Oh, how easy it is to focus on negative stuff: We regurgitate conversations that irked us. We worry about the “what-ifs.” We get stuck in “if-only.” We anticipate the worst outcome rather than expect the best. And then we wonder why we lack joy and peace.
Earlier today a friend and I walked a back street in Kathmandu. The road itself left much to be desired. We dodged rocks and potholes and mud puddles. When we reached the end of the road, we stumbled upon a pile of red bricks topped by a rusty something-or-other. Several stray dogs napped nearby.
The scene resembled countless others in this city but with one exception. Behind the corrugated fence sat a tiered flowerbed—a touch of beauty amidst the mess. My friend and I, deep in conversation and focused on not twisting our ankles on the rocky roadway, nearly missed it.
I couldn’t help but wonder how often I miss beauty because I’m focused on the negative. Rather than expecting God to answer my prayers in His best way and time, I worry about all the things that might hinder Him from working as I wish He would. Rather than asking God to bless those with whom I might not see eye-to-eye, I waste energy second-guessing what they meant when they said such-and-such. And rather than praise God in my heart as I go throughout my day, I tend to mentally rehash matters hurtful or disappointing.
Can you relate, or am I the only one who struggles in this way?
Today’s street scene was like a gentle reminder from the Lord: “Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8). The writer of this verse continued, “Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you” (v. 9).
“Thank You, Lord. Lesson received. And in the process of being applied—again.”
I choose to not focus on the negative. Rather, I choose to focus on the good and the lovely and the beautiful. I want to live a life that brings a smile to my Father’s face.
Will you join me in my resolve?
#bgbg2 #PositiveThoughts #devotions