Stains keep me up at night.
It’s true. I have a tendency to obsess over stains on rugs, clothes, bedding, or anywhere else. There’s a wine stain on our butcherblock countertop that only I can see. I’ve spent the last nine years trying to discover new ways of eradicating it. One day, I’ll strip, sand, and refinish the whole lot; that will do it.
Most of the time, a stain is something to remove or clean. But in a positive sense, we can call a stain a mark.
Everyone thinks about making a “mark” on the world. And some of us leave negative marks or stains. So, let’s just say that a mark is positive and a stain is negative depending on the outcome and most of all, the perspective.
The mind inside of me is always thinking. And today, I realized I’m not much for personal legacy but I am always, even from childhood, considering my impact on the world around me.
I reevaluated some goals recently that some of you may have seen on YouTube. Check it out if want a peek inside my insanity.
Today I have put some action to these goals with other thoughts.
THREE M’s of leaving a MARK
These three things are not an all-inclusive set of actions that will give me what I want, but they are MY WAY of organizing my life. And for those who know me, you understand this came to me in a nanosecond. I am a living, breathing alliteration factory.
This means that I want to enter this phase of my life actively. So, I am going to rekindle my passions for martial arts, biking, strength training, shooting sports, calisthenics, and swimming. I find that when I engage my body my mind seems to be alive and focused. That is why I nearly always take calls and walk. I’ve recently added a “pedal” under my desk.
Not only is moving good for the body and mind, but it is also good for establishing good connections for creativity, spiritual growth, and prayer. There is something to be said about doing that keeps our mind free to truly be in the moment. A short read of the New Testament letters reveals this practice often.
I’ve never been a stranger to strangers. I love meeting new people and lately have been more isolated than not. So, part of the life I desire to live requires being actively involved, to a degree, with others.
This part requires me to prioritize and put FIRST things FIRST.
So, in the relationship portion of “meet” I put my marriage as the top priority over every other relationship. This is key. If my marriage falls cold, everything follows.
Second, my children. All five of them and soon-to-be two grandkids, and the two sons-in-law are a major priority. And while they are not the top, they are as important and often require more time than my wife and I have for each other. But that’s OK. We enjoy the adult side of parenting together.
Then comes my relatives, spiritual family, my community, those who depend on me in advocacy, and anyone else that comes along as my neighbor. I have an obligation to them, but never at the cost of the first two. I will write more about these relationships in time.
I have little time for leisure. I’ve tried it. It doesn’t suit me at all. I honestly do not care for doing “nothing” and find it causes me stress. Yes, I take time out and I love being alone to write, think, and enjoy some of my more creative interests. But I need to be actively working toward a goal most of the time.
So, motivation includes me, and those around me, toward a goal or desire. I find that most people are stagnant because they are not encouraged, guided, shepherded, and loved. It’s amazing to me that so many religious people are bitter, lonely, and hard to be around when they claim to have ultimate ‘joy’.
I think it’s more important to encourage and motivate other people in life beyond all other interactions or investments available. Time together is always time for encouragement.
Don’t hear what I am not saying.
Let’s say that Robyn and I are enjoying a nice walk on the beach. We’re talking and laughing, enjoying the breeze and each other’s company. This is a motivation. This is pressing our intimacy to a deeper level. This causes us to engage with life together. This pursues a goal: the walk is the goal.
There is much to be learned in this journey and much more to be shared.
Take a minute and ask yourself what would leave a MARK on the world that would make you glad.
Rest well. Listen well. Live.