That or This!

Have you ever made a change in your life, just for the sake of change? How did that work out for you? I know that every time I have done that, the results are never good. We need to identify aspects of our lives that we want to change, develop a purpose for that change, develop a plan for that change, seek out the resources to help us with that change, and have a goal for that change. I often fall short in one or more of these “that’s” when I seek a change.

I am training for a marathon in 7 weeks and my training, for various reasons, was not getting me the results of improvement that I was expecting. This week I decided to make a change. I felt that I had little or no control over some of the factors that were preventing me from advancing in my training. I had to realize that and realize I cannot change “that”, but I can overcome “that”. The big “that” that I finally realized is that “that” were my excuses.

Do you have a “that” in any aspect of your life—I will admit I have had many! “That” person, “that” rule, “that” situation, “that” bad luck, “that” boss, “that” memory, “that” injury, “that” law, “that” that…I think you get the point.

We tend to point the finger to “that”, and by “that” I mean external forces, when things are not going so well for us, when times are tough, when we feel pain. Don’t get me wrong, there certainly external forces that affect our lives and quite honestly, some of those we cannot change. What we can always change is us and how we deal with the “that” in our lives.

I wonder if Paul was thinking along the same lines when he wrote in Romans 7:19 “I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.” I don’t think our struggles with “that” is anything new.

Won’t speak for you but I am tired of living in the “that”. I am vowed, in all aspects of my life to go for the “this”. In my mind “this” gives me promise, it gives me direction. I am not longer chained to the “that” which is the past and other things I have no control over. “This” faces me forward, through the power of God, to face and overcome “that” and leaves it behind.

I apologize if the “that” grammar of this writing got confusing. But here is the bottom line….

“That” entraps me and gives me reasons for excuses—“This” frees and empowers me to move on and trust in the blessings that God has for all of us.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

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