Originally posted on Facebook HERE
Just all kinds of thoughts swirling around in my head again today. The decisions we make can have such a profound affect on our lives. Is it an opportunity or a temptation? Are we choosing pandemonium or peace? What role, if any, does God play in our lives? Wherever our lives are at today, the answers to those questions in the past are shaping our present moment reality. Opportunity or temptation is one that’s been on my mind lately. Seems like all opportunities are temptations. But not vice versa. We get tempted by things that seem like opportunities at times, but aren’t. It’s not always easy to see which is which. Years ago, in a very short period of time (I remember it as a couple weeks), two highly sought after vintage bass guitars came into my life. Both way under valued by the sellers. The first was asking $350. At that time in my life that was about all I had. But I knew it was worth way more than that. So I bought it. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, I knew it’s value, I knew it would leave me strapped for cash, but really felt it was worth it (turned out to be a great purchase). Then – not long after that another guy brings a vintage bass to a show asking $500 for it – way under the current value at the time (a 1964 Fender Jazz bass for those of you who might be interested). I had like no money having just bought the other one, but it was such a great deal the band I was playing with just donated the gig money to me as a loan to buy it on the spot. So now I had two vintage basses and was basically $500 in debt. But that also turned out to be a great deal for me. It was worth the risk because it had a tangible value that I knew, and those basses were my main basses for years before I sold them at a huge profit long after the debt was paid back. Then there’s the times we make a decision to take a risk on something thinking it’s a great opportunity, and we get screwed. That’s never fun. Leave a job for supposed greener pastures, then realize right away it isn’t going to work, but the bridges have been burned and now what?… Get caught up in a sales pitch and spend a bunch of money on something that isn’t a necessity, you never really use it, and it creates financial hardship. Temptations. I’ve learned that in the “opportunity vs. temptation” area, you better do your research, or know the situation well enough to understand the opportunity instantly (like the basses I described above). Don’t make decisions that are uncomfortable because of outside pressure being put on you for a choice you’re not 100% sure of. Which leads me to “pandemonium vs. peace”. I often make what I would call “pandemonium” choices in my life. Yet I truly believe that what my soul yearns for is peace. But I put a lot of pressure on myself to stay in shape, be a top producer at work, play in bands, record, write books, meditate, read, take vacations, and own all the coolest newest stuff… I tend to say “yes” a lot. Can you play bass on Friday night?… (asked on a Tuesday, knowing that my work schedule would only allow me to practice from 8-12pm on the night before the gig and I’d have to learn 40 songs) – sure! I can do it. It’s like I set myself up for anxiety. I want to do, to be, to have everything. My ego (the part of me that lives in my head, not my belief in how great I am) is very strong, and that strength often helps me get things done, because while others are thinking about doing it, I’ll just do it. Once I get focused in on something, I tend to not mess around. But what happens is an intensity of life that can really be seen as pandemonium. Just so many things going so many directions that it’s hard to keep track of it all. Here’s where minimalism, and/or decluttering would really help me. It’s hard to relax when you have 18 hours worth of things to do in every 16 hours of waking time. That’s totally my fault, because I tend to see opportunities in almost every temptation. Saying yes before thinking about whether that choice will bring you pandemonium or peace can have consequences of its own. And, finally – what role does God play in your life? All of us who believe in God do so in our own way. Do we always seek His wisdom before moving ahead? Are we secure in our hearts before we do something, buy something, or make a significant change? Often it’s the decisions made in the heat of the moment before we’re truly secure within our hearts that will come back to bite us. And even if you don’t believe in God, we’re all born with a sense of right & wrong, with emotions. If it feels wrong, don’t do it – even if your head is saying go for it. The decisions we make today will determine our future. Opportunity, temptation, pandemonium, peace… which path will you take today?