There is an ancient poem that gives a wisdom that has passed through the ages. Some have attributed it to the Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu. Others have proposed is from the ancient Hindu scripture The Upanishads. Still others have suggested the Jewish Talmud as the source. Many suggest that it goes further back to ancient Egyptian runes. I actually even heard someone wrongly attribute it to Margaret Thatcher. I'd like to suggest that as with all great wisdom, who it originated with is less important that how we apply it. But enough of my words, here is that which I speak of: Watch your thoughts, they become your words.
Watch your words, they become your actions.
Watch your actions, they become your habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
There is a great depth to this poem. Perhaps you have heard it before in one form or another. Indeed it has been be the catalyst for many a pontificating preacher and sermonizing speaker. My thoughts today take me to just that final consideration of how character shapes our destiny. Believe it or not, your destiny isn't written in the stars as though you could make no effort in this life and still end up exactly where you were always meant to be. No, without the character to sustain the calling we will never become much more than we are right now. Said differently, if you want to increase the breadth of you destiny, the surest bet is to increase the depth of your character.
Of course, like all matters of the soul, this is always much easier said than done. Character doesn't grow by accident. It grows by an intentional attitude whereby we remain a constant student of life. Where we don't allow ourselves to betray our values for any measure of gain. Where we refuse to take the easy way out because it causes us the least hurt.
These are actually counter-intuitive.
Our culture wants life easy and cheap, but what we need more than anything is to fortify the character by which we have come this far.
Indeed, there are a great many steps, lessons, challenges, moments and mistakes that
ultimately create our character and define our destiny. And even then, the smallest of us little people are told by those in the know that it was the journey that mattered all along. The destination was only a byproduct of that journey.
So today is a call not to discover our destiny as much as celebrate our character.
For truly, we must watch our character as it often becomes our destiny.
" Dan Cousins is the lead pastor of Genesis Christian Centre, a growing young church in Nanaimo, and serves as chaplain for the Nanaimo Clippers. He can be reached at email@example.com
© Copyright 2013