As a man thinks in his heart, so is he... Proverbs 23:7
So...my thoughts, if dwelled upon, will become a self-fulfilling prophesy. If I think about how overwhelmed I am at work, then I will feel overwhelmed, and then act that way with my tail draggin'. If I keep dwelling on the time change and the gray, gloomy skies in northeast Ohio today, I will start feeling tired and then my behavior will be yawn, after yawn, after yawn. If I dwell incessantly on the things I cannot control, I will become anxious and my behavior will be reactive to the developing anxiety that I've allowed to flood me.
I love this example...if I start obsessing on ice cream, I will start craving ice cream...next thing I know, I'm in the car in my jammies off to Dairy Queen for a cone.
You laugh...but I actually did this once! And I was at a stop light, with my prized ice cream cone, enjoying it...and my foot slipped off the brake and I rolled into the car in front of me. OF COURSE...the lady had a brand new car and there was a little scratch on it. I wrote her a check for $300 and was on my way. That was one EXPENSIVE ice cream cone.
But...on the other side of the coin...the same is true. And we all KNOW this, don't we? And yet, we always end up in the negative end of the pool, if we are not vigilant with this battlefield between our ears.
I will admit...I am NOT a bowler. (Although the first time I went bowling, I picked up a 7-10 split, and I fell on me bum...I did not even know that something like that was hard to do...) But sometimes I view this path we travel like a narrow bowling lane with huge gutters on each side.
I start out great...
the ball is going perfectly...
and then before I know it...
it gets close to the side....
and you can guess the rest...
I remember early October 2011...Edster and I spent 10 days in the grandeur of autumnal appalachia...Canaan Valley, West Virginia. No schedule. No pressures. We like to read a book together on our vacations. This one was One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.
It was transforming! The premise: We are lavished every single moment of the day with amazing gifts from God that we fail to see because we fail to look...to anticipate...and therefore do not meditate upon.
The theme of this blog comes from the line in the old hymn, "Morning by morning new mercies I see..." that comes from Lamentations 3:22-23:
It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
So, just as that bowling ball...I was gung ho...searching daily...moment-by-moment...for things to add to my list of One Thousand Gifts and dwelling on continual gratitude was creating a noticeable difference in me that others observed.
But like that bowling ball...unless it is a continual discipline in our lives...even with our best intentions...even with how it starts out...without God's grace, well, I'll speak for me...I go back to being a GUTTER BALL... And so I know this list MUST be a spiritual discipline.
Lord, may your Spirit be a citadel over this battlefield...and may I continue to see your new mercies every moment of every day and receive them with a grateful heart.