Thursday, September 24, 2015

Your Problems, My Problems, The World's Problems

As I was heading down the railroad grade towards on my morning walk, I was hard at work finding solutions to our nation’s economic and political woes. It occurred to me that it was a lot easier and more pleasant to unravel the world’s problems than it was to solve my own problems.

Once on a flight back from Denver to Washington, I noted that the man sitting in front of me on the airplane had a thick Washington Redskin’s playbook. Although I didn’t then know who he was, it was obvious he was a coach. I told him quite seriously, “You better not let people see your playbook.”

Looking a bit concerned he asked, “Why?”

I informed him that then people like me would tell him how to do his job. I added with a touch of sorrow in my voice, “I have been telling the coaches of the Washington Redskins what to do every Sunday for over twenty years. They don’t listen to me.” We had a good laugh.

Sadly, he didn’t listen to my Solomonic wisdom either. After a few years, like all football coaches, he was fired. Currently he works for the Atlanta Falcons. I wish him well.

But who is to blame if I don’t heed my own advice to me?

I think if we are honest we usually know what caused our problems with money and we know what we need to do to make changes for the better. The real problem is that doing what needs to be done is usually hard and quite painful. There is also the looming possibility of another failure.

Maybe you lost your job. If so, you might have to give up a dream. It happens to professional athletes all the time. Some of them go on to successful second careers. Some, who have invested their millions wisely, spend the rest of their lives playing golf in Hawaii with their buddies. Some end up dead of an overdose, alone in a dark alley, or doing hard time in prison.

Perhaps you are a salesman. You know you need to make more cold calls. Personally, I am not cut out for that life. I don’t know how many times a day I could stand hearing the words, “No! Go away!” However if you are a salesman, you know what it takes to get your numbers up.

It is a lot easier to remain in some familiar place where no one is demanding that you do anything to better your life. It is hard to seek out new horizons, new friends, and new opportunities.

But if what you are doing doesn’t work. Please try something else.

If you honestly don’t know ask God, your higher power, or the universe according to your understanding of things. As the Apostle James observes, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

If you spend the necessary time asking yourself hard questions about your situation; if you honestly look deeply with clear unblinking eyes at the truth of your life; I believe you will find the guidance you need to overcome your problems.

However, (and this is the hard part) once you know the truth, Wisdom is proven correct by her deeds. James also observes, “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.”

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