I’ve had one of those days or maybe not so much days, but weeks. One of those days when everything I throw at the trash can (think full coffee filter. Why do I throw those things?) doesn’t actually go inside the trash can and one of those days when you look up to the sky to try to get a handle on things and breathe, but a weird worm from a nearby tree drops onto your upper lip. (Ok, that didn’t really happen, but I did visualize it happening as I looked skyward that day. I have a very active imagination that can be a pro or a con at any given time.) So as I’m walking along, wondering about weird worms, I realize so much about our day is perspective and where we place our focus. My thoughts after I missed the trash can were, “Geeeeez, isn’t anything gonna go right today??” In that moment, I felt a much gentler thought almost audibly whisper, “There are many things that have gone right today.” That whisper, I believe, is the Holy Spirit. There’s no describing it, but I’ve heard it with my heart before many times. (“You don’t have to do this.” Is one of my favorite statements the Comforter has ever made to me. That was when I thought I had to drink. A lot. That’s a previous blog post.)
When I was gently corrected and reminded of the many blessings God had poured out on my ungrateful head that day, I realized that there are only moments of discouragement. Not “bad days.” It’s unlikely that every minute of a 24-hour period could be bad. It’s only moments we, in our fleshy ways, try to make out to be worse than they truly are by focusing on those instead of the good ones.
When Jesus left this earth after being raised from the dead, He said, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26 (NIV) I know I need an Advocate. Somebody who’s gonna help me out by reminding me that every little thing’s gonna be alright (some of you now have a Marley song stuck in your head now. You’re welcome.) Even on one o’ those days I throw the banana away and start to eat the peel.
My thoughts are about our thoughts today. What’s goin’ into that beautifully-created brain of yours? Ideas and thoughts that build you and others up? Or are you feeding into the idea that it really doesn’t matter what goes in and how that affects your thoughts?
I personally heard “garbage in-garbage out” so many times when I was younger, I wondered if it was truly something I needed to prepare for by setting up trash service. I wasn’t sure what it meant, but now that I look around God’s beautiful green and blue earth, well, in short, I get it. We tend, as human beings to stink things up sometimes with our garbage. We say things we don’t mean, or even say things we DO mean, but are just plain mean! We don’t take hold of the thoughts that keep us down below the level God wants us (i.e. “You’re not good enough. You can’t do that. Whaaaat? You’re gonna go to church??” Or “Whaaaaaat? You’re gonna ASK someone to go to church?”) We are to grab onto these thoughts after we identify how they affect our actions, and just throw ‘em out. Replace them with a positive thought and go about your day. I believe it’s one of the most effective methods to change your life.
Say you’re taking a nice country drive (people still do that where I’m from) and you’re enjoying the sights: deer, sunshine, green leaves, gorgeous pastures, and then…what do we have here? A sack of “fast food memorabilia” if you will: fry containers, used napkins, “burger” wrappers. These are all scattered along with a broken TV and possibly someone’s unfortunate Oldsmobile bumper. This should not be so folks. We are to show God respect, glory, and honor and I firmly believe that if we dump our trash out on His creation, well, wouldn’t it be like walking into someone’s house and scraping the caked-on mud off your shoes? It’s disrespectful. It’s the same with cluttering our brain with thoughts and ideas that don’t belong in His creation. We have the ability to clear out the clutter and litter on our roads and our minds!
It’s just occurred to me, as I write this, that it’s Earth Day. God is so cool…show him some respect today by picking up some ugly trash from His awesome Earth and taking captive some thoughts that have lingered to long in that beautiful mind of yours.