Friday, December 31, 2010

Basking in New Year’s Nostalgic Hope

Today is the day the Lord has made,

Let us be glad and rejoice in it,

For today with certainty has made God’s grade,

The Lord’s seal has made it fit.

No matter the snares of yesterday,

Despairing aside – newness is formed,

Starting afresh upon our hopes lay,

Today’s reality sees blessings adorned.

Expectations abound and life’s aflutter,

New days astound – promising wonder,

Pledges flourish but could prove a stutter,

Hopes pass astray – ours hoped not under.

Innocence is the key but realism too,

We’ve want of a spree but hasten to lure,

Precluding risk and the temptations due,

Change is today – truth’s the cure.

Last year is gone – away asunder,

New Year’s born now ours to plunder,

Just take good care to know you’re the same,

Even though you attempt to play a different game.


Many, many people make New Year’s Resolutions, and even many who don’t have their aspirations for a change of fortune or an improved manner of living.

It is peculiar to the human spirit to wonder of time at New Year.

There’s nothing wrong with nostalgic optimism provided it’s augmented with time-weighted wisdom. Keep things in perspective; live life a day at a time and be in no hurry to achieve the goals you set for yourself.

On the Other Hand – Nostalgic Grief

Day one of a New Year, for many, holds an irrational mix of hope and forlornness. It’s where the rubber hits the road, and the start of that journey brings thoughts of loss and discomfort despite hopes for change, growth and renewal. It’s a funny in-between land we find ourselves in. It’s normal to experience a sense of grief as the New Year kicks off. Sometimes we want our lengthy goodbyes.

As we push off from the quay, let’s not forget this...

God has made this day—like all days—and whilst it seems the same, times for us do tend to change, and rapturously so over the considered expanse of time. Even still, whilst everything seems different and new, many of the issues and challenges remain as they were. Hard work and discipline are bound to reward us. This is God’s Wisdom attaching blessing to those who utilise them.

Blessed be you as you begin (or continue) the work!

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Saving Time on Lost Causes

“Before you can break out of prison, you must first realize you’re locked up.”

~Author Unknown.

There is another quote like it:

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

The cost of naivety is heavy.

The stench of innocence is one that’s ignorantly foreign to a better known truth. In a world that values such innocence, especially as a fervent locale of spirituality, there’s still little tolerance for skirting truth. Time is the cruellest ambassador.

Many are the pastimes strangling hope of present joy. The berserk reality is these go unchallenged.

‘Saving Time’

This actually doesn’t make any true sense. No one can ‘save time’. But we can make time count.

Wasting time is the biggest predicator of frustration in our world. And for every frustration manifest from re-work there would be ninety-nine out of a hundred that go unchallenged. That is, these incidents are unmatched for awareness—that many future occurrences need not occur, but they will.

How wonderful we feel when we’re effective and efficient. Purpose is served in this; one that is motivational. Indwelt is joy to know life ‘clicks’ when time is used with telling effect.

Identifying Lost Causes

It pays to be ruthless about time-related choices, for it’s only the things of intrinsic value that are safe; for instance, those things that prove of value in others’ lives from our generosity.

Real lost causes can certainly be rooted in the selfish realm. Time spent on ourselves, only for our gain, whilst it’s sometimes beneficial, is over the longer term unsustainable. Our own frustrations will be the noticeable key. Funnily enough, many people who are frustrated with themselves serve to repel these feelings and purge them over others. No wonder we can say, “Hurt people hurt people.”

The Ages-Old Art of Self-Discipline

First, a measure of reason is required dictating the drive to make the best use of available time. We have to want it. Second, and almost swinging against the first, is the ability to challenge ‘efficiencies’ to ensure they really make for good effect. What use is there doing the wrong things well? Third, courage is added to newfound awareness to continue the forge for change until the best fit sticks.

Maintenance comes fourth. This is the Art to talk about, for it’s escaping us and it’s the single-most attributable factor for wasting time. The lack of self-discipline to maintain resolve takes people back to square-one more often than any other thing.

But, still, we must achieve the place of pre-maintenance to begin with. Steps one to three are the key.

Parting Thoughts

1. Enjoying little successes promotes bigger successes. Build on the appreciative approach regarding how time’s spent.

2. Be thankful for frustration and utilise it. It’s a lesson and a learning opportunity. Where possible, don’t accede to the insanity of repeating over and again the same tired lessons.

