Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2
If you’re not ready for everything, you’re not ready for anything– Paul Auster
Regret’s Hard Lesson
This year I have one very important resolution: to be ready for anything at all times. It essentially is a strategy for helping me fulfil my life motto. There is nothing worse than realizing what could have been because it is already gone, the moment is already past. Someone could say, “Yeah but you can always relive the moment,” except the truth of the matter is, some moments cannot be recreated. You cannot make someone feel about you the way they did at the time they did so, before you gave the wrong impression about yourself through you making a fool of yourself, whether that was intentional or not. Losing dignity and self-honor-especially in the eyes of someone you care about-is most shameful and heart-wrenching. Now granted, the possibility of unknown circumstances bringing out the wrong side of you-more so prior to the time preceding your predicament-could be an underlying factor, unfortunately even if you were in a bad mood or had the wrong words slip out, you were responsible of your emotions and actions and therefore can really only blame yourself. Know what I mean?
The Appreciation Mentality
I cannot stress the astronomical importance of gratitude. They say that you only realize the value of what you have always had once you’ve lost it, right? On the other hand someone else may say that the real truth is you have always known what you had except were too proud and naive enough to think you would never lose it. On the one case, the former leads a passive life by growing a passive relationship because the time spent with the individual/s is not valued. The party/ies involved are therefore taken for granted. The latter case also has some passivity to it but with awareness added to the picture. In other words the first case loses time spent in the relationship, while the second wastes time. We never know how long the people who are in our lives are there for, so it becomes more than imperative that every encounter with each person is held in high regard. The person you shape yourself to be is heavily influenced by such experiences.
Composure: The Essence Of Self-Control
This one is actually a very serious step. It requires being extremely and brutally honest with yourself: How much do you really love yourself? I am not completely talking about self-esteem but I am referring to a crucial part of it. What you think of yourself determines how you behave in certain situations. Should anyone say something inappropriate about you or to you, they will undoubtedly receive something from you. Now depending on a few factors such as the individual, location, atmosphere, your reputation and mood, the degree to which you react will leave the recipient in for quite an experience. Your actions in any and every given situation will obviously bear consequences that you will need to be ready to face. With that said, pumping the brakes and driving slow, breathing in and out a few times, and literally taking a step back for a good perspective of what is before you, is the wisest course of action.
Measure Your Growth
Sometimes I wonder how much I have grown over the past few years. Not so much in stature but rather in character. Have I become someone who is more caring than before? If I were to be honest with myself, how patient am I really? It would be a good idea to write down the person you think you are or know yourself to be and who your closest friend/partner or spouse sees you as. Then after each month, write another list without looking at your previous one then compare. This is the simplest way to tell just how far you have come from the person you used to be. It is especially important if you are looking to change who you are now.
Every Season Is Your Season
Paul was encouraging Timothy to be ready to preach the gospel both when it was convenient to do so and when all things turned out to seem unfavourable. The urgency to spread the message was what outweighed the conditions necessary to do so. In essence, Timothy had to create those conditions. Just like him, we too need to be ready for anything that we can do for anyone at any given moment. We must not neglect opportunities to give, creative ways to love, decisions to mature during disagreements, and the need to do what we know is right and might hurt as well at the time. The key in gaining and maintaining the art of being auto-alert, is not so much a security mentality where we take precautions to protect our valuables and loved ones, that goes without say, but rather how we handle the discomforting, depressing and disappointing times where naturally anyone and everyone would expect us to react in a typical manner. If we can do the opposite of what is conceived and perceived to be understandable and expected, basically be unpredictable and yet beneficial, then we are one step closer to living life and not merely existing.