A Life Worth Living

Image may contain: motorcycle, tree and outdoorOn May 16th, my grandson and I were coming home from the Wheelerville School. I was the substitute teacher in his classroom that day, and the bonus for him was that he got to ride on the back of my Honda Shadow VT1100C. We left school and came down off of Clip Hill, heading for  home in Johnstown, NY. The rumble of my motorcycle on that beautiful spring day was accented by the warm, moist air rushing by us, and the brilliant sunshine that was pouring down from a deep blue sky. It was one of the most perfect Spring days I have experienced in my 48 years of riding motorcycles.

We were traveling at normal highway speed in a line of traffic, and at a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of us. As we approached the Sir William Johnson Fire House, which was just outside of town, something happened. At that moment, I glanced down at my odometer to check the mileage, and make a quick mental calculation on when to stop and refill my gas tank. My eyes were off the road for about three seconds, but when I looked back up, terror gripped my heart. The driver in front of me had decided to suddenly break and make quick left-hand turn at the very moment I had looked down. It was a perfect storm of chance events, and the results were not going to be good.

When I looked up at the road ahead I realized there was not enough space to stop my bike, or manuever around the stopped vehicle. I downshifted, hit both breaks and leaned the bike over trying to protect my grandson, while getting as much stopping power as I could before we hit the vehicle. We impacted it’s rear right bumper at about 25mph and my bike went down on the road while my grandson and I were catapulted into the air. He ended up with a few abrasions on his knees, and a scraped up faceplate on his helmet, but I did not fare as well. My right side bounced off the road, I slid along the tar and finally flopped into a muddy ditch 35 feet away. I had a few crack ribs, four breaks in my lower right leg, an open fracture, cracked bones in my right foot, strained tendons and ligaments in my right leg, and numerous cuts and abrasions all over my body.

Ambulances came to take us to a local hospital where my grandson was checked over and released with a few scrapes. I was rushed to Albany Medical Center where I underwent emergency surgery on my leg. After setting the broken bones, and two and a half hours on the operating table, I was brought back to my hospital room in pain, but happy to be alive. My leg now has 4 titanium screws, 25 stitches and a long titanium rod running inside the full length of my right Tibia. I have weeks ahead of me with my leg elevate, and more weeks of physical therapy for me to return to full strength. And the bike? Well it has relatively minor damage that can be repaired, but I have no collision insurance so it’s all on me.

The obvious question I have been asked by numerous people who visited me since the accident is: “So are you ready to give up the motorcycle?” My answer has been pretty much the same each time,”Why? Did you stop driving when you wrecked your car? Did you give up fishing when you hooked yourself? Did you give up walking when you fell down?” Now let me clarify that I will drive with more care. I will stay back even further from other vehicles. I will stay even more alert to what is ahead. Yes! But, will I stop riding my motorcycle and no longer enjoy that sweet pleasure of life? The answer will always be an emphatic, No! Not until the Lord says it’s time to give it up. When I hear that from Him, it’s over!

A life worth living is the one you can enjoy without fear controlling your decisions. It is filled with risk, and blessed with reward. It is punctuated by mistakes and elevated by victories. It may be colored by pain at times, but it is also made real with unbounded joy. Most of all, it comes alive in moments of glory, or seasons of sorrow that happen as we live it to the fullest. Some may opt to live a safe, protected, bubble-wrapped life, but I submit to you that such a life is not worth living. It is simply existing in the safety net where risk is eliminated and so is passion. When victories are minimal, and the adventure of living has been sanitized away so that routine runs the show, and there are no unwanted surprises, this is no life at all. It is simply existing in a protected safety zone of comfort until you die.

How do you categorize your life? Is it neatly packaged, and clearly ordered so that you feel secure and safe, and the adventure is all but eliminated? Is it an air-conditioned, climate controlled, bug free, green zone of organized boredom? Life is short, and you must make the most of the time you have. Perhaps it is time to strap on a helmet, feel the wind in your face and see what it’s like to live a little on the edge. Break out for your deadly routines and try something different, even a bit dangerous. You can begin to live the adventure you always wanted. It only takes one decision, one step in a new direction.

