After our body-weight fitness class this past Wednesday, I was talking to a couple of participants about going through trying moments. One of those participants said something intriguing: "Many people think they are going through moments of perils when they're really going through moments of preparation."
What a great point! There is nobody who is without problems. However, you don't have to see your problems as "problems," but as "prep periods." That is, instead of thinking you're being punished for something, start thinking that you're being prepared.
Maybe right now you are going through poverty. Money is tight, resources are few, and stress is through the roof. You might be thinking that you're being punished for something. Well, maybe you just might be a millionaire one day. But you're just not ready to receive those millions, because if you get that money now, you'll be irresponsible with it, blow your cash, and become a horrible person. But through your moments of "cash famine," you're learning to be a better person so that when you do receive your millions, you'll know how to handle it.
One boy who was about 12-years-old made this one wise observation: through poverty, God is teaching you how to be responsible with money.
Of course, lack of money isn't the only problem we have. Maybe you just can't find a job to save your life. Maybe because you're having such a hard time finding a job, you're being taught how to use your talents to start your own business. No more sending out resumes!
Maybe you have frequent illnesses. Perhaps you're being pushed to find a natural way to fix yourself so that you could help others.
When you go through trials, you're being prepared for something bigger. In a perfect world, we would get everything that we want without any pain. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. Before we get to the mountain peak to see all of God's beautiful creation, we must actually climb the mountain first -- which is the HARD part. But once the hard part is over, we could teach others how to do the same.
You're not being punished. You're being prepared for greatness. Don't cry over your woes. Rejoice that something great is about to come. Just endure your dark moments for a little while longer. It'll be all right at the end!
How many of you have told yourselves that you would be happy if only you had a certain thing, or if something in particular happened? If only you had a job, you'd be happy. If only you had a husband/wife, your life would be complete. If only you could lose weight, you'd be at peace with yourself.
Well, stop thinking that way! If you postpone your happiness until you hit a certain jack pot in your life, then your happiness would be temporary.
Think about children. When they're young, they are still learning the values of patience and being thankful for the little that they have. You have already given them the toy they wanted, and they are happy! But soon enough, they would see another toy that they must have and they would whine about not having that toy! Dang, I just got them a toy just two hours ago and they are already complaining about not having another toy!
Not all of us adults have out-grown that childish behavior. We still base our happiness on external things. We won't be happy until we have money in the bank, a diamond on our finger, a new car, a better job, or a bigger house. Until we get things that we want, we won't be happy.
Listen! If your happiness is dependent on what you get, then you'd be happy temporarily -- until you find something else to be miserable about.
You finally dropped 10 lbs! You're happy! But...you still have 50 more pounds to lose and it seems that you're not losing any more weight! The scale numbers aren't budging! Guess what? You're miserable! You're so miserable that you gave up and gained those 10 lbs back!
You finally got the job you've wanted! You're happy! But you can't stand your co-workers. Now you're miserable and looking for another job.
You find the man of your dreams! You're happy! You get married. You're even happier! Six months later, his bad habits are sickening you! You two are having more and more disagreements. In two years, you're thinking about leaving him and finding someone else who could make you happy.
You have a new car! You're happy! The insurance and property tax on the car are high. With the addition of the car payments, this car is draining your bank account. You're miserable! Now you have to sell this car and downgrade to a used car. Speaking of...
You get a used car. You're happy! But then this used car has a few mechanical issues and you have no warranty. You're miserable!
Basing your happiness on external things is like building your house on mud. When the ground gets wet, your house will fall. In the same way, once the external things don't hold up anymore, your happiness would fall with those external things.
If you want to be happy, then you need to determine to be happy in your present situation with the things you already have. If you cannot be happy with the little that you have, don't expect eternal happiness when you do get the things you desire.
There are lottery winners who go broke in a year or so after spending their millions on liquor and prostitutes. Celebrities worth millions get in trouble with the law. Rich CEOs embezzle money from their companies. Prisoners who were released from jail find themselves going back to jail. Those who lose weight put the weight back on. Happiness based on external things don't last long.
As mentioned in another blog, happiness is a CHOICE. It ought not be dependent on what you get. You could choose to be happy right now. Fat? Be happy! Fat and happy! Poor? Be happy! Unemployed? Be happy! Business is going slow? Be happy! If you want to be a generally happy person, then learn how to be happy with little and with much.
Think about it this way. If you were poor, got rich, and went poor again, guess what? At least you knew how to be happy while you were poor. Yes, it would be disappointing if you lost your riches, but at least you weren't dependent on those riches to make you happy.
Be happy! Be happy right now! And if something good happens in your life, then consider it a bonus!
Man, I LOVE mangoes! They are one of the best fruits in the world! I think the forbidden fruit that Eve ate was a mango. After taking one bite out of that juicy mango, she couldn't stop eating it even if she realized she was sinning by eating it!
When mangoes aren't ripe, they are truly bitter! But that's the case with any fruit. However, once they are ripe, watch out! Their flesh is soooo juicy that you would need to eat them over a sink -- otherwise, you'll get juice all over your floor!
The word "mango" perhaps came from a Tamil word (a language spoken in South India and Sri Lanka). Mangoes are believed to have originated in Indian, especially since ancient Hindu manuscripts dating about 4,000 years mentioned mangoes. Buddha was believed to have mediated under a mango!
India is also the world's largest producer of mangoes, and they have the perfect climate for mangoes. Since mangoes are tropical fruit, they do their best in hot climates. In the United States, only Florida, California, and Hawaii grow mangoes.
Behind India, China is the second largest mango producer in the world, followed by Thailand, Pakistan, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, and Bangladesh.
One of the cool things about mangoes is that they are easy to grow! After eating the flesh away, you'll find a large hard thing that looks like a seed. This hard piece isn't the seed, but a "pit." You need to crack that pit open to get to the actual seed, which is a small, ugly-looking thing.
Once you get the seed out, you could plant it in dirt, obviously. Or you could put the seed in a wet MaxiPad! Yep, I've done this and within a week, the seed started to sprout. I then put the seed in dirt so it could grow into a plant. But since I'm not in a climate that's ideal for growing mangoes (we're in North Carolina, U.S.A.), that mango plant didn't last for long! But if you're in a hot place like the Southeast or Southwest U.S.A, you could grow mangoes if you're willing to wait 4 to 6 years for fruit to come out.
Since mangoes have a deep orange color, they are HIGH in beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body.
Eating a mango is a pleasant experience -- but it could also be an annoying one as the pit is "hairy." Those little hairs could get stuck in your teeth if you're biting right into a mango. So, perhaps the best way to eat them is by peeling off the thick skin first and then cutting the flesh away with a knife.
All information in this blog are for inspirational purposes only. Unless otherwise stated, all content is written and copyrighted by Aiyo A. Jones.