I’d like to address a thing called success.
It’s believed to be the attainment of money.
This definition perplexes me
I find it sadly funny.
I once listened to a man say, “Money changes the world.”
When I heard the phrase, I almost hurled.
Let’s ask Ghandi, or Jesus, or Mother Teresa,
if that belief needs to be a bit unfurled.
Success and money don’t go hand in hand,
In this day and age that belief is…well…bland.
Will you follow this path too many have traveled?
If you do, you too will have your life unraveled.
No… Success is quite simple, its definition is revealed
in the man and the woman with body kneeled.
Praying to the Lord Jesus for His will to be done.
And living in unity for only the Almighty one.
Stepping through life with a holy focus and zeal.
Not getting caught up in this world’s appeal.
Sacrificing for others, serving the one above.
Success is only attained through Faith, Hope and Love.
If today you have grasped this true definition.
Then I pray you live out your godly mission.
Jesus is the one you must live to impress.
This only and only this is truly success.
—Trent Renner, 2014
I think one reason that Facebook is so popular is because it creates DIALOGUE…communication that goes two ways…I post, you listen, you post, I listen! You are sitting in silence with facebook-friends and dialoging. It’s great! There’s much to learn from this that can relate to the health of our Christian walk.
If you are struggling at being a fully devoted follower of Jesus. MAYBE one of the problems you have towards Christ is that your relationship with Jesus is too MONOLOGUE = one directional. He’s my Savior. I cry out to Him. I Sing worship songs about Him. I go to Church. I pray to Him. I study the Word, I go to Youth Group. I read books. I have a great preacher. I attend small group. I do christian work. I tune in to Christian radio. These are all Monologue…One directional LOUD & BUSY efforts. If there is dialogue it is usually dialoging with people, not God. It tends to still be all about you doing life with people. This is good…but other people are not God.
When God gave us 1 mouth and 2 ears…was He trying to make a point?
When was the last time you just stopped and listened to the Lord in silence for a long period of time? When was the last time you let Him speak to you? Not music, preaching, books, group discussions, etc. When was the last time Only GOD spoke to you?
He usually speaks through a quiet whisper. Read 1 Kings 19:12
You’ll have to get very quiet and be still if you want to hear Him. Read Psalm 46:10
When was the last time you allowed God’s voice to enter your loud and busy world/Head/Heart?
“Jesus OFTEN withdrew to a QUIET place to spend time with His Father.” Luke 5:16
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8
You will not find the time to do this. You can only make the time to listen to God.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
By critical moments… I mean the kind of moments that tend to alter the direction of your life. They leave a brand, a scar, or a wound that struggles to heal. Or, these critical moments could be ones that were permanently positive. Positive like a tattoo you chose that will never go away. Positive critical moments like the memory of your children being born, or your wedding day, or the day that Jesus became your Lord and Savior.
Make no mistake about it, when I am referring to Mile Marker Moments, you will not have to wonder if the memory you have is a Mile Marker one or not. You just know. Mile Markers are huge and this is why they come to mind on a regular basis. They altered the direction of your life.
Mile Markers are never forgotten.
The point is…these are critical moments. These critical moments are significant enough that even years after the Mile Marker Moment has happened, we can be going about our day and have something small happen that causes the Memory of the Mile Marker Moment to flood back to our minds, and bring on waves of emotions that causes us to remember it, as if it happened yesterday.
My point is that I believe the best kind of learning is what I call reflective learning. Reflecting back over your Mile Marker Moment Memories and learning from them.
The best way to learn from these huge mile marker moments in our lives is to reflect on the three elements that are always a part of the critical Mile Marker moment.
In each of your Mile Marker Moments there is/was…
1. A Key Person.
2. A Key Place.
3. A Key Moment.
Think about the Mile Marker that is branded or tattooed on your life. Who was the key person? Where was the key place? What was the key moment?
Be still. Think about the elements. What happened? If faced with the Moment again, how might I do things differently. Could I have prevented it, made it better, or ?
There are two kinds of Mile Marker Moments.
1. Joyful Mile Markers.
2. Hurtful Mile Markers.
When you reflect on the Joyful Mile Marker Moments, they will give you great joy! They can pull you out of a depression. Use this positive reflection time to communicate with the Key Person, whom you created that Mile Marker Moment with, and thank them and tell them you are grateful for them. Tell them that you love them…for if they created such a joyful Mile Marker in your life…you really will love them.
The Chosen Positive Mile Marker Moments are easy to deal with. They bring you joy. Reflect on them. Learn from them. Repeat them as often as you can.
The Mile Marker Moments that you did NOT choose and have left you hurt and angry. These are the tough ones to reflect on. When you do reflect upon these…you are going to discover whether or not you have healed from them. If the pain of the event comes rushing back in and you find yourself angry, then the reality is, you have not healed from that Mile Marker Moment yet.
You may have forgiven the Key person, The Key Place, and the Key Moment, in this Mile marker at one point in your past, but the healing is still in process and you may have to re-forgive as you reflect and deal with the emotion of the Mile Marker once again. The pain resurfacing, is an alert to your heart and soul, warning you to work through the process of forgiveness again. And again, if necessary.
The point is to be able to reflect on the Mile Marker Moment and the Key Person, Key Place and Key Moment, without any pain. The goal is to be able to reflect without bitterness and hurt. The goal is to have that Mile Marker Moment lead you into greater wisdom, experience, and preparedness for the future Key People, Key Places and Key Moments you will undoubtedly encounter again.
As you reflect on these Mile Marker Moments, and if you find yourself feeling angry and swirling into your dark place, that dark place you went to soon after the negative Mile Marker Moment happened…You know that dark place I”m talking about. If you find yourself headed there and not wanting to forgive again…then…
I want to remind you, like I have to remind myself. God is our rock. God tells us who we are. God owns vengeance, not me…not you.
Don’t let Mile Markers define you, use them to refine you.
As you reflect on your Mile Marker Moments and if you possibly find yourself swimming in un-forgiveness again. I want to challenge you to get humble and remember the times in your life where you sinned and hurt other people…thus becoming someone’s Key Person in their hurtful Mile Marker Moment.
Ask yourself, “Did Jesus die for my sin, so that I could be forgiven for it? The Answer is always, “Yes.” Once you acknowledge that Jesus died so you could be forgiven of the sins you committed, then ask yourself, “Did Jesus die, so the sins of the hurtful Key Person in my Mile Marker Moment, could be forgiven too? The Answer is always, “Yes.”
Jesus died for my sins that hurt others and the sins of those who hurt me.
I must forgive too.
Mile Marker Moment Memories are going to flash before you on a regular basis. Use the memory of it all to reflect in a way that continually pushes you to grow, improve, and shine. The alternative just isn’t worth it.
As you reflect on your Mile Markers, may you ever increase your ability to be better, not bitter.
Mile Marker Moments…even the horrifically painful ones…can make you better.
It’s a choice.
We have a lot of miles ahead of us. As we continue our journey, I pray that we will slowly and steadily improve in our ability to be better prepared for the new Mile Markers that we will soon encounter and never forget.
Love ya. If I can assist you through life in a way that helps you get closer to Jesus, just ask and I’ll do my best.