Do you know people who are just always grumpy? Glass half-empty type people? Do you also know people who are always positive? They don’t believe the glass is half-full, they believe it’s always full?
Both of these groups bother me. I hate being around negativity. But I equally hate being around people who don’t seem to be in touch with reality. The first group can never see beyond the problems that are around them and the second can never see that there are problems around them.
Then I read a guy named Paul, who wrote “Rejoice always.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16) And my first inclination is to put Paul in the second group. But I’ve read enough of Paul’s writings to realize that his life was really hard and he knew it was hard. He talked about how he suffered and was persecuted quite often.
So, what’s the third option? Another thing Paul wrote was, “In all things, give thanks…” That makes me consider that Paul saw his circumstances in a different way then the two other groups. He didn’t ignore the problems around him, but he also didn’t allow his circumstances to mess up his attitude. He saw beyond the moment to a better future, but embraced the moment as part of his journey to that better future.
Reno is the halfway point from Bend to my wife’s parents. So last night we stopped and stayed in a cheap hotel and left the boys while Suzanne and I went out on the town.
I love being with Suzanne, no matter what we do. But I had a hard time enjoying myself while we spent our pre-determined $20 each (no more and no less). On my run today I realized what I don’t like about it. It’s not for religious reasons. It is the “just one more spin” feeling that overcomes you.
If we are always looking for the next big thing we don’t enjoy the moment. Some might say the enjoyment comes when you win. But that is short lived and actually feeds the misconception of “just one more.”
The best way to live is to enjoy what you have right now, no matter if it is little or much.
Peace, an elusive state of tranquility.
Jesus talked a lot about not worrying. He actually told his followers that he would give us His peace. Later, the Apostle Paul would write: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6, 7 NLT)
He makes it sound so simple, doesn’t He?
But why is peace so important?
Here is an image to ponder: a crystal clear lake, no wind on the water, completely still. Above the lake is this amazing sno-capped mountain. The lake, because of its stillness, perfectly reflects the amazing mountain above it.
I’ve decided that one of my life’s missions is to reflect the glory of God. But if I allow the circumstances (wind) around me to control my internal barometer, then there is no chance I will reflect God’s majesty. Tranquility, stillness, a confidence, all enable people to see God’s goodness in my life. They can see Him. And in a world that is full of turmoil and anxiety, the people of God who experience God’s peace, are like a beautiful, completely still lake, offering hope and a reflection of a better life.