This is a delightful acronym that comes to us via the computer programing world. It references the concept that the out comes from any computer program are only as valid as the input data. If we put garbage in, we can only expect that we will be getting garbage out.
As I have contemplated this truth, I have started to see that it applies to all of life. As I look at every aspect of my life, I see this principle at work.
My body is a very sophisticated machine and if I want it to operate well, I need to think about the things that I am putting into it and the things I am doing to it. Today, I am keenly aware that the food I eat, the exercise I do and the sleep I get all affect my energy and my quality of life. But this truth not only applies to the physical aspect of this machine called; me. It also applies to the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of my life and therefore, my well being. The quality of my life is greatly dependent upon the inputs that I allow into my system.
We have been provided with a growth paradigm. In Luke 2:52, we are told that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. As I think about what it means to grow in these four quadrants, I realize that my growth will be dependent upon what I put into my system. We are encouraged to not allow the world to squeeze us into its mold but to let God remold our minds from within. How does that happen? It does not happen without healthy inputs.
To be successful in my growth plan I must learn to edit my inputs. I must learn to say no to that which will slow me down and keep me from being the person I have been called to be. I must choose to focus on that which will allow me to move toward excellence, to move toward being vibrantly alive.
Maybe, the critical question for each of us this day: What are we putting into our system? With what you are putting in, is it reasonable to think that you will be living life to the fullest? What do you need to say No to? How will this allow you to say yes to the critical inputs that will transform your life into a Hallelujah?
You and I are called to live a life that is a hallelujah, from head to toe.
Go For It!
We had not talked in a couple of months and so the conversation started with the standard: “HOW THE HECK ARE YOU DOING?” For the next 12 minutes he told me about his adolescent kids, his wife’s health, his resigning from his job and the decision to start a new business. As he took a breath I replied with a “wow, one has to be on their toes to keep up with you.” His response was classic: “My mother always said she needed to be on her knees to keep up with me.”
Maybe that defines the two positions that we need to master if we are going to deal with life.
“Being on our toes” seems to have its roots in the athletic world. In order to engage in most athletic endeavors we need to be in the ready position. A position of crouched anticipation, with our weight lightly on our toes. From this stance we are able to move quickly in any direction as we respond to the requirements of the game. In contrast, to be caught ‘flat footed’ is to be ‘out of position’ and unable to respond to the stimuli of the game. Life seems to require a nimbleness and agility as we respond to a constantly changing landscape. In a sense, we always need to be ‘on our toes’.
Yet, ‘being on my knees’ might be the most important position of all. Being on my knees is the classic position of prayer. Being on my knees is a position that recognizes at least two critical truths. One: there is a wonderful, awesome, majestic God who is worthy of my honor and praise. Two, I am in need of His love and direction. Without Him, I am nothing. Yet, with Him I am able to do more than I ever dreamed or imagined. “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
My conclusion, this day, being on my toes and being on my knees are both very important. Yet, there is a critical sequencing. First and foremost, I need to be on my knees so that I can respond to His leading. As He leads, I need to be on my toes so that dynamic response might be possible.
I am curious, would your life experience validate the knees>toes sequencing?
Where are you most flat footed in the journey?
Have an awesome day!
In His Grip,
Who and what are the energy enhancers in your world?
You know them, but maybe you have not identified them. They are those people that bring a smile to your face and a bounce to your step. When you see them walking across the parking lot, you quicken your pace to catch them and discover how they are doing and what they are up to. Invariably, what they are doing is a bit outside the norm and every inch of them seems to be vibrantly alive. Or, maybe it is a situation/event, that enhances your energy. A view from a mountain peak, the sound of rain on the roof, a spectacular sunset, the smell of a wood fire, holding a hand or saying a prayer might be the event that triggers memories and allows you to sense that you are alive & not alone. Once we start to understand the dynamics of energy enhancement……then we go out of our way to experience the richness of life that comes with such enhancement.
Yet, this raises the question: are you an energy enhancer? Are you vibrantly alive? Do you radiate energy? Are people encouraged because they have encountered you, this day?
I have been wrestling with these questions. I am convinced that I am called to be a blessing in the lives of others. I have been blessed in order to be a blessing. I am convinced that I am called to live with vibrant energy so that I can give that energy away as I encourage others to come alive.
At this point I need to take a serious inventory of my life. I need to look at my personal disciplines and ask some difficult questions. Does my personal life style facilitate my being vibrantly alive? Am I keeping the promises that I have made to myself (personal integrity) and to God? Am I moving outside my comfort zone so that the Giver of all Gifts might be pleased with my choices and with how I bless others?
Jesus said that he came in order that we might have life and that we might have it abundantly (John10:10). Do my choices & my attitudes reflect my value system? Am I an energy enhancer because of the life and energy He has given me? Do my personal choices amp my energy, for His glory?
Maybe, all of this gets summarized by a bumper sticker that said: “If you feel the joy of the Lord in your heart, why don’t you notify your face?”
Today I choose to give joy! Today I will enhance the energy of others!
In His grip,
It was 5:30 in the morning as we unloaded the truck. The only illumination came from our headlamps as we checked our gear and clicked into our skis. Quickly we were moving forward and upward with our poles in our hands and our skis on our feet. It was very cold but we knew that quite soon we would be warm as we ascended from our 9600 ft. starting point. Uphill, on skis, at this altitude can quickly tax one’s aerobic conditioning and this day was no different. Yet, as the sun started to lighten the darkness into early morning shadows, we settled into a rhythm that was sustainable and that spoke of progress. And before too long we were at our 12,500ft. destination. From this vantage point we could look out over many snow covered peaks and we could bask in the beauty of a new day, in the middle of the Colorado Rockies.
Now all we had to do was take off our climbing skins and descend back down to the valley below. We had earned out turns!
Later, back in the warmth of a comfortable home, I reflected upon the mini adventure that I had enjoyed. I reflected upon the incredible playground called the Rocky Mountains & the good health that allowed me to get out and enjoy a morning and I said Thank You! I also reflected upon the climbing skins which I had attached to my skis. These allowed me to slide my skis forward and they kept me from sliding backward. With these skins on my skis I could take healthy steps forward and I could gain new heights with reasonable safety.
What is it in life that allows us to keep moving forward and moving higher? What allows us to move to the high ground and gain perspective on the valley below? I believe it is wrapped up in John 14:20. It is about Him being in me and my being in Him. It does not mean I won’t slide backwards, at times. But it does mean that I can keep moving ahead. That I can celebrate life!