Take Control – Seize the Moment
“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ as you read this article. May He give us understanding.”
All over the world people let circumstances control their lives. They live in a “Blame the Circumstances” world. "If only" is a major part of their vocabulary. People use all kinds of excuses to justify their lack of taking control. They blame their lack of education or their lack of money. Some blame their spouse or too many mouths to feed or their dead-end job or their bad neighborhood or their ethnic group, or their age, etc. People blame their physical handicap or physical ailment and some even blame it on bad luck.
Another way circumstances control our lives is found in what I call the unplanned incidences of life. Examples: you drop something and it breaks; someone does something that irritates you; you have a flat tire; you accidently hurt yourself, etc. If we allow it, these circumstances will control our life. Results: We get angry. We play out the unpleasant scenario over and over again throughout the day. We get bitter.
- Psalms 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm.
You cannot control all the circumstances that come into your life, but you can control the results of the circumstances that come into your life! We must learn that our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions! We choose our actions! Always! No one ever makes you angry. You choose to get angry. It is always a choice.
Viktor Frankl is the author of Man's Search for Meaning. He was a medical doctor (psychiatrist) who survived the Holocaust. In the most degrading of circumstances, Frankl discovered a fundamental principle about the nature of man: Between stimulus and response, man has the freedom to choose! Here is a quote from his book: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” In that horrible prison he decided that if he survived he would use his prison experience to help other people find meaning to their life no matter how bad the circumstances. He related how he actually felt freer than the guards who were holding him prisoner.
My good friend Syvelle Phillips (deceased) used to travel this world regularly in his ministry. He said he had learned how to travel. I asked what he meant. He said he never let anything upset him. He refused to become frustrated. He related how different travel was in many third world countries. Airline schedules would often change without notice. You would miss a flight because it left several hours before it was scheduled to leave or it was not going to leave until the next day. Many times this caused him to miss his next speaking engagement. He learned to leave everything in God’s hands and just go with the flow. Fretting never changed anything.
Here is the lesson: Either you control the circumstance or the circumstance will control you. You control the circumstance by choosing how you respond. This is all about Attitude and it is why Attitude is one of the six operating levels in The Structure of a Significant Life. How do we take control? First we:
Seize the Moment
Define the moment. What is God up to at the moment an unplanned circumstance happens? And what is God up to in the ongoing circumstance of life we find ourselves in? God is using all the circumstances of life to conform us to the image of Christ.
- Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
God said His name is I AM. (Exodus 3:14) This means God is present at the moment in all circumstances. Even though He is the God of yesterday and tomorrow, He is especially the God of right now. I AM! So God is there in every circumstance to help us grow in our spiritual walk. Therefore, seize the moment and realize God is there to help in time of need.
- Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
We can make good decisions! God is present to help.
Here is how long standing circumstances (things we feel trapped in; things we feel are unchangeable) take control of a person.
- A person assumes they are trapped.
- A person begins to think everything is wrong; nothing is going to work.
- A person believes it is never going to get any better.
- Finally, a person develops a “What’s the use?” attitude. "Why even try?"
The above thought processes are lies of the enemy. All things are possible through Christ!
Here is how you change your life:
Make the choice to take control of the circumstances. Set Goals. Plan how to reach your goals. Make lists. Use a High Productive Planner to get things done. Start making progress. Persevere. Set yourself up to get a good report by making progress toward your goals.
- Proverbs 15:30 The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, And a good report makes the bones healthy.
Plan to be victorious.
- Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Rely on God’s help. Christ is here to help us take control. We can choose to live significantly even in the midst of bad circumstances. And when we do we are light in a dark world. Let your light shine!
For Coaches of the Significant life: One of our objectives as a significant life coach is to help our coachee become more productive and reach their highest potential. We help them become proactive about making life happen as God intends it. Otherwise, people spend their lives reacting to the circumstances of life and go where the winds of life blow instead of where the Holy Spirit leads. Goal setting, making a plan to reach the goal and making daily progress toward the goal is how people reach higher and higher in life. This is being responsible for their life. Life is all about the choices we make. We are the result of our choices.