Tag Archives: reward

It’s A Brand New Year!!

Friends and neighbors, it is indeed a brand new year!  And I have heard so many say, “Thank God the old year has passed because it was not a good year for me at all!”  And believe me, I can appreciate that statement.  2012 was a rough year for many.  For me, it was rather difficult in many ways.  There were trials and circumstances that I would have preferred not to have gone through.  But in the same breath, I would not trade the tribulations I dealt with for when viewed in the proper context, those situations caused me to grow in ways I could not have otherwise.  In past years, I cheated myself of opportunities to grow because I refused to embrace the problems which beset me.  Growth is often a painful process because it involves change and we tend to avoid pain at all costs.  It is a survival instinct, I suppose. The sad part is that when we turn away from the growth process because of the pain of change, the end result that we receive is that we simply survive.  We do not and cannot live fully the Life that our Creator would have us to live.  I am learning this now and am more apt to reach out and embrace that unfavorable circumstance or difficulty.  Do I do so because I enjoy pain?  Not hardly.  It is just that I know now there is the reward of growth at the end of that troublesome road.  And the feeling one receives from achieving personal growth is a feeling like no other.  Have you ever noticed a flower when it is full bloom, brilliant and beautiful in its color?  Or what of a tree, fully and magnificently clothed in green?  These are everyday miracles of our world. Now, what if that tree or that flower did not go through the process necessary for growth?  The answer is quite obvious, isn’t it?  Without a growth process, all things will die.  My friend, we are no different from the beauty of nature that is round’ about us each day.

By turning our back on the growth process set before us, we die inside.  Not all at once, to be sure.  It is a gradual and almost insidious process which is what makes it a danger.  Each time we back away from a problem or challenge because we know of the potential for pain, our refusal to do so causes yet another small tear in the fabric of our Spirit.  Over time, we allow so many of these to occur that the strength of Spirit we possess initially simply unravels as it slowly but surely gets torn apart.  And I will say this as well since we are on the subject…….Sewing back together the fabric that comprises our Spirit is a very difficult job and it takes a great deal of time and effort to accomplish this.  I know of what I speak.

So in reality, when we choose not to grow and change because we see the potential pain involved and wish to avoid it, what are we really doing in the end?  In the short-term, we cheat ourselves of experiencing the grand feeling of having our hearts and spirits bloom and burst forth into splendid color and fullness.  I should also state that when we grow, change and bloom, those around us benefit and are blessed directly.  And needless to say, in blessing others we are blessed in return and in greater abundance.  It is a universal and scriptural law or as Kermit the Frog would say, “It is the way of it”.  And what are the long-term effects of walking away from growth and change?  Quite simply put, we must work twice as hard to become as we would’ve been.  That is unless we simply allow the death of our Spirit and waste the gift of Life and all that is precious within us.  And there are many in our world who do just that.  You see them everyday as you move through your life.  It’s so sad really.

Oh, I should say as well that not all growth and change has turmoil and pain attached to it.  It is just that with we humans, (myself included!) the only time we become willing to change and therefore grow is when the pain of not changing exceeds the pain of change.  We are really such silly people when you think about it in that light, yes?

In closing, I would say this to myself and to all those reading these words.  It is indeed a brand new year!  Allow yourself to bask in the beauty of  the gift of a new beginning for a few moments so as to truly appreciate it.  Then, keep your eyes open wide and look for ways and opportunities to grow and to change.  Realize going in that there will be undoubtedly some discomfort and yes, even pain involved in the process.  What is the old adage? “Forewarned is forearmed”?  When one is aware of something up front, it is so much easier not to be surprised by it.  Wouldn’t you agree?  Make it a part of you to view growth and all it entails as an adventure, not as something that must be dealt with, a task which must be completed.  This new year, this 2013 we have been given, promises to be an exciting time.  Will it be a time of challenges as well?  Yes, it will and you may count on it.  But it will also be a time for abundant growth and a time when we, individually as well as collectively can blossom and bring vibrant color and a new fullness to our world!  Does this excite you, my friends?  Let us go hence and make this 2013 an excellent year!

Good evening to all those who have taken the time to review these words.  I hope what has been written was worthy of your time.  And as I have said in the past, if what you have read caused you to think a bit, then this is a good thing.  But please, please apply what you have read to your respective lives and be sure to bless those around you as well daily.  Take care and be blessed in your day!

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr

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In The Midst Of A Storm Right Now?

How is your Life today, my friend?  Is it flowing along smoothly?  Would you liken as unto a near perfect summer day, one where the temperature hovers properly at 70 degrees and there is no humidity to speak of and the Sun gently warms your skin and blesses your eyes?  I would hope this to be true for you and for those you love.  Because if it is, I know it has not always been so.  There are storms in Life as surely as there are seasons of Sun and warm goodness.  So, if you are experiencing an idyllic season, please recognize it as just that.  It is a season and seasons change as seasons always do.  There will be a stormy season that will find you at some point.  It is how Life operates.  It is how it is.  You can be sure of it.  And for those of you who are presently in the midst of one of Life’s storms, I empathize with you.  But in another sense, I am envious of you to a degree.  No, the cheese is not sliding off my cracker, as the saying goes.  Please be indulgent and continue to read.  I am quite sure this will begin to make sense as we continue.  Most often as I write, I am not sure how the whole thing is supposed to turn out.  I just bear with it and ask that you do the same.

“Gosh William!”,  you say.  “Such happy thoughts you are sending me today!  Please stop trying to make me feel so cheerful!”  My friend, I actually am sending a positive note in your direction.  It is just not in a way you might expect it.  And while it isn’t always pleasant to think of such things, it is important.  Especially since the storm clouds we will be discussing always seem to carry their own unique silver lining.  Perhaps that is the point here.  Let us find out.

