Life has a way of throwing surprises our way. Sometimes they're pleasant, other times -- not to much. But, if there's anything I've learned in my 27 years (don't laugh -- I know I still have a lot to learn) on this Earth it's that very few things are permanent -- or, more plainly stated: Change is a natural part of life. Unfortunately for me, I've never been a big fan of it (change, that is). Nonetheless, without it I wouldn't be able to enjoy the wonderful blessings God has allowed me to experience.
Let's face it: Sometimes, change is painful. Other times, it's down-right scary. But, what I've come to learn is that whatever emotions it brings to the surface, it's necessary.
Recently, I found myself stagnant in my faith. I realized -- gasp -- it's time for a change! For so long, I've felt pretty stationary, neither changing, nor evolving in my understanding of Christ, Biblical principles and the relation of the former tenets to my own journey. So, a few months back, I sat down with my journal and tried to target the areas in which I'm deficient -- areas in which I truly need to grow, not only in my understanding of the Lord, but also in the ways in which I think and interact with others.
As I sat and thought through the major issues I've faced (and continue to), God gave me a very solid list of six elements, in order form, that I can and should work on within myself. Collectively, I call them my "ChristLog," as they are truly the items I need to improve upon to not only have a healthier relationship with God, but to also continue growing in nearly every possible respect. Even if you're not a Christian, I believe you can take this same principle (i.e. pinpointing the blemishes within yourself, jotting them down and working through them on a regular basis to improve upon yourself).
I am by no means perfect. Trust me. But, this list is something I can look at daily as a reminder of the areas in which I fall short. Remember, these are issues -- in order -- that I believe I need to work on within myself (yours may be different). I decided to share these items with you in an effort to be transparent, while showcasing some of the areas I believe many of us, especially Believers, struggle in. So, here's my list. Please let me know if you compose your own ChristLog. Would love to hear about it!
Let God take the helm: Quit trying to be in total control (there's. At the end of the day, very few life occurrences are completely controllable. Seek God's guidance in everything: Jobs, major decisions and the like. Go to God daily (something I still struggle with this, mainly because of time -- which is a terrible excuse). But, truly letting go and letting Christ guide the process is the best way forward.
Believe God for everything and anything: Christians are always saying that God can do anything. But, I limit Him way too much. Sometimes, the weight of life can be overwhelming, but why not challenge myself to truly believe that He is capable of doing everything and anything? Essentially, I need to quit limiting God's power in my own life. This ties back to letting him take the helm, no?
Be content and satisfied with what God has given: Instead of focusing on what's next, why not enjoy what's happening "now?" I need to calm it down a bit and take a moment to smell the fresh air. Ambition has always been a blessing, but it has also been a curse. Sometimes, I fail to appreciate the unbelievable experiences I've been blessed to have. Sometimes, God wants us where he wants us and not necessarily where we want to be. Understanding this can be freeing to say the least. I'm still working on that.
Learn self-control in all areas of my life: There are so many areas here to focus upon. But, everyone struggles in this area in some way. Avoiding temptations, making the right decisions, etc. Once one accepts that God's at the helm and learns to take the passenger seat and allow Him to do the steering, this area will become a bit easier. It's a process.
Be the best husband I can be: Self-explanatory. And, it's an ongoing process.
Accept situations that are out of my control: Let's face it. Even after we let God take the helm, there are certain issues (family problems and more extreme examples of emotional turmoil) that are virtually impossible to look past. Accepting that some of these unfortunate incidents and ongoing events are reality is the first step. Then, praying for healing on an ongoing basis is the next step. Again, it's a process. Sometimes, we simply can't control what's going on in our lives, especially when it concerns others around us. So, we forge on -- but with God on our side.
So, what does your ChristLog look like? What do you struggle with? Think of this as a contract with yourself. Trust me -- it's a huge help. Learn more about God here.