You don’t have to climb Mount Everest, jump out of an air plane, trek to the South Pole or walk the Great Wall of China. Others can do such extreme things. No, you only have to break out of the mold, the comfort you have surrounded yourself with, and try something different, simple and new. It could be eating at a very different kind of restaurant, reading a new book or learning to dance. Perhaps it is vacationing in a new spot you saw on a map, or learing to drive a motorcycle or paddle a kayak. The possibilities are endless. Once you get a breakthrough, nothing will ever be the same. The question you must ask yourself is this; “Is my life the unmarked trail of adventure I want it to be, or is it the predictable, sign covered road I will safely walk, till I die?”

What is a life worth living? That, my friends, is the million dollar question we each must answer for ourselves. Mine will be very different from yours, but such a life will leave you breathless with anticipation for what might come next. It will stir your imagination, require fresh courage and fill you with the joy of discovering something you never experienced before. It will have moments of danger and risk, but it will bring the satisfaction of doing something others look at and wish they had done. A life worth living really is there for the taking. It’s just one decision away, and you can have it today. The question is, do you want it, and will you take the first step to get it? If not, take a moment to discover what’s holding you back and then move beyond it. Your life, the one you always wanted is out there waiting for you.. now go get it!

The Determined Heart

20180520_153428_hdr45367612-e1526851428125.jpgThis picture was taken on the wedding day of an extraordinary couple; Peter & Jenny Taylor. They joined their lives together one rainy August day in Cascade Pass, in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. Both of them are avid hikers and they had determined in their heart’s that this would be the only location their marriage could ever take place. Here you can see John lending a hand to his bride, so together they could fulfill their desire. In the middle of a foggy, rainy day, Jenny climbed the glacial boulder in her wedding gown. Her husband, in his wedding suit, reaches down from atop the “erratic”, on the shore of Cascade Lake, to assist her to achieve their goal. The couple then turned to the camera, stood arm in arm, and rejoiced. Their heart’s desire had been fulfilled.

Extraordinary lives don’t happen by chance. They are built day-by-day, around personal conviction, deliberate choice and a determined heart. They are forged in the furnace of unwavering dedication, and anchored to principles that hold fast and run true in any of life’s storms. In fact, those who achieve their dreams, find the trials that come only serve to reaffirm the path they have taken. These are not perfect people, and they may even be people we don’t agree with much of the time. That being said, they are people to be admired because they do the things others wish they had done. They achieve when multitudes have failed, and they flourish when the crowd of nay-sayers, and half interested onlookers have all but faded away.

Even the most uninvolved, boring, lack-luster life can find a divine spark of passion that gives it fresh meaning. The one who has lost vision and settled for the routine of “safe” living can break free from the bondage of a controlled, and controlling life. All it takes is a determined heart and a dream for something more, something out of the ordinary, something never done before. It could be learning to drive a motorcycle or buying and paddling a kayak. Perhaps it’s traveling to a new vacation spot or as simple as taking dancing lessons or starting to write that book you always dreamed about. The sky is the limit, your imagination and dreams are the guide, and the determination in your heart is the switch that sets it all in motion.

You don’t have to climb Mt. Everest, swim the English Chanel or qualify for the next Winter Olympics for this to be a valid life-changer. It just has to be your dream, tied to the determination in your heart. With the first step you take toward that new goal, things will begin to be different. A spark will be ignited that will not easily be extinguished. Just like Jenny Taylor, God will have those with you who can lend a helping hand when you need it. However, you will be the one growing, learning, changing and walking it out one day at a time, through the storms of life that come.

Want an extraordinary life that matters to you and to others? It comes by way of a personal dream that gets fulfilled through a determined heart. The Bible says; “as a man thinks in his heart so is he”. Truer words were never spoken. What you determine within has a divine ability to connect to the dream you always had, but never acted upon. Move in the right direction, and life will forever be changed. That choice, my friends, is up to you. Stay safe and secure, and you will surely blend into the woodwork of life, unharmed and unchallangegd in every way. Or, you can dream with determination like Peter and Jenny, take a risk and end up doing what others envy. You may pay a price, be hurt, need help and even fail at times, but the rewards of a fulfilled dream are worth it all. Once you discover this uncharted, amazing territory you will never want to go back.

