This is a question I have asked myself many times over the years. As a single father, life has been anything but a piece of cake. I receive responses regarding my presentations, sermons, tweets, and blogs that seem to hold the theme that I, Mark Sherwood, seem to have it ALL together and have no problems in which to handle. Do you really believe that? I certainly hope not!
Listen, I have to get up each day and face issues like everyone else. Though you may or may not know my entire story (you will soon enough), trust me when I tell you that I have had many extremely difficult and painful occurrences come my way. Just to get a brief glance into “my world of issues,” you must realize that being the sole provider for three children for over 11 years is less than the “ideal” situation. However, things happen in life, and we are forced to play the cards we are dealt. So what exactly is it about myself that allows me to press onward and upward? It is something I have honestly and earnestly explored. The basis of my exploration has been based on what I see occurring in the world today. More and more people are discouraged, beat down, depressed, and in a really bad state of mind. Statistics do not lie as the pharmaceutical industry has blossomed with the introduction and inclusion of anti-depressant drugs. With the economy in decline and the family unit being torn apart at alarming rates, is it any wonder people feel less than positive?
So here is my answer to what sets me apart and drives me on: I put attention and effort to all areas of my total person (intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and physical), and I seem to notice that I try a little bit harder than most.
Intellectually – you must NEVER stop learning. Find something to read or a class to attend. Stimulate your mind.
Spiritually – cultivate your relationship with a higher power. I focus mine on my relationship with God.
Emotionally – put yourself in situations, activities, or hobbies that produce peace and calm in your emotions.
Physically – this is the piece that is normally ignored and left off. It takes effort, planning, prioritizing, and discipline. Our bodies were made to be active and NOT sedentary. Activity (in the form of exercise movement) actually brings about a state of peace in our emotions. When our emotions are at peace, we all tend to function more effectively spiritually and intellectually.
Friends, I put a lot of attention and effort into all FOUR areas of my being. THAT is how I find peace in the middle of chaos. I owe it to myself and to you to take care of me. I want you to be encouraged, uplifted, and dream big. I believe in YOU.