I am so blessed to watch my son grow in faith. Today I asked him what he learned during his quiet time (time spent reading the Bible and praying) and his answer was an encouragement to me and a good reminder. He had read the account in Matthew 9 about Jesus healing the paralyzed man and forgiving his sins, then being aware that the religious leaders who witnessed it were thinking critically about his actions. Jesus asked them, "Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?" Timothy said that it was a good reminder for him that when he has a difficult conversation later today or this week with someone, that he needs to make sure that his words match his heart, and to make sure that he doesn't let evil get into his heart. I am taking that one with me today. Thanks, Timothy! Your mama loves you great big bunches!!
I had a thought today that keeps ricocheting around the corners of my mind. It goes something like this, "Reality is a true friend that we have a tendency to treat like a stranger."
With my dear husband out of town for the weekend and my son at a friend's home for a sleepover, I awoke this morning to a quiet, empty house. Being a true introvert, this did not disturb me one iota! I took a deep breath and imagined the bliss of a morning spent recharging my batteries as only time alone can do for me. I got a mug of hot chocolate and put some laundry in the washer and settled into my favorite place on the sofa. I read for pleasure. I practiced the praise and worship songs for this Sunday's church service. I watched Project Runway on Hulu. I napped. Before I knew it, it was 1pm and I was still in my pajamas (and the laundry had never made it to the dryer). I had intended to spend time being more active, but I hadn't. It was cold in the house and I was hesitant to leave my warm blanket on the couch. After awhile I started to feel a bit low... guilty for being lazy and even a bit sullen. What happened to my blissful, battery recharging day?!?
I got up and took a shower and then grabbed my keys and purse to drive across town to pick up my son from his sleepover, saddened that my morning alone hadn't left me in the positive emotional state I'd hoped for. As soon as I stepped outside my front door, my countenance lifted. The sun was shining brightly. The air was warm. There was not a cloud in the sky. I put the top down in the Mustang and soaked in every ray of sunshine and the breeze in my hair and on my skin. Why had I wasted a single minute acting as though my reality was a cold house and a sullen perspective? That was the small immediate reality I was choosing, but it wasn't the greater reality. God's reality is much broader than the narrow places we allow ourselves to land from time to time. I wonder how many of our bad moods, depressive states, and even some more serious mental health issues can be attributed to a break from His TRUE reality. We aren't necessarily schizophrenic... we are just self-centered. We have allowed our narrow view of reality to dictate our mood and then our actions (or inactions) follow and things spiral down from there. God calls us to embrace a much larger reality than the one we can currently perceive. His reality isn't always sunshine and rides in a convertible, but it is always COMPLETELY TRUE and always eternally focused, rather than limited and egocentric.
Next time I find myself feeling blue and out of sorts, it is time for a reality check.
Job 40:1-4 "The Lord said to Job, 'Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!' Then Job answered the Lord, 'I am unworthy--how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth.'" NIV