That life can be disappointing at times is an understatement. Strolling along with purpose, having finally figured out the next step you breathe in deeply to exhale sheer satisfaction. Smiling along your way, sun kissing your cheeks, suddenly your shoe sinks in the telltale squish and slide of dog poop. Thrown into a combination of trepidation and shock you look down to verify that experience has indeed taught you well. Dang-it-all! The sweet-putrid scent of intestinally churned dog food assaults your unsuspecting nasal passages with an unjust vengeance. Swooning from the unwelcome invasion, you pinch your nostrils, carefully raising your foot from the putrid pile of mush.
Shaking your head, you think, “Not now, this simply can’t be happening to me now!”
We’ve all been there more times than we’d like to admit. An estranged friend of mine used to say to me, “Act like you’ve been there before.” When confronted by an unexpected, embarrassing situation, he advised that those times are to challenge you to power on, not giving yourself the slightest opportunity to faint in frustration. Stellar advice. The trajectory of your life really depends on what you tell yourself. Mind over matter.
Beyond frustrations in life, there are times of sheer exhaustion. Extreme mental and physical fatigue contend to force forfeiture of your victory. The quiet and calming option of surrender looms enticingly, back there in the corner of your mind; but just as you’re about to succumb, purpose jolts you back to the realization of what you’ve always known. To give up or give in would equal failure. You realize that you’ve not been caught off guard, not exactly… The unveiling of the unknown has presented either an annoying setback or an expected challenge. Both demand that you rouse the faith within you.
Thinking about an inspirational, admirable epitaph on your headstone may not do it. But thinking of the ineffable peace of transitioning from life to death, with the satisfaction of knowing that you have wrung the very last drop out of the gifts and talents that were poured out upon you, just may be the thing to spur you to faith forward! Power on, your Creator awaits you.
THREE PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS WHEN YOU STEP IN LIFE’S DOG POOP
- Stop. Stop the presses immediately and breath. Take off that crappy shoe and hose off the evidence of your unfortunate misstep (RELEASE). Disinfect your shoe, put it back on and follow an interesting trail off the beaten path (RENEW). Get dressed, go line dancing! Take in a play or go see a movie. There’s bound to be an uplifting message outside your typical routine (REDIRECT). Sometimes you must pull the magnifying glass back a smidgen, to see clearly what’s in view (REVIEW).
- Go. Go back to the plan that you originally recorded. Reread (INSPIRE). Chances are you’ll see that you’ve learned more advantageous ways to do some of what you’ve set out to do (IGNITE). Tell yourself that there’s more than one way to achieve your goal and congratulate yourself for being so flexible and open to change (INVITE). Just having reread your plan will reinvigorate you. This step will challenge you to perfect your plan to reach your goal (INSTIGATE).
- Be. Be intentionally grateful. Discover what this means for you (AUTHENTICATE). Realize that if you don’t finish what you started you’ll be left with the nagging notion that you could have—that you could have come face-to-face with your glorious destiny (ACHIEVE). I always say, “If you don’t quit, you have to finish,” just by not giving up (ASPIRE). You will win. It’s the process of character and strength building that matters most. You may have heard it termed, “It’s the climb.” Yes, it’s the falling away of the undesired to welcome the desired (AMEN).
“Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom. I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time” (Ecclesiastes 9:11, NLT).
Thanks for reading! Don’t miss a blog! Follow me and subscribe with your email to receive periodic blog notifications. Let me hear from you today! Meanwhile, LYLA, Live Your Life Affirmed!