My Musings

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A Barrel With Holes

"Brethren...this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before." ~ Phil. 3:13
The second law of thermodynamics states that in an isolated system, all things tend toward entropy, or chaos. In other words, if you are not working to maintain something, it is going to break down. If I leave my car out in the weather for a couple of years, it will end up covered in rust and filled with dirt. The engine will probably not start. The rubber tires and hoses will be falling apart. You get the idea.

The truth is, probably ninety percent of the world's economy is devoted to combating the second law of thermodynamics. People are either producing new products to replace old ones or they are repairing the old items. In the world, there are automobile producers and car repairmen. There are home builders and remodeling carpenters. Nearly every job in the world is devoted to either building new or repairing old.

It is as if we are filling a barrel that is filled with holes. As we pour the water into the barrel, it runs out the holes that are in it's sides. In order to fill the barrel to the brim, we have to pour water in faster than it is going out.

It does not matter how much water you put into the barrel yesterday. In order to maintain success, you must add to it today. Yesterday's water will have already poured out the holes.

We find this true in nearly every area of life, not just with physical possessions. Every part of our life requires continuous effort in order to maintain or improve their status. This is true in our spiritual lives, in our social relationships, in our wisdom and intelligence, and in our physical stature.

  • Spiritual Life - We cannot rest on the successes of yesterday. In order to maintain a successful walk with God, we must be actively adding to it. Each day, we must be reading God's Word, praying, and serving Him. Stop filling your life with spiritual things for just a day or two and your spiritual life will drain.
  • Social Relationships - Our relationships with those around us is dependent on our constant investment in them. People don't often remember the kind things that you did for them a few days ago if you are not being kind to them today. You must make deposits into the friendships and relationships around you. Don't allow your relationships to deteriorate over time due to a simple lack of communication or a lack of kindness.
  • Wisdom and Intelligence - People are constantly forgetting things. We forget dates, facts, and information every day. The only way to maintain and grow our knowledge and information of the world is to continually learn new things. You will forget much of what you learned in school unless you are constantly reading and studying new things.
  • Physical Stature - I often hear of people losing weight or getting in shape and then losing their progress immediately after. In the military, we conduct physical training nearly every day. If we don't, we will begin to lose the progress that we have made.

In all of life, we must continually be working to improve or we will begin moving backwards. Progress in all areas of life demands constant work. Throughout the year, stop thinking about the accomplishments of last year. Stop thinking about your victories from yesterday and begin working and striving for victories today!

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