4 Great Illustrations with Life Lessons by Pete Owen


1. Timing and Waves

This morning I stumbled across a picture from a couple summers ago. It was my attempt at teaching my son Jett to surf while we were on vacation in Florida.

In reality I really don’t know how to surf, but I discovered throughout the day it’s all about timing.

If we got too far out in front of a wave it would go over us and we’d fizzle out. If we waited too long to get momentum we might miss out on an incredible wave that could have taken us all the way in. Success for us was completely dependent on watching, being ready, and knowing exactly when to start paddling.

The boys had the most success when I would stand watch for them. They would be ready to start paddling and I would be looking out waiting for the perfect wave for them. When I saw it I would say to them “Go! Start paddling!” and off they’d go.

Sitting out there with the boys waiting on the next wave I couldn’t help but think about all the different waves God has sent along in my life.

So many times God’s sent some incredible opportunities my way and I simply wasn’t ready for them. I wasn’t paying attention. My thoughts and focus were elsewhere.

There have been other times I was ready but too anxious. I got nervous and wasn’t willing to wait on His timing and took things into my own hands and got too far out in front of Him.

I’m learning more and more I need to be ready and willing to wait to hear God’s voice and when He says Go I better start paddling.

David reminds us in Psalm 31:15 “My times are in your hands..”

What wave are you waiting on? Maybe it has to do with…

-a relationship -changing jobs -a major purchase -having children

I pray you’ll continue to be ready, and then wait on His voice. When you sense the timing is right, trust His voice and paddle with everything you’ve got. You just might go on the ride of your life.

2. Getting back up after a failure

“The hardest jump a skater will ever make is the one you take right after you fall.” Scott Hamilton

That has so many implications for all of us doesn’t it?

Maybe you’ve recently experienced some failure…

in your marriage; at work; with a new idea; in your walk with God.

It’s tempting to want to give up. Stop taking risks.

Your confidence is shot and your doubt is raging.

I think Scott is proof that it’s not what happens to you, but how you deal with it that defines your character. You can let your perceived failure cripple you and render you a despondent blob of flesh.

I won’t pretend to know what your next move is, but I do think you need to move. Get up and move. Try again. Try it differently if you want. But try.

3. 2 Kinds of Love

There are two kinds of love in this world. A love you express because something brings you value, and a love that can actually create value in something. A love that creates value is a powerful thing. My son, Gage, loved that raggedy old elephant in such a way that it created value. We still have “Lovey.” We wouldn’t be able to sell that thing at a yard sale for 5 cents but you couldn’t buy it from me for $500.

I’m reminded today that God loves me not necessarily for what value I add to His universe. I’m quite confident there are days that I add nothing.  In fact, I often do more damage than good to what God is trying to accomplish. There are days that emotionally and spiritually I look a lot like “Lovey.” But God loves me in such a way that He gives me value. And for that I am very grateful.

4. Margin or Lack of Margin

Recently I was heading in for a 7:00 a.m. breakfast meeting and for whatever reason I actually left the house early. The breakfast place I was headed to is exactly 15 minutes from my house so I knew I had to leave at 6:45 to make it on time, however, I remember sitting down in my truck, looking up at the clock and seeing that it was only 6:39 a.m.

Just a few minutes from my destination I noticed a middle aged man in a maroon Honda Accord who was trying to pull out of the gas station into my lane of heavy morning traffic. I had plenty of time left to get to my appointment, so without hesitation I put my brakes on and let him out.

As he pulled out and waved the thought crossed my mind…

Margin is essential for the unexpected!

I tend to plan my schedule and my budgets based on perfect scenarios. The problem with that is obvious. Rarely are there perfect scenarios. In other words I have no margins.

A margin is something allowed, or reserved, for that which can not be foreseen or known with certainty.

If I had left right “on time”  I probably would have been so focused on where I was going that I would have totally missed the opportunity to let him out. Even if I did see him I’m not sure I would have taken the time to stop. Now it doesn’t sound like a really big deal, right? I mean, I just let a car pull out in front of me. However, this principle plays itself out in almost every area of my life and has huge implications.

I’m afraid margin is something that is missing way too often in my life these days.

My lack of margin impacts…

How generous I am with my money. How generous I am with my time.

How I lead. How I love.

Maybe we all need to slow down a bit. Breathe a bit.

I know we have all become enamored by words like, fast, easy and instant, but efficiency is not God’s highest goal for you. Love is.

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