When I was in High School I was chosen several times for a team that led three day church retreats for other High School students in the region. Anyone who has ever experienced a retreat or a day long conference knows the feeling of being refreshed and ready to take on the world. You have been energized as you have met with like minded people who share your passion for whatever the conference/retreat focused on.
When the conference or retreat ends, we have to go back to our lives. So then what? We walk back into our lives ready to take on the world. We have made a decision to change our lives and maybe even change the world. Enough of the drama, negativity and so called friends. Onward towards success, love, prosperity, happiness and we are ready to sing kumbaya.
One of the many Pastors I met thru those retreats taught us to be ready for the “Fourth Day”. That was the day after you left your retreat and back into the real world. We all have experienced it. We get back to school, the office, our friends, family and they either make fun of your experience or they don’t understand they too have to start living the dream. They are the dream stealers, doubters and yes sometimes the haters. By the end of the ‘Fourth Day”, we have lost all enthusiasm and all that excitement is gone within 24 hours.
So what can we do? It’s a couple weeks after Easter in which so many of us missed out on Church, family and friends. Easter is about forgiveness and second chances. Many finished giving up something for lent or perhaps doing good deeds. But once lent is over, bring on the soda or return to cussing (fess up). That Pastor had a good plan of attack. It was set a schedule for 3, 6 months to a year.
Many say they want to get their life right. Well find a church and commit to going for six months. During the week spend 10-15 minutes a day reading scripture in your bible or on your phone (you will read FB more then 10 minutes a day right?). Want to get your finances right, get a financial planner who can guide you and stick to his advice for one year. Want a new career? Take a class each semester for one year or go on You Tube and do a search for what interests you and plan on spending 2-3 hours a week learning. Commit to six months of this. You will be amazed at what skills you can pick up there. Want to help your kids with homework? Go to the Khan Academy website and try a few categories there.
Thinking of eating healthier? There are plenty of fitness sites to help guide your for calorie counting, recipes and workouts. Follow it for one solid year. Here’s the catch: NO EXCUSES AND STICK TO THE PLAN EACH AND EVERY DAY. Find a couple people and share what you are doing and keep them posted on your progress. Support is there from good friends and family who truly care. Over the years I realized this Pastors wisdom was much more then he explained. I met him again at Notre Dame at a Youth Ministry Conference and he explained that the “Fourth Day” was anything that caused me to stumble. Maybe it was losing a job. Or a breakup with a loved one. Maybe its only seeing your kids 6 days a month after a divorce. Whatever the case may be, the “Fourth Day” is really “Reality”.
We all have had those inspired moments in life where we hear a sermon, or experience a great three day retreat, conference or even watched a movie that moved us. Change doesn’t happen overnight and neither will the people around you. Your environment might not have changed on the Fourth Day, but you have so are you willing to put in the work to change your life? Write down your goals and memorize them. Create a plan and stick to it for six months or up to a year. Feeling alone in all this? Guess what? You were born with everything you need to succeed and be happy. Easter has passed and sadly that Pastor I once knew passed as well (RIH Fr. John Phelps). But your “Fourth Day” is upon you. We were born to be Champions. Isn’t it about time we start acting like it? Good luck on your Fourth Day. Much love and God Bless.
Off my soapbox. . .