Have you ever noticed that things seem to fall into place when you don’t freak out? I watched that happen last week. In fact, I see that a lot throughout my life. When you don’t freak out, things seem to work out.
That doesn’t mean you sit around and hope things will happen. It means you choose not to freak out, and instead, you continue to move forward towards the goal or action that needs to be taken, and things will work out.
We are here in Nicaragua for our end-of-the-year vacation. We came here for a few different reasons: To have some good quality family time, as well as to spend some time with 2 other families that are here with us; to enjoy one of our favorite countries; and to do what we do every Christmas, and that is to go in and surprise families with food, clothing, and other necessities, as well as other gifts. We have done this since 1997, and sometimes we combine our vacation with this "Christmas blessing".
Last week, we ventured out in search of some families that were in need. We connected with my nephew, Carlos, who is a precious young man and a powerful connector.
You’ve heard me say that connectors have very high value in the marketplace. Connectors are people who value relationships and who work to build and maintain relationships and who have a strong network of people from all different industries, ages, and abilities.
For example, we needed a big truck, and Carlos said, "Okay, let me call my friend… He can be here in an hour." Then we wanted to buy clothes and shoes and toys for some families. So Carlos called another friend who had a store and a truck already filled with stuff, and she could be there in 45 minutes. Carlos is just an amazing connector!
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So anyway, we were in Granada, and we met up with one of Carlos’ old college buddies who had started helping at a place where there were a lot of families in need. There were 200 families whose homes are built out of cardboard boxes or plastic or whatever kind of scrap wood they could find. Some of the homes had a roof, and some did not. They had no running water, no kitchens, no bathrooms. Many of the kids didn’t have clothes. The families are not educated; they have not had the beautiful privilege of going to school. The kids beg for food. Some of the kids had kids – there were 12-year-olds with children, meaning even more mouths to feed, creating more pressure for the families.
So we started figuring out what it would cost to bring them food – chicken, rice, beans, sugar, flour, oil, oatmeal, cookies – as well as clothes, shoes, and toys. We also wanted to put roofs on their homes.
We then went to a place that normally slaughters 1,000 chickens every day. We were confident that they would have those chickens available for us to buy. But when we got there, they told us, "No, we did not slaughter any chickens today." We were there to buy 400 chickens, but they had NONE!
The second place we went, we were going to buy rice and beans. But they didn’t have enough for 200 families, and their prices were not great.
At this point, some people were starting to get upset. There are always those people who start to get upset when something doesn’t work out. So I was like, "Hey, why don’t we just go to the grocery store? I’m sure they have pallets in the back that have all these basic necessities we’re looking for, and I’m sure we can buy it in bulk."
So we went to the grocery store, and sure enough, we were able to get everything – all of the food, including the chicken – at this one grocery store.
Imagine 12 giant carts of food, filled to overflowing – and that’s not including the chicken that was stored in the freezer.
I’ll say it again – If you don’t freak out, things will work out!
But we live in a culture of "freaking out" – freaking out about a deadline at work, freaking out about upsetting your boss, freaking out about a big goal that you have. We so often freak out about trying to do something right, and we end up stressed, anxious, and worried.
Have you ever seen a kid trying to perfect a sport and then heard the coach say, "You’re trying too hard. Relax."? Have you ever heard that?
I know I have. I’ve had to look myself in the mirror and say it to myself. Because when we try too hard, we actually make more mistakes. When we worry, stress out, and react when something doesn’t happen, it costs time, it fries brain cells, and it shortens your life. Stress is not good for you – it will kill you. So avoid it! Why would you want any of that, anyway?
Instead of freaking out about a goal, a deadline, or trying to perform your best, why not relax and give it your best shot? Because as long as you don’t freak out, and you still push ahead and move forward, things will fall into place.
Just like things worked out last week when we found those 200 families who were in desperate need. We decided what we wanted to feed them and found out how much it would cost, and we determined how much of each item we would need, and we were able to find everything we needed!
There was never any, "Oh my gosh, how are we going to get food for all these people? Where will we get toys for all the kids? How are we going to get clothes and shoes for everyone? How will we put roofs on their homes?" We chose not to freak out, and it all worked out.
So that’s my message to you today. Both at work and at home, don’t freak out; it will work out! Relax and give it your best and keep moving forward.
When you relax, creativity begins to flow. Stress, worry, fear, and anxiety destroy creativity. What opens the door to possibilities is the faith that says, "We’re here to do something great. It’s going to be okay. We’re going to be fine."
As long as you don’t freak out, things will work out.
I can’t wait to hear your story about this. I’d love to read what you have to say about today’s message and how this works for you, so be sure to leave me a comment on this page!
Other than that, God bless, and I’ll talk to you soon!
In great faith,