Stage Five – June 2, 2022 (153/365)


Almost a month ago, I was driving my way out of the parking lot of the local mall, when the engine of the car started sputtering and dying as soon as we were in a slope. I felt as if my gas tank was literally that empty. Fortunately, after that slope we were able to quickly run to a nearby gas station to give the car a much-needed drink.

Since then I’ve been walking the line between making sure I don’t get into the same scenario, while also trying to save as much money as I can. Gas prices here are just ridiculous… much so that I’ve had to tell my Mom numerous times that from now on I wouldn’t be taking multiple trips to and fro from the house. If I needed to go out with the car, I stay out until I absolutely need to drive home. If I forget anything, tough, or I would take a jeep or taxi home.

I went through my usual spiel at one point and I guess my Mom had enough of it, saying so nonchalantly, ‘why don’t you just accept it?’; And, well, that got me pretty angry. First of all, I do a good deal of driving her to and from town, and even if she does say she would give me gas money, she’s been pretty inconsistent. Second, I didn’t seem to appreciate how she was implying that I couldn’t complain about it. Apparently I couldn’t vent around her.

The thought brooded on my mind, but eventually, after trip after trip to the gas station trying to maintain the said balance of not running out of money and not running out of gas, I thought, well, she was right. If I was to respond with some productivity regarding this matter, then it would be to establish more wealth, versus stopping these gas prices from rising.

I accepted that gas prices are how they are. If they go down, good. If not, then it is still well with my soul.

Some of you probably already know that I jumped into what was called a metabolic reset program last February 2018, after seeing a good friend of mine post legitimate ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures reflecting a very dramatic weight loss. I remember, as I was getting to know more about the program, said friend asked me, ‘why do you want to get into this?’, to which I replied, ‘I wanted to get my body back’.

And I’d like to believe I was successful in doing so. I believe I shed a total of 29 pounds in the span of around 3 months – and to think that I had a good time in Israel (‘good time’ meaning enjoying their food as well) while this was going on. My confidence shot up, and I was actually happy to see myself in the mirror.

I thought I could do more. I wanted abs. I tried getting back to the same commitment I had during that first time last 2018, and I’ve failed time and time again, between then and now – a span of oh, 4 years now? I’m back to 150lbs (still 19 pounds lower than my highest weight before 2018), I’d like to think I still have a nice looking upper body, but I still have a paunch. it’s not as bad as it used to be, but it’s still pretty out there.

I thought to myself, maybe I shouldn’t be so uppity about this small amount of fat. I’ve probably negotiated with myself enough, that it’s not necessarily model material, but I still look pretty sharp.

I accepted that it’s okay to have a little bit of fat around the waist. If it eventually goes away, good. If not, then it is still well with my soul.

I’m coming up to almost a year since I began getting serious with crypto, and setting up passive income. The implements and tools that I enjoyed constructing are still running – they’re less productive than when I first started, but they’re still keeping me away from the red, thank God.

I’ve been eating away from my profits from said venture. If I’m not taking away from my profits, I’m eating bit after bit out of what savings I’ve been blessed with – for what? Well, at the time I thought to either grow what I already had, or to establish new passive income streams. It’s been mostly hit and miss, and I guess I haven’t been doing enough research – I’m still learning to resist the temptation of looking too much at the profits, versus the cost of setting up and maintaining set ventures, as well as having a sober mind in actually assessing how long the venture would last.

I figured that it isn’t right to spend too much time on maintaining said passive streams – I learned that if I spend too much time on what I call passive income, it turns into active income, and that just isn’t ideal.

Then I’m brought to remember that I’ve gotten into this whole mess of passive income – not because I wanted more money more than I wanted more time. Sadly, most of the time I’ve ‘profited’ from was spent poured back into the same ventures. It’s because of this realization that I believe that there’s a need for us to have a proper use for our time. In my case, first of all, there should be something I can actively use my time on, while the passive setups quietly make me profits on the side.

I accepted that passive income is freedom for us to have the time to excel in active income. If profits go up, good. If not, then it is still well with my soul.

Well actually, I want to rephrase that. Passive income gives us the freedom to excel in active passions – and any income that’s to be had in the active passions are secondary to the thrill.

The Afternoon service in our church has always been a thrill for me – well, mostly in the highs, anyway. It was like that, at least, when I was in the sidelines, preaching less frequently, and leading worship more. Sadly, what happened was that ever since our Senior Pastor died last 2020, the leadership of the Afternoon service also seemed to step away. They looked at me to become the new lead pastor… and although I have been performing the function for more than 2 years now, I believe it still takes a spot here in this list of things I need to accept.

What I’ve been doing as of late, to be honest, is to do a lot of delegating to my team. Now when it comes to running and maintaining a service, they’re taking charge, with minimal prompts and feedback from me. All I focus on is the preaching, and even that is done last minute. I feel like I haven’t really embraced this role, but on the other hand, I’m taking my time to fit into it according to my terms, and not according to the norms set by other pastors before me. I mean no disrespect to them, but I think that I am actually respecting them more by taking my own cues and doing my own thing – don’t get me wrong, if they do talk to me, I would adjust.

But yeah, buzzer-beater. It has to be said:

I accepted that being a lead pastor is more of an active role than I realized. But it has to be said. If the church holds up and actually thrives, good. If not, then it is still well with my soul.

It’s a season of acceptance, at least for me. And I pray that the Lord just gives me peace and power. I know He holds me together through it all. And I know He is as faithful to you as well, my dear reader.

God continue to bless us this week.

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