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How long does it take to be a professional?

Yeah, those are mine ūüôā

There was a math teacher in my school that said: ‘Don’t practice a sum until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong.’

A professional is someone who is engaged or qualified in a certain profession. Someone who is confident in what they do. Looking at professional sportsman such as Cristiano Ronaldo shows us how hard work and talent can distinguish himself from other sportsmen, even other athletes on his level.

They are just on another level. But what stands out to me is their confidence. You can’t have the talent without believing in yourself. Sometimes it’s a cocky arrogance while other times it’s because they believe in themselves that they can.

In my last two years of playing hockey I played wing for my team at High school. The first year I scored about 3 or 4 goals. The next year I scored more than 10! It was about 15 games more or less I played each year. So what was the difference? Did I train much harder? Was my diet better?

Well to be honest I might have trained even less and I might have snacked more. The only thing that improved was my experience, but most importantly, my mentality.

I told myself when I get into the area where one may shoot to score a goal(which we called a ‘D’, because the area was shaped like the letter) I would take ownership of the ball and believe I could score. Know that what I have been training for the past week will go into that shot and I won’t let anyone take that ball away from me.

And I believe that is what separates the pro’s from the amateurs. They may have the talent, they might be fitter, faster and stronger, but if you aren’t in the right head space you won’t perform to your utmost.

But how long did it take for me to get there? To a place where I felt at my best. well I guess I could say 12 years because that’s how long it took to reach that stage. A few hundred hours of practice, maybe even thousands. Then hours going into watching games, studying techniques.

So quite a while.

But what if I told you it takes just one moment to become a pro. Almost like a light switch, you just need to turn it on and be a pro.

Last Saturday a couple of my friends went to a waterfall just outside of town. There is a rock in which you can jump off of, one that is 6 meters(20 feet). Another which is over 12 meters(40 feet). If it doesn’t sound much then take a look at the drop and tell me that it isn’t high.

Anyways, so on our way we were talking about why people do things such as marathons, iron man’s and just things that push people to their limits. The reason why I think is that we do it because we would like to challenge ourselves, see if we are capable. of reaching our weakest point and moving forward. And once we actually finish what seemed to be an insurmountable obstacle becomes something a little less frightening, our limits are expanded, our capacity has just grown enormously.

So now we get to the waterfall. My one friend says he is going to do the 12 meter jump. Now for the past year it has been my goal to do that jump but I never had the confidence, the jump is just so incredibly high. But this time I decide to follow him and jump after he does.

‘This is it!’, I tell myself.

Then I look down to the water: ‘Was it this high? Thought it was a bit shorter.’

The nerves start to kick in, fear surrounds me. My confidence has faded and I’m left contemplating if I should do it at all, if I should just wait till next time.

‘But was I not just talking about pushing myself to my limits, knowing that doing this will just make the possibilities of doing something even more daunting more achievable? The irony.’

My rational mind was telling me it was a bad idea. But my adventurous spirit was calling, pushing me to just go for it. When has it ever failed me?

My heart starts to beat faster, everyone around me was now watching. The collywobbles started to rise and I just couldn’t do it. The jump was so big.

I waited. Thought about it, then turned to say that my friends need to clap for me, slow clap style. They started to go. The faster they clapped, the more I wanted to quit until there was just a moment of peace, the moment where the slow clap became a fast one and I believed.

And I jumped.

The fear was gone. It was just free-falling from there. I did start to think: ‘Okay when am I actually going to hit the water because goodness this actually takes a while, till finally I hit the water.

I sunk for about 2 seconds and when I got up I was a new man. I felt different. Honestly. It may be small for you but it was as if a weight off my shoulders fell to the ground and had no grip on me anymore.

So the next time I get to that rock I won’t be as scared, I’ll definitely jump again because I know I can do it. There just needs to be water at the bottom.

So does it take years to be a pro? No. You just need to get it right once, and above all: Believe in yourself.

How to walk with confidence

I read one of the funniest stories in the bible the other day. Significantly short. But the message I found was impactful on my own life, and it gave me a laugh.

The story comes from Acts 20. Paul is in the town called Troas. He intends to leave the next day so he decides to speak to the people until midnight at a home. When it started to get very late one of the men started to fall asleep. He was sitting by the window and when he eventually fell asleep he fell 3 floors. When they picked him up they said he was dead! But when Paul came and picked him up he said:”Don’t be alarmed, he’s alive!”.

