Adversity or Advantage?

Adversity or Advantage? Which would you pick? I have always been told, “God gave you a brain, so use it.” Thinking is a part of everyday. It is a natural and necessary part of life, but “intentional thinking” is a choice and it is not so common. We all need to value our days and be more intentional in our thinking. I love the quote by Benjamin Franklin, “One today is worth two tomorrows: what I am to be, I am now becoming.” And I love the scripture found in Psalms 90:12, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Over the last 12 months I have observed how people spend their “free” time. I define free time as time people spend watching TV, playing a recreational sport, volunteering, surfing the internet, reading, shopping, etc. First, let me just say that I do some of all of this too. None of it, in and of itself, is bad, and everyone needs some time to not think and just relax. But many of us, including myself, can slip into a habit of taking something that is good for us and gradually turning it from something being done in moderation to being done in excess. I do understand that life seems to get busier and busier for most people. But as I have taken the time to really observe, it brings about a “grave” concern for our younger generation of people who range in age from 12 to late 20’s.

Media seems to be taking over this particular generation’s lives—their interests, their free time, and mostly their thinking! Even though I am a big fan of social media, and all the new forms of communication, I am not seeing much evidence of this younger generation stretching their own minds and futures. Instead I find they are sitting back and being entertained and absorbed in the lives of the “famous” or what their peers are saying or doing. Famous being defined as television stars, singers, dancers, athletes, politicians, and even infamous criminals. As for their peers, kids are taking valuable time to document and photograph every move they make to an extreme. They are basically unaware of their preoccupation.

Recently I took a personal observation survey (meaning I made some mental notes when around young people and no one knew what I was doing). I was shocked at all I learned from this age group about their interests and infatuations and the amount of “mind” time spent on people and things that don’t affect their future. The concern I have for these young people is that while in their prime, the young age of growth and opportunity, they are being “lulled away” by the intrigue of twitter, Facebook, vine, snap chat, TV shows, all forms entertainment, radio, etc. This is their culture. It is all they know!

Unless we as mature adults use our influence over the younger generation to help them see the need to discipline themselves in their “intentional thinking” (what they are allowing to control their thoughts and ultimately influence them), then they are, in my opinion, headed for “adversity” not “advantage.”

It is my opinion, and an opinion formed from studying history, that successful people make right decisions early and manage those decisions daily. Of course, in life many people can redeem themselves and have second chances to do great things. But never in our history has there been the “Bombarding and Encompassing” of “time robbers” where you get virtually little or no return on your time investment, therefore, “we/they/you are not numbering our days.” In fact, it can adversely affect anyone. Time is something you can never get back; once it’s gone………it’s gone. Young people tend to think, “I’ve got time!” They probably do have more time, hopefully, but they have, for the most part, no idea of the “precious” time that is wasted!!!

Advantage comes from an adequate preparation for tomorrow and the right use of today. A realization of being created by God for a purpose. Changing your life and becoming all that God intends for you to be starts in how you “value your day” and your life. Seeing your day and your time as a gift. Realizing that “most people don’t lead their lives—-they accept their lives.”—John Kotter. Everyone, including myself, needs to be keenly aware that decisions help us start and self-discipline helps us finish. Recognizing how you choose to think and what you choose to do daily significantly impacts your life. We all need to understand the payoff doesn’t come without a plan, and the plan doesn’t happen suddenly. It happens with DAILY intentional thinking and actions, which turn into weeks, which turn into months, which equals your life. Being intentional about how you think should influence how you spend your time.

Your life is your time. It is a gift from God………Your days are numbered………. How you spend them……will define your life.

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