3. Allowing reflections on improvements, over time, is the celebration of growth. Instead of looking back to regret mistakes, look back with a smile to note how far you’ve come to the positive. Don’t be embarrassed by what you did; be pleased about what you’re doing, whilst remaining hopeful for ongoing growth.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions? A Vision’s Even Better

What better resolution could there be entering a New Year than simply to have a better one?

Whether it’s a health goal or better financial security or the peace of spiritual success (or something else), we all desire to have life better than we’ve had it. Yet, it doesn’t always work that way. This is why many people have trepidations about the concept of ‘beginning over’.

Some people choose not to begin over; they’re resistant to the whole idea of New Year. It doesn’t matter how people think. Everyone wants a happy life (however people individually define it).

The New Year’s Resolution for those who don’t make them is a special one; it clinches the field as far as goal-setting goes, simply because it defeats the need to even set a goal. This Resolution is about choosing a vision for life. This is a broad direction to head in. It’s a consuming focus.

Sample Visions

Here’s how a personal vision might look:

C Rather than pick something to ‘give up,’ or ‘take up’ something new, I want to live smart one moment at a time. For me, that is ... ... ...

C What makes me happiest is ... ... ... so I’m going to do more of that from now on just because I can.

C You know, I’m sick of having regrets about family, so I’m just going to be more gracious and more forgiving, and a little more generous with my time.

C I can’t wait until I look into the mirror and like – no, love – what I see! If I want something bad enough I can achieve it.

C I see people all around me getting degrees and diplomas. I see that for myself within five years. One day I’ll be doing ... ... ... and helping people. That’s my dream life.

C Volunteering is something I’ve been promising myself for years. I’m going to start actively exploring it. A few years from now I’ll look back and thank God because of the people I’ve met and worked with, and the things I’ve done.

C From now on I’m backing off on the workload I’ve been under. I’m stressing less from now on.

Overall Benefits

It’s important that your vision is written in your words that have special meaning for you. This sort of idea trumps those with detailed and specific ideas on what to do or not do. That’s because a vision for something different is worlds bigger than the detail found in the typical New Year’s Resolution.

The idea here has been to think bigger on an overall life perspective. And perhaps the most significant benefit is we don’t limit ourselves to one year or to one failure.

Vision is about the whole of our lives, and so what if we fail here and there. It’s how we get back up that counts most. It’s what we achieve over our lifetime that makes the difference in the final analysis.

The hare might be to the New Year’s Resolution what the tortoise is to the vision; sure, soon we’ll have to take the plunge, but the New Year is not just about another year, it’s about the next step toward the rest of our lives.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2011 New Year’s Resolutions

The old-fashioned but still conventional New Year’s resolution is just as popular as ever. So, what’s your flavour?

For something so stigmatised it’s still relevant. It’s because it’s a logical point in time for change. It’s a far enough time away to aim for. As each long year closes it brings a mix of reflection, frustration, fatigue and hope for the future. There is a natural want of ‘out with the old; in with the new’.

If you’re the average person you’ve probably had mixed results with your New Year’s resolutions. Some have worked and others haven’t. In other words, the resolve stuck in the former cases, but resolve was difficult to sustain on the latter occasions.

And this is the point. A resolution is a resolve to do something; in this case, something different. Change is only hard because new habits are being formed which aren’t yet natural, and old entrenched habits (which aren’t yet unnatural) are being resisted.

A Want of Resolve

Change can only occur when there’s enough resolve—when there’s a vision for what is wanted, sufficient dissatisfaction with the status quo, and where there’s a process to get to the new, better place.


Creating a vision for ‘who’ we want to be or what change we desire is paramount. This is the dream that with the two below will ensure reality is a possibility. The more inspirational and visually rich our vision is, the more powerfully we can effect our change.


This is the motive and intent driving the change. When we become sick and tired of being sick and tired, and we’re really had enough, that’s when we’ll make bold-enough steps to surpass the temptations that will bring us back into the field.

Dissatisfaction is a most important weapon of intrinsic motivation. It’s us that is dissatisfied and no one else. Nobody else’s dissatisfaction can supplant ours if change is going to stick. It has to be ours and ours alone.


Proverbs 29:18 (NRSV) says, “Where there is no prophesy, the people cast off restraint.” No plan is a plan to fail. For any successful venture there has to be a way of getting there that’s well thought out; one that wards against the pitfalls that will almost certainly bear their teeth, usually at the least expected moment.


With sufficient dissatisfaction, a vision for something better, and a process to get us there, nothing’s out of the realms of possibility this New Year (or anytime).