As soon as Paul touched the man, he rose from the dead! He didn’t say a word, didn’t pray for the man. He simply had so much power and anointing from the Holy Spirit that simply by touch he could raise people from the dead. And even in his other stories, people would use a handkerchief that Paul touched as a healing tool for the sick.

What stood out for me was how confident Paul was. I’m almost certain he walked to the man with the faith that when he touched the man that he would wake up. The confidence that he had was not in a spirit of arrogance and in the belief that the miracles that was done through him was because of his doing, instead he had the spirit of confidence that God had shown and given to him.

I feel that we need to live the way that Paul lived. With the confidence not in our own ability but from our creator. The one who has set us free. The one who gave His only son to take the burden of all our sins on himself. Our boundaries should be defined by our Father and not by the things that others tell us are boundaries.

Another thing I realised was that the way Paul postured himself was a direct reflection of the relationship he had with his father. They were probably so close that he could audibly hear the voice of the Lord. He would know when to do what, when to take a step forward, when to take one back, when to leave, when to stay. All because of the relationship he had with the Lord and the time he spent with Him. There was definitely tough times, times where he wouldn’t hear the voice or touch of God. But he knew what was in him, and that’s enough.

We all go through phases. And there are times where we neglect our bibles. We don’t have the drive to get out of bed and go to church, saying a simple prayer is tiring. We just go through a rut with our relationship with God. So how do we get out?

Going back to the basics.

Taking it slow. Start by just reading a chapter a day. Pray for 5 minutes and you will see your life change for the better. Imagine not seeing your friend for a few months. You would lose that tight bond you had. It’s like your daily bread. You constantly need a fresh loaf of bread, otherwise it will go stale and won’t fulfill you the way it should. We need to constantly spend time with Him so that He can reveal another part of His complex heart. We may never understand Him while on earth but there is so much we can while we are alive. Intimacy. That’s all I’m saying.

Confidence and intimacy. That may change your life. Having these 2 key characteristics will show you the way ahead for yourself and to others.

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Life without pain is painful

If you had to ask a world-renowned sports athlete how he became so prosperous he would say that he suffered. If you had to ask a famous writer how he has become so crafty with words and sold many books he would tell you he suffered.

I heard this today in an interview with Jon Foreman, the lead singer and guitarist from the band Switchfoot, great band by the way, and he overheard it from someone else at the store funnily enough. Long story short the message he wanted to bring was that there is light in the chaos, a reason for adversity. if we never struggle in life we may struggle!

My favourite passage in the bible comes from a story in 2 Corinthians 12:10. It’s when Paul gets a thorn in his flesh and at first he is angry that it has happened to him but then comes a moment where he has come to terms with it. A moment of euphoria.

He then says: “I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions and difficulties for when I am weak; then I am strong.”

Through the pain and suffering he finds his strength in God and grows from the experience. I’m sure there was an experience you had in your life that was seemingly impossible at the time but now would seem rather doable, perhaps easy.

I had that moment just recently, I do find it hard to say that it will be easier and less stressful next time around but even so I will at least know how to deal with the situation a lot more efficient.

I was challenged with an amount to pay that was just too much. Although I have some savings in case of an emergency I would still not be able to cover it. I would have to take out a loan that would possibly take me at least a year to pay off while I change my lifestyle to extreme minimalism. Practically never eating out. Not buying miscellaneous items I might need. Not putting money aside for my future. Nothing.

I had that plan but it was stupid. Flawed. I only started to get a better way to sort out the problem by seeking counsel from my mom. Aren’t they always the best advisors?

So I would have to plead to the other party and request that there is anything they can do, but I was nervous, worried what they would say. So I gave it a day. That evening my life group worshiped and sang the song Good Father. It reminded me how good He is, crazy isn’t it? The coincidence. Even though things are not going the way you want them to, even though you walk through the valley of suffering, fear and even though it seems impossible God is good. Maybe I do take out a loan, maybe not. Regardless He is good.

I started to declare it. When I was ready to confront the other party I was filled with peace and it turns out I couldn’t have gotten a better deal. I saved myself from a large loan. I was thrilled.

You may look at adversity and shake but I look at a time of suffering to produce growth(sometimes). What God also said in that passage is this:

” My grace¬†is sufficient for you, for my power¬†is made perfect in weakness.”

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Believing in Miracles

There are some radical stories of miracles. Some which have happened thousands of years ago and then there are those which are happening in our lifetime. If anything, more are recurring today.

But what is a miracle? – An extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency. It comes from the¬†Greek¬†thaumasion¬†and the Latin¬†miraculum‚ÄĒas that which causes wonder and astonishment .

