What Is You Choice – Worry or Happy

What Is You Choice – Worry or Happy

Don’t worry – Be Happy. How many times have you heard this? How many times have you followed this advice? If you are like most people, not very many times. Worry is built into our psyche, in my opinion, and can be used as a teaching tool to strengthen our personal relationship with God. Sound crazy? Read on.

Each person is responsible for their own path in life, including successes, failures, and the timeframe it takes to reach the end result of goals and desires. Reality should not be discarded in recognizing a multitude of factors can alter the journey in ways that can accelerate, deter, or change the course of direction, altogether. However, anyone that sets positive goals for themselves and is diligent will accomplish what they set out to do. There is a desire and necessity to control your own destiny, at least to the degree you can.

Whether it is individual personalities or societal demands, the stresses of worry, or feeling it is necessary to fit the situation, can move to the forefront of daily life. It can be coupled with the underlying conscious or subconscious need for control within ourselves. Yes, it is important to be responsible for ourselves and to maintain control to apply the proper direction to our own personal journey. However, control can be a dangerous concept when it overrides and becomes the focus. Not only will it steal your joy on a daily basis, but it will also interfere with the personal relationships, including the most important one; the one you have with God.

God instructs us to rely on Him. Yes, I do that, as many people do. In all honesty, though, it can often be generic. Did you ever think about how invested God is in His creation? We are definitely a part of that. However, our investment in Him is so miniscule it would offer no use to compare. Consider this scenario: Life is going well. Time spent in prayer with God and/or reading the Holy Bible is habitual, but without deep thought or substance in what is absorbed. We feel we are “in control”. Priority for time in prayer is moved from the top to somewhere in the middle; all dependent upon other demands for time and circumstances. After all, everything is going well, or at least tolerable. Now consider this scenario: Something has occurred to alter the “life is going well” concept. A plethora of situations could cause this change ranging from illness, financial struggles, job stresses, or just feeling tired/lack of sleep and beyond. And worry. Worry over the circumstances mentioned or other situations. We don’t feel “in control”. Despair is prevalent; mood is dictated by anxiety and depression; hopelessness is at the forefront of thoughts. What do we do? Call out to God; pray often, whisper requests for help, search for answers and comfort through God’s Holy Word, The Bible. We open ourselves and our hearts to receive any feelings of peace that can be mustered. Sound familiar?

The scenarios given are exactly how we react. When all is going well, we minimize the need to walk with God in depth. When life throws negative curves, we immediately cry for help. The generations before me would call that “backward thinking”. We often fail to put God as a priority in our lives and might not give as much sincerity to offering prayers of thankfulness as we do when we are desperate for His help in our own matters. It seems a bit self-serving.

Why are we so resistant? I’m sure it is not because we think we are God, however, actions would reinforce that maybe we think our knowledge is greater than His sometimes. God understands us and has mercy on our shortcomings. He can take a situation of worry and use it to bring us closer to Him. He wants us to be happy and joyful and trust in His word that He will always be there. He can take the worst situation in our lives and give us comfort and peace in return.

How do you get it? The first step, if you haven’t taken it already, is to believe and accept that God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins so that we can have eternal life and that He was resurrected from the grave and lives again. Ask Jesus to dwell in your heart and save you; wash your sins away and make you new again. Then grow in your relationship with God by relying on Him; let Him work it out the worries and struggles in your life, praise Him for your blessings….which by the way are many. Walk through this life with God by your side, in front of you, behind you, with a shield around you. Worry will creep its way back in from time to time, but you will have the alternative to choose peace and have confidence that everything is not on your shoulders to figure out. Rely on your faith and depend on Him.

Lastly, there is no need to wait until you have reached a level of perceived worthiness or expectation you will never make another mistake in your life. God accepts us the way we are with all of our shortcomings. Stop worrying; He’s waiting. You can’t control everything. Give it all over to Him; your worries, your troubles; your life. You will find a happiness and a peace you have never known.

I’ll see you on the flip side……

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The Warmth On My Face

The Warmth On My Face

A few days ago, I was walking the dog in my backyard. It was one of those days the weather was just perfection in every way. The temperature, the sunshine, the breeze; one of those days people always say they wish every day was like it. I suppose the lure of it all caused me to close my eyes and turn my face toward the sun. It felt wonderful….the warmth on my face, the gentle breeze touching my skin, the songs of the birds entertaining me. I instructed myself to take long, deep breaths and open my being to the feelings I was experiencing from the simple, yet powerful, story of nature around me.

I had an array of thoughts as I stood there. My first was why had I ignored this? Stupidity on my part, as God had provided these pleasures and contentment for my soul and I had totally passed it off without acknowledgement or thought. So small in comparison, but like when I write and it stirs emotions for someone, what appreciation there is for the acknowledgement. I’m sure it pleased God that I had noticed and, furthermore, appreciated His miraculous gifts of creation and comfort.

I felt such peace as the warmth from the sun seemed to resonate through me. I was encouraged and truly uplifted by the power of this heavenly light. The breeze that floated across my skin reminded me of when another person passes close by and stirs the air around your being. I allowed myself to remember the many times loved ones had walked beside me and the laughter and conversation that was enjoyed. Taken for granted at the time, it is a precious treasure of a memory now.

The symphony the birds offered was true harmony. Each had its own melody, but the chorus was in unison. It was a language all its own, but simple to understand. There was joy expressed from this feathered community. How could I not be enveloped by the sheer happiness of the bird’s voices? They were very adamant in their opinions of the beautiful day.

And there was peace. If only for those few moments, there was undeniable peace. It is offered to me every day in many ways, yet I ignore it. I don’t do so purposefully. Like everyone else, I normalize my environment and often get caught up in the struggles of life, failing to recognize and enjoy the miraculous gifts around me.

All too often we expect something to be perfect before we give recognition. For example, if the temperature had been too hot or too cold or the clouds had hidden the sun, I most likely would not have reacted to the surroundings the way I did. I would have missed the inner peace I enjoyed and I would have missed the message I felt unfold while I stood there with my face tilted toward the sky.

It’s no wonder people are so frazzled and overwhelmed. The busyness of life is stealing the joy. We are thrown into the chaos, to some degree, whether we want to be or not. Of course, we all have responsibilities and ownership of our own person. But what importance do we place on the simple things? We, as a society, are so caught up in demands and turmoil, we fail to seek out or even notice the substance of life that is right before us. We have become so materialistic that is has truly robbed and blinded us to what matters or should matter. People striving to have more “things” while giving little or no investment to time spent together, laughter, appreciation of a deep breath to calm and restore the soul.

I believe God supplied me with refreshment He knew I needed when I allowed myself to embrace what was around me. That is only a sampling of what lies beyond the clouds. I won’t wait for a perfect day to feel the warmth of the sun on my face, a breeze float across my skin, or truly listen to the birds sing. I will be more diligent to listen to the rain, see the joy in a child’s eyes as they tell a story, watch as those I love enjoy each other’s company, sit in the rocking chair on the porch and watch the day turn into night. When was the last time you closed your eyes and turned your face toward the sun and felt its warmth? It will give you more peace than you can imagine.

I’ll see you on the flip side……