Sept. 20, 2012
Facebook can be depressing.
I see so many people nearly overcome with worry, relationship issues, baggage, not being able to let go of their past, haunted by memories, strangled by addictions, tangled in sin. It's no wonder their posts are depressing and negative. I remember being told, "show me your checkbook register and calendar and I'll tell you what's important in your life." Today, all we have to do is look at someone's wall.
But it doesn't have to be this way.
Your day can be extraordinary.
Don't you want to wake up excited about the day? Don't you long to look forward to your future? Aren't you tired of feeling stuck?
Open your eyes, it's an extraordinary day.
There is something that happens when we get stuck by our past and frustrated with our future. We stop looking around. I have this problem. When I walk or run I often find myself looking straight down at my feet. Where I am going to step next. Like I am so worried about falling or stepping on something that I keep my focus six inches in front of my toes. That's a depressing place. I start focusing on the gray pavement. On every... single... step... and monotony begins to set in. Soon, all I want to do is stop. But when I look up, to where I'm heading, I get happy. I'm filled with awe and wonder at the beauty of the trees, the stars (I run at night) and everything God has created.
Some people, maybe you, are so worried about falling again, getting hurt or getting even that they spend all their time looking at life six inches at a time. What is my very next move? where will my very next step be? They get so focused on what's immediately in front of them that they can't see all the different directions and options that are open to them. Nascar drivers are trained to look at where they want to be when they are driving into a wreck on the track, not where they are. If you are focused on where you are, six inches at a time, you'll end up headed for an emotional wreck. But if you focus on where you want to be, where you're headed, what's open to you, you will naturally begin to head in a new and positive direction. 2 Thessalonians 2:15 says, "Take a firm stand,feet on the ground and head high." God knows you'll never get where He wants you to go if you're worried about how you're going to get there. Look ahead and you'll make the necessary course corrections.
Here's the first few corrections you can make right now.
- RECOGNIZE WHO YOU ARE: 2 Thessalonians 1:11,12 says, "God makes you fit for what He's called you to be..." Can you wrap your head around that truth? You don't have to be perfect! You don't have to worry about doing everything just right in order to be who you want to be. It's God who makes you fit for what He's got in store for you. And it's not about what you are "doing" for Him it's about who you ARE to Him! He perfects you according to His plan for you! Who you ARE not what you do. You are a child of God and He's got a plan for your life that extends through this life and into the next. But you'll never see it if you're too busy looking at the ground right in front of your feet. Trust Him to do the work IN you that will enable you to be what He desires you to be. He makes you fit for His purpose! Recognize that He's got a plan for you (and here's an exciting secret - this not just true for Christians... God is calling and fitting every person for His plan and pleasure. So don't think you're disqualified just because you haven't joined Him yet. You can right now and experience this new, changed life!) Today you don't have to be perfect. You don't have to focus on your life right now. You can relax and trust that God is working in your life to accomplish what He has laid out just for you. And what He's begun in your life He will be faithful to complete. Lift up your head and look at all He's doing!
- PRAY FOR TODAY: The fact is that you're going to do stuff today. You're going to meet people and make choices and work and think and plan and have a pity party and worry. We all go through a ton of emotions and struggles and joys each and every day. But these don't have to be single events that come and go. You can redeem your day and see each choice, each conversation, each moment as pregnant with purpose and possibilities. Paul says, "pray that [God will] fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something" (2 Thessalonians 1:11,12). Pray each day that every decision you make, every thing you do and thought you think would be guided by the Holy Spirit. Every action would be done in His strength. Every conversation would include Him. The truth is, if God's not in it it's not going to amount to anything anyway. Your good ideas and acts of faith, without God's presence and energy to complete them are just ideas and acts. They are here and gone. They live six inches in front of you and with the next step you're past them already. But if they are done in God's energy they can have lasting effects that stretch both in front of you to affect your future and behind you to impact your legacy.
- HONOR JESUS: Our role in life is to be a walking talking Jesus. I want my children's behavior to be a representation of who they are, Landreths. Their actions reflect not only on them, but me, their mother and their grandparents and extended family. The reality is that people will judge our whole family on their actions and attitudes. Like it or not, this is how we function. When was the last time you saw a stuck-up-rich-girl and didn't immediately make a judgement about her family and life? How we live our lives reflects on every other Christian and even on Christ Jesus Himself! When a Muslim extremist blows something up every other person everywhere makes a judgement not only about that person, but about their nation and their god. But when we honor Jesus with our lives something incredible happens. "If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you" 2 Thessalonians 1:11,12). Your life can actually impact how others see the King of kings and the Lord of lords. You. Right now. Are either causing people to think, "I'd like to experience that kind of life..." or "if that is what being a Christian is like I don't want it." Every status update, every tweet, is either drawing people to Christ or pushing them farther away. Honor Jesus with your life and He'll honor you. That's His promise.
Recognize who you are. Pray for today and Honor Jesus with your life. You'll begin to experience the makings of an extraordinary day.