Tuesday, December 28, 2021

What Will I Wish I Had Done?

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 I’m Doug Apple...and my heart is on fire.  (Luke 24:32)

“Should I take this sandwich home?”

That’s what my co-worker asked when I walked in the kitchen and saw the ponderous look on his face.

“Should I take this sandwich home, or leave it here for tomorrow?”

Instead of answering outright, I gave him a priceless tool for decision-making.

I said, “What will you WISH you had done?”

He said, “Well, if I get home and decide that I would like to eat the sandwich, I will WISH that I had brought it home.”

I said, “There’s your answer.  And if you don’t eat it tonight, you can always bring it back tomorrow.”

Last week a friend of mine in his mid-forties had quadruple bypass heart surgery.  He was a smoker and if you asked him, “What do you WISH you had done 20 years ago?” the answer would be, “Stop smoking, immediately.”

This is a powerful tool for decision-making.  Ask yourself this simple question, “What will I wish I had done?”

As you make plans for another year in your life, how do you know what to do? 

When you come to a fork in the road, how do you make the decision?

One way is to ask, “What will I wish I had done?”

Time always goes by.  The future always arrives.  Reaping always follows sowing.

When that time comes, what will you wish you had done?

In Matthew 25, Jesus told The Parable of the Talents.  Verse 19 says that after a long time, the master came to settle accounts.

Accounts will be settled.  What will you wish you had done?

Second Corinthians 5:10 says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ…”

What will you wish you had done?

As we raised our four kids, I would look ahead and think, “What will I wish I had done as their father?”  And then I did it, instead of only wishing that I had done it.

I’m working now to build a relationship with our grandchildren, and you know, little kids can be troublesome!  But I’m looking ahead to when they are teenagers, and twenty-somethings, and they start giving birth to our great-grandchildren.  What will I wish I had done?  I will wish I had taken time to build a relationship with them when they were little, and so I am.

I think you will find this question helpful in nearly every area of life.  It helps you set your eyes on the big picture, on the long run, instead of looking only at what might satisfy your lazy, no good carnal flesh right this minute.

Another year of life is coming up.  Another trip around the sun.  And when that time comes, and it always does…what will you wish you had done?

“It was a great decision,” my co-worker said, smiling.

“What decision?” I said.

“The decision to take my sandwich home last night,” he beamed.  “Great decision!”

And there it is.  Another wise decision made after asking the simple but life-changing question, “What will I wish I had done?”

May God bless you today.

I’m Doug Apple.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

The Prayer of George

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I’m Doug Apple...and my heart is on fire.  (Luke 24:32)

You’ve heard of the Prayer of Jabez?

Well, this is the prayer of George.

George Bailey, that is, and I pray it all the time.

George Bailey is the guy in the classic Christmas movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

His life was going down the drain, and he found himself in a bar one snowy night trying to drink the edge off.

Everyone else was preparing for Christmas and enjoying some holiday cheer, but not George.  

He was on the verge of being arrested, even though it wasn’t his fault, and the pressure was unbearable.  

So he sat at the bar, and under the weight of it all he finally asked God for help.

Now if you’ve seen the movie, you know that it actually starts in heaven, BEFORE George prays his prayer.

The preparations in heaven are being made LEADING UP TO George’s prayer.

Other people are already praying for George.  Heaven is well aware of George’s troubles, and heaven is ready to respond…WHEN he prays.

And finally, he does pray.  And it’s very simple.

He says, “God.  Oh God.  Dear Father in Heaven.  I’m not a praying man, but if You’re up there, and You can hear me, show me the way.  I’m at the end of my rope.  Show me the way, God.”

Nothing seems to happen.  In fact, things only seem to get worse.  But behind the scenes we know that George’s answer is on the way.

So what is the “prayer of George Bailey”?

It’s just this simple, and I pray it all the time.

“Lord, please show me the way.”

Do you find yourself in situations where you don’t know what to do?  You don’t know where to go?

Then pray The Prayer of George.  “God, please, show me the way.”

You could also call it The Prayer of David.  King David that is.  He wrote in Psalm 25:4, “Show me Thy ways, O Lord; teach me Thy paths.”

It’s a type of prayer we see often in the Psalms, “Show me the way.”

You know what…I don’t know what to do each day.  What is the best thing to do?  What does God want me to do?  What will be the best in the long run?  What is best for eternity?  What is best for my loved ones?  What is best for the generations to come?

I don’t know.  How could I know?  But God knows.

And that’s way I’m constantly praying the prayer of the Psalms, the prayer of King David…The Prayer of George Bailey.

“Oh God, please…show me the way.”

May God show you the way today.

I’m Doug Apple.