Taking a Good Look at the Way we are Living or Not Living

How do we change something when we just know, "I can't do this anymore."Let’s take a good look at the way we’re living and reorder our lives under God.”—Jeremiah, the prophet, 600 BC in Lamentations 3:41 in the MessageI’m convinced beyond any possible doubt, that we are in a time where all of us—from every nation and from every religion will, indeed, have to take a look at the way we are living and to do some reconfiguration.The world is fragile. Politics are a beyond a mess. Violence makes us feel thin, fragile and vulnerable. Our over crowded lives only seem to compete with an inner dissonance that reminds us in the twilight hours of night that something is really wrong.So, how do we quit lamenting our situation and cultivate some sense of change that is actually doable and that will work?  This is the question I want to invite you to sit with and reflect upon right now!Pay Attention to Your LifeTo take a good look at the way one is living in the present requires some evaluation. We need to wake up and pay attention--not just to the world--but first to ourselves!

  • How are you feeling about how your life is going right now?
  • Do you feel as if there is a leak in your soul or a major hemorrhage? Or how would you describe the state of your soul if you lift of the hood of your life and look down within the real you?
  • What do you want your life to look like? Envision the life you long to live and write a few sentences that excavate your yearnings.

Our big temptation is to skim through this page, skimming for anything new or any riveting insight we think we already didn’t possess. It simply takes time to reflect like the way I’m asking you. With time being one of our most precious commodities in life, we have to realize that if change and transformation is going to take place in the world, in the church or in my family, it simply MUST begin with me. No one else will live our lives for us. Taking the time to evaluate what is out of order is the first step to a re-ordered life. If you charge off and put a band-aid on some leak, no change will happen. Temporary change is what we are all suspicious of and we all know there are things that simply need attention. To Re-Order one's life begins by thinking through categories of our life.We eat an elephant one bit at a time. There's really no other way to do it.  It's the same with understanding how to "do" change.Few of us can start completely over in life from a blank page. Real change is done on a cellular level. That is how cancer is destroyed—one cell at a time. To re-order one’s life means to simply choose a few categories that you feel need change:

  • Your physical health: what area of your health do you want change in?
  • Your sense of community and relationships: Who is your primary community? Who is the person you would call at 2am when something is wrong?
  • Your job: Are you making more bricks with less straw in your vocation? Is your work your old Egypt or is there a land you want to explore in your vocation.
  • Your emotional viability: What emotion describes your life best right now: anger, grief, joy, hope, sadness, contentment, satisfaction, well-being?
  • Your giving back or paying it forward: To whom are you extending your hand to “step up” or “step in” or influencing in some way?

Choose a category and simply choose to be gentle with yourself. Yes, that’s right: gentle. This is not a call for 180% turn arounds. That philosophy rarely works. Lest you are too quick to think that 180% turn about is what Jesus commands, it took the original followers and repentors years before they got it right. Think about it this way: what if you could envision a quarter turn in your life in the next year. What if you could envision not just the goal you ‘d like to achieve but simpler: What if you could improve one of your categories by 25%?  That is like getting a "B" rather than a "D" on your test! Who wouldn't want that?  Only if we knew how....I’ve chosen this way of transformation. I’ve embraced my body and my health in a life changing way in the past two years. I’ve lost 65 pounds. I”ve gained the support of a few folks who are in the know to help me and I chose to begin. This next year, I’m wanting to go further. I want to lose even more weight. But looking at the American Table of how much a man my age and height SHOULD weigh seemed to always shut me down before I started. When I embraced a more gentle way of transformation I began to see the change I wanted. But deep change begins way down inside. True transformation is simply not modifying your behavior. It is transforming the way we think about the category we want to see change.I’d like to encourage you to begin thinking about this NOW---and not wait until a New Year dawns. Change starts when we start to think about what needs to change not when we simply draw a line in the sand. Change whispers to us long before we actually decide to quit something or start something. We must learn to listen to the whisper and the Whisperer! To re-order one’s life requires listening to the One who truly knows the way we should walk. We need a clarion voice which resounds within us that is truth, light and good. Every time we light a candle, we light it in the hope that the One who is Truth, Light and Good is going to dispel our darkness. How we so need this today.When the prophet Jeremiah spoke these words about re-ordering our lives, \he had to face the music of dissonance and discord. He courageously stood up and said, “Some things are really wrong. The issue begins at home. Face this and let’s change both ourselves and the course of history before it’s too late.” and awaken those who could hear him to walk in a different cadence; to march to the beat of a different drum and to start the long journey in a new direction. He was a prophet and in today’s world, we need to listen to the voices of those who see the way forward and to heed the call to do something.[tweetthis]Re-ordering one’s life is true salvation.[/tweetthis] People who try to rescue folks who are drowning are often pulled down and drown also.   Before we can save the planet, church or fix a massive problem, we need to begin with our self. One cellular layer at a time; one life at a time; one category at a time.I'd highly and strongly encourage you to get my book, Inside Job: Doing the Work within the Work and read it. Get the workbook and give yourself the time to do your inside Job. Get it here!  We're doing FREE Shipping now and it will arrive before Christmas. Gift some copies as real gifts!