Avoiding Your Mohegan Bluff


In 1590, a war party of 40 Mohegan Indians left the mainland of North America, from what is now called Rhode Island. They traveled out into the ocean in a number of large war canoes, headed to an island 13 miles off the coast. They thought this island to be part of their home territory. They had heard others were living on it and decided to take back what they considered to be rightfully theirs. After making the dangerous ocean journey in the small crafts, the warring band of Indians landed on the rocky shoreline of what is now called, Block Island.

After scouting through the lush, hilly island, they located the inhabitants, called the Manissean’s, and decided to attack them. What the Mohegan’s did not know was that these Indians had lived on the island for many, many generations. This was their home, and even thought it was only 10 square miles in area, it was their land and provided everything they needed to live peacefully. There were deer and rabbits, plenty of fish to be caught at sea, trees to build shelter and provide fire wood, plenty of berries and vegetables growing in the rich soil and fresh springs in abundance. They were isolated from the outside world, and happy to live at peace in this secluded island kingdom.

What the Mohegan’s also did not know was that the Manissean’s were substantial in number, and well able to defend their territory. In fact, their spotters had been watching the war party coming when it was still miles out to sea, and the whole tribe was ready for the invading force when it hit the shore. Waiting to see what the invaders were up to, the Manissean’s made a plan to quietly encircled them, using the numerous small valleys and ridges for cover, and if need be, drive them off the island and back into the sea. Once it was clear this foreign tribe, with it’s foreign language, was going to aggressively take their land, the Manissean’s put their plan into action, and into the history books as well.

The band of Mohegan’s were indeed surprised, and forced into a backwards retreat as their only escape. They were badly out numbered, and driven up the inclined slope at one end of the Island. Their final destination was a high ridge topped in thick brush, now called “Mohegan Bluff”. This slope abruptly ends in a 200 foot cliff that drops straight down onto the rocky, ocean-swept shoreline. A fierce battle ensued, and the invaders were all killed by being driven over the edge of the cliff and falling to their deaths. The Manissean’s celebrated this great victory for days and were rewarded with the acquisition of the Mohegan canoes, axes, spears, arrows, bows and animal skins. Little did they know that in a few years, settlers from England would land on the island. With that arrival, the Manissean’s would vanish almost over night, many meeting the same fate as their Mohegan enemies.

This true story from our pre-colonial history serves to remind us that nothing lasts forever. Every area we consider to be ours by right, and every enemy we fight off to defend it, only gives us a temporary victory at best. At any moment, something can come along to challenge or change all we thought we had established. We are simply a job loss, an illness, a bad decision or a selfish choice away from the upheaval of all we have worked for and wanted. Even if we have reinforced everything with a backup plan, or a safety net, in life, “stuff” just happens. When it does, the sobering question you must ask yourself in that moment of truth is; “is it worth it?” If the answer is yes, then you need to stop complaining and embrace that change, because in the end, you were the one who put it in motion. The point is, every change comes with a price. Even on Block Island, there has been a great price paid by those who live here, and a few examples may help you to understand what I mean.

Until a few years ago the island’s electric grid was supplied by five massive, World War II diesel powered generators. When two of them caught fire, most of the island was left without power, and a plan was devised to build a modern power plant to supply the growing energy needs of the island’s growing “summer people”. You see, the permanent residents number 800, but the summer population is about 27,000, which is compose of city people who are quite wealthy. Everyone rejoiced over the new power plant, until they realized the pristine ocean view was marred by five massive windmills just off shore. Now the “summer people” are angry and want a tax break. They say their view is ruined and their property values have gone down.

