Life in the Fast Lane



By 11:20 AM , , , , , , ,

It's hard not to complain. In fact, I think it's much easier to find something to complain about than it is to find something to be thankful for.

It's easier to complain about rendering overtime at work than it is to be thankful for having a job in the first place.

It's easier to complain about the traffic on the road than it is to be thankful for having a way home.

It's easier to complain about people who irritate you than it is to be thankful for a chance to be a blessing to them.

I would know. I have a tendency to complain. To nitpick. To get frustrated. To get impatient.

Sometimes, I need serious wake-up calls to remind me of how blessed I am, especially when the really petty things can get to me. I need to realize again and again how these trivial things don't matter at all in the grand scheme of things.

And this weekend, by God's grace, I did get such reminders.

Aside from getting to worship at our church's new home (this deserves another entry), they'd invited a very famous and inspirational speaker to share his story: Nick Vujicic, a.k.a. the man with no limbs.

Image grabbed from Google.

I'd heard of him in recent years, but I was so excited to learn that he would be coming to the Philippines and speaking in our very own church.  

He spoke exactly the way he would in videos I saw of his different speaking engagements. He interacted with the congregation, cracked jokes, gave inspirational stories about himself and people he'd met through the years, and spoke with authority.

One of the things he said which struck me most was this: "Don't let circumstances define your joy."

How often do we do this: when things are uphill, we smile; when things aren't going our way, we get depressed. 

Coming from someone who had every reason to be upset — and he wasn't saying that he never was upset; he just chose to look at things differently — I felt bad for all those times I let circumstances rob me of my joy.

One of the things that I struggle with is the fact that I don't like it when plans change or something comes up. I get stressed, upset, and sometimes my day gets messed up completely. I can be a control freak that way, and as trivial as this example sounds, I realized that I just have to let go and trust that that He does have a reason for such interruptions or detours in my day-to-day existence or in my life as a whole.

I realized how our perspective/s can really determine our attitude. When we become self-serving and self-seeking, it's so easy for us to get upset. But when we focus on what we can learn from unfortunate situations and how we can bless or inspire people in the process, things will turn around. 

In fact, Nick also said this: "I was asked if I'd rather have no arms and legs or have arms and legs. I'd say 'no arms and legs.' Why? Because God wouldn't be able to use me the way He has!" He said this with a big smile on his face and even added, "I don't need arms and legs. I'm soaring on the wings of the Holy Spirit!"

Image taken from our church's website.

I also realized how often we take things for granted. In my case, something as basic as my pairs of arms and legs (and, by extension, hands and feet). The same arms and hands that I use for swimming, for writing, for taking photos, for gripping the handlebars of my bike, for designing; the same feet that I use for running, for walking, for swimming, for pedaling.

As a result of this, I also realized how, because we do take things for granted, it's so easy to be consumed by thoughts of what we don't have: more money, more power, more success, more fame, a love life, a life of single blessedness, a better body, more travel opportunities, more friends, more this-and-that.

When we focus on what we do have, we'll see just how rich and blessed we truly are. We ought to realize that just as we can be envious of what others have, others are likewise envious of what we do have.

And when we learn to be content with what we have, whatever the circumstance, then we can begin to discover and live out our life's purpose.

Then we become unstoppable.

If you want to listen to what Nick shared with us, here's a video link below:

Another Nick-ism: "If God can use someone with no arms and legs, He can certainly use you!"

Hope you're as blessed as I am!

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