Wednesday, July 30, 2008

On my way...

I just learned that a friend of mine paid off his house using David Ramsey's method, outlined in his book, "Total Money Makeover." I'm excited for him, and it has renewed my commitment to being debt free.

Over the past couple of years, my wife and I have paid off almost all of our credit cards (we only owe $200 on one). We have one personal loan and a colossal ton of student loans. Even so, we have not used a credit card in well over a year, so whatever we are doing now is strictly cash (0r debit card). I've been selling a lots of stuff on Craigslist to pay down bills, and have started looking for another job to occupy my time off.

As I heard my friend tell me this yesterday, it occurred to me--he's debt free. High gas prices will not affect him as much as they affect me. Heck, high anything won't really affect him. He has several months of expenses saved up, his entire paycheck is there to cover utilities, groceries, etc...

So, I am motivated.

Gazelle intensity.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Ignoring My GPS

I took a short trip out of town yesterday and I used a GPS navigation system. As I was driving back home, I noticed that one of the electronic interstate signs warned of a five mile backup ahead. Since I was in familiar territory at this time, I decided to take a different, longer, yet backup-free route. This drove the GPS navigator crazy. Because this route was longer, the GPS kept asking me to turn around every time I reached an exit.

This reminded me about my relationship with God. There are times when God takes my life through something that makes no sense to me. After all, I know exactly where I should be going. It appears to me that God is taking a longer, more circuitous route. Frustrated, I constantly remind God that I am headed the in wrong direction. At every possible turn, I assist God with new directions and more suggestions on getting to where I need to go. Because, after all I know where I’m going.

It really boils down to one of two things: either I personally believe God wants the best for me, or I don’t. If I don’t believe in God, then any discussion about Him is irrelevant. If, on the other hand, Jeremiah 29:11 means anything to me, the choice then becomes whether I will trust Him.

The difficult thing about trusting God, at least for me, is learning to shut up and sit down. You see, God’s way is not always the easy way:

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:13-14

When I review my life and my plans, God’s directions may not make much sense. But, to follow my travel analogy, it very well may be that God sees the backup ahead and desires to avoid it altogether. After all, taking a little longer to get there is better than not getting there at all. What may appear to be shortcuts could be nothing other than fast exits out of God’s perfect plan.

That is the essence of trusting in God. I have to unequivocally believe that He knows what He is doing and where He is taking me. Had I paid attention to the GPS, I would have been stopped in traffic for a long time. Though the route I took was longer, I arrived faster than I would have had I gone the way the GPS directed.

So, if I want to end up where God wants me to go, I will allow God to direct my steps. Any delay in the process cannot compare to the hassles and pain of going my own way. Initially, God's way may not make much sense, but in the long run I'll get to hear the words of Matthew 25:21:

Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Shawn Chacon

Sometimes I think I’m too dumb to understand life like professional athletes do.

 http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2008Jun30/0,4670,BBNAstrosChacon,00.html

 So, let me get this straight:  I’m called to a meeting with my boss.  I refuse.  He insists.  During our vigorous discussion, I place my hands around his neck and throw him to the ground.  I then jump on him to continue our heartfelt exchange of opinions.  After I’m separated by my co-workers, I’m suspended, then fired.

 Tragic.  After all, this cannot be my fault.  So I'll have my union file a grievance because I was fired without cause.

The world of a professional athlete.  Funny thing is, he’s concerned he may never pitch again just because he grabbed his boss by the neck.  He’s not upset that he was fired for insubordination or physically assaulting his boss. He just wishes he’d been left alone. 

 http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2008Jun25/0,4670,BBNAstrosChaconSuspended,00.html

 If I did that, I wouldn’t be filing a grievance; I’d be asking for bail.