When you think about the next level what comes to mind? Is it career, home, job, or relationship? For so many of us, the next level is scary no matter what area of our lives we consider. Why is that? The number one reason that we hesitate to move to the next level in anything, is because we fear the unknown. Going to the next level will require more of us. We will have to change the way we do things. It may even require that we leave some people and situations behind. The next level will also require us to give more of our time, talents, and gifts. Because to whom much is given, much is required. Then there’s the problem with maintaining the next level once you get there. We have our current level down to a science. Matter of fact, we can do what we do in our sleep, and some of us do.
The second reason the next level can be scary, is the fact that we are comfortable with the known. We know the enemy in our house. We just don’t know what might be outside. Therefore, we remain in situations that have died long ago. Either we are tired of those around us, or we are tired of seeing ourselves in the same spot day in and day out. Doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong with where we are, but there is this voice inside our head that keeps telling us, that more is possible and deserved. On the one hand we tell ourselves that we should be content with where we are, because there are people who have less than us. So why are we complaining? It’s not that we are complaining, but we don’t want to get complacent either. It is so easy to say this is good enough. If everybody said that, then there would be no millionaires.
There have been times when someone offered to bless me, and I would say you don’t have to do that. Their immediate reply would be, “I know I don’t have to, but I want to. So don’t block MY blessing.” It wasn’t until recently that I have come to realize the blessing in being a blessing. I have always loved to give and do for others but often times found I was unable to do so. The reason was, because I was looking at what was in my hands.
During my morning readings I was directed to Ecclesiastes, chapter 12, where the following stood out for me: “You will limp along like a grasshopper when you walk. Your appetite will be gone. Then you will go to your everlasting home, and people will go to your funeral.” My first thought was, no appetite? I’m just being honest because I love to eat. Once I got pass that thought, my mind went to the importance of being prepared for emergencies, versus holding your hand so tight that nothing comes in and nothing goes out. There is no better feeling than being able to help someone, especially when you think about the people who have helped you along the way. No matter how hard you try you will never be prepared for every emergency that comes your way. Although the rich may be able to pay for whatever pops up, no one will be able to take anything with them when it’s all said and done. So keep in mind what Suze Orman says, “People first, then money, then things.” If I never get another “thing” I will be fine, but there are a few people who make it all worthwhile.
We all know that the heart is the main organ in the body, so naturally when something compromises the heart the whole body is affected. Most of us probably don’t even realize how many of our actions are based on where our heart stands. We say things like, “If your heart’s not in it then don’t do it”, “The heart wants what it wants”, and, “I’ve had a change of heart.” All of those statements determine how you respond to any given situation.
This week I had someone ask me for a hug. As much as I love giving hugs, I was a llittle hesitant because my heart was not on it. Rather than give them a pretentious hug, I decided to address the issue of where my heart is. After hearing what I had to say, the both of us decided to give each other another chance, and a heartfelt hug was shared. Sometimes all it takes is a moment of honesty and a change of heart to change your circumstances. As humbling as that may be, the reward can be priceless. The conversation and hug I shared today changed my future.
Give me a seed and I will make it grow. No, I’m not talking about planting a seed in a flower pot or the ground. I’m talking about a seed of hope, a seed of love, or a seed of joy. We have all been given seeds from God. What we choose to do with them is up to us. But don’t eat your seed! Life should not always be about me, me, and me. When God blesses you He can always make it go further than you could ever dream. It may seem like you barely have enough for yourself, but I have come to realize that the minute I give to someone else, I watch more come back to me.
A seed does not come alive until it dies. We need to be dead to some of our ways, dead to our thinking at times and even dead to others. Yes! If you know for a fact that someone means you no good, don’t answer the call or text. They will eventually stop calling. I read somewhere the other day that if you are not losing friends, then you are not growing. That’s interesting. I have a new appreciation for the friends that I have lost.
Then there are seeds that we see in others. We have to be careful how we allow those seeds to be sewn into our lives. Don’t plant someone else’s opinion of you in your mind. Don’t operate in your gifts based on the belief system of another. Why would you make a major decision that you will have to live with the rest of your life, based on what someone else thinks? That just doesn’t make sense. Of course, we have to consider others if we are married or in relationships. I’m not suggesting that you do whatever you want to do regardless of your partners’ ideas. But be careful that you do not lose sight of you in striving to please another. We all have important seeds to sow and grow.