We are rulers of our destinies regarding change. It’s only us who can do it. One day at a time, re-resolve and manage the resolve to continue the good track that’s now establishing itself.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Face It, You’re a Genius!

“A genius is one who shoots at something no one else can see – and hits it.”

~Author Unknown.

Poring through quotes on ‘genius’ and it’s clear we’ve got the typecast all wrong. Genius is not smarts at all. It’s the ability to think differently. Given the differences between us we all qualify as geniuses!

Here is a quote bound to inspire the person recently fooled:

“Every true genius is bound to be naïve.”

~J.C.F. von Schiller.

Great News

Fact is we’re alive. A further enlightening reality is we can think, and sight and sense is tuning thought. Everyone has dreams. We’ll all intuit the urge to do something big, that thing that attaches us to genius. Attributions of brilliance are captivating.

This is great news. The desire is there to make the difference. Differences are made every day in the name of good; in the name of God.

Because life force runs through our veins—enfolding the spirit within—and the intelligence of creativity and innovation has become us, due the desire to impact life around us, we have the distinctives required to make the differences we were destined to.

Time’s Now (or Is It?)

Whether the action we’re into is reaching the sorts of heights we see for ourselves or not isn’t so much the matter. Cognisance of the gap is the important detail. It’s the clue to desire.

Time out for reflection on how we’re to use our portions of genius is not a sin. It’s the wisdom approach. Better to land at destiny three weeks late than arrive at the wrong planet ‘on time’.

Pause for Truth

Brilliance is not a thing rushed. Now hear this: you are brilliant. God thinks so; never is there a doubt (except in our own minds and in the minds of selfish others).

Reflection is perspective; the chance to breathe deeper into the nuances of life as they pertain right now in your situation. There is never a rush as we prepare to create the masterpiece-of-a-life God’s got in store for us. Why botch a thing of untouchable and unique class?

The Best Thing About Genius

Nothing will beat this truth. Self-perception has the power to give or take. If the Lord of Glory has given sweet gifts who are we to reject these... really?

The best thing about individual genius is we can accept it. It’s true. We’re different in so many ways; blessed are we with original sight and the very thoughts down-flowing. Nothing and no one can trap these beyond our own wills.

All that remains is to go to the nearest mirror, look into it with intent, and agree with God; “I may be a flawed sinner, full of embarrassing faults, but I’m your chosen child of God-enabled and God-capable genius.”

Thank God. Really.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Everything with Humility and Intention

Let us be always, whether via action or inaction, people of humility and intention.

This intention is out of good intent, hardly self-serving; more self-effacing.

We have enough strength of our own, and that buoyed of God, to deal in life with deliberation and intent, always in control of that which we do or don’t do.

It is far worse to find ourselves swept up in another wind—one apart from our own God-divined knowledge—that is, swept up in a whirlwind and out of conscious control. All we can do in these circumstances (which is enough, mind you) is trust in God and pray.

And yet, for both these places of spiritual circumstance—in control and not—we’re best reliant on God, i.e., in strength or in weakness.

This article is directed toward circumstances of control; much of life is spent here as anywhere. (But our locus of control [whether we see ourselves as being ‘in control’ or ‘not’] must also agree that we are ‘in control’.)

A Humble Intent

The appropriately self-effacing person, who’s also operating with intent, has God’s power on their side. They’re continually praying; seeking God’s face. And if they’re not praying per se they may still know with discernment what God’s will is. There is a God-sense on-board.

Humility is the key divide characterising intent and splitting action from inaction. It is the input of temperament fuelling discernment. Weighing right from wrong in the manner of accord and circumstance is the soul prepared for action, whether that is action or inaction. Many times the best action is inaction.

Intention is Power

When intention is retained (as it’s described above; which is now our assumption) and chosen as a deliberate way things are approached, there is Spiritual power known.


“Power” is an elusive concept, much the same as Happiness is. The power that’s described here is a spiritual power, not a sense of power that the world connects with. This is a virtuous or good power. People who have this power are trustworthy, full of quiet confidence, love and integrity. They’re advocates not destroyers.

The important thing for those who are keen on establishing this virtuous power in their lives is these ingredients—positive intent and humility—will get them there. God is with them in this, for this is the discernment and establishment of God’s will.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Graphic Credit:

[1] “Positive Intent” here means toward either action or inaction, dependent on the discerned circumstances.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Two Ways to a Thoroughly Joyful Life

Many will ask, “What is joy all about?” Whilst it’s impossible to answer that question with perfect fit for each person and their every situation, there are two things that beg we go their way.

