Be the Captain of Your Soul: Steer Your Own Ship
“I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; BUT ONE THING I DO [IT IS MY ONE ASPIRATION]: FORGETTING WHAT LIES BEHIND and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward. So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also. Philippians 3:13-15
There is a truth that eluded me in my youth, but it's becoming clearer the older I get. I understand that "my life is my responsibility." We all know life happens. We all know disappointments occur. Life throws us curve balls. People let us down. But I don’t think what’s clear to us is that when things start going wrong we start the blame tour. After we point our accusing finger at as many people as we can, we let these painful situations define who we are. We let these things “get in us” and they stop us from really moving on in life.
Let’s face it, when things go bad in a relationship, at work, in church, financially, or physically the looping marathon begins. It looks something like this: “Why?” “Why me?” “Why them?” “How’d this happen?” “I don’t understand.” Naturally, there will be questions. But I believe one of the worst things you can do is to allow this negative loop to continue for any length of time. The quicker you run to God for direction, for comfort, and for help, the sooner life will begin to improve.
Satan will beat your brains in with the “Whys?" Trust God, that if you played a part He will show you where you need to change, ask for forgiveness, and move on. But I think sometimes we enjoy the misery ... feeling a bit martyrish. Because when we forgive others and forgive ourselves, guess what? It’s time to move on (take responsibility for our future) and I don’t think a lot of people want to “move on." They can blame others and use it as an excuse not to change.
I’ve been a sailor in both ships. I’ve sailed for years living from excuse to excuse for why my life stayed the same. And, I have in situations, decided to be the captain of my soul and forget the past, stop the blame, take responsibility, and mature like God expects me to do as a Christian. When I take responsibility, life opens up. God begins to show me things that were never possible as a victim.
We were meant to live free. Moving forward and growing continually. Enjoying our relationship with God. If these things are not happening, ask yourself … what have I not let go of? How am I allowing what has happened to me in my past dictate the choices I make for my future? Refuse to feel bad anymore. It is a waste of time! You are forgiven.
Yesterday is gone. If you do, life gets easier. The pain and the regret that we carry is not a physical weight, but a weight on our hearts and minds. To walk away from this heaviness is freedom. You will find a clarity of your heart and mind you only experience from letting go. As my good friend Rhonda Sciortino always says, "Onward!"