Significant Setback?

Setback:  “A problem that makes progress more difficult or success less likely.”

Son, setbacks are part of life.  We will experience many on our journey.  Sometimes setbacks are the result of something you did or failed to do.  Other times delays can happen from things outside of your control.

Most of my setbacks were self-induced.  It is hard for me to blame them on anything or anyone else.  I think you will find that if you are really being honest with yourself, there is almost always something you could have done to change the outcome.

For example, when I was first laid off about a year ago, I blamed everyone but myself.   I blamed that darn Obamacare.  I blamed our new VP, I blamed the company.   I was mad at anyone who voted for our President, despite my warning that it could eventually lead to me losing my job.   After the dust settled I realized it was all my fault.  I didn’t want to be there.  I wasn’t working as hard as I could have.  If I really wanted to be in control of my own destiny, I would have done anything I could have to impress our new company leadership.  I would have shown the value I bring when I am operating at 100%.

Well, this month I suffered another big setback in my quest.  I had all the tools, but I left them sitting in the toolbox instead of using them.  I lost sight of my mission.   I stopped writing and haven’t been going to church.  I had to almost force myself to pray every day and I didn’t open the bible all month.   I haven’t offered one piece of advice to you since New Year’s Eve.  I spent countless hours in front of the TV and playing poker online.  Everything I was doing to help you was gone.

Doubts started to take over.  I found myself questioning God’s plan for me, and the stress was creeping back in.

“Maybe writing isn’t what God wants me to do.”

“I am a failure”

“I am letting you down”

“Maybe God wants me to be broke”

“How can I help you when I can’t even help myself?”

“I only have 56 days until my job ends, what am I going to do?”

These are the things that I thought about this month.   What a change from where I was.   I know the path I should continue traveling down, but I stepped off of it once it got a little rocky.

Here is how it happened:  I stopped going to church.   I stopped reading the bible.  I stopped praying every day.  I forgot I needed God’s help.  Church is so good for me!  When I don’t go, the devil gets a little more of an opening to get in and affect my plans.  I realized it is impossible to see the signs God is giving me when my eyes are shut.   I wasn’t consistent.

Now I look at the month of January 2014 as a learning lesson for me.  There was a reason God wanted me to follow this detour.  He wanted me to remember how easy it is to get off track.  He wanted to show me how a day away can lead to a month, a year, a decade…..    I went dark last month, but I refuse to let it carry on any further.   The devil thought he had it easy with me over the last 20 years, I will prove him wrong.  I will make his life more miserable than it already is.

Son, remember setbacks and delays are going to happen.  They only turn into failures when you don’t pay attention to how they happened and learn how to avoid them.  Don’t let them get you down, and try to remember all the good you have done.   If you think all hope is lost, it probably will be.  Give yourself credit for realizing your areas of improvement, because a lot of people don’t even look for theirs.

When you get in a slump, act.  Don’t sit still waiting for it to pass.  Analyze how it happened, and figure out what you can do differently to avoid it next time.    I am back, but who knows how long it will be before I endure another month like this.  All I can tell you is I will try my best and be consistent with the things I know will keep me on track.  (Church, prayer, faith, hard work, determination)  I didn’t do any charitable giving, and I didn’t share God’s wisdom with you or anyone else.  Maybe that is because God knew the person who needed the most help this month was me.

Now I feel great!  I can’t stop writing.  I feel incredibly good about myself again.  I am confident God wants me to continue teaching you these life lessons.  I feel lucky that even a fool like me is worthy of God’s love.  I will be patient and I won’t question how long it will take to accomplish our plan.  My eyes are wide open again!

I love you son!

Dad

Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

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