One is latent; the other is active. One is a heart-thing; the other a decision of the mind. One is trained into us; the other is a responsibility we grasp in the moment. One is theory but fought for in practice; the latter is the practice, forging the former. They complement each other.

1. Grow a Heartfelt Faith, Deep and Underpinning

This is consistent hard work though not without reward. It involves a commitment to training the heart so it contends faithfully as the heart can—once it’s trained.

Heartfelt faith can neither be fabricated on demand nor manufactured at will. It’s built slowly over the years and decades. No one gets their faith to blossom overnight. Faith’s engorged through what is endured, hard as that is to say; difficult as it is also to achieve.

But there’s no time like now to start or continue the commitment to allow God to build faith within us, and this penetrates deep at a heart level.

Faith goes against the flow of normality. Always does and always will. But what, then, is normality? Much blessing’s to be had in searching and finding answers to this question.

2. Engage in Life with a Will to Be Happy Whatever Comes

This is equally hard work; now from the momentary perspective. It’s humility on tap to resist the poring desire to pity one’s self or the urge to take heed of negative self-talk. Sure, we’ll fail every now and again, and some are challenged so far beyond themselves and their circumstances they’re exceptional. The principle of the will is, however, usually academic.

We make a choice despite what we’re feeling. Feelings without check lead us to a never-land, and beyond truth they serve not our best ends, certainly with faith in view.

Can we see the expression of will requires faith from us? Faith is an action. This is the exemplification or evidence of the faith described above.

Number two here builds upon number one. The former is the foundation that Jesus talked about in Matthew 7:24-27. Foundations are crucial.

Beyond the foundation, nonetheless, we still have a choice. We choose to be at joy.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Life Objectives on One Piece of Paper

WHAT IF you only had one piece of paper? How would your life objectives and vision look then? Here’s a glance at some I’ve mused upon:

Achieve detachment. Covet less.

Be self-disciplined. Challenge “habits”.

Stay the moment. Steady the ship.

Appreciate; don’t deprecate.

You have everything you need. You are just fine the way you are.

Enjoy the value of silence.

Ready yourself to occasionally reverse matters of thought.

Allow emotion to cool the vessel.

Value highly the considered thought.

The destination is approaching quickly enough. Hasten nothing.

Hope for the best. Plan for the worst.

Enjoy quality. Question quantity.

Thankfulness facilitates patience; only patience provides peace.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Privileged Life

Rarely do we awaken bristling with the wellbeing we ought to encase. There are too many distractions. Too many cares. For the number of active disruptions to happiness there are amply copious underlying disturbances.

Our minds are busied.

And a special truth is passed over.

We have privileged lives, to the fact we even exist. This is well besides the desire to consume—to take ‘our share’ of life. (Oh, yes, we’re pretty skilled at that.)

Talk to an infertility doctor sometime about the miracle of life. The obstetrician knows. So does the traffic policeman, the paramedic and the ER nurse. Their nightmares, the voices and faces in the night, bear witness.

Notions of Christmas, vacations, rest, achievement and family (really, the list is endless) confirm for us the reality of unpredictability. Life really is like a box of chocolates. Thanks for that, Forrest Gump.

This is important by nothing less than life is truth; always harder or softer than we expect. Surprises make us cognisant we’re alive. They remind us of our sense for things. However painful or blissful life it is it’s us who live it.

We have our part in history. How amazing is that?

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Resplendence of Now

Life gets big on us. Swathed in busyness, what’s planned doesn’t get done. The human mind can manage a handful of things. That’s the absolute limit. No matter how important one of them is, it’s gone. We forget. Beyond good intentions only the urgent things, or things made urgent, are achieved.

Irony: there’s time for a distraction or three, always is.

The busy people that manage to stay on task use a novel, yet basic approach. Call it a list if you will, they do things now (yes, instantaneously) or later, but deferral is only acceptable if they assure themselves of recollecting the matter.

Exemplify these to improve.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Redeeming Eternal Patience

We miss something with universal parity; a key piece of life is missed by all; it finds us mutinous. The higher mind goes with ease to Patience but there’s no want of it, for it threatens a cost too dear to bear. Little is it realised Patience has secret treasure well worth her costs.


Pondering the place, considering a spree,

An attitude of grace, patience’s the key,

Despite imbalance of disparaging chaste,

Responds us best to beat now the haste.

Yet, we’re tempted to hurry without second glance,

Ignoring prospect of opportunity’s chance,

Instead decide the easy way for now,

No wonder our soul’s a rustling row!