To witness a miracle is extremely special and sometimes we are the miracles: Being swept away from death, cured from imminent death or simply saved from harm. I have heard countless stories of people being raised from the dead. Some incredible stories have jumped to life.

So one would think that there is no obstacle that cannot be overcome. No sickness that can’t be cured for He has done it all am I right?

In my honest opinion I say yes. Yes he can save you even when your heart stops beating or any other terrible disease. I have faith in any situation. Regardless of the scientific probability of there being a transformation in a person’s situation, see what I did there ūüėČ

But then there comes a task my way. A task that seems rather difficult, way out of my comfort, a task I will need to dedicate hours on to get done for weeks on end. It’s more like many tasks culminating to one big task. I can do it on my own though. I just need to eat right. Get the required sleep when I can and not spend a second procrastinating or getting distracted.

It is a big task. And right now I feel that I have fell short. Right now I’m rather sick, according to the doctor I have bronchitis. Thankfully it hasn’t reached the harmful stage and I am getting better by the day. My guess is I have been eating rather unhealthy and working rather hard. So once I’m fully recovered I’ll go back at it, this time still working as hard as I can but I won’t be eating so much junk, maybe just a little.

That way I’ll know for sure if I’m actually working too hard and need to reassess my timetable.

Sometimes He wants us to grow in our capacity while other times He wants us to learn saying no and get into His rest.

You might be wondering, now how on earth does this have to do with miracles or is this two different blog posts I accidentally added together?

So going back to miracles. I am able to succeed and complete my task on my own with the gifts and talents already given to me. But that’s not how our relationship with God should be. It should be a constant friendship, a constant relationship of guidance, wisdom and revelation. He can assist you to your goals in a swifter fashion, in a way that will leave you in a better state than you were.

I came off the phone with my mother today and she reminded me of something we tend to forget. God works outside of time. So seeing that time for Him is irrelevant He can take us out of the world where time is irrelevant while still keeping us here on earth. Something that may take 2 hours in our world can take just a few seconds if we are in God’s timing!

It may sound ridiculous to some, but try it, ask for that much needed time you need to get done what is needed to get done. I always wished that I could pause time, study for days for a test and when I have learned what I need to learn time will start again, I can write the test and I’ll receive great marks. As much as that can happen He will probably not do it if you leave your study time for the last few minutes before a test and then start to learn.

What I’m trying to portray though is that we can sometimes have faith for the impossible. Believe that anything is possible. But then comes something small. Something we don’t really need help from God, but then we believe we can do it ourselves or is something that doesn’t need the hand of God to help us. In fact, He wants to be there for us daily. For every single task regardless of the size or difficulty.

If we have faith the size of a mustard seed we can move mountains, but that also means we can move rocks.

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Down to the wire

I feel like I’ve been talking a lot about struggle lately. I’m going to talk about it again. Previously I have overcome it and this time is no different. Except that I am still in the middle of a big trial and tribulation. I know I can get through it too.

This last week has been tiresome. It’s one of those times where I really have had to grind through some challenges. A few sleepless nights, a few nights where my bedtime is the time I pass out. It doesn’t feel like the day ever ends, it’s just a constant battle.

However there was a day of triumph.

It’s rather a funny story too. So without further ado, here is my story.

My colleague and I arrive at a new clients house just after 9am. We had to install Wi-Fi into their house, but most importantly, the coverage had to be brilliant with no intermittent speeds. Problem was, the house was enormous. Monumental dare I say.

Reaching the very top of the house made us realise this was not going to be a normal job. We would be here for a while.

It probably took us about half an hour just to plan what to do. Plan A didn’t work. Plan B didn’t too. Luckily plan C worked out.

Plan C was risky. We had no idea how we were going to run a cable through the house through the conduits because we struggled to get through just one section of the room let alone the house. We did however see a data cable already inside the house. Was it meant for something? We weren’t sure. But we gave it a try. Seeing that either ends were not crimped. There were 3 sections of the house that needed Wi-Fi routers. The opposite ends were simple for there was clearly one data cable. However, in the middle of the house there were plenty of cables coming from all over the house. And they were all white. How would I know what was a data cable and what not? Then how would I know that it was the right cable?

I eventually narrowed it down to two cables. I had no idea which one was the cable so I took the two cables, one in each hand and prayed. I asked God which one to cut and waited.

I wasn’t going to do anything until I was sure God directed me to one. If I cut the wrong cable it could be devastating for I wouldn’t know what it was for.

