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Your Daily Devotional

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VIEWPOINT

By RALPH HARDIN

Evening Times Editor I ’m a nighttime kind of guy. Always have been. I remember even as a kid I would always stay up to watch the MASH reruns that always came on Channel 3 after the nightly news. I’d have probably stayed up later but my parents had to draw the line somewhere I guess. That habit stayed with me as an adult. I’m always up late and the last one up at my house. And that’s fine. I don’t have to fight over the remote control when everyone else is asleep, right?

Well, in March of 2020, here at the Evening Times, we shifted our operations to a work-from-home situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While I hate the circumstances that led to it, I have thoroughly enjoyed the move. In addition to the simple convenience of having all of my work-related materials right on hand in case they are needed, I can also work pretty much any time I have some spare time. And since I’m always up late, I do a lot of my job after midnight. I know the old adage is “Early to bed and early to rise…” but really, what does the time of day have to do with anything when it comes to being productive?

Anyway, none of that is relevant to this column. I was just setting the stage for what I’m actually here to talk about today. I am on about a million email lists. Most of them I did not sign up for, but since I’m the fourth editor to use this email address, I’m sort of at the mercy of whatever my predecessors had signed up for (along with no-telling-how-many newsletters and media alerts someone simply added me to because they came across my email address). And since I’m paranoid about missing out on an important email, I keep my notifications turned on at all times. Sure it’s a little distracting sometimes, but I’d rather have to go through and click on a bunch of notices that miss something important news-wise.

Among the many messages I get, there are a few that I get at the same time every day like clockwork. One of those is always bearing the header “Prime Time with God: Your Daily Devotional,” and it comes, without fail, at 2 a.m. every night (morning? Which is more appropriate?). I’ve been getting them for years, but it has only been since we went to working from home that I have occasionally been in front of my computer at 2 a.m. when the email comes through. I’m sure whoever runs that operation simply has it set up to send out a blast email at that same time every day so that it will be waiting for whoever reads it when they fire up their computer or phone or whatever first thing in the morning.

There’s always a subhead with the topic of the day. This morning’s was “Now is the time for grandparents!” I didn’t click on it, since I don’t have any grandparents still living, and my own children are stubbornly refusing to make me a grandchild while they get started on their “careers” or whatever like responsible adults, so that one didn’t really speak to me. But a few nights (mornings? Again, I’m not sure…) ago there was one that popped up, right on schedule, that had the subhead of “Putting wisdom over fear,” and I actually meant to click on the “dismiss” button but accidentally clicked on the “open” button and the Daily Devotional popped up on my screen.

I have read several these devotionals over the years, either on purpose or by accidentally hitting the “open” button and they’re pretty quick reads with some inoffensive insight from various authors backed by or inspired by a Bible verse or two. This particular one was about how we often have great ideas or great desires or big plans for our future but we ultimately don’t see these dreams become realities because of fear. And I thought that was both pretty obvious but also maybe not immediately clear. We call it other things. We say we are too busy or we don’t have the money or we have to take care of something else first before we take the leap and do the thing – whatever the thing is. Going back to school, taking on a new job, getting into better shape, dropping a bad habit. It’s really just fear that’s holding us back most of the time. Fear of failure, fear of commitment, fear of being judged by others … fear is a powerful thing.

The article went on to tie overcoming our fears back to trusting in God to see you through your challenges and that’s definitely something I believe we should do but even if you don’t ascribe to any strong religious beliefs, the advice is still good. Work through your fears, set goals and pursue them. You’ll probably be surprised at what you can accomplish. Dream big, start small, and move forward.

This has been your daily devotional …

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