Beware: Bovine Beatitudes

on Monday, 27 February 2012. Posted in Blog

Ask the question – Who influences me? Many articles and essays have been written on the importance of influence and also the double edged sword of the same. But are we as self-aware of our influences as we need to be? When a stallion is in a field of bovines it may seem quite natural to circum to the actions and characteristics of the "bovines" and subsequently forget the ability he, the stallion, possesses.

This same risk applies to individuals: have you checked your influences lately? Have you circum to "bovine mediocracy" or do you continue to search out your God-given greatness? Have you challenged the status quo? Or have you settled your life-goals to a path of least resistance.

Talking about bovines - there was a milk campaign back awhile ago and even though I despised the corniness of the campaign I couldn't argue with the philosophy – always grow, grow always.

Individuals who hinder your personal growth or who are intimidated by it are not friends but rather insecure relations which are trying to not loose hold of a co-dependant relationship (i.e. your dependency on them brings them a sense of significance). The friends and influencers that you need are individuals who care for you enough to never allow you to sink into mediocracy – but rather individuals who will always lovingly "provoke" you to a higher level in your life. (Hebrews 10:24)

Up to this point of the article I have been writing from a receivership position – but the question must also be asked personally: Am I a person of valuable influence to my friends, family, and relations? Have you so circum to personal insecurity that you cling on to your friends and family tightly to keep them from advancing so that you are not possibly abandoned or "left alone?" A motivational speaker once stated that in order to be successful you must help enough individuals become successful themselves. This is a universal law of reciprocity and one which God set into motion long, long ago. Love your neighbor as yourself; it is more blessed to give then to receive, etc. True significance only arrives from the giving of ourselves to a greater cause then our own contentment, happiness, or security. (Matthew 22:37-39)

But back to our original subject – The challenge still remains for you to "know yourself." And unless we take time to analyze the "influencers" in our lives we can easily circum to "bovine mediocracy" and quickly loose sight of the inward potential God has placed within us. With this in mind, how much more important our relationship with God becomes, since we are given the incredible opportunity to be influenced by an all-knowing, all-wise, all-loving father. This week please ask yourself four simple questions:

1. Who is my influence?

2. Is this influence helping me grow beneficially?

3. Who do I influence?

4. And have I helped them grow beneficially?

P.S. I do not hold any specific grudges against bovines – actually they hold many intrinsically "tasty" characteristics – but I wouldn't follow their lifestyles.

"Wait!" ... Oh, Great...

on Monday, 27 February 2012. Posted in Blog

One of the dreaded words of the twenty-first century has to be "waiting." The prevailing philosophy of North America many times dictates that if a person desires something they have to have it - now! This is one of the main reasons we got ourselves into the current recession - but I'll leave that subject for now.

Waiting passively without any seemingly productive output is frowned upon in our society. Even the drive to and from work has become inundated with blackberry's, PDAs, laptops, and cell phones - all in an attempt to be more "productive" and thus more meaningful. The increasing number of fast-food joints also tells us something about our developing culture. When it comes down to it, we as North Americans can't stand the idea of passively waiting and not being able to do anything about it.

But here is where we run into problems - all things worth-while take ... are you ready for this? ....Time. Well-known poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, "Let us, then, be up and doing, with a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait." Here's the balance. And even though it's a lot easier said then done it's what we must strive for. We must be willing to work for that which we desire but to also learn the patience of waiting for its completion and/or fruition.

This principle is extremely far-reaching and a lot of times applied to business start-ups whereas an eager owner/operator is urged to lay a solid business foundation (mission statement, customer policies, reasonable cash-flow, etc.) instead of expanding too quickly and stifling available capital.

Now let's apply the verse that inspired this article -Ps. 27:14, "Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!" There are numerous illustrations in the bible of men and women asked to "wait on God." Many did, many didn't. But for those who did wait - they obtained the promise.

Is God asking us to wait and do nothing? Not at all. God may ask us to wait on Him during certain times in our lives - but while we wait we do our due diligence in being a blessing to those around us and preparing our talents, skills, and abilities for the time when God says, "stop waiting, move forward."

Abraham is a prime example of a person who waited on God but continued to prepare for the fulfillment of God's promise. (Gen. 17, Heb. 6) This is what God asks us. God has asked you to wait on Him - but prepare yourself for the day of fulfillment. God hasn't forgotten about your dreams, your goals -but first you must learn to wait on Him.