I started to feel a pull on the right side. So I opened my eyes and saw what cable it was. Funny story I was holding onto the same cable! So it didn’t matter which cable I felt I should cut for it would be the same!

I felt that it had to be that cable so I cut it. It was very scary but I did it. When I eventually cut it I saw that it was in fact a data cable. What a relief. So if for some reason it wasn’t the right cable we could just add an extension.

Turns out it was the right cable after testing!

I was blown away by God’s goodness that day. What I learned from that experience is that sometimes God has already given you the tools you need to do what you are made to do.

What He also does occasionally is give you only one option so that you won’t need to worry on how any other outcome could go because He already knows the correct one.

We sometimes feel we need to be so spiritual to get an answer from Him and when we just start to do, when we make a choice, we start to see God’s hand guiding and assisting you. It is sometimes difficult to see at first because we judge the unfinished product. But once we see the final product we realise how He has been assisting us RIGHT FROM THE START.

My current product isn’t close to done but I know I am on the right track. It has given me courage not to give up but rather to push through, to give that little extra.

I declare perseverance to all who are reading this! Amen.

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Remaining Faithful

Your faith is only as strong as your last battle you overcame.

I submit to you, oh Lord. All of my ways. Whatever comes will come. Whatever cards I have won’t matter as long as I have you. As long as you are there to help me. I can’t do this alone. Everything I have achieved to this day was due to your goodness. Your love, Your grace.

These were the words I proclaimed last night. We were gathered at church for students that had a worship evening prepared for us. Even though they can be seen as young and inexperienced the Lord spoke that night and His Spirit flowed.

Though I felt overwhelmed with countless things, feeling like a constant failure at life at who I am and what I do I realised what was most important: My relationship with God. It’s impossible to please everyone and impossible to be perfect. We are all sinful. Everyone at some point in our lives will let us down.

But not God.

Not our Father, who is perfect. Ever-present. We can only serve God or man, but not both.

No man can serve two masters: for either he. will hate the one, and love the other; or else. he will hold to the one, and despise the other, Ye cannot serve God and mammon. РMatthew 6:24

Going back to my very first statement. We all face challenges. Sometimes they become so tough they become battles. You end up going through a process that brings you either closer to God or further away. Right now I feel at breaking point but that’s where the faith comes in. Where it truly gets tested. If I succeed in maintaining belief that this too shall pass my faith will grow.

I’m not saying that we should sit back and have hope all will end well. We need to give our side as well; but we are not alone. He can guide us through it all. Give us the wisdom to go through. He is the perfect counselor.

If you have a huge task that lies before you the first thing you need to do is have hope and pray, then the answer will come. Sometimes very quickly, other times maybe not so much, but the faith that it will all work out in the end.

Blessings to all.

Who to spend your time with

You Are The Average Of The Five People You Spend The Most Time With.

I’m sure you have heard that saying before at least a few times.

Because it’s so true!

Your friends have a huge impact on your mindset. Imagine how inspired you would be if you were friends with Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Richard Branson and whoever inspiring person you could think of. There wouldn’t be a night where you wouldn’t be thinking about your future and what greatness lies ahead for you. You would be willing to take a huge leap of faith. You would do exactly what you love because your friends are doing it. They’re supporting you every step of the way.

But if your friends were not the greatest? What if they saw the world as a dark place and it’s a fight for the fittest and if you get scraps that’s fine? It’s going to affect you negatively. Your vision of life would probably also not be so great.

That’s why it is important to have positive friends.

I got to know someone through this year and we became friends but one thing I noticed about him was his negativity about life. All he would speak about would be the things that irritate him. This beautiful place that I call home was perceived dark, depressing and a place to be broken.

The friendship actually got to a point where I would start to think negatively about things that he saw as negative. It eventually came to a point that I snapped at my colleague at work because I started to see the things that irritate people instead of the things that makes him stand out and that makes him a really nice person.

Fortunately I realised what was happening before it became a problem. It made me realise the importance of who we spend our time with. It doesn’t mean I should unfriend that person; but rather speak life to him and the goodness that I can see in other people and over the places we see instead of listening to negativity.

Sorround yourself with people you admire.

But don’t let that saying constrain you. You can be the difference in your friendship group. The fresh apple in the basket (which is a stupid thing to say because the rotten apples will stay rotten, or get worse, but anyways). But what I can say is that it wouldn’t hurt to have aspiring friends.

Every good dream begins with a dreamer.

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