With the onslaught of wealthy “summer people”, the cost of a 400 sq ft, one bedroom condo, if you can find one, is $380,000. The cost of a small, two bedroom, 1000 sq ft camp is $750,000, and the price for a very modest home starts at $1.5 million and goes way up from there. To buy a typical lunch, like a bowl of soup, a cup of tea and a simple sandwich for two runs $55 plus a tip. Shopping for food? Well butter is $8 a pound, yogurt is $3 a small cup, fresh Salmon is $25 a pound, milk is $6.50 a gallon, and a dozen eggs is $6.50. The round trip ferry trip ride to the mainland and back for two people and a vehicle, is in the neighborhood of $140. If you buy food in bulk on the main land, you can’t just pack it in your car and return. Oh no! At the ferry you must unload the food into a shipping container and pay for your vehicle, each passenger and for the shipping container of food as well. Basically, all this is another “Mohegan Bluff” of a different kind.

Be it large or small, there is a price to be paid for everything we insist we must have, and every change that comes with it. This is why Scripture says it is so important for us to “count the cost” before we forge ahead. Clear thought, calmed emotions, honest evaluation, wise counsel and prayer are essentials before you jump headlong into something, no matter how good it looks. This is the prescription for a healthy, well-balanced life, that will not be filled with regrets and “what-if’s”, at it’s end. Let’s face it, looks can be very deceiving, and there are always unknown things that show up after we have all the facts.

The final reality check for a good life is that we must slow down and survey things, before they have been put in place. The spiritual, emotional and natural topography around us must be understood, or we could end up at our own “Mohegan Bluff’s” one day. In this season of life, where rapid change has become the norm, do yourself a favor and take the time to really pray and look things over, before you make that “have to” decision. Who knows, it may not be so pressing after all. You could save yourself, and those you love, a great deal of emotional distress, and personal expense, by avoiding an unnecessary fall over a cliff you should never have been standing on in the first place. Think it through you may find yourself standing at the precipice of your own “Mohegan Bluff”.

Asleep At The Wheel

is (1)When I was a young man of 18, I had a Canadian girlfriend named Mary, who had beautiful skin, cute little freckles and long red hair. Our romance began when we met one summer at Meacham Lake Public Campsite. She was camping there with her family, and I lived on that campsite all summer while running our family’s seasonal boat business. It was love at first sight, and we were inseparable from the moment we met. After their vacation was over and she went home, we wrote letters every day, and I drove to Montreal at least once a month to see her. I gladly spent my weekends on the couch at her family home, so we could be together.

Needless to say, the weekends went by too quickly no matter what we did. Often we were awake until the early morning hours talking, going out to eat and just enjoying every moment with each other. When it was time for me to leave on Sunday evening, the lingering “good-by’s” got harder all the time. In an emotionally wrung-out, physically exhausted state, I would climb into my car and start the 4 hour drive home. Often I would drive for many miles and not remember anything about the road I had just been on. Worse yet, I was so tired that my eye lids would droop down and close for a few seconds at a time, as I drove along.

On one such drive home, I was fully absorbed in the memory of our weekend activities and contemplating asking this young woman to marry me, when something happened. There is a long straight stretch of road between McCallum and Paul Smith, NY. At the end of this is a sweeping curve around the end of Mountain Pond. It was right at the beginning of this long, slow curve that I slipped off into a half-memory, half-sleep state. My eye lids slipped shut, and a warm relaxed feeling swept over me. I was there with Mary once again, as we walked along the streets Old Montreal, holding hands.

From some place in the distance, a deep thumping noise pulled me back to reality. As I broke through the sleepy fog and confusion, it felt like something was hitting my car. Very loud thumps in rapid sequence filled the air which startled me awake. When my eyes snapped open, I realized I had been asleep at the wheel, and drifted around the corner to cross head on, into the oncoming lane. My two left tires were in the gutter, and my left front bumper was clipping the cement guard rail posts on the wrong side of the road. At that moment, the car was ready to pass the final guardrail, fly over the steep bank, and plunge 150 feet down into the ice-cold water of Mountain Pond.

Instinctively I turned the wheel, crossed back over into my own lane and found a place to pull off the road until I regained my composure. As I inspected the bumper of my car, I was amazed at how little damage had occurred, and was filled with gratitude to be alive and completely unharmed. The knowledge of just how close I came to an untimely death was a sobering thought indeed. Just two seconds more and I would have been passed the guard rails, over the bank, into that deep, cold water and lost from sight. Who knows when or if my body would have ever been found.