Our world became seasonal after that proverbial apple had a bite taken out of it.  And I don’t believe that anyone truly knows if it was an apple but that doesn’t really matter, does it?  The point is that prior to that incident, the world was utopian, perfect and undisturbed.  But humankind in their own infinite wisdom managed to change all of that.  Isn’t it funny how things change so much but remain so much the same?  We humans are still quite sure that we know better and thus still manage to continue to make a mess of things even today!  But I digress and so apologize.  Let us stay on point, shall we?  Oh, and for those who do not believe scripture or believe there is a Creator behind all this, do not leave please.  There is wisdom for you here as well, I trust.

Seasons.  We were discussing the idea of seasons and of storms.  And of fruit, a particular apple in this case.  Because of a conscious choice that was made involving fruit, our world now has become seasonal.  And seasons always bring about what exactly?  Why, they bring about change, correct?  The spring season is time of birth, of renewal and growth.  As the flowers explode into beautiful colors and fragrance that please our senses, the trees bring forth their leaves and allow us to sit in the shade they provide for us.  The birds set about building their nests in preparation for the family they know is just on its way now.  Life begins to stir in the lakes and rivers once again.  And so many more things come anew and afresh once again.  It is a truly wonderful season to behold, isn’t it?

What follows spring is of course summertime which is glorious in its own right.  The days are hot and at night, we hope for balmy breezes to make their way onto our porches and  through our open windows.  It is a season for baseball games and lemonade and ice cream floats.  It is a season for taking a breath or two and remembering what it is to enjoy life and our world, if only for a time.  And of course, I should mention when those balmy breezes choose not to pleasure us with their presence, I always thank God for inventing air conditioning and ceiling fans.  Indeed I do.  I am sure you do as well. And as the days come and go, we move on into autumn in which the trees are resplendent, dressed in their fiery coats of yellow and orange and red leaves, their final gift to us as they fall gently to the ground.  And then winter comes along, a season of cold beauty and warm fires and cozy blankets.  A time for snowmen and snowball fights.  But also a time for our Earth to rest a bit as it prepares for the coming spring where all is reborn once again.  So all things are indeed seasonal, yes?  “But wait!”,  say you. “You’ve not made mention of the storms!  Where do the storms come in?”  That is a fair question which deserves a fair answer.  You have already made my point for me for you are well aware that storms will come about and will do so at any given point and  in any season as well.  Storms are seasonal as well and are a part of our world. And storms are important in that they often provide a way for change.  For example, do you see that huge, magnificent oak tree over there?  Beautiful, isn’t it?  But do you notice how nothing can grow anywhere near it?  It has reached proportions where it is pulling all the nutrients from the soil around it.  Because of this, everything else is dying.  Along comes a storm and the oak tree is uprooted and it dies.  This is sad because it was a beautiful, beautiful tree.  But conversely, its death while tragic has made it possible for all sorts of new life to be born in its stead.  That is the miracle that stands amidst the tragedy.  That my friends, is change.

I suppose the point I am heading towards is that storms will be sent our way as we journey along Life’s road.  And this will happen because Life requires that we grow and change into who we were meant to become so as to fulfill our purpose, our reason for being here on this planet.  Growth is a precursor for change.  One cannot occur without the other.  And if I might add, neither one of these, growth or change are pleasant or comfortable really.  Well, I misspoke there.  Growth would always be pleasant and even comfortable so long as I didn’t have to change anything.  But as you can see, we cannot have one without the other.  One cannot grow if they will not change and one cannot change if they will not grow.  And storms are most often dramatic and powerful.  That is why they act as a catalyst for change.  Most of us tend to resist change and require a bit of shaking up to bring about such a change.  Hence, the need for the storms that Life sends our way.

Now, a question for you.  Do you remember my mentioning that was I was empathetic yet envious of someone who was going through one of Life’s storms even now?  I was not trying to be clever or cruel or funny.  I would not do such a thing.  The reason I said that is quite simple really.  As a rule, when one is battling their way through one of the storms Life sends their way, it is because Life is preparing them to step up to a new level.  Remember the equation  –  Storm = Growth= Change.  And change always brings us to a new Life level.  It may not be a level that we would have chosen necessarily.  But it will always be an elevation that provides a clearer, broader view and vision of what it is we are here to do, of our Purpose and Destiny.  The more I understand things of this nature, the more I am willing to take on the storms that come along my Life path.  Does this mean I long for pain and discomfort and even sadness?  No, no!  I am not one who has gone mad nor am I daft!  All I mean is that knowing the reward goes a long way towards realizing why I would brave the storm in the first place.

For those of you presently enjoying a grand season, do so fully.  Truly savor each moment of each day and make wonderful memories for our remembrances give us much strength.  But when a storm approaches, do not fear the storm.  Recognize it for what it is and prepare for growth and change.  And for any of you who are in the very center of a storm, you have my prayers. Stand strong in the belief that you are destined for elevation and do not waver and do not be fearful.  Your Creator will not put you through anything that He has not equipped you to handle and will provide a way for you.  Remember as well that storms can be beautiful in their power.  This is because the process of growth and of change are often difficult to see but beautiful to behold.  This I realized only a moment ago.

Thank you friend for your attention.  I believe I learned something here this evening.  I hope you have as well.  Be all of you blessed and well.  Always be sure to bless those who come across your path each day for that is so important.  It is what keeps us human.  Take care with yourselves.

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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