Day One.

DayOneSometimes life seems like a big
steaming pile of blah.

 

Nothing is right.
Everything seems pushed or contrived.
Nothing is real.
It’s as if nothing matters, or, even if it did, stuff moves soooooo slowwwww that we can’t see our way out of it.
Focus is lost.

A couple weeks ago, a few friends and I embarked on something new. We weren’t trying to reinvent the wheel or anything, just making an effort to be responsible… take ownership, per se.
I remember the feeling of fear, well, maybe not fear, but the weight of responsibility and an intense internal dialogue of DONT SCREW IT UP! blasting through my mind. I was motivated. I was full of hope. While my head was telling me, You’re in way over your head, bro, my heart was telling me, “Lay it at Jesus feet. It’ll be okay.”

At the end of our first meeting, we prayed together and afterwards, one of the guys says, “Today is day one.” We all agreed, solemnly shook hands, and left to go our separate ways. But the words ‘Day One’ remained with me.

For the next week or so, those two little words continued to bounce around in my head… almost irritatingly so. I kept wondering why; nothing came to mind. I should have been cognizant enough to stop and ask God if he was talking to me. But I didn’t. Life was happening. Busy-ness kept knocking. Distractions took precedence. So I just dismissed it as an odd preoccupation. End of story.

facebook-friend-requestA couple days later, I got a friend request on Facebook. This person had just created an account and I sent them a Welcome to FB hello using just the words Day One. In that moment, it was as if I had turned on a faucet. Images of what Day One actually meant started flooding my mind: the day I met my wife-to-be, our wedding, getting out of the Navy and quitting smoking cold turkey at the same time, my son’s birth, my daughter’s birth, the first day I could jog one mile without rest, pushing back the personal best distance wall to eight miles, when broken my foot was healed, the day my wife and I took over the small group we lead, graduating college, the first day at my current job, the moment when I discovered that the first love experience between myself and Jesus is EXACTLY like that moment when I realized that I truly loved my wife (technically, she was my girlfriend, but you get the point).
The flood of images was like a Florida afternoon rainstorm… fast moving, powerful, and over in a flash.

But I got it.

Day One isn’t a specific day; it’s a way of life. A thought process.

Do you remember the day you started your current job?
Remember how you felt?
The potential? The commitment? Hopes and dreams pulsing through your veins?
Do you remember the day you met your Love? Do you remember the focus you directed toward that person? The passion? The fierce drive to be faithful, honest and true? The desire to be with them every waking moment? The friendship that blossomed? The fire they injected into your veins with just a look?
How about your kids? The day they were born, you vowed to protect them and raise them to be greater than yourself; to be shining examples of everything you hold dear. The sense of responsibility that hit you was intense. And what about that day you really met Jesus for the first time and submitted your life to Him? Remember the resolve? Remember the set in your jaw when you vowed to love Him and honor him and follow Him and trust His Word and

What happened?
What happened to vision?
What happened to focus?
What happened to me?

Sigh.
Life happens.

Bad things that distract us happen. And we allow it.
Awesome things that distract us happen. And we allow it.
We get busy. We revel in our busy-ness and all of a sudden, everything is blurry, unfocused, and fifty shades of blah.

And we’re stuck. Nobody’s fault but our own.

Day One.

I’ll say it again. Day One.

DAY ONE!

Do you see it?
You have a brain between your ears that is specially designed to remember events and great things and feelings and awesomeness… for what?
It’s there to remind you of where you have been and where the right attitude will take you.

Oh, cmon, that stuff happened in the past. Things are different now. I’m different. We’re different. Those things don’t apply anymore. You’re such a head-in-the-clouds dreamer.

Who says they don’t apply? Where do you get the idea that the same focus and commitment and drive and love that got you started no longer applies now… years later?

I recently lost 70 pounds. I still have 50 or so to go, but I’m getting there. What I find interesting is that people that haven’t seen me in a while (some who are also needing to lose weight) come up to me wanting to find out what plan I’m on. They want to know the secret. They’re hoping for the New Thing. The Magic Bullet. I see the interest and hope in their eyes as they excitedly wait for me to divulge the One Thing that has made it easy for me to take off the weight.

But when I tell them that I did it by walking first, then jogging, going to the gym, and totally changing my diet, eating good food, not junk, day after day after day, I see their eyes glaze over and the interest quickly fades to defeat. They don’t want to hear that the way we learned to be healthy years ago in our youth still applies. Focus over fantasy. Application over meditation. Effort over elixir. Day One isn’t easy.

Day One takes work.

If you look back through history, you can think of hundreds of Day One moments.

9-11. Pearl Harbor. Independence Day. Martin Luther’s The 95 Theses. Think of Peter in Acts 2 Pentecost, a Day One experience if there ever was one. But so was the day after Jesus had died on the cross and was still buried in the tomb. The questions the disciples must have asked themselves in that moment.
And how about before? How about the dark days, when Jesus was arrested and Peter watched himself deny his connection to Jesus three times, instantly regretting what he had done. Each of these difficult days was preceded by the pinnacle of Peter’s Day One experiences,.. the day he discovered he loved Jesus as his Messiah and submitted to Him as Lord.

bottom-lineSo here’s the deal. Do you want to regain that edge that you once had in your job? With your kids? In your marriage? Your relationship with Jesus? Go back to Day One. And if you can’t remember, ask God to bring it back to your remembrance. I promise you He will. Go back to that moment and remember the thoughts that went through your head. Stop and think about what you said. Think about what you felt. Remember what you PROMISED to yourself.

Day One is when the dreams and desires God has given you are at their greatest purity. Because you are in the moment, you haven’t given the shadow of circumstance the opportunity to cloud your eyes or steal the fire. Doubt hasn’t been able to make a beachhead. Anything and everything is still possible. This is the Day One moment!
Learn to recognize Day One moments and then burn them into your memory. Give God a quick thank you as you create that signpost.

So go back to Day One. Draw on that moment God gave you. Hold it close. It is His gift to you. A signpost. An altar. A reminder.

Start to live in what He gave you at the beginning, not where youve taken it without Him.

This time, though, ask Jesus to be a part of it. Give it to Him. Lay it as His feet. Submit to Him.  Then keep doing it.

He will never fail you.

May our Lord Jesus bless you today.
-Alan

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