Life Is Not
by: Jeff Earlywine
I once heard the story of a
grown bear that lived in a cage and traveled with a circus ever since he was a
small cub. The bear spent everyday of his life pacing back and forth in his
cage while countless spectators looked on. When the bear’s keepers were not
looking some of the spectators would poke the bear with sharp sticks or would
throw pieces of food filled with broken glass into the cage. When the great
bear would eat what he thought was a wonderful treat, the broken glass would
cut the inside of his throat and stomach.
One day a wealthy animal-lover
visited the circus and saw the harmful acts committed against the bear. Because
he felt great compassion for animals he approached the circus about purchasing the
bear. He explained that he would take the bear and place him in a large open
area. In this area the bear would have cool pools of water to play in and lush
grassy fields to run. The circus agreed to sell the bear to the man and set up
a delivery date.
When the day arrived for the
bear to be delivered everyone was anxious to see what would happen when the
door of the cage was opened for the first time. To everyone’s amazement, when
the cage was opened, the bear did what he spent every day of his life doing. He
simply paced back and forth the length of the cage. The bear didn’t even seem
to care that the cage door was open. Finally, the bear’s keepers got the bear
outside the cage and rolled it away. What they saw next shocked everyone.
The bear looked around at his
new beautiful home. He looked at the cool pools of water and the lush green
pastures. Then to everyone’s surprise and disappointment, the bear began his
pacing. Back and forth he would go – as in an imaginary cage. Eventually he had
to be put to sleep because he could not function in his beautiful new home.
I hope and pray that you are not
living a life like the bear described above. I heard a quote recently that went
something like this, “Don’t let your past dictate who you are, but do let it
influence who you become.” It is a well-known fact: Life is not always fair.
Therefore, I am of the opinion that when life turns up the heat what you
F.O.C.U.S. on helps you make it through the day a winner. My good friend,
Robert Mallon, explains it this way, “The longer we look at God the smaller our
obstacles become. The longer we look at the obstacles the smaller God becomes.
The question is whether we want a BIG God or a big enemy. It is just a matter
When life becomes unfair what do
you focus on? The principles below are basic, but will powerfully help you when
you are struggling to keep a positive outlook.
F - Fun. Set yourself a goal to
have fun every day. Make it intentional. Put it on your calendar. Do whatever
it takes – just have fun.
O - Organized. When life becomes
unfair we can begin to let things pile up. Things like emails and phone calls
to reply to, deadlines at work, laundry, yard work, etc. In other words, a
cluttered life will bring about a cluttered mind. Or is that the other way
around? Either way, as much as possible, keep your day-to-day activities as
organized as possible.
C - Care for others. One of the
best ways to forget how much you are hurting is to focus on how you can help
others. Getting your eyes off yourself, and on to how you can help others, will
boost your positive outlook on life.
U - You. When you are going
through tough times it is very important to keep a good diet, workout routine,
and sleep habits. This will help keep your mind clear and your energy up.
Remember, God loves you and He does not make junk.
S - Successes. Not only should
you plan to have fun everyday, but also you should plan to succeed. You might
have to tell yourself to be on the lookout for successes in your day, but when
you have one, (even a little one) celebrate. A recent rollerblading trip was an
example of this in my life. My goal was to “blade” around this paved course (up
and down, left and right) without falling. I looked like an elephant on skates,
but when I made it to the finish line I was ecstatic! I accomplished my goal
and lived to tell about it.
Life is not always fair. Deaths,
sickness, career changes, and struggles are going to occur. Just remember to
keep your focus and to hold tight to the hand of God. When times are tough, He
will carry you to the end.
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About The Author
Jeff Earlywine began his
ministry career while working on his undergraduate Business degree. His
experiences have led him to work in many difference areas that have all
benefited the local church.
CONSULTANT - Jeff has spent
the last fifteen years consulting with hundreds of different organizations
all across the nation. Serving as a consultant at The Injoy Group challenged
him to be his best while he worked with the best. Jeff has assisted many
ministries in Vision Casting, Strategic Planning, and Future Planning.
EXECUTIVE PASTOR - Jeff’s
unofficial title was, “Pastor of Organization,” and by this title you might
know this is his greatest skill. That skill gave him the passion to organize
many different ministries in the local church. That skill also developed a
volunteer staff capable of growing each of these ministries. He did this by
equipping them to fulfill their God-given potential.
Jeff’s passion is to come
along side the leader and help him to identify and develop his dream,
organize the needs of that dream, and then to train and equip leaders to
fulfill that dream.
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