Tuesday, December 28, 2010

So, you wanna fight?

Let it be proclaimed here at the end of the year 2010, that I, David Matthew Lovelett will no longer lounge passively on a beach while getting sand kicked in my face by opponents larger than me, which is virtually everyone. (The reality is that it’s still hard to see me when I turn sideways. Remember, I’m 6’ feet tall, and 165 pounds soaking wet.)

No, I am not talking about going on an extreme workout regimen to build physical muscles. God gave me this slim frame for a reason, and it’s not in the plan to put forth the time, expense, and effort into adding extra girth. I’ll settle for a two-pack, instead of six-pack abs.

I’m chiefly referring to mental strength. Remember, the mind is the battlefield. I believe most achievements in life are won or lost within our thoughts. Abraham Lincoln said “Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.”

Here are battles fought I am determined which can, and shall be won in order to achieve Big Dreams:

Forgiveness vs. Condemnation:

Holding resentment and bitterness towards others, as well as towards myself over mistakes I’ve made, is a battle lost. It is also the one battle that, if lost, will guarantee a loss in a war. I will fight hard to seek forgiveness, and to forgive others whenever offenses have occurred. (God help me on this one!!!) Now, I still have won my battle if I have asked someone to forgive me, and they do not. The other person will have lost his/her battle, but that’s out of my control.

Innocence vs. Guilt:

Without forgiveness, it is impossible to have a “clean conscience”. I find it hard to live peacefully, and without guilt whenever wrongful accusations have been made. It’s not about never making mistakes, or expecting others to never hurt me. That’s unrealistic. I will fight to acknowledge mistakes (mine or others), deal with them appropriately (internally and externally), and keep a proper perspective on them in order to be pure in my heart and mind.

Faith vs. Doubt:

This is a tough one, because it’s impossible to have faith without hope, and hope deferred makes the heart sick. It’s easy to believe in something for a day, a week, maybe even for a month. But, when that something doesn’t come to pass over time, faith turns to doubt. The fact is nothing significant (whether creating an invention, or maintaining a till-death marriage) ever occurs without hope for the end result. Doubt brings, at the very least, slowed momentum. Why waste the time on doubt? What’s the worst that could happen; dreams lost? That brings me to my next battle…

Courage vs. Fear:

Fear is such a cruel taskmaster. “I’m afraid of rejection. I’m afraid of failure. I’m afraid of embarrassment.” Here’s the deal; in our efforts to achieve Big Dreams, we probably will experience rejection, failure, and embarrassment. That’s just part of the process to test whether we are really determined or not. Achievements are really not achievements without resistance. Resistance is usually in the form or rejection, failure, or ridicule. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the determination to press on despite being afraid. The secret is that we usually survive rejection, failure, and embarrassment. So, if we can survive it, then why be afraid of it? Apply this principle to things like dentist visits, inoculations, criticism, debt collectors, or even the passing of a loved one. Fearing these things should not keep us from going to the dentist, or answering the phone, or falling in love. Do it afraid!!!

Perseverance vs. Rejection

Rejection, especially for individuals (like me) with melancholy temperaments can be debilitating. “If so-and-so doesn’t believe in me, how can I believe in myself?” The most comforting answer to this question I have found is this; because God believes in me. If the Great Creator of the universe created me (see Psalm 139) , and also gave me dreams and desires along with abilities (Psalm 37:4), then why should I be moved by human rejection? Here’s my mantra: My God loves and accepts as I am. My fulfillment and self-worth are not based upon any man’s feelings or thoughts towards me. In other words, I won’t let rejection stop me if I have God-given convictions.

There are many, many other battles to wage, however space doesn’t allow me to list all of them. I will leave you with one last thought though. Our goal is to win wars, and sometimes battles are lost. “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain”. If I fail to win any of the battles listed above, I won’t give up. I will engage once again, and eventually win the war, which is to see God’s plan for my life accomplished. (See Philippians 1:6)

So, from this point forward, the battle’s on. Now, who wants to get in the ring with me, including my 165 pound, two-pack abs?