Photo by bendus (Creative Commons)
What do Dori from Finding Nemo, Abraham Lincoln, and Jesus all have in common? Their words have become guiding principles in my life.
“Just keep swimming” – Dori
Finding Nemo is my daughter’s favorite movie, and this is her favorite part of the movie. Life is very hard for an epileptic, autistic, socially awkward ten year old girl. Whenever sadness begins to overtake her, I see a small smile cross her face. “I’m going to be like Dori and just keep swimming.”
Her perseverance inspires me. This quote exemplifies the strong spirit within Cynthia. When I come across hard times, I remember this quote and my daughter’s smile. Then I keep on swimming.
“My concern is not whether God is on my side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right” – Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln is probably my favorite president. His resilience in politics speaks to the passionate pursuit of a goal. His stirring Emancipation Proclamation changed the face of America. His courage to make the difficult decisions in the Civil War unified a divided nation. Abraham Lincoln always seemed to have the right approach to important questions.
But his words here remind us nobody is always right. Our arguments, assumptions, and beliefs should always be subject to correction and adjustment. We must not forget our minds are busted and broken. Therefore, we should focus on knowing and aligning ourselves with the heart of God.
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Jesus
Sometimes life is lonely. We feel as if nobody understands what we are going through. Nobody cares. There is not even a shoulder to cry on. Jesus tells us these feelings are not the truth.
Instead, our God is fully committed to being there for us. When life falls apart. In our victories. When we’re scared. When we are literally on a roller coaster screaming and having the time of our life. God is with us. Always.
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” – Apostle Paul
This verse in Romans 8 led to my salvation and the beginning of my faith walk with Jesus. I will never forget Doug Fox, the youth pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Hemet, California.
He read this verse, and talked about the amazing Creator. Doug said that God invented the idea of art with His sunsets. Indeed, He created the sun, the sky we see it in, and the Earth we stand upon to view the sunsets. And God creates a new masterpiece every single day. It is this God who is for us when we are in Christ.
I was sold. I talked with Doug and accepted Christ as my savior later that very day. When times are low, I remember this verse. God is FOR me.
“We cannot become what we need by remaining what we are.” – John Maxwell
There is a part of me that is incredibly lazy. This same corner of my heart is entitled. I want and even expect success to come my way with minimal effort. “What do you mean I have to earn it?” cries the selfishness. “Don’t you know who I am?”
This arrogance will get me nowhere. As a writer, I’m no Steven King. John Grisham and I am not equally known. And here’s a sad reality check — the TV author turned detective Richard Castle has sold more books than me. If I am content with this, then I can continue my current path. If I want success (which may or may not include a bestseller), I MUST CHANGE. I MUST GROW.
“Punch fear in the face.” – Jon Acuff
Stepping into something new is terrifying. Fear whispers in our ear:
You are not good enough.
You know you are going to fail. Why try?
Nobody cares what you think. Just shut your mouth!
Fear can be very convincing. It will stifle our vision and creativity if we allow it space. This is where Jon’s advice comes into play. We should never cower when fear speaks to us. Instead we should move forward with intention and aggression. Come out swinging. Punch fear in the face and move forward.
If we succeed, what a win! If we fall flat on our face, so what? Either way we have already won. We conquered fear. We put ourselves out there for the world to see, as we pursue our dream.
What quotes inspire you to move forward, no matter what comes your way?