Surviving or Thriving

We all know what it takes to survive. We need the basics: food, water, air, & shelter. But what do you need to thrive? It’s a difficult question to answer if you’ve never thought about it. It’s especially hard when we find ourselves in survival mode. When we’re in this mode we are just doing the bare minimum to get by in life because that’s all the strength or energy we can muster up. Routine becomes a numbing agent to mask the pain. Don’t get me wrong, routine is healthy when it’s the right routines that fuel you to be the best version of who you were created to be. But if routine only remains rooted in survival we will only find ourselves surviving. And soon surviving will stop too if we don’t ever do more to help ourselves thrive.
It’s kind of like playing Monopoly with my son back when he was 7 years old. The writing is on the wall. I’ve purchased just about every property on the board. I own hotels everywhere. He’s barely making it to “Go” each time around. Why? He’s in survival mode. It’s only a matter of time before the foreclosures start on the properties in order to just pay the rent. It gets real ugly with a stop on Park Place & two hotels on the property. If only he could make it to “Go”. Sadly even if he did, what’s another $200 going to buy you? It will be spent on rent in the next roll. All the opportunities are bought up because he waited. All because he was saving & surviving by not wanting to take risks. (To be fair he’s gained much wisdom since then & kicks butt now.)

Do we want more? More goodness? More inner strength?? More peace??? More something!??? If we don’t figure out how to break the mold we get so easily trapped in, we’re going to suffocate & wither away. Even if our needs are met in survival mode. Soon it won’t be enough if we don’t do something about it..

What do we do? Sometime the answer comes in a Divine appointment. I remember back to moments in my life that were intersections with individuals who were meant to walk into my life, or me into their lives. It seemed like any other random day with my routine on schedule but that day I ran into someone different who would drastically alter my way of thinking, my life habits & routines, & challenge me in ways I didn’t even know I could be challenged. They became mentors for different seasons of my life. A “chance” encounter turned out to be a weighty moment of Divine appointment that I could’ve missed if I didn’t accept the call to more. It meant stepping out of my comfort zone. It meant leaving my old ways behind. Many times I regretted the decision because of the difficulties that were being asked of me. Looking back I am thankful for every growing pain even if I didn’t know that’s what I was experiencing. Sometimes it’s a meeting with someone you know that can help you & having enough humility to accept it. It is getting out of bed on a Sunday morning to start feeding your soul at church. Let’s face it, it’s the best alternative if you aren’t able, but watching it at home isn’t quite doing the trick. Sometimes it’s getting up early to pray, to spend time with your Creator before the busyness of the day takes hold of your attention. This is ultimate Divine appointment that many of us pass by every day & yet wonder why we’re stuck in this slow decay.

What is it you need to enter into your routine to begin thriving & break the hold of the gradual imprisonment? Whatever it is, do it now. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow might be too late & you have way too much to live for! The time we’re living in will suck you dry & leave you devoid of hope & life if you allow it. It’s time to kick down the door of fear, anxiety & depression & embrace the things that are going to feed your spirit, your mind, & your soul! It’s time to shut off the mind poisoning of social media & open a book that delivers on a promise of purpose & more life if you follow it’s principles. It’s time to pray a prayer of faith that moves mountains because you know a God who is the mountain mover! What is it you need to do? Do it now. Don’t delay.

Challenge: it’s time to thrive!
Warning: At first response you will begin making excuses & tell you to feel sorry for yourself because of your circumstances. Don’t let it happen. Punch those lies in the throat & tell them to “shut your face!” And while you’re at it “don’t come back!” They will. Just be ready to do the things you know that will cause you to thrive when you feel like you just want to survive.

One of my favorite quotes comes from a man who knew adversity. A fictional man, but in the hardest times of my life became one of my go to movies (originally a book) as I learned to overcome & thrive in horrible circumstances. It was a charge to his estranged son on his birthday…

“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout as you did in Rome. Do your worst, for I will do mine! Then the fates will know you as we know you: as Albert Mondego, the man!”
-Edmond Dantes- The Count of Monte Cristo

And my favorite verse in times of mere survival:
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
https://www.bible.com/114/gal.6.9.nkjv

Maybe it’s an opportunity before you that you’re unsure of. Maybe it’s finally changing your routine to feed your soul. Maybe it’s cutting off toxic relationships. Maybe it’s taking a hiatus from social media. Are you ready to do what it takes to thrive?