Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Seed For Thought

Our intentions -- noticed or unnoticed, gross or subtle -- contribute either to our suffering or to our happiness. Intentions are sometimes called seeds. The garden you grow depends on the seeds you plant and water. Long after a deed is done, the trace or momentum of the intention behind it remains as a seed, conditioning our future happiness or unhappiness. --Gil Fronsdal

There is no doubt I have written about this before and there is no doubt that I will write about it again. We are who we are and where we are because of our choices. Well, in reality, it goes far deeper than our choices because our choices were predetermined by our thoughts and the way we think. As the saying goes...”Watch your thoughts, they become your words; Watch your words, they become your actions; Watch your actions, they become your habits; Watch your habits, they become your character; and your character becomes your destiny.” Like a river flowing through uncharted wilderness, our character takes its shape by the choices we make, but those choices all started with a thought. In the end, we are not what others think we are, and we are not what we think we are, but we are what we think and what we think, like a stone hitting the waters of a lake, will have a ripple effect upon the outcome of our lives.

James Allen said, “You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” I have witnessed many people (especially youth) who grow up angry. Angry at their parents. Angry at their circumstances. Angry at God. This unchecked anger begins to permeate their every thought. When they speak, they speak within the framework of this anger, and soon their actions are mirroring this deep seated resentment. As time passes, this unbridled anger now consumes their every move, and since anger never bodes well, their destiny is not a good one. Sadly, with a lack of honesty and non-confrontation of self, this anger is cloaked within a cocoon of self-justifications. But no matter how much the anger is covered up, its there and the harvest will and does come. Like rearranging chairs on the Titanic, you may get a better view, but the ship is still going down.

So then, if our thoughts, whether they be anger, hurts, pains, and resentment, have brought us to where we are today, then is it possible to change our tomorrow? To this, I give an emphatic, YES! Napoleon Hill said, “Man, alone, has the power to transform his thoughts into physical reality; man, alone, can dream and make his dreams come true.” Many an author and poet have said, ‘Change your thoughts, and you change your world!’ But to do this takes courage. Courage to be something that few truly want to or can be. It takes a sincere honest look at oneself. To honestly examine one’s heart is probably the most difficult thing a man or a woman can do. This is why I love the Word of God, because it gives me the truth without the excuses I usually am apt to give when I try to examine myself by myself. Truly, if we are honest, there is no way we can give an unbiased assessment of who we are. We have to have something outside of ourselves to help us break up the monotony of what’s going on within us. Family, friends, and other humans can only go so far, because they too are full of their own feelings and biases. But the Word of God, well, I will let it speak for itself. Hebrews 4:12 - “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” In this day and age of smoke and mirrors, I am in need of the TRUTH.

There is ONE principle we need to understand as we move to change the way we think. We live in a very push button, instant gratification world. A world where technology has actually stolen the victory that comes with true and honest work. Unbeknownst to us, many of us live within the Burger King mind set...we want it our way, and we want it NOW! But I want to remind you of the farmer who has plowed his field, and planted the new seed. He doesn’t go out the next day and expect the harvest. Before a harvest can ever be celebrated, the farmer understands the seasons and he works evermore diligently to protect the newly planted seeds from the fowls of the air, beast of the field, and the myriad of weather changes that may take place. So today, as you begin to examine your heart and meditate on the idea of a fresh start. Remember this new harvest will not occur over night. It will take honest work to break up the fallow ground, plant new thoughts, and then protect them long enough to produce the kind of harvest you have always wanted in your life. Yes, its work...its hard work...BUT anything that is worth anything in this life has always come with hard work!

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