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Calculating . . . input vs output . . .

“Your bank account will never amount to your abilities and resources.”

Was the response from the Holy Spirit as I was thinking about my bank account and how I want more money in there.  And I can remember a time when I wanted what’s in there now.

I thought about the truth in that statement – there’s no amount of money I could give to acquire the gifts God has given me, nor the wealth obtained from conversations with friends, family members, teachers, mentors and sometimes complete strangers.  And there’s no price I could place on the experiences I’ve had, or the knowledge gained from classes and books.  I’m sitting on an oil field, a gold mine, and so are you, one that provides more than profit/income, but blessings to others.

Question is, are you pumping the oil or digging the gold out?

I enjoy reading books, it’s the obtaining knowledge, changing of thoughts, new perspectives, the journey, and discovering new things that pulls me to them; however, I recently found myself out of balance.

“to learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know.” – Stephen R. Covey

There’s several how to books, tools, endless advice etc., out there to help us reach our goals, so how is it that we fall short?

Could it be the over gathering of resources with hundreds of paths to choose from, that we sit and think too long before doing?  Reading can feel proactive, and it’s definitely step 1 (planning, gathering information etc.), but then there’s a step 2 (action).

It’s good to gain knowledge, even better to use it.  It’s good to save money, even better to invest it.  How am I investing the knowledge I gain into a tangible action?

Imagine hiring a personal trainer, he/she comes and tells you what exercises to do, but they don’t actually stay to watch you do them, and you don’t do them.  Now it’d be silly to be upset six months later that you haven’t made any progress on your physical fitness goals right?  And it’d be silly to ask what happened, since we know the answer.  But we do ask that question, we do get discouraged/upset, and then we repeat this pattern by buying the next book or signing up for the next class with renewed enthusiasm; however, eventually we all have to sweat.

And we might have to sweat for a while, without becoming impatient and discouraged, which can be a challenge within itself in this microwave age of I want it now.  Oddly enough for the past year, we chose not to have a microwave, and I learned a few things – expect the extra time it will take, plan the portion properly, the food is better and stays hotter longer from the stove/oven, it was worth the wait (it wasn’t that bad), and I didn’t starve to death.

Sometimes we get the information, we take the risk, we take action, and then what?  Repeat.  We must continue taking risks.  As soon as you find success, resist getting comfortable, don’t neglect celebrating, and then look for the next risk.  Risk is what keeps our blood burning.  Sitting and contemplating too long is what keeps us unnecessarily shuffling to-dos, managing routines efficiently, feeling proactive and productive, and busy, while hoping for a different outcome.  Basically piddling well.

If your business, marriage, health etc., feels like it’s stagnant (i.e. declining – things are always worse/better), don’t dismay.  It will take time, risk, effort, prayer, work, and sacrifice, and it’ll be worth it.

“Jesus responded, ‘Why are you afraid?  You have so little faith!’  Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.” – Matthew 8:26

“We will starve if we stay here, but with the famine in the city, we will starve if we go back there. So we might as well go out and surrender to the Aramean army. If they let us live, so much the better. But if they kill us, we would have died anyway.” – 2 Kings 7:4

“To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.” – Matthew 25:29 (For the entire parable see Matthew 25:14-30)

“He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.” – Matthew 14:29

“The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” – Proverbs 29:25

“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?  Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.'” – Luke 14:28-30

 “But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” – Luke 12:48

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”     – James 2:26

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