Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Big Things?

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -John Wooden

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things. - Robert Brault

There are a couple of graphics I reshared online that really speak to some things I’ve been considering, recently.  I can’t seem to find one of them, but it said something to the effect that we shouldn’t be disappointed that God didn’t do something we might have asked for in prayer.  Instead, appreciate all the things He has done without our asking.  Think about that.

The 12 step programs talk about having an “attitude of gratitude”.  Being grateful for everything.  How we look at things effects a lot in our lives.  But most of us don’t find it easy mustering up thankfulness when the circumstances are something like just losing a job, the house burns down, and your spouse ran off with the person who sold you the fire insurance.  we’re not likely to see all of that as a learning process from God.  Because our limited viewpoint has a hard time seeing beyond ourselves.

The other graphic I referred to, earlier, says, “Satan says look at your sin, God says look at My Son”.  That one stuck with me because of a couple of conversations I had with one individual.  The gentleman I was talking to would take a comment I made and redirect the conversation to how something totally unrelated to the original conversation was sinful or against God.  And that leads to an interesting chain of ideas.
  1. Something is sin, evil, against God and I need to deal with that.
  2. I can deal with that, because I must be holy to please God.
  3. I do deal with that, because I’m spiritual.
  4. My salvation is based on my thoughts and actions.
The problem with that, is that we’ve begun to look at ourselves and our sin instead of at God.  Unless we’ve developed a massive ego, we have to eventually recognize the enormity of our separation from God and our puny capacity to even fathom that, never mind actually deal with it.  We begin to either go a little wacky or become despondent that we can never succeed, maybe both.  When we focus on Satan, sin, ourselves, our surroundings, etc., we can only see the imperfect, weak, incomplete – made less by the insertion of sin into our world.  Those lead to depression, insecurity, displays of self righteousness.  There’s nothing there to be thankful for.

We can either let that push us into giving up on pleasing God and on God Himself or take that trip through mental and spiritual devastation till it breaks us to the point we have to look to God for the solution.  The alternative?  Start from the frame of reference that we can do nothing spiritually correct without God orchestrating it in our life.  No matter how we get there, that’s the beginning of God’s peace being infused into our lives.

It’s interesting that, at whatever point we take our will out of the way and let God’s will prevail, that’s the point where bad things stop driving us nuts and we start appreciating the good things more.  Negative situations lose their power.  So, by focusing on God, we gain the ability to increase our focus on God.  That focus allows us to see God operating in all our circumstances.  We can enjoy the good, learn from the bad.  The sunset becomes special instead of just a time when light dims.  Flowers become moments of enjoyment instead of something only someone else gets to appreciate.  We have good times with other people instead of being bothered by them.

Will there be negative situations, bad people, pain and turmoil?  Of course.  But, instead of becoming mired in negativity, we can look for the blessings God really intends for us.  Think about these verses:

Mark 12:29-31 (KJV)  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

What’s called the Great Commission is to share the good news of what God did for us, through Jesus, so that we might be forever with Him.  Note that it’s a commission, not a command, because it’s not something we can naturally do.  But the passage in Mark 12 is part of a cycle.  We’re told in 1 John 4:19 that “We love him, because he first loved us.”.  Loving God is unnatural for the fallen nature.  So, God blesses and loves us.  And we have something to latch onto, to begin loving Him.  The more we love God, the more we see how much He loves us and those around us.  Which engenders love for others in us.  As we love others with God’s love and are excited by what He’s doing for us and others, sharing that Truth becomes a reflex from what we have.  The more we watch Him work the more we love Him, and the cycle continues.

Focusing on God allows us to be blessed, to be thankful for those blessings, and grateful that we will have them in greater measure, eternally.  Those are reasons for a true thansgiving.  To appreciate how big the little things are.  Happy Thanksgiving!

No comments:

Post a Comment