The quote that I want to highlight this week is one that I came across recently as I was doing some reading. It has to do with change. Before I tell you the quote, I realize that some people like change and others do not. That's not really what this quote is about. Change happens all the time and some of us embrace it and some of us do not. But what stuck out to me was this quote:
"Unimplemented change eventually becomes regret. So change." (Carey Nieuwhof)
This has far more to do with how I change personally than change that comes at me from external sources. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard or thought, "I felt I should have done ______, but I didn't, and I really wish I had." It is amazing how many times there are opportunities to do something (or conversely, to avoid doing something) and we miss it. Sometimes it's because we are fearful. Sometimes because it is too much work and we are lazy. Sometimes because we are unsure if it will work. Sometimes because the status quo seems preferable. Yet so often in those cases, we will eventually look back and wish that we had the done that thing that we knew was right. We knew God was leading us into it, but we did not. So what change is God leading you into today?
- Making a change in your career / job?
- Embracing a relationship? Getting out of a relationship?
- Asking for forgiveness? Forgiving someone?
- Taking a risk to volunteer for something you have not done before?
- Step into a leadership role?
- Go back to school?
- Change a habit or two?
Whatever it is, I encourage you to go for it. If God is leading you into it, then do it. I do not want to get to the end of my life and have regrets. I'd rather give it a shot and see where God takes me. I am sure that deep down you feel the same. Change is going to happen regardless, so it is so much better if you own it and change proactively rather than reactively.
So take a deep breath and make the change. It will be so much better than regret.
Today is my anniversary. It is one of the celebrations that I enjoy a lot because to me, at least, it is very significant. Thirty years ago my wife and I made commitments to each other that we have kept for all this time. It has been a marvelous ride and I hope to have thirty more. Yet what I have noticed over the years is a truth that spurs this weeks quote. It is true within marriage, but it is true everywhere else in life as well. It goes like this:
"Where comparison begins, contentment ends." (Craig Groeschel)
Here's how you know this quote is true. Picture this scenario.
You are perfectly content with you house. You love how you have decorated it, what it looks like, the colors, etc. Then one day you get invited to someone's house and as you walk into their house you notice their kitchen is amazing. The new cabinets are fantastic and all the latest gadgets are in place. The marble counter tops are beautiful and the the way they have their lighting set up is cool. When you go home that night and walk into your own house you see, almost like for the first time, how worn things are, how dated they are, how it's a little more dreary than you would like, and suddenly dissatisfaction begins to creep in. What has changed? Nothing . . . except that you are now comparing what you have with someone else.
I see what someone else has and I want it.. As you know, there is nothing wrong with something nicer or better, but the question is all about why I want those things. The desire to compare and the discontentment it brings is deadly. It is not just in stuff either - it happens everywhere. We can compare our marriage with other people's marriages. Our kids with other people's kids. We compare with their education, their influence, their clothes, their hair . . . and the list could go on and on. We are told in the bible that we are to live lives of contentment. When I begin to compare, to see and notice what the other person has that I don't and why I need to have it, I will become increasingly unhappy. This never leads to good choices or behavior.
I felt like God was telling me at the start of this year to practice contentment. Contentment is something I choose, not something that happens to me. So I will make a routine of thanking God for what I have, thanking him for what others have, and realizing that no matter what my circumstances, I can rest content. In the end, knowing Jesus is what makes this all possible because he has provided everything I need for this life and the next.
We are in week #6 of Memorable Quotes. The following quote is one that might be known to you. It has been used in business, military and personal life. It has been used to help people organize and prioritize their lives.
“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.” (Dwight Eisenhower)
If anyone had reason to make this statement, it was Eisenhower. He was the 34th President of the United States from 1953 until 1961. Before becoming President, he served as a general in the United States Army and as the Allied Forces Supreme Commander during World War II. He also later became NATO’s first supreme commander. He had to make tough decisions continuously about which of the many tasks he should focus on each day.
We waste a lot of time, mental energy and effort on things that do not move us towards what is ultimately most important to us. What I have found useful in deciding how to plan is actually something called the Eisenhower method. It goes simply like this:
Priority 1 are those things that are both important AND urgent. Get these things done.
Priority 2 are those things that are important but not urgent. Make a decision on when to do these things. Schedule them. Make them happen.
Priority 3 are those things that are urgent but not important. Delegate these if you can. Do them when you cannot make movement on priorities 1 and 2.
Priority 4 are those things that are neither urgent nor important. Honestly, these should probably never get done.
This requires honesty on what is really important and not shying away from these things because they are uncomfortable or require risk. I have found that if what is important is a large task, then breaking it down into smaller units is helpful for moving the ball forward. Otherwise it is too easy to be overwhelmed.
When I get to the end of any day, week, year (or ultimately at the end of my life) I want to know that I have put my utmost into what lasts.
Weldon Lemke has been leading Hope Chapel since 2009 with a passion to see people come to know God and grow to maturity in Him.