McDowell Technical Community College

Life Lessons

By Doug Harrell

As I write this I just happen to be celebrating my 75th birthday and it is a little sobering to say the least.  None of us know the number of days that we will live or what our struggles will be along the road of life, we do not have a crystal ball that shows the future and we are probably lucky that we do not.  Having faith and patience along the way is critical if we are to face the day with grace and peace in our hearts, as the years pass I understand that more and more.  We really live in a world of instant gratification today, point and click and it is done.  God does not work like this and his timetable is often much different from ours.  Learning to wait upon his timetable is one of the hardest lessons we learn, if we ever truly learn it, in life“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 KJV 

Learning to wait takes a degree of faith and patience that many of us, myself definitely included, find lacking at times.  I have found through the trials and struggles of life that delving into the Word is the only true way to develop the faith we need.  “So, then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”Romans 10:17 KJV  It takes a commitment on our part to spend time each day to have some message time between ourselves and God.  Quiet time that is not interrupted with all the pressures of the world around us.  I can assure you that if you are fortunate to live long enough, you will have challenges, maybe mental, maybe physical or maybe both, we don’t know but they will come.  Being able to face the day with certainty only comes with the true understanding that we are children of the King and that we are his handiwork.  Without this faith, life is nothing but a dead end road that ends in a dust heap.  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 KJV

Learning to face daily challenges with joy in our hearts is key to a happy and fulfilled life.  So many people lose that joy to the circumstances that come their way and I don’t want to sound glib about it, but we pretty much make the decision about our attitude ourselves.  We can choose to accentuate the negative or the positive, there will always be an ample supply of each to go around.  We need to always remember the little song, ”eliminate the negative, accentuate the positive and don’t mess with mister in-between”.  We cannot control the cards that we are dealt in life, but we can control how we play the deck and this needs to always be on our minds.  I have found that when I start having a pity party, if I take the time to just look around, I have a world full of things to be thankful for and I would suggest that that would be true for most of us.  “Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him,  and bless his name.” Psalms 100:3-4 KJV  In life, a large percentage of our happiness will depend on our attitude, work on controlling what you can, accept what you can’t and give thanks to the Lord daily for the many blessings that come your way