Take Another Look

Aside

Let me preface this by saying I see valuable lessons in just about everything- no matter how big or small (in case you haven’t noticed that by now). OK. Carry on. ūüėČ

So, have you ever lost something irreplaceable?

Woman ScreamingI lost my camera connector and memory card today. Somewhere between leaving my mom’s house and arriving home, I lost these two valuables (which would be of little to no value to someone else, I’m sure). It wasn’t until I sat down to review some of the day’s shots that I realized my gems were MIA. My brand new, high-speed camera card was gone. The camera connector my husband¬†bought me? Gone. Over 800 irreplaceable photos… gone. Who knew if I dropped them in a safe place or if they¬†were buried in the freshly fallen snow??? What if the memory card somehow disconnected from the connector and got rolled on by a gang of four-wheeled thugs? Oh the horror!

I take pictures like people take breaths- constantly. Each photo is a piece of me- an expression and extension of myself. ¬†Maaaan, ¬†I didn’t even want to think about allllll the pics on that card that hadn’t been uploaded yet. Ugh! The only thing that kept me calm was my prior experience with losing stuff; I usually got it back. Through the years, I’ve lost my wallet, pocketbook, and even my wedding band… and I got ’em all back. These instances gave me hope. I searched my handbag, coat, and pockets. No luck. Called my mom but couldn’t reach her. Could have asked one of my aunts to look for it, but I knew she wouldn’t find it. Just as I was getting ready to put on some boots ¬†and search the snow-covered streets, my mom called me back.

Much to my chagrin, Mama didn’t find what I was looking for. I asked if she checked the chair I was sitting in and she said “yes.” We hung up the phone and a few minutes later, she called me back. She found my prized possession! She had gone back to the chair, checked under the pillow and voila! The SD card fell to the ground- still protected inside the camera connector. Praise the Lord!!

Magifying Glass- Focus

If you’ve lost something that’s important, invaluable, and irreplaceable, you need to take another look. Maybe it’s not a physical possession. Maybe it’s your self-esteem, your passion, or your motivation. Maybe you’ve lost your family to foolishness, your spouse to selfishness, or your courage to cowardice. Before you give up, give in, and lose your mind in the process, focus your attention and take another look.

What you’re searching for may have simply been misplaced- not lost. Don’t give up on the God-given expressions and extensions of yourself just because they’re presently out of view. If you’re a Believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, then you are a living testimony; you were once lost but praise the Lord! Now you’re found faithful in Him.

Don’t stop praying and don’t stop searching until you get your family/self-esteem/mojo/life back! And be sure to reach out to some trusted individuals who will help you along the way. Based on prior experience, I knew my mom was the right person to help me find what I was looking for. Even though she didn’t have a clue what on earth an SD card and camera connector were, I knew she wouldn’t give up searching. Why? Because she knew these items were important to me.

What have you lost or misplaced that needs to be rediscovered or reunited? Don’t sit back and wait for it to magically reappear. Start praying, get the search team ready, and take another look! And this time, be more responsible with it when you get it back (I know I will!). ūüôā

Protecting Your Purpose

CVS Quits for GoodCVS Caremark announced today that they will stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in their stores beginning October 1, 2014. That’s tremendous! As stated by the company’s reps, CVS will be the “first national pharmacy chain to take this step in support of the health and well-being of its patients and customers.”¬†Their¬†president and CEO, Larry Merlo, said, “Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health. Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”

NYC’s former mayor, Michael Bloomberg, whose mission against smoking included¬†banning it in bars¬†and¬†graphic anti-smoking ads, weighed in:

“CVS’s decision to eliminate tobacco sales is a major milestone in the effort to reduce tobacco use – and it sets a new bar for all companies that market themselves as pharmacies and health care centers. Just as no responsible doctor would put a cigarette machine in the office lobby, no responsible pharmacy should put cigarettes behind the counter. Pharmacies should help heal people, not make them sick. This is a smart and forward-looking move that will help save lives – and force other companies to confront this critically important public health issue.

Let me put this in a little perspective for you: CVS is the nation’s second largest drugstore, is #13 on the 2013 Fortune 500 list, has more than 7,600 pharmacies in the U.S., and estimates they’ll lose more than $2 billion per year in revenues as a result of this trailblazing decision. While $2B represents only about 2% of their net revenues (2012), it is a loss nonetheless and it could hurt their stock price (which is down slightly at the moment) in the short-term.

In spite of the potential hit to this company’s bottom line, they are willing to take a stand against the cigarette and tobacco industry. Why? Because the sale of these products is “inconsistent with [their] purpose.” So I ask… what are you doing that’s inconsistent with your purpose? And more importantly, why?

We were all created with purpose, for purpose, on purpose. Before the semen hit the egg, God already had your purpose in mind. ¬†He designed you exactly how you needed to be in order to fulfill your purpose. Unfortunately, most of us have no idea what our God-given purpose is, so we live lives inconsistent with our intended design. When you don’t know the purpose of something, you are bound to be confused, misuse and abuse it. You can’t even establish healthy boundaries when you don’t know your purpose. So ultimately, others are likely to abuse/misuse you as well. And away goes your self-esteem and respect.

If you want to know your purpose, you need to ask your Creator. Your BFF can’t tell you. Your spouse can’t tell your. Your mom and dad can’t even tell you; they didn’t place the purpose inside you to begin with. And once you identify the purpose of your existence, you must do what is necessary to protect it. This means you may have to let go of some things. You may have to say goodbye to some people- ’cause bad company corrupts good character (1 Corinthians 15:33). You may have to stop going to some places. And you may even have to do some things that will hurt your bottom line for the sake of your long-term spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

God has so much in store for you and your legacy. It’s impossible to live the life He created for you when you are a threat to yourself. Set a new bar for yourself and everyone who looks to you as a leader. Make a decision today to stop settling for all those toxic people, places, bad habits and dis-eased lifestyles that are inconsistent with your purpose.

How can you protect your purpose? What do you need to quit for good?