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Have You Ever Felt Adrift?

Posted in A Class Act by Linden Barrick on August 9, 2013
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Last week, I spent an amazing week at Lake Greenwood in South Carolina with my step-mom, Suzy, and her family. Every year the days at the lake take on a familiar pattern. We wake up, eat, take a walk down the road to visit the donkeys that reside in a pasture nearby, spend time in the lake, eat lunch, more lake time, eat dinner, and play cards or a board game late into the night.

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It’s a calm, unplugged week with poor cell reception and two television stations. If we need to make a call or want to go online, we usually have to stand on the end of the dock or walk out to the road.

While on the water each day, we boat, tube, ski, jet ski, swim, and float. Mark and Colton spend many hours fishing, which rewards us with a delicious fish fry dinner. Of all the time on the water, I have to admit I love to laze on a raft most of all. The speed of the jet ski, excitement of the tube, and freedom of boat rides are glorious, but basking in the sun while bobbing in the water makes me content and happy. Usually I close my eyes, listen to the kids play, feel the water ripple around me, and chat with whoever is floating alongside.

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On Thursday, the breeze tried to ruin our raft time. We ended up floating to the neighbor’s dock and paddling back numerous times. Although I could use the exercise to combat the many meals we consumed, it wasn’t our normal relaxing float. The old quote says, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” In this case, laziness gave birth to inspiration. Digging a ski rope from the boat, I hooked the handle around a dock piling and looped the other end around my ankle once I dragged myself back onto my raft. Suzy and her sister Kit paddled up, grasped the neighboring float, and created a raft convoy.  Once again, we were able to enjoy our raft time without drifting away.

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Suzy commented that our spiritual life resembles our raft experience. We held on to each other and also tethered ourselves to a stable structure. As Christians, we must stay connected to one another while tethering ourselves to Jesus to keep us in the right place. Without Him we become adrift, never really knowing where we will end up, and once we are lost, we struggle mightily to return to the path He has planned for us.

Are you adrift? Are you floating slowly in the wrong direction, seemingly unable to change your course? Tether yourself to Jesus and connect with other believers. Your spiritual life will be transformed. It could even feel like a peaceful, contented day at the lake!

Is Your Grass Green?

Posted in A Class Act by Linden Barrick on September 21, 2012
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I can’t wait to get to the high school. The ultimate “grass is always greener” scenario for my middle school students.

Yes, being in 8th grade can be tough. The kids are old enough to think they know it all but too young to be allowed the freedoms they think they deserve.

Usually I ask them what will be different there once they get there. I get a variety of answers. They’ll have more freedom. They won’t have dumb rules to follow. They won’t have to deal with drama. They’ll be happy.

If only it was that simple. Instead of accepting the current circumstances, taking advantage of the opportunities in their present life, the kids think moving to a different school will eliminate conflict and issues.

But do they realize their peers will be moving with them? Their study habits will tag along? And their attitudes – usually their worst enemies – are part of the high school package?

Do you know adults who have the same misconceptions?

If I could only get a new job.

If I could marry someone special.

If I could divorce my spouse.

If I could live in a bigger house.

If I had more friends.

If I drove a fancier car.

If my children weren’t little devils.

“If” is such a prison. It can suck you into the depths of delusion. It will shift your focus from what you have to everything you lack. And that sort of vision can warp your whole outlook and foster envy and discontent.

Achieving a level of success or accumulating “things” will not solve problems. They merely create their own set of problems, and if you don’t know how to deal with problems in one situation, you won’t in another.

Consider your present surroundings. Examine your life. Is it worth some gratitude? Take a moment today to count your blessings. I promise life will be much sweeter when you do.


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