Let me explain why I am giving you this life lesson. Any time we get distracted and keep pushing beyond the healthy limits of life, we needlessly put ourselves and others at risk. Some consequences may be mildly inconvenient, while others can cause irreparable damage that may have an impact on generations to come. The point is, we are all just one stupid decision away from something that might disrupt everything that was supposed to be. Get distracted and fall asleep at the wheel of your life for a moment, and the great blessing that was just around the next corner, will never happen!

Let me suggest to you that now is the time for all of us to stay alert, and do what has to be done, the way it has to be done. It is not the time for distraction, compromise or being lulled to sleep on the important things of life. Things like loving God, honesty, integrity, honor, being good to your word, honest work, staying out of needless debt, emotional stability, compassion for others and having self-control are the foundation stones of a healthy life. With these in place you will do great things. However, without them, you will have nothing but trouble.

How long have you been asleep at the wheel? If there is noise and confusion that fills your life on a regular basis, it is time to wake up my friend, before it is too late. Open your eyes to all that is flashing by you. The fact that you are reading this means there is still time to grab the wheel of your life, and get back into the lane where you belong. There may be some damage to deal with but that is minor compared to what will happen if you fail to make the needed changes.

I believe for some who are reading this, this is your last wake-up call. You have wasted your life, and everyone’s time.You have made endless excuses, but the bottom line is, you have stubbornly refused to change. Listen to me, the guard rails are about to end, and now is the time to grab the wheel of your life, and take control. If you keep sleeping behind the wheel, we will all see your tail lights fading into the dark, murky waters of a broken life. Is this what you really want? Only you know the answer to that question!!!



Wait For It



Over the years I have watched many people, both young and old, have a desire for something that took root in their heart. It may have been a want or a genuine need, but whatever it was, trouble started when that desire began to overtake their life. What I mean is, they lost the ability to enjoy life as it is, because life as they wanted it to be, was not within their immediate grasp. Over time, it became the driving force that ruled and ruined their life. In fact, many have gone into debt or worse, just because they could not “wait for it”, and by so doing, complicated their life in many unforseen ways.

The morotcycle you see here was one of my great desires. It is a V Twin Honda Shadow 1100. I owned a much smaller bike, a Honda CX500, for years but always wanted something larger for my wife and I to enjoy on longer trips. The thing is, I refused to go onto debt to get it and made up my mind to just wait. We really did love that old CX500, and it served it’s purpose well. In fact, over the years I put over 20,000 miles on it. What I especially loved about that bike was the fact that it was purchased for only $300 and I was debt free.

That being said, the desire for a bigger motorcycledid not go away over the years. However, I never let that desire for it take my life over. I looked through Craig’s List over the months, I went on ebay motors, Facebook buy and sell, and numerous local on line sites to look for “my bike”. I found a few over time, but they were either way too expensive, had too many miles on them, or were just too far away. Through all of this, I never, ever wanted it so badly that I manipulated things to get it at any cost. No, I had a goal in mind of staying debt free, so I set money aside and I let the desire move me on, but not rule my life.

Then last week it happened! There on Craig’s List was “the bike” I had always been after. A liquid cooled, shaft drive Honda Shadow VT1100C. It had one owner, 12,256 original miles, not a scratch on it, showroom condition, leather saddle bags, spotless chrom and everything had been customized as well. Best of all, the owner lived 1 hour and 35 minutes from my house and was motivated to sell. After negoatiating the price to less than half it’s value, I drove to his home with a trailer, picked it up and pulled out of the yard with this amazing machine, and I was still debt free!

Why am I sharing this? I share it because this is not just a story, it is a life lesson on the importance of waiting. My father always told me when I was a boy that good things come to those who wait, and he was right. As I learned to contrlol my desires, my wants and  my wishes, and uncovered how to use them to motive me in the right direction, I have been blessed over and over again. Want a few examples? I got my wife Esther this way, and we got our house this way as well. We got our entire church facility and all the land it sits on this way. Esther got her car, a Cadilac CTS, and I got my Trail Blaze the same way. We waited on God and He brought everything to us in His perfect time and way.

