Is it true that all experiences, delightful and bad lead to good? Really! How can a bad experience lead to good? It is easier for me to imagine how a happy experience can have a positive outcome. For instance, you have always had a dream of becoming a chef but have never taken the necessary steps to achieve your dream. After visiting a restaurant, on a Sunday afternoon, you have a meal to die for. This might inspire to go home and recreate the same meal. With your new zeal, the results are good enough that you are stirred up to start your own business recreating gourmet dishes. Next, you know, you are writing a cookbook or you might be the next name in every household. That is what I call a pleasing experience leading to good. On the flip side, most bad experiences are really bad, the worst of them being the loss of a loved one. How can these encounters lead to a wonderful outcome? That is mind-boggling to me and I do not have an answer. What I got from the statement was that we can use that energy we have through the experience for a better good. Experience being the unrivaled teacher, it is from our pain that we can have more empathy for someone going through the same. Make your mess your message. What helped you most during your process? Was it the silence of a friend? Then be quiet when your friend is grieving. Was it a card in the mail from an acquaintance whom you haven’t talked to in over 2 years? Then spend those two bucks and send the card. You never know, you might be starting a lifelong friendship with that acquaintance. Cleave to what is good and you will see a positive change in your life. It is in those moments when the road seems easier if we took the exit that we have to determine in our hearts and challenge ourselves. After all, it is easier to give excuses and dwell onto that which is unpleasant. Change leads to the betterment of us, those around us, and especially those we love. That is the only way to grow. It is common to ask a child what they want to be when they grow up. I think this is a question we should ask ourselves on a daily basis. So long as today is called today, we should always aspire to grow and get better than yesterday. Body, spirit, and mind. If we keep getting disappointed about where we are, we will never get to where we want to be. Instead, start being optimistic about where you are going. This is complex because we are accustomed to looking at what we are instead of what we can or want to be. Keep your eyes on the goal. I will give you an example. When you are driving down the road and see something of interest on the right side. If you look at it long enough, guess where your car will start turning. Yes, you got it. The car will start turning towards what you are looking at. Does my personal culture reflect positivity? Cultivating a positive culture is key to getting from where we are, to where we want to be. No one wants to stay in the bad experiences forever. A character trait of optimism is having a sense of hopefulness and confidence about the future. I have had the privilege of visiting an Amish community and it was one of the best experiences I have had. I cannot think or hear the word pattern without remembering the beautiful, intricately made quilts that I saw during my visit. So, when I read the definition of the word culture as being an integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior, my mind immediately went to the quilts. First and foremost, it is important to remember that there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven. I looked up the verses in Ecclesiastes 3 1-8 and “…have no time for that” was not included. God has given us enough time in a day to do what he has equipped us to accomplish. So, be kind to yourself and take one step at a time, just do not procrastinate. How we chose to use time determines if we are will get the change we want or not. What have I knitted into my pattern of life? The pattern of negativity is a big hindrance in life. Truth is that as long as we are on earth, we will always get disappointed, discouraged, and also get hurt. What we do about it is what makes a difference. It all starts in the mind. Pay close attention to your thoughts. The patterns of our thoughts affect our action. Whenever you notice the same pattern that got you to where you are, know that it is not the truth. In Philippians 4:8, we are told to think those things that are true. The devil will always want to play with our minds and it is our job to refuse the advances he throws at us. What knowledge have I acquired thus far? Truth be told. God loves us so much. Believe in Him. He is a happy God and knowing this truth and living it is the best gift we can give ourselves. Our behavior should reflect a positive culture, just as God wants us to live. We can boost our positive behavior by building a tribe of positive people. Think of a herd of elephants. As long as they stay together, a pride of lions cannot attack them. If one of the elephants gets isolated from the group, the pride of lions can take it down. Do not isolate yourself. You will be just opening a way for the devil’s attack. There is safety in numbers. But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God are alive every one of you this day.