Sunday, April 27, 2014

Living A Fulfilled Life

Fulfilled. What a word! Two simple syllable and yet so elusive to our frazzled and restless hearts. Who among you haven’t yearned for something even faintly resembling fulfillment in our frantic demanding “what-have-you-done-for-me-lately” world?

Fulfilled is a great word. The only issue is finding it. You can find several definitions in the dictionary but do you have it in your everyday life? I am sure several people will offer anything in order to have a fulfilled life. Wouldn’t you?

Can I share with you some principles for a fulfilled life? These are principles I got from reading books and listening to audio messages, and they’ve helped me a lot in my search for satisfaction and fulfillment.

Count Your Blessings

Have you read my earlier article on “Count Your Blessings, Don’t Discount them”? If not, I recommend you take time to read it. Fulfillment has eluded most of us because we have not learnt to be grateful for the little things around us. “But godliness with contentment is great gain” opined a wise writer. Never take things for granted. Be grateful for the things you have and can afford.

Find Joy In The Ordinary

Eternal instants and moments. We’ve all witnessed them though we let them go without finding joy in it. Putting your arms in your husband's as you take an evening stroll. Listening to your 6 year old thank God for everything from goldfish to grandma. Never you underestimate the ordinary. They are laden with greatness.

Finish The Race

We live in a world that is only crazy about winning, not about finishing. You don’t have to win always. But you have to finish. Hang in there. Finish. Stick to it until it is done. But unfortunately, very few of us do that. Our human tendency is to stop before we cross the finish line. Our inability to finish what we start is seen in the smallest of things - A partly mowed lawn; a half-read book; letters begun but never completed; an abandoned diet.

Are you close to quitting? Please don’t do it. Are you discouraged as a parent? Hang in there. Are you weary with doing good? Do just a little more. Are you pessimistic about your job? Roll up your sleeves and go at it again. No communication in your marriage? Give it one more shot. Can’t resist temptation? Accept God’s forgiveness and lean on grace to be strong to overcome. Is your day framed with sorrow and disappointment? Are your tomorrows turning into nevers? Is hope a forgotten word?

Remember, a finisher is not one with no wounds or weariness. Quite to the contrary, he, like the boxer, is scarred and bloody. He finishes what he starts. He finishes strong. I strongly recommend you read the book “Finishing Strong” by Steve Farrar. I have personally read it more than three times!

Stay Positive

A positive attitude in invaluable in today’s world. There are a thousand and one things that will not happen the way you want it to happen every single day. How you respond or react to them will go a long way in determining whether you will be fulfilled or frustrated. It is not what happens to you that determined your fulfillment. It is what happens in you, as a result of what happened to you!

All things not being equal, attitude still sometimes win. I have found out that things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.

Finally, God wants us to live a fulfilled life. Do you know any other principle that can help? If yes, please share.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

It's Alright To Dream Again

Have you ever been in a situation where all hope seems lost and it’s like you’ll never come out of it? Have you ever had a situation that just proves impossible? Have you ever been in the middle of a crisis and you can’t think of a way out? Have you ever believed so much in a thing and it didn’t work out the way you planned it? You are not alone.
Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Madgalene came to the tomb and found that the stone was rolled aside from the entrance John 20:1 – Living Bible
It’s a dark Sunday morning. It’s been dark since Friday. It’s been dark as a result of events that have took place that Friday.

It’s been dark because of Peter’s denial. He had denied his Lord and Master on three different occasions. On one occasion, he swore that he never knew him when confronted by a teenage girl. It was still dark.

It’s been dark because of the disciple’s betrayal. No one except John had the courage to travel with Jesus all the way. They were all scattered abroad. They ran for their dear lives. Permit me to say that it was not only Judas who betrayed his Lord. Majority of the disciples did. They fled when Jesus needed them most. It was still dark.
Permit me to say that it was not only Judas who betrayed his Lord. Majority of the disciples did
It’s been dark because of Pilate’s cowardice. Read the account of Jesus’ betrayal and you’ll be amazed at the cowardice of a whole King. His name Pilate means close pressed or firm. You will agree with me that he was anything but firm on this particular day. He was been controlled by the crowd. He yielded to their wish even though he was dead sure it was a wrong thing to do. It was still dark.

It’s been dark because of Christ’s anguish. He must have gone through so much pain. How about a slap from one of the military officers after blindfolding him? What about the crown of thorn placed on his head? What about the heavy wood he had to carry most of the way down to Golgotha? What about the stripes that had to go round his exposed body? Consider the spiting, cursing and humiliation. What about the spikes that went through the hands that healed the sick? Oh, what anguish? No wonder it was still dark!

It’s been dark because of Satan’s glee. There was a party in hell over the events on Friday. As far as the devil and his agents were concerned, they were in charge now. The Son of God was dead and it was their time. It was still dark.

All these happened since Friday but it was still dark on Sunday morning. The only ember of light this morning was a band of women standing at a distance from the grave. They were the last to leave Calvary and the first to arrive at the grave. However, this morning promises nothing except an encounter with a corpse. They never imagined this could be the 1st Easter. They are not hoping the grave will be vacant. There was a time they dared to dream such dreams but not now. It’s too late for the incredible. The feet that walked on water have been pierced. The hands that cleansed lepers have been stilled. There noble aspirations had been spiked to yesterday’s cross. Their dreams appear dead and long forgotten.

Have you ever got to a junction like this in your life? A junction where everything seems dark? Where there seems to be no way forward? Where everything just appear gloomy? Before you give up and throw in the trowel, can you please follow me and see what happens afterwards?

Though it’s been dark hitherto, a miracle was just around the corner this Sunday morning. A double surprise was waiting for these women in quick succession!

First, the stone of the sepulcher had been rolled away! They must have been thinking of how to gain access to the sepulcher on their way there. But to their surprise, the stone was no longer there. As if that was not enough, they couldn’t find the body of Jesus in the grave again. While still wondering what could have happened, an angel explained to them that Jesus was risen as it’s been written! “You cannot be looking for the living among the dead”, the angel said. Suddenly, the darkness since Friday began to lift! A fresh hope sprang up in these women and later in the minds of the disciples.

After all the darkness, light shone. The greater the darkness, the brighter the glory of light. No wonder it was a special Sunday morning, one that we still celebrate till today. It was a morning with a great message of hope. That resurrection morning had a great message – It is Alright to Dream Again! Yes it is. The resurrection of Christ gives you this opportunity to dream again!

Happy Easter!