I can tell you that the list of blessings just goes on and on. All this has come because we were willing to “wait for it”, and not let the desire to have it now drive us to obtain it under our own power. The Bible says that when we allow God to direct our path, He will give us the desire of our heart. That means He will put the correct desire in our heart, and then bring us to the place where we obtain it with ease. We will not be burdened with constant problems, confusion or mounting debt.

If your life has been over run by any of the above, there is a better way. We are designed by God to be His example to a broken world, of clear thought, the blessing of God and increase in every vital area. If you are not walking in the fullness of your Christian heritage, perhaps it’s time to consider a better way. I am no expert, but I do know that patient endurance, prayer and learning to just “wait for it”, always brings the blessing of God. Who knows…..today could be your day to begin a new chapter of frutiful living. All you have to do is ask, and God will answer in ways you can’t possibly imagine.



A Change Of Truth

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This was the view out my back window a day or so ago. It was a cold, but sunny Spring day with tempreatures in the low 40’s and I took a motorcycle ride as it was spitting snow. Quite a miracle to say the least, since two weeks ago at this time we had 10 inches of snow on the ground, and blizzard conditions all across the area. People were laboring with shovles, snowblowers and slippery roads. Yet today, everything is very different. It’s still cold for this time a year, but the snow is nearly all gone and now it’s raining.  This cold weather does not change the truth. The truth is, there is a promise of warmer days just ahead.

This time of year the rapidly changing weather reminds me so much of life in general. One day you can be up to your eyeballs in problems and pain, only to be released from it a few days or weeks later. The point being, nothing in life is permanant, and we need to remember this powerful truth when things get tough. Enjoy every moment that is wonderful, but patiently endure when it’s not. The struggle of today can be gone in a flash, and a new reality can rule the situation before you know it. The sun shining on your face one minute can be covered by dark snow clouds a moment later. So, because everything changes so rapidly, we must learn to live with it, and flourish in spite of it.

All living things grow, change, move and respond to the environment around them. These are the signs of life, and they tell us whether something is healthy, or not. In fact, everything goes through seasons of fruitfulness and barrenness, but as long as it keeps growing and adapting to what is around, it will survive. More than that, many things will actually thrive in the most adverse conditions, simply because they have learned how to use the tough surroundings to grow stronger.

As people, we are really no different. Our situation can be healthy or heartbreaking, easy or difficult, or even quite deadly at times. We may be misused, abused, overlooked or even thought to be unworthy of basic human knidness by the brutes of this world. Yet in all of this, one thing still stands true; no one has the power to stop you from rising above it all to become what God created you to be. Nothing this world can throw at you is able to prevent you from saying “No! I will not let this define me, because only God has the power and authority to do that in my life.”

When I consider all the nasty things that happen, and all the nasty people who speak and do unkind things, the only thing that really matters is what God says about me. He is the defining force that shapes my thoughts, rules my world and guides my feet to safety. Other’s will come and go, like the winter snow. They are here for now, to bring another blast of misery, and then fade away. God alone is the unchanging break of dawn that points me to where I need to be going. He is the spring breeze that melts every pocket of ice and snow others dumped into the landscape of my life.

No matter how difficult things may be for you right now, your Spring thaw will come. Every day the Son’s Love is moving towards you, and getting stronger. The icy blast of winter words spoken by ignorant people will always give way to it’s power. It is fixed by the inevitable, unstopable, continual, relentless persuit of God. No one can resist Him, and nothing can prevent His Love from fulfilling it’s appointed design in you. This is the season of fulfilled promises. Those who hold on, and wait just a little bit longer, will have their mouths filled with laughter and their hearts filled with joy.

