the attributes of the Almighty) into every situation we encounter. It is not an impossible task; it is a process.
- We choose to trust the Almighty with our life and with each new day that dawns. He accepts, and promises to walk us through our day.
- We invite the Spirit of the Almighty to infuse us with Light and Love. He does, and the supernatural dimension in us is activated.
- We practice listening for His instructions—sometimes called intuition, gut feeling, listening to our heart. As we practice, our mind and heart become skillful at distinguishing the voice of the Almighty from every other voice. We may make mistakes initially, but we learn quickly.
- We embrace the partnership—our best effort and Holy Spirit’s supernatural empowering. As the partnership matures, the results will amaze and delight us.
We either struggle to stay afloat or we make peace with our life. Our day is filled with stress and frustration or with shalom. Transformation is activated by our choice.
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