A third-person standpoint gets the person there,

It’s the prized position of a padded silver chair,

As they gaze out over the distant throng,

Life presents far from glistened aplomb.

One thing this world desperately has need,

A patterned perspective beyond shallow greed,

With wisdom of patience other goals are trite,

Enters resolve to employ Divine might.


The blessings succoured from the redemption and retention of Patience is at realms higher than our capacity to understand. Per grace, wisdom, love and truth, patience is absolutely free, barring the audacious faculty bringing it home.

A requirement is a fortified strength of will just to get us over the hump that is our selfish selves. It’s a journey that no one finds particularly pleasant, but one that’s easier than it looks. It is, of course, the will of God that we make the journey and continue to do so, bridging the chasm that keeps us anchored to our flesh-sold selves.

Just Why is Eternal Patience So Important?

Patience is power for many things. It is personal power and dignifiably so. It’s the edge of brilliance that we see in many successful people but somehow can’t put a finger upon. It has allure and charisma about it.

Unpacking the Poem

We’re placed at the accord of temptation through much of our lives. We enjoy sinning, we really do... some of it at least. That is until we must pay the inevitable price, and always we must do. Sin costs.

Patience corrects sin. Patience is where practice meets holiness, for which it symbolises.

We hurry through life, in all manner of manifestations, and we miss golden opportunities to represent Patience. But the easy, wide way has our attention. Not is it ‘til later that we realise our soul is at torment for it. Patience and peace are close brothers; one is the cause, the latter the effect.

When we depart from ourselves, taking that third-person perspective, we are at last free of the motive against patience. Sight is seen for truth; that safe distance. Seeing things as they are is a revelation to be acted upon.

Patience gives us this space.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Patience – The Apex of Life

Is it possible that we’ve missed something very important all along?

Can it be that patience is our secret weapon for life?

We deal at life oh so flippantly when we consider we’re living an eternal existence now. Nothing is insignificant. If we’re to live as we’re supposed to, we’re to live patience. But, don’t dispel the message here, thinking, “I know where this is going.” Don’t miss this.

When I wrote Three Things Important Things Above All I had no idea where it would lead. This article is a follow-up to that one, but it’s also precursory.

Patience – High Above Life

My hope is that I can show you that everything in life in terms of success and wellbeing—however they’re defined—comes down to patience. This is a sweeping statement with intentionality. There are three key ways I aim to show patience is the nexus of life:

1. Giving to Others

When giving is apparent, which is necessary for relationships to work, patience is fuel for the venture. The more patience there is the more and better giving is. Or, in other words, patience thinks less of itself and its own needs and it thinks more of others and their needs.

Part of the idea for life is giving also to God and to the self. God loves the generous giver for the fact that they’re thinking humbly. Humility is not so much thinking lowly of one’s self as it’s thinking of others as equal. This is the right balance as far as life’s concerned. This attitude helps in the giving; patience is the vehicle to humility.

2. Exercising Self-Control

Patience is the core ingredient of delaying gratification; the Westerner’s biggest challenge.

Self-control is a necessary function for the successful life, one which is sure of itself. It pervades over what is consumed and it regulates life with precise command. The trouble is most people have at best itinerant self-control. Therein lays the opportunity. To become more self-controlled there is a need to exercise actual patience in the practice of daily living. This is not easy unless we take living life a moment at a time... no cliché intended!

Self-control is not just important from consumption and personal viewpoints. Patience helps self-control realise what is said is crucial to relationships. Patience doesn’t dive in to say the oft-regretted thing (though people are bound to slip up in speech every once in a while).

Self-control is also augmented via patience when things suddenly get perplexing. Maintaining spiritual equilibrium is a key to overall wellbeing. This is a great lead-in to the next topic.

3. Exhibiting Situational Resilience

When the moment is tipped on its edge and the mind and heart are dissonant and awry there’s the critical instant where patience can be slotted in to correct the situational imbalance. This is the mature minute.

Hardly ever do people realise that upsets and depressions are a series of these moments. At any time patience can be enrolled and the chain-of-spiritual-compromise is broken through. Add to this resilience another chain-breaking segment of patience, and another and so on, and resilience materialises.

Epitomising God Who Is “Perfect Patience”

Patience is unearthing the mode for life. Jesus, of course, was known by Cyprian of Carthage (the Early Church Father) as “perfect patience.”

Casting the mind back to where this story started, the linkages have been shown. The nature of God is patience; the more people can show in their manner of living that same consistency of patience, the more true success and wellbeing can be realised.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.