Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Stop to Start

What would happen if we stopped lamenting about the fifty things we can’t control and focused our attention on the fifty thousand things we can control? What would happen if we stopped whining about things we have the power to change and finally took charge of our lives and changed them? What would happen if we stopped borrowing sorrow from tomorrow? If we got in the habit of asking ourselves, “What’s on my plate today?”~Chocolatherapy: Satisfying the Deepest Cravings of Your Inner Chick by Karen Scalf Linamen

What would happen? Hummmm….what would happen???? I know what happened once when I had a licensed marriage counselor tell me that I needed to work on….ME! What kind of a quack did I find in the yellow pages??? Work on me? I wasn’t the problem, HE was! Needless to say I didn’t go back to the counselor for two years. It took me that long to realize that it was me that I needed to work on.

I was the one guilty of trying to control what I couldn’t control. I was the one fighting to change someone else instead of working on myself. I was the one stocking up sorrow from tomorrow and the next day and the next day in order to justify my behavior this day. I was the one alright.

It didn’t work. Fancy that. Those were probably the words that Eve mumbled to Adam outside the garden gate, “it didn’t work Adam dearest.” What about Jonah sitting in the belly of the whale, “my, my, my, my plan didn’t work.” Peter as he plucked the sea weed out of his wet hair, “burrrrrr, that sure didn’t work.”

We are a strange species that’s for sure. We like to live life on the edge. It keeps us from looking at our own lives when we think we have a clear view of everyone else’s. Satan has us believing it’s easier to change someone else than ourselves as if it was our patriotic duty to do so.

It’s time to readjust the camera lens and get focused on the right things. Such as the things we can control and have the power to change. We definitely need to stop. Stop the lamenting, stop the whining, stop the borrowing and start instead. Start the process of change within our power to do so through Jesus Christ. Starting instead of stopping to gaze our eyes and hearts on the blessings we have instead of mourning over the ones we feel are missing.

As we would never go through a garden and pick the weeds out and put them in a vase on the table to show off we shouldn’t be doing this in our spiritual lives either. Why go through life picking the sorrows to display and leave the flowers of God’s blessings behind. It doesn’t make sense.

Unfortunately we get our stop and start’s backwards. We figure in our hearts as soon as God stops the hard stuff then we can start praising. We’ll stop lamenting only after He starts to bless us, giving us what we want. I can’t tell you how much Kleenex I have wasted over the years lamenting and whining because I didn’t think I had anything to rejoice and praise God over. How in the world could I be thankful for anything? One glance at my life and you could see why I was excused from having to obey the scripture about, “being thankful in all circumstances.” Shhhhhhhh…..I hear something…….quietly in the background I can hear a record player playing….”My heart bleeds for you!”……… Yep I am one of those strange species.

God has never promised us a life free from trials, hard times, and struggles. What He gives us is the ability to travel through these moments in our lives. It shouldn’t have to include a life time supply of Kleenex too because we choose to lament and whine along the way. We need to use our tears to seek God, the one that counts each tear, who will one day wipe them all away. Praise the Lord.

As Capital One asks in their commercial “What’s in your wallet?” We need to ask ourselves, “What’s on our plate today?” If it’s not filled with Jesus we need to scrap off in the garbage disposal what doesn’t belong and make room for what belongs. Things such as praise, trust, faith, peace, and joy thanks to the dryer of our tears not the source of them.

I love you Jesus!

Our host today is Patricia over at Typing One-Handed get on over there and share with the gang. If you stub your toe along the way don’t cry over it, you still