Now is not the time to give up. Now is the time to get up, and look with expectation for a holy invasion of God’s furious love. If you are in the dark night of your soul, look to the eastern horizon and you will soon see the faint glow of the coming dawn. Trust in God one more time, and you will not be disapointed. The Son will rise with healing in His wings, and you will yet go forth with that victorious shout of joy for all to hear. You are a champion in the Lord, and nothing the world can do will ever change that truth.

Delayed Promise


I looked out my window today expecting to hear the sound of geese flying over head, and see Robins gathering worms on my lawn. Instead, I was greeted by the the sight of another layer of snow that came with a brisk north wind, and the weatherman’s prediction of freezing temperatures for the greater portion of the week. This is NOT my idea of a fulfilled promise for the long-awaited arrival of Spring.

Those of us who have spent our lives in upstate New York, understand all too well, the reality of what can come our way this time of year. We are not shocked when one week is warm, and the soft breeze is summer-like. The snow melts and out come the motorcycles and bar-b-que grills. The lawns get raked on those beautiful, sunny days, and life feels good. This can be followed by an arctic blast that rips down from Canada. Snow covers the newly thawed land, and everything is frozen solid again. As one neighbor of mine so aptly put it, “this weather is like manic-depression, with no meds”.

Yet, even during the fridge, snowy return of winter, there also comes a glimmer of hope. Small “snow flowers” in my garden press through the cold, white covering, and lift their flowered heads toward daylight. No matter how bitter it gets, or how much it snows, these flowers always, and I mean always, come up. They continue to blossom through the worst of it, and this is a powerful reminder to me that delayed hope is just that. It is hope in a season of delay until the promised answer finally comes…… and it always comes!

We all have hopes and dreams that impact our lives deeply. They can come in a hundred different forms, and each profoundly changes the way we view everything. We look to the future for better jobs, closer relationships with those we love, financial development, physical healing and emotional growth. This is because no one wants to stay as they are, or in the same situation, from now until the day they die. Our dreams and visions are what compel us to do new things, climb that next mountain and take risks. Without a vision of promise, the Bible says, “the people perish”. We need this if we are going to be healthy, and obtain the very things for which we were placed here on earth.

However, there is the proverbial “monkey wrench” in the gears of life that can knock the strongest of us to our knees. There are times when our promise gets delayed, and there is nothing we can do about it. Things can get held up and stalled, for no apparent reason, and this sets up a conflict. Nothing anyone does or says helps to explain it. Worse yet, is the fact that in those times even God is often silent, other than to whisper, “Do you trust Me?” It is in these moments of delayed promise that we must make a decision which goes contrary to the very nature within us. The “somehow there must be a way I can fix it” attitude we fall back on, has to be held in check or even worse things can happen.

Years ago, one of my best friends had an experience with delay that taught him a very profound lesson. He and his family were in a van headed to the store. They were running late and proceed to hit every red light in town. After the second or third red light in a row, he was getting very impatient and was planning to jump the light. The moment it turned green, he hit the gas pedal, and for no apparent reason, his engine die on the spot. In anger, he jam on the brakes, put it in park and turned the key in the ignition. At that very moment, a huge truck blew right through the light, inches from the front of his vehicle. Had he not experienced that moment of delay, they would have all been killed.

Has your promise been delayed? Is the hope you once had now fading into the distance? Could it be that your unfulfilled promises are really God’s way of keeping you safe and teaching you what you need to know for the day it comes? If you feel the cold north wind of empty promises swirling around you, let me suggest that it’s time to begin looking for the snow flowers. It’s time to refocus your attention on the good all around you that has already happened. Develop a heart of gratitude for what is still growing in the snow storm. It is this kind of resilience, at just the right time, that has the power to prepare you and propel you into your future.

It is true that a change of thinking will not stop the snow from falling outside my window. However, it is also true that the internal change I make about it impacts my heart, and that my friends will stop ME from falling. Learning how to patiently wait in a silent season of delay is the treasure I am after. Remember, during a test the teacher never speaks. If God is silent in your current season, it’s just a test, and you can do more than simply endure the delay. You can flourish in it and be better equipped to enjoy the promise that is yet to come. So, stop the whining… follow directions…. do your best… and when it’s over, every promised blessing God is holding for you, will be handed over to you.