An Empty Vessel

March 12, 2014





My grandson Jesse is starting again. Since the drowning he survived at 10 months of age damaged so much that was becoming him, in just a few moments he became a blank canvas, an empty vessel but an empty vessel that was ready for the filling.


This message might well apply to Jesse, but it may apply to the rest of us as well, so here goes.


Have you ever sat in front of your TV and watched one of the many renovation shows that have found their way onto almost every major television network? A designer and a muscle head go into a home or a restaurant with axes and sledge hammers and demo everything in sight. Sometimes to the bare brick they go, cleaning everything old out in the process.


The home or business owners are horrified at the site and terrified of the re-building process. Currently their homes are no longer functional and their restaurants are dying more every day because whatever they are doing or not doing just isn’t working. Yet they still manage to moan and groan their way through the whole show.


Actually I’ve got to confess…I love those shows!




But let’s press rewind for a minute and go back to the where we all started. None of us chose the families we were born into, and not many of us were in control of the experiences of our childhood. That was our parent’s job. Many strengths may have been bred into us along the way, strengths that may be great personal assets for us today, but if we’re honest enough to admit it we also learned our share of doubts, fears and wrong beliefs about ourselves. These last three like a band of desperados in the old west are three bandits that rob us of endless invaluable opportunities for a more abundant life.


During our vulnerable and impressionable adolescents many of us feasted upon the sage like advice of our sixteen year old peers as well. And it really didn’t matter to us if they were sober, drunk, high, angry, or dissolutioned at the time. The important thing was whether or not we were accepted by them.


So here’s the question, this one a little closer to home. Have you ever looked in the mirror and said to yourself, “Wow! Look at me, I’m everything I ever wanted to be!”, or did you end up with something more on the lines of, “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU BOB???”


Of course your name may not be Bob, but you get my drift. No matter what your name is the question can still be asked. Of course if you’re a liar or a fake or just plain disillusioned you can come up with, “Oooooo…Man I can’t get over myself. I’m even better looking than I was yesterday, and a nicer guy couldn’t be found!”


These types of questions faced head on can easily create a vast spectrum of responses. If we think too hard on this one though, some of you may end up in a deep depression while others are dislocating their shoulders trying to pat themselves on the back.


But the truth is…it may be time to RENOVATE!


Maybe it’s time to demo what isn’t working in you and install the long overdue upgraded, new and improved “3.0 you.”


I know that many of you who are reading this are avid travelers, visiting every touristy holiday spot on your local travel agent’s radar as well as all the foreign far away lands like India, Africa, Asia, Thailand, and many more. Before the trip is made you go through your checklist. It may be on your tablet, your smart phone, your steno pad, post-it notes all over your fridge or just rattling around in your brain (my preferring technique)! But the inventory of items needed for the journey must be accounted for, sunscreen, appropriate clothing, camera, cell phone, charger, passport, maybe changing your currency and on the list goes.


However in a similar sense the future is a land far away as well and it’s a good guess that we may need to take an inventory of our personal assets to make sure we are fit and prepared for the journey into - the great unknown of the rest of our lives.So is it time to Renovate?If you’re feeling a little queezy right now at the thought of it, I offer you this thought that should be more than comforting.




The point is, we all must find the courage to clean out the dysfunctional demons within us and permanently lease the space to better tenants. You don’t have to be a psychologist to start this process, but if you feel unprepared or unqualified for the task, remember this quote I recently found by an unknown author, “Never be afraid to try something new. Remember an amateur built the arc, professionals built the Titanic.”


So what is it I need for my own journey I ask myself? Let’s see, well for starters, more courage, less fear…more humility, less pride…more faith, less doubt…more action, less procrastination…more forgiveness, less unforgiveness... more change, less stagnation…more of accepting responsibility, less deflecting blame… more hope, more grace, more selflessness, more love…and the one ongoing personal renovation that I seek the most…less of me, and more of God.


Looking back on that list I realize now that I started with courage and ended with God.


Wow! What a revelation.


This list of negative habits and character traits are just suggestive of the things that we humans have issues with. These are the curses that invade our lives from the inside out and become self destructive habits that eventually begin to erode and decay the foundations of a potentially healthy and highly purposed life.


The same decent into self destruction has been noted on a national level but it also makes for an easy personal character check up.


They tell us that a nation's decay occurs in nine cycles.


1. People go from bondage to spiritual faith.

2. From spiritual faith to courage.

3. From courage to liberty.

4. From liberty to abundance.

5. From abundance to selfishness.

6. From selfishness to complacency.

7. From complacency to apathy.

8. From apathy to dependence.

9. From dependence back again to bondage.


Where do you see yourself on this list?


Where do I see me?Having just this one life to live my friends,


I say we need to get this right. We need to start with COURAGE, and end with ABUNDANCE. Then just chuck the rest of the list. Take the ascent only! We have to learn to achieve a higher, more moral, more purposeful life and then MAINTAIN IT without taking the descent back down.


And the abundance I am referring to may not be what you think, for many of us have learned the hard lessons that life has taught us, prosperity doesn’t necessarily breed peace, a few hundred thousand friends on your social network can’t heal the loneliness of losing a loved one and finding yourself alone, and the adage that is as old as time, (you knew it was coming) money can’t buy love.


The abundance that humankind seeks I believe is an abundance of the heart. Great love for self and others, great compassion, the strength of commitment without compromise in our promises to those we love, holding fast to truth that refuses to be denied and standing up with courage for what is right in the face of ridicule or persecution.


It’s the selfishness, complacency, apathy and all our personal and specific chains of bondage that we must take the axe and sledge hammer to.


Have faith my friends. Fear not, the courage to change can begin to grow from the tiniest seed of faith. I BELIEVE IN YOU. You can be the person that you’ve always wanted to be but never thought you could be…and here’s the reason why,






You’ve heard this before. It was Albert Einstein that said it, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.


”Change the formula. Update the recipe that is YOU. Clean out the ashes of defeat, discouragement and dead dreams and fill yourself up with the gold nuggets of faith, hope, love, goodness, kindness, thankfulness and courage. That much gold within a person shines even from a great distance. It’s undeniable and can be recognized in you over the phone. It gets translated in an email. Your 32karot glow will envelope those you meet in the simplicity and innocence of a handshake or a hug.


So here’s your “call to action”.


If any of this message has struck a chord within you, if anything here has connected in a way that speaks to you, then ask yourself this…Is it time for ME to renovate?


If you feel that you are the best you can be, if you’re completely happy with yourself and see no room for a change then I’ll take the opportunity to thank you for indulging my thoughts and encourage you to forward the message to anyone that you think MIGHT benefit from it.


But for you who find some truth here, truth that you feel MATTERS then this is the time to act on it. Don’t wait…the future is coming. Change your life today. Don’t do it for me! Do it for you!


Leave your comment and make a promise to yourself that you will begin the demo today! Make your promise a reality by writing it down. Be brave enough and find the courage to put it in black and white.


I’M NOT SATISFIED! I WANT TO BE MORE, DO MORE AND HAVE MORE! Say to yourself, “If I could be (become) more, I could DO more, if I could do more I could HAVE more!”


Let me know that you have decided to BUILD YOUR OWN FUTURE. I am confident that God will not interfere with your plan of self improvement. This is your time and opportunity to be BIGGER than you’ve been, to be more than you were, to give back and to encourage others the way others have encouraged you.


The “Comment” tab can be the open door to a brand new you.


Change the world with the next keystroke!


Bob Arrigo

Please reload