I had the privilege of sharing some of my story to a large group of recovering addicts, only because the founder of the rehab facility wanted my HOPE to rub off on them.
The room was electric, men and women from all walks of life, young and old desiring freedom of the soul.
In my thirty minute session, I shared a handful of stories injected with real life experiences and I could see smile after smile on their faces. Every time a smile appeared I shared just one more story which created more smiles, maybe even a chuckle.
Their smiles, chuckles and laughter stirred my heart because HOPE was all I wanted them to receive.
As I shared personal experiences of how God rescued me as a young man and how God rescued my whole family especially my mum and dad, they saw themselves in my stories.
I often share my stories with people that aren’t in recovery ❤️🩹 and their lives appear to be successful. Their looks make me laugh. I’m confident they see me as a little insane for what I believe and what makes me HOPE filled.
I’ve been on this journey for decades and all I know is to wait. Even the most successful will come knocking on my door one day looking for the HOPE I have.
HOPE lights up a room, HOPE lights up tomorrow, HOPE gives us a reason to go through the pain of recovery.
Every single one of us has a reason to live, we just have to discover HOPE which is right in front of us if we are humble enough to accept it.
I discovered my hope in my teenage years crying out to God in my bedroom to reveal Himself and He did.
Jesus said “The thief cometh not but to steal and to kill and to destroy. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”.
The world around us more often than not robs us of HOPE, Jesus promised to do the opposite. For me this has been true.
Yes, I have no issues looking insane but having HOPE.
When the flower has fully bloomed its spender starts to fade, as it is with life.
The very idea of peaking in life as the be all is the shortest way to experience deep depression. Of course life has peaks and troughs and neither one ought to be our dwelling place forever.
Life is a struggle which is where true enlightenment shines the most
It was Jesus who encouraged those who really want to make a difference in life to take up their cross daily.
What does it mean to take up your cross daily?
1. It shows that you have a long view of life and understand seasons come and seasons go. That’s where real growth takes place.
2. You are mature enough to give and serve others rather than requiring others always to be at your beck & call.
3. You are looking for rewards that are beyond the temporal world believing for miracles against the odds .
4. Wisdom is produced in life’s struggle beyond instant knowledge that you can access of Google.
5. Taking up your cross daily sets you free from complacency where nothing ever gets done.
6. Pain and struggle gives us great focus on what is and isn’t important.
Life is a struggle, proving you’re alive and well. Don’t waste this short life you have trying to escape it’s beautiful lessons.
A fundamental human trait is an ability to strive to achieve an end goal even against incredible odds.
We rally together for justice
We rally together for family and friends
We rally together for economic gain
We rally together for survival
Human beings world wide will endure all sorts of hardship and still have an ability to retain their dignity. They will share their equity. They still smile and remain hopeful.
I grew up in a working class neighbourhood in the eastern suburbs of Perth Western Australia. I recall the simplicity of being surrounded by plenty of relatives all walking distance from our the tiny home.
They all worked two jobs, shift work, from a detergent factory to cleaning jobs etc.. They still had time to cook amazing food and gather at each other’s homes on a weekly basis.
We all started to accumulate and the more we accumulated the bigger the homes became.
It didn’t take long before we compared our homes, cars and status in life.
I was too young to comprehend the power of wealth and the ability to handle more.
As time went on we began to build homes that looked like castles, myself but included. With high walls, gates and an abundance, we started to isolate ourselves from the ones who helped us achieve our abundance.
I’d often reflect on my childhood days and remember laughing far more than I’ve done in recent years. Hardly any money but plenty of ambition.
I have also been able to return time and time again throwing caution to the wind to regain the innocence of simplicity, community and meaning.
It was the wise words of Jesus who reminds us not to sell our soul for fools gold, saying “What would a person exchange for their soul, what if the whole world was theirs at the cost of their soul, would they make the deal”?
I’d suggest too many of us have made the exchange for far far less, only to find ourselves lost and lonely.
Don’t feel sorry for yourself if life is challenging but you still have fire in your belly and a reason to live.
Feel sorry yourself if you feel you’ve arrived, you are the poorest of them all.
Parents, encourage your children to value what they are able to give in life not get.
To the young person who is trying to get ahead, grow your skills and help others achieve. Place great value in your own ability to encourage others while you need encouragement yourself. This is a mark of true leadership and character. This is a person who clearly will escape the curse and temptation of delusional narcissistic grandeur.
Maybe even drive the worst car on the street until you can afford to buy the best house in the neighbourhood. Just don’t forget where you’ve come from.
Don’t despise the days of small beginnings ~ An ancient word of wisdom
CONTENT IS EVERYTHING
We’re living in the most fascinating season of human existence where social media rules the world.
Journalists are competing with virtual platforms where real news and fake news are blurred.
Teachers are competing with virtual platforms where lifelong education and expedient information is being challenged.
CONTENT IS EVERYTHING
In the human struggle to exist and be relevant, is it a lawless jungle where the only the fittest survive? I DON’T BELIEVE SO!
For those who truly have something to say, there will always be an audience.
For those who simply want to dispense frivolous information, there will always be an audience.
Authenticity shouldn’t be jeopardised at the expense of popularity and popularity shouldn’t be passed on as authenticity.
There’s room for market place content where we recognise that Coke isn’t the real thing and that the Real thing often can’t be popularised or mass produced.
CONTENT IS EVERYTHING
As for me, I like working in both worlds.
1. An ability to share heart to heart on things that truly matter which is not always popular.
2. Have fun with ideas and marketing those ideas into reality. Being popular isn’t necessarily evil, it’s all about the content.
Everyone has a voice, but who’s got so to say?
It’s very rare to find individuals that are so inclusive, that purity is their greatest motive.
It’s so much easier to create outsiders, US & THEM. Xenophobia is real and is used by politicians to win elections. Tribal leaders have used it for thousands of years in order to preserve cultures. Both politicians and tribal elders see themselves as the puritans to keep order.
Giving everyone a seat at the table, even your enemies approaches life from a completely different perspective. This is the table that allows ideas and relationship without a predictable outcome. It holds everyone at the table accountable with a mechanism to self regulate.
Moral Law becomes the guide.
In order for Moral Law to be released which brings everything to account, there must be an atmosphere for it to manifest.
Jesus gives us the perfect setting for Moral Law to manifest at His Last Supper. He invited His disciples to sit and eat with him and he reveals what is going to happen next.
Jesus took three years picking his winning team. Out of all the thousands of people that followed Jesus, only twelve ended up at his last supper.
There’s a lesson right there!
You and I will find out sooner or later in life that people come and they go, no matter what. Allowing everyone to sit at your table gives you an opportunity to grow your community while it experiences ebb and flow indefinitely.
I often encourage leaders to develop teams by working with who’s around them no matter who. Don’t stop progress because we don’t have the perfect players. Developing people has its own incredible rewards.
I suggest that leaders pick twelve individuals to work with and accept that one of them will always be trying to kill you 😂. This has been my life experience, one will go out of their way to discredit your character for their own advancement, love them anyway.
If you keep inviting others to sit at your table, you are the one that doesn’t shrink. Your table will always be full, your life will be rich. You may even find some who you thought were your enemies become a friend that’s closer than a brother.