So the last couple days I’ve blogged about focus, about reframing the way we see our lives. It sounds really easy on paper (or whatever this internet media is called), but the reality is that it’s difficult to do….extremely difficult sometimes. Life is hard and complicated. It’s always easy to do the preaching when you’re not the one currently dealing with the problems. It can be very frustrating when you’re in the mud and everyone else has the proverbial rope…the solutions to all your problems. But that doesn’t make the people or the solutions wrong.
I guess what I’m trying to get at, by way of a long route, is that we each need to be proactive with our lives and our choices. We need to determine our attitudes and priorities BEFORE the troubles come. Prepare ourselves for trouble, not react to it. I know, again, that may seem easier said than done, but not necessarily. We train for the Olympics, we train for OSHA, we train for jobs, schools, degrees, hobbies, sports….why not train for life? Or at least the ability to cope with life. Now, I know it isn’t likely that we can be ready to weather any storm and be prepared for every event, because, let’s face it–people and life can be nuts! There are way too many curve balls out there to foresee them all. But we can train ourselves to be ready to deal with things in a general sense. We can have a general preparedness, readiness, and attitude for dealing with what will come. We need to figure out what kind of outcome we’re looking for. Do you want drama, anger, resentment, bitterness, or martyrdom? Or do you want calm, acceptance, forgiveness, happiness, or contentment? Me, I choose door number two. There’s enough of the other stuff in this world already and I certainly don’t need the drama or the aggravation.
The point is, you can train yourself to react to people and occurrences by immersing yourself in a certain mindset. You won’t get it perfect, I know I don’t. But slowly and surely you’ll get better at it, just like practicing anything else. Need an example? For me, I try to treat everyone I meet as if they were a member of the church. Not because they’re nice, look a certain way, or I need something from them, but because they are God’s children….and that should be enough. That doesn’t mean I’m a pushover or won’t make waves, but it means I’ll try to do whatever I have to do in a loving, kind way.
As for the problems life throws at me? Well, I don’t have any nails through my feet and arms. No one is beating me for my beliefs. No one is stoning me for my opinion. At least not yet! No one and nothing on Earth can hurt me forever. If I focus on the big picture that God wants me to see, then the littler (I didn’t say little) things all pale in comparison. I learn, little by little, How to be Content in a World Full of Malcontents. Do yourself a favor and read it (the Bible–then also maybe my book!).
“…train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” 1 Tim 4:7-8
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matt 10:28