Door number two

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Let’s face it, some days are just harder than others.  Every once in a while you wake up realizing immediately that your attitude needs adjusting and sometimes all seems well until a challenging situation comes out of nowhere.

You wake up on time feeling ready to take on the day.   The aroma and taste and just right temperature of your coffee pleases 3 of your senses.  Your devotion reaches down to touch you in the very depths of your soul and your prayer time is heavenly.

Your cereal doesn’t get soggy and your toast doesn’t burn and you find the perfect outfit on the first try.   You get out of the door with time to spare and notice that your hair looks almost perfect in your rear view mirror.

You run some errands.   Everyone is pleasant.  Traffic is light and you find a nice shaded parking spot.  You’re in a marvelous mood.  That’s a pretty easy accomplishment when everything is going your way.

Then boom, out of the blue, just like that it can all change.  The day that was so agreeable just a few moments ago takes a turn for the worse.  Sometimes its a call or a text.  At other times, it is something more subtle and sneaks up behind you and grabs you before you know what hit you.

Either way, from this point forward something shifts, the atmosphere around you that was filled with peace and hope now feels like turmoil and dread.   Your once sincere smile turns into a pinched and pained one.  Tension hovers over you like a cloud ready to burst.

It is what you do at this point that sets your course.  You can choose door number one, the one our flesh wants to chose every time, and open it up to continued strife.  You can embrace the sour mood, wallow in the unpleasantness, welcome the surly attitude and guarantee more negativity.

Or you can choose door number two, and press in to prayer and worship.  Find your strength, peace and love in Christ and let Him be your rock.  Lift your head up, forgive quickly, remember to Whom you belong and encourage yourself!  Amaze yourself (and others) in your reaction to what the enemy tried to use to defeat you.

I’m learning to choose the second approach and save myself a lot of stress and grief (and repentance).  I don’t always succeed but I can definitely say my percentage is improving and that’s a start.   Mom always said, “it’s the little foxes that spoil the vines”.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Just pick one

Life

I just walked in the door from a nice long, gorgeous walk.

This morning, I found myself mulling over one thing after the other that I wanted to get accomplished today.  Knowing that my almost daily walks help me to clear my head and listen for God’s will in the foggy areas, I decided it was time to change clothes, lace up and get out.

If you read my post from a couple of days ago, The Everyday Things, you will know that earlier in the week I received a poignant reminder to slow down.  That continues to resonate in my soul.

It is easy to imagine that the faster we go, the more things we check off that list (you know, the one that never has an ending and is never going to?), the better our lives will be.  So, the outcome from that type of thinking is we hurry to do more.  Wouldn’t you agree?  However, do we do it as well?  Do we focus all of our energy and attention in to one thing and give it our best?

Let me illustrate.  Say, for example, that I feel led to go and visit some of the elderly folks in my community, just to check in and let them know they are loved and appreciated.  If I do something akin to a drive-by, pop in, hello, pop out, goodbye, it’s better than not having done anything.  But, what if I really focus on that person for say, an hour?  What if I look into their eyes, sincerely desirous to see and know their heartfelt needs?  I’m taking the time to discover how I might be of the most help to them, and at the same time, letting them know I really do care about them.

We don’t want to do things just so we can say “I did something”, or feel like I we checked an item off the list, or just “did my good deed for the day”.  The second example involves more sacrifice; it’s more of a heart thing.

Today, as I put one of my new Christmas sneakers in front of the other, I contemplated on this and I knew that I needed to “pick one”.  Pick one thing today, pour myself out and into it.  If there is time left, move on to another, but not at the expense of the first.  This is difficult, especially for women who are so adept at multi-tasking.  That’s a great talent to have in many areas of our lives, but not when it comes to relationships with other human beings.  I continue to pray that I will learn this, let it sink in and make it a habit of my own.

May we all continue to slow down, really listen and love deeply.

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