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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Life's going to press you until you make up your mind.

     There's no easy way through this thing called life. I wish there were— I'd take it. But there isn't. So you have two choices: #1)Avoid life's challenges #2)Take on life's challenges. In Claude Bristol's classic book The Magic of Believing he had some people that came to him for help stand in front of a full-length mirror and look into their eyes. "I made them look into their eyes," he wrote, "and tell me what they saw there— crybabies or fighters?" Well, which are you?
     Life got you beat? (I heard of a Country & Western song title that went: "I've fallen in love (and I can't get up.)") Are you down for the count? Not getting up off the canvas?
     I hope not. Because if you are, you're in for a miserable life. What's the saying? 'A brave person dies but once; but a coward a thousand times.'
     But maybe you're thinking, Well, maybe I'll be able to slide by in life? Maybe I'll be lucky and won't have to decide?
     Sorry. It ain't gonna happen. Life is going to run you down by your fear and make you decide if you're going to live as a coward or a courageous person.
     Here's the deal: you're going to suffer as either one! Yes, you'll suffer as a courageous person too. You'll be facing fearful, challenging situations and that will be hard. But ah, at least you get great stuff out of it.
     This writer I like, James Hollis, talks about having this incredibly difficult decision he had to make in his life. He was contemplating leaving his home in America to study in Europe. Nobody in his family had ever done anything even remotely as challenging. But Hollis felt so strongly he should go. But he was scared to go. But see, he was also scared to stay. (And face the self-recrimination for chickening out and missing out on the great opportunity and adventure life had presented to him.)
     He wrote: 'To go was to die; and to stay was to die.' He went on to write about how if you're in a situation like that, you might as well choose the kind of death that leads to growth and deepening.
     Next time life presses you, which kind of death are you going to choose?

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