Began

Dictionary BBegan: past tense of begin

If you acknowledge the source, you can avoid remorse.

Even though it’s very popular to talk about how to begin, the celebration is much more powerful if we first commemorate how we got to where we are now.

Yes, our “begin” is much more efficient if we laud our “began.” May I explain?

I began several years ago to stop being so fussy about trying to get my personal avenue in life. Yes, I have preferences. No one cares. Lamenting their apathy only makes me aggravated and grouchy. So I began to take care of myself and not require that others do it for me.

A decade ago, I began to be self-critical about my projects instead of waiting for the criticism of others. I would much rather be overly analytical of my personal affairs rather than having to recoil from critique.

I began to realize that financial responsibility is not optional.

I began to give independence to my children, so they could have a life separate from their allegiance to my fatherhood.

I began to talk less and think more.

I began to celebrate that intervention by problems is the only way to coax innovation.

I began to begin.

And in beginning … I can now celebrate what I began.

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Beg

Beg: (v) to ask someone earnestly or humbly for something.Dictionary B

Asking is not begging.

Begging is reserved for those who have given up on the power of asking, and also have abandoned their own ability to pursue possibility.

It is also difficult for me to believe that begging has anything to do with true humility.

Humility is when you realize that accepting less opens the door to more. It is not a decision to accept less because you have ascertained that you are neither worthy nor capable of acquiring your desire.

Begging is reserved for an entirely different mind-set which no longer thinks that asking will elicit a response, or that humility will lay the groundwork for growth.

Even though it is considered to be open-minded and magnanimous to give to those who beg, we must understand that allowing people to beg from us is devastating to their soul … and an overdose to our pride. 

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Befuddle

Befuddle: (v) to make someone unable to think clearly.Dictionary B

It all boils down to one question:

What do you want?

Do you want to look good or do you want to live with the truth?

They aren’t the same, you know.

The truth does make you free. But if your goal in life is to look good, freedom doesn’t always achieve that purpose. Freedom just makes it possible for you to walk around without guilt.

That’s why the truth befuddles human beings.

We actually see no advantage to telling the truth–because we prefer lying and deceiving our fellow-travelers to telling the truth and sleeping well.

The truth befuddles.

It befuddles politicians because then they’re stuck with their record, which is always a mingling of achievement and carelessness.

It befuddles theologians because the obvious question of “now, how is God different from Santa Claus?” makes them defensive and causes them to fall back into an attack mode of scriptural brattiness.

It befuddles the educational system, because just about the time we are convinced that education has progressed us, new knowledge shows up to confound the wise.

And since we do not want to appear befuddled, we select to become aggressive and childish, protecting our egos at all cost.

Befuddled is the ridiculous idea that we should always be in a position of power. What could be more silly?

Why would we think that any part of creation would have the advantage of understanding all creation?

I never met a dog who was actually aware of my needs.

Why would I think that I, a mere mortal, should not occasionally be befuddled, since I don’t hold the keys to any kingdom … but only find myself stuck in traffic?

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Befriend

Befriend: (v) to act as a friend to someone by offering help or support.Dictionary B

$500.

That’s how much they were charging for a 1970 Corvette Stingray.

I was nineteen years of age and could not believe what I was reading in the advertisement.

It was a beautiful car, late-model, and my dear God…it was a Corvette. And they only wanted $500.

I just about broke my neck getting there, to see the vehicle, and when I arrived I was astounded that nobody else had shown up for the auction.

Now, even though $500 was well beyond my means, I would have done almost anything to get the money to buy the Corvette.

The gentleman selling the car explained that there was one big problem: a man had committed suicide in the car and no one had discovered him for three weeks.

It did creep me out a little bit, but I thought I could get over it–until he opened up the door and I sniffed the problem.

The odor of the decomposing body of the suicidal owner was absorbed into the fiberglass of the car.

Nobody was interested in a car that stunk.

It was beautiful on the outside and smelled rotten inside.

I passed.

Over the years, I have remembered that story in my dealings with human beings.

Even though it seems noble to befriend others and help out people in need, you have to make sure that no matter how good things look on the outside, that these individuals have taken time to go inside themselves and clean out the garbage.

Rotten people continue to do rotten things, until they decide to stop being rotten.

  • You can befriend them.
  • You can love them.
  • You can help them.
  • You can encourage them.
  • You can send them to a seminar to learn about self-esteem.

But it is up to them to remove the stink.

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Before

Before: (prep) during the period of time preceding a particular event, date, or time.Dictionary B

It was a sentimental period in my life, which because of hindsight, I can now refer to as “silly.” I don’t know why it came upon me.

Maybe it was nostalgia.

Maybe it was listening to too much classic rock and roll music.

But for a few weeks, I had a yearning to return to my little hometown and walk the streets, to see if I still fit in.

It became an obsession.

Maybe it was because I was so dissatisfied with my “after” that I wanted to regain my “before.” I’m not sure.

But nothing fit.

When I returned to the place of my birth, I found that the location had evolved and become something quite different–without my permission.

Nobody knew who I was. Old places that once held deep significance to me were now abandoned or turned into a Dairy Queen.

I was lost.

All I wanted was to go back to where I was before, while simultaneously bringing the financial security and prowess of what I had become.

  • Before no longer existed.
  • The present was not friendly.
  • So the future held no hope.

My hometown was no longer my home, nor was it just a little town. It was a burgeoning bedroom community of a metroplex twenty miles to the south, which was gradually swallowing it whole.

I felt empty.

But I realized that emptiness was necessary… in order to rid my soul of all the childish ideas which needed to scamper away to make room for the man.

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Befit

Befit: (v) to be appropriate for; suitable.Dictionary B

Flirting with the possibility of overstatement, I will tell you that it was one of the greater revelations of my life. It struck me like a bolt of lightning (even though I have no true encounter with that sensation.) I think it would be better phrased that it was like waking up from a bad dream.

It was the day I realized that I was way too fussy about meaningless things and very mediocre about important ones.

The matters in my life that were insignificant I had turned into major issues, and the opportunities for me to be an individual and creative, I had relegated to the back burner, or worse, to the great pit of procrastination.

And so I started rating my activities from 1 to 10.

  • I’m buying a toothbrush today. In level of importance, shall we call that a 2?
  • I’m writing a letter to a friend in need. That sounds like an 8.
  • I’m paying my bills. Shall we give that a 5?

After doing this for about two weeks, I saw that I had been selecting to be bratty over small things in order to avoid improving my life in the more essential areas.

I realized that it did not befit me to be so nasty about the trivial, leaving the greater possibilities the scrubs of my time.

If it doesn’t make any difference, then make sure you don’t give it too much significance.

It does not befit a child of God to pretend that he or she is an orphan, worrying to the point of frustration.

I am able to discern the better portions of that which makes me a better person.

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Befall

Befall: (v) something bad to happen to someone.Dictionary B

The secret to life is not in obtaining wealth or feigning contentment.

It is also not merely achieved by professing faith in God.

And certainly never conjured by denying His existence.

It is understanding that God is a process, not a reaction.

Since He is a Creator, He had a plan. Having a plan, in order to maintain the integrity of that original blueprint, there has to be a Natural Order.

So it is in studying science and Nature’s laws that we gain the greatest insight into the mind of the Creator. Otherwise, we manufacture a mythical Giant in the Universe who runs His kingdom by emotion, levies punishments against those who are found in disfavor and bestows blessings on the subservient.

I became a much happier man when I realized that there is actually very little in life that befalls me.

Almost everything that comes my way was invited by me, ushered in by me, welcomed by me, accidentally acquired by me, or was the fruit of me. I tapped a process and the process responded.

  • Sometimes, it is a gusher of blessing.
  • Other times, I hit dry wells or poison streams.

But it is not because the God of creation is reactionary and temperamental.

What befalls me is the end result of the sowing I have achieved coming to fruition … as my reaping.

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