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How’s Your Retirement Plan Going?

September 27th, 2013 Filed under Intentional Living Comments Off on How’s Your Retirement Plan Going?

Patio

View from my patio!

The birds are whistling as the sun is coming up.

The palm trees are singing as the wind blows through their fronds.

The lake is ripping as the breeze moves gently across the waters.

It is peaceful place.

It is a serene time.

It is a tangible feeling.

This is my patio. This is my refuge. This is my “settling my soul” place.

But as the rush of the traffic is off in the distance and the to-do list Siren is calling my name, I am reminded of the following story:

The yuppie was taking his annual 5-day vacation at a tropical resort that was isolated but not so remote that his iPhone didn’t work. Each morning, he watched a local fisherman walk to the port, board his boat and push out to fish. Upon returning to port, he would sell the fish at the market and then after lunch take a nap in his hammock while his children played in the yard. He would then finish off his day watching the sunset with his wife from the front porch of his hut.

After two days of this, the businessman decided to not waste his vacation but rather help this uneducated fisherman out. He devised a strategic plan and on day 4 of his vacation he met the fisherman as he walked to his hammock.

“Look here, sir, I have a great plan to share with you that will change your life!” This of course intrigued the fisherman and he stopped to listen.

“Here is the plan…if instead of working just three hours a day you worked eight (or maybe 10), you could purchase a car within six (or maybe 9) months so that you don’t have to walk to the port. After ten (or maybe 18) months, you could purchase a second boat and hire your buddies to work for you. After five (or maybe 9) years, you could have a fleet of boats and would be managing the entire operation from your office. Then after 10 (or maybe 14) years with, of course, proper investment, you could sell the business and retire. And I would be happy to come once a year to help you make this happen. So what do you think?”

The fisherman pondered a moment and said, “If I purchase a car, then how will I let my mind ponder? If I hire my buddies to work for me, how will that affect our relationships? If I managed the fleet from my office, how can I feel the wind on my face and the sun on my back?”

“Those our all good questions,” the businessman said but in his mind he was thinking, “This guy is really a fool!”

“But it is all worth it, sir, because you will be able to retire!!”

“Retire…what is that?”

“Well, when you retire you can take long afternoon naps, play with your grandchildren whenever you want and sit on the porch and watch the sunset every evening.” 

Who is the wise one now? May we fish less and retire more!

The Best Fixing

September 11th, 2013 Filed under Personal Comments Off on The Best Fixing

Hopeless.  Helpless. Wanting to fix. Desiring change.GirlFixingBike

These feelings are swirling around me these past few weeks. In my close circle of friends there are so many crises and struggles that I sense I can do nothing about. Fixing a marriage that is not only on the rocks but is beaten by the waves is not in my power. Stopping the ravages of cancer that are destroying two of my friends is not in my skill set. Providing the money to meet significant financial needs is not in my bank account.  Relieving the stress of a huge workload that appears to only grow larger by the moment is not in my ability. And then when the eight character text, pls pray, comes across my iPhone screen my heart is gripped and my stomach is in knots because I feel so helpless because prayer is all I can do.

So with reluctance and not much faith, I cry out to my God. I don’t know what to say…I can’t give Him a plan to fix it…so I pray in the Spirit. I beg for relief. I intercede and slowly God does a work on my heart. It is true I can’t fix, stop, provide or relieve but He can.

He is the Restorer of broken walls.

He is the Healer of our bodies.

He is the Provision for all our needs.

He is the Way Maker when there seems no way.

So my helplessness is really a gift to my friends and to myself. In my helplessness, I turn to the only One who can make a difference. I lean into the One who is made strong in my weaknesses. I cry out to the One whose ears are inclined to me.

And then the peace comes, the Prince of Peace, and I realize the best “fixing” I can do for my friends is praying.

What about you? Are you turning to Him? Are you leaning in to Him? Are you crying out? May we not think that prayer is the last resort but know that it is the first and only resort.