My brother Dan, child
number five out of our family of ten kids, was always a leader; he
was very competitive.
One day near a neighboring farm he and
the neighbor's teenager challenged each other to a tree-climbing
The goal was to be the first to climb to the
top of a skinny thirty-foot pine tree growing near our house.
They readied themselves at the base of
the tree, one on either side.
The GO signal was given and I watched
them start the race up through the limbs.
Since they were obscured by the
branches as they climbed, we weren't sure who was winning, but we
soon became sure of something else; their combined weight was more
than the top of that skinny tree could support.
We heard a loud crack and watched the
top five feet of that tree, along with both climbers, come crashing
through the other limbs and land on the ground, with Dan on the
The rest of us jumped to untangle
limbs and boys.
Dan was the most seriously injured
with scrapes, scratches and torn clothing.
The worst part was his face; it was
all bloody, his nose was broken and he was almost unconscious.
I remember how frantically our mother
arrived on the scene and finally got Dan to the doctor, sixteen
Dan and the neighbor should have planned
their climb more carefully.
Without a plan, they picked the wrong
tree to climb.
Today Dan still bears the scars of
Are you racing through life, still trying to climb to the top
without a plan? Have you
stopped and analyzed your life enough to know you're even on the
right hill? Have you written
down your Bucket List yet? Do
you have a plan of action on how you want to succeed and what to do
when you achieve success? What
part does God play in your career plans or your retirement? Have
you prayed and asked God's direction for your life? You
have probably heard the words, "Stop and smell the roses." Many
people are rushing through their lives so fast that they don't even
know that there are roses. Psalm
46:10 says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted
among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." It
is during those being still times that you can know God's
Calling in your life. When you
slow down enough to listen the your Heavenly Father and exalt Him in
your life you will have a much better chance of arriving at the top
of the right hill and having a plan on how to stay there longer.
Common Sense Application
Write down your goals (Bucket List)
and your time frames for pursuing them.
Make an assessment, at least
quarterly, on how well you are climbing toward your List.
3. Make a commitment to
change directions when you determine you are climbing the wrong way.