1)   An interval of time during which a sequence of a recurring succession of events or phenomena is completed.

2)   A course or series of events or operations that recur regularly and usually lead back to the starting point.

3)   A circular or spiral arrangement.


Well, it’s August 1, 2018 and yesterday was July 31, 2018. Today is the first day of a new month and yesterday was the last day of an old month! Where I live, yesterday was the last day of summer vacation for students and today is the first day of a new school year! All of this reminds me of the fact that life is lived in cycles; and that’s a good thing!

Have you ever thought about what life would be like if there were no cycles? What if a day never ended and there was no night for rest? What if the night was enduring and there was no morning to look forward to? What if the seasons never changed and it was always winter, summer, spring, or fall? We often take it for granted, but every day, we should take time to pause and be thankful for the cycles of life.

The cycles of life provide opportunities for new beginnings. Every morning when I awake and find myself not dead, I am thankful because I understand that to be one of God’s ways of granting me forgiveness for the mistakes and failures I made the day before. Every new day is a new opportunity to ‘get it right!’ Every month is a new cycle! Every year is a new cycle!

But, the problem with many people is that they fail to take advantage of the cycles of life. Instead of taking the opportunity to have a new beginning at a new cycle, they drag the old into the new and make the new just like the old! As they do this, they guarantee their tomorrow will be just as miserable as their today, which was just as miserable as their yesterday! People who do this are stuck in a rut, and I heard someone describing a rut as nothing but a grave with sides but no ends!

I don’t know where you are in your life, I don’t know what you are going through, but I want to encourage you to let this first day of the month remind you of the cycles of life. If you’re in a depressed situation right now, just remember, it’s just part of the cycle! If you’re down, surely and eventually, you will rise again! If you’re in an elevated position right now, be thankful and enjoy it, but also remember to make provisions and plans for the down-time, for the old saying is true: “What goes up, must come down!”

It is the cycles of life that make life interesting and provide opportunities for change, growth, and progress! Life would be boring and monotonous indeed if it were not for the cycles. So, don’t fight the cycles; don’t fight the changes, but rather embrace them and use them to your advantage! Use the cycles to refresh and rejuvenate! Use the cycles to re-evaluate and re-tool! Don’t wait until January 1 to start a new cycle, you can start a new cycle at any time! At the beginning of a new month, at the beginning of a new day, at the beginning of a new hour, and yes, even at the beginning of a new moment! There is an old saying that says we only live one day at a time, but actually, that is not true! We can’t even live a day at a time; we can only live one moment at a time! Thus, even our breathing is part of a cycle; with every breath we take, we have the opportunity to start over again!

The Problem Is Not The Problem!

Do you have a problem? For most of us, the answer is a resounding YES! In fact, most of us don’t just have one problem; we have many problems! From the day we are born until the day we die, life is a succession of one problem after another. The Old Testament Patriarch Job said it best when he said, “Man that is born of a woman is of a few days, and those days are full of trouble.” Newborn babies have a problem with wet diapers! Even in death, there is the problem of a casket, a funeral, and a grave space! From the rocking of the cradle to the closing of the casket; life is filled with problems!

But I would like to suggest that, for the most part, the problem is NOT REALLY the problem! The real problem is how we deal with the problem! It’s all a matter of perspective! We have to determine if we will see the glass as being half empty or half full! We must come to the realization that the problem is not really a problem, but rather it is actually an opportunity in disguise! Every accomplishment and advancement in life has been and will be the result of overcoming some problem! At one time, darkness was a problem for many people, but it was also an opportunity for the inventor of the light bulb!

So, if you have a problem, take heart, you also have the main ingredient for a great accomplishment! Remember: When life hands you a lemon, don’t fret or complain, just use the lemon to make lemonade! It’s all a matter of your perspective! The problems in your life can serve to make you bitter or you can use them to make yourself better! Your stumbling blocks can be transformed into stepping-stones with the right attitude!

Many years ago, I developed a saying that I have adopted as a mantra in my life. I can’t remember whether I read it somewhere in a book or if I came up with it on my own, but whatever the case, it has helped me through many dark days. It goes something like this: “It’s not the problem, that’s the problem! It’s how you deal with the problem, that’s the problem!” Remember that, the next time you are faced with a “problem.” Remember, the problem is not (really) the problem!