The 5 F’s of Successful Living
The story of the Tortoise and the Hare is about two animals who are in a race. The Hare boasted about his speed to the other animals. “I have never yet been beaten,” he said. “When I put forth my full speed. I challenge any one here to race with me.”
The Tortoise said quietly, “I accept your challenge.”
“That is a good joke,” said the Hare; “I could dance round you all the way.”
“Keep your boasting till you’ve won,” answered the Tortoise. “Shall we race?”
So a course was fixed and a start was made. While the Hare had a quick pace and was much faster than the Tortoise, he encountered a variety of problems and distractions. In the end, the slower but consistently-paced turtle won the race. The moral of the story is: being focused and steady wins the race.
The Apostle Paul also knew the power of focus. In 1 Corinthians 9; Galatians 2, and Hebrews 12, Paul says that our ability to follow through on our goals corresponds directly with our ability to keep them in focus.
I would like to suggest the following five F’s to keep you focused to run the race successfully:
1) Family – The more time you spend together, the better chance you have of sharing quality experiences. Eating meals together, talking about the day’s events, sharing joys and defeats, doing household chores together, and spending some evenings watching movies, are examples of shared activities. Some families even schedule one evening every week for special family activities. Where should you start if you’re not spending enough time with your children? Start with a family meal. Having a meal with your kids away from distractions such as the TV, video games, and cell phones can help start those conversations that you would like to—or need to—have with your children.
2) Faith – Your devotional life is vital to your spiritual life. Spending focused, daily time with God for prayer, Bible reading, and getting personal with Him is critical to your spiritual growth. Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live by bread alone” and Psalm 119:10 says, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth.”
3) Fitness – Your body is a vehicle. It’s your primary means of transportation everywhere you go. If you neglect it, abuse it, or overuse it, you could experience detours, or you could even break down. You can have great plans for your life, but if you don’t have a plan for taking care of your body, you could end up on the side of the road. The whole reason you should pay attention to your physical health is to make sure you have the vehicle to carry out your God-given mission.
4) Finances – It may surprise you just how much the Bible has to say about finances. There are more than 2,350 verses on how to handle money and possessions. Jesus spoke more about money than any other subject. I believe He mentioned it so much because He knows the chief competitor of our affection for Him is often money. Get into the habit of asking yourself, “Is this a want or a need?” It’s a great practice.
5) Fun – You have heard the saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” The U.S. is the most overworked developed nation in the world. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), “Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers.” I’m not telling you to work fewer hours. But for many of us, more work leads to more stress and a lower quality of life. So, let’s focus on taking time off and enjoy life!
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