Sunday, January 19, 2014


“The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light...” -Luke 11:34 Jeanie gave me some great Maui Jim sunglasses for Christmas. The glasses I had worn for years had worked just fine, but they were scratched, bent and worn out. But I hadn’t noticed. I was content to live with my old ones, but Jeanie noticed the need and the new glasses are awesome. Old things are like that- they work just fine until they are replaced with something new, and then the clarity and the change is dramatic. Life change can be like that too. We learn to live with less-than-the-best only to marvel at the change after it happens. But several challenges lie between the way it is and the way it could be. *Recognition of the need. I didn’t know I needed new glasses. Tolstoy said, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." We so quickly recognize the needs in others before we see them in ourselves. We are simply creatures of habit and though we intuitively see the flaws in ourselves, we avoid them as much as possible. But when the symptoms of the flaw grow large enough to get our attention, we encounter a “wake up call." Then the intervention begins and hopefully, the healing as well. * A willingness to let others help. Jeanie recognized my need for new glasses and I had to be willing to accept her gift. Most problems are solved with the help of a friend. And true friends come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Friends can be brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, co-workers, kids and any other people that care enough to lend us a hand. God is fully capable of helping us alone, but He usually chooses to use others to intervene. Why? Because the Lord is into love. And He recognizes that one soul helping another is love personified and practiced. * The ability to pay the price. The new sunglasses were not free. They were quite expensive- much more than my old pair cost years ago. All change comes with a price. We have to give up our pride, our control and our comfort with the way things have been. It’s simply hard to change from what was to what can be. But when we’re on the other side of the problem, we realize that the change was worth every penny. * The discipline to stay on course. I love the new glasses but I do miss my old Oakleys. It’s not so difficult to keep wearing the new glasses but when it comes to our own changes, it can be difficult. That’s why every positive change we make in our lives needs to be followed up with accountability. Being disciplined means we set and keep the goals necessary to keep the change in place. Regular times with God, breakfast with a friend every few weeks, and evaluating our goals are a few ways to ensure we are staying on track. We all need to be willing to make the changes necessary to improve to our lives. Remember, good intentions accomplish nothing. Take action. Remember that that nudge to bring clarity to an area of our lives just might be God spurring us to take the next step and actually do something about it. We need to remember that He will always give us the strength necessary to accomplish His goals. “Where God guides, He provides”. So, I’ll enjoy the clarity of the new glasses… …and the other changes as well. By Eric Joseph Staples ©

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