Today @ The Gathering – January 18

4DumbestThingsIcon_LargeToday at The Gathering we continued in our current series, “4 Dumbest Things We Do In Down Times,” with installment number three, “We Sell Short And Get Short-Changed.”

You know what selling short is; it’s buy at one price, sell at a loss.  And you do it, not because you want to, but because you’re afraid. You’re afraid of what the future might hold.  That is what is so devious about the hold that bad news people have on us.  There are three characteristics of bad news people:

1.    They feed off of fear.
2.    They fuel on uncertainty.
3.    They foster doubt; not just doubt in the world out there – government, the economy, and global transition – but doubt in myself.  And self-doubt always leads to passivity, that is, doing nothing; that stuck feeling.  Oftentimes we’re stuck on stupid.

To illustrate the counterpoint to this we talked about what Solomon teaches us in the Old Testament; that there is nothing new under the sun; that what most people do is to chase the wind.  We talked about the difference between chasing the wind, and chasing the win. Everyone wants to have a winning life.  Who wants to be a loser? But oftentimes we are because we ignore one of the three following things that are never, never, never true during good times or bad times.

1.    It is never true that those who opt for the quick fix win.
2.    It is never true that those who take short cuts win.
3.    It is never true that those who think with their stomachs win.

We looked at the story in the Old Testament between two brothers, Jacob and Esau.  Esau, because he couldn’t see any value in his birthright, his long-term investment in the world, sold it for a meal.  How short-sighted!  And how short-sighted are we when we sell short just because we’re afraid in a volatile world.

We talked about three things that are mostly true, but not always true.

1.    It is mostly true, but not always true that you can begin again.  Sometimes, indeed, you cannot.
2.    It is mostly true, but not always true that life is a do-over.
3.    It is mostly true, but not always true that there is always next year.  Sometimes you just simply don’t have enough time, energy, and resources to waste on repeating the same old bad habits.

We talked about the three unbreakable laws.  These are laws that were true a thousand years ago, they are true today, and they’ll be true if the world lasts another five, six, seven thousand years.  They will always be true and they are things on which you can build into the future.

1.    The law of cause and effect.  The Scriptures are right when they tell us that if you don’t want to be judged, don’t judge.  If you want to be forgiven, forgive.  If you want to get, give.  Cause and effect always is true and cannot be broken.
2.    The law of sowing and reaping.  If you’re stingy, you’ll reap a stingy life.  If you’re generous, you’ll reap a life of generosity.  If you’re loving, you’ll get love.  If you sow apples, you get apples.  If you sow wheat, you get wheat.
3.    The law of delayed gratification.  And that is that we reap the benefit of these two laws over time, and not overnight.

And this is why we live in a culture that is so wrapped up in the quick fix, the shortcut, and make me feel good now. Cause and effect, sowing and reaping always take time.  But once the harvest comes in, oh what a harvest it is!

Next weekend we’ll deal with the fourth dumbest thing: “Waiting It Out And Letting The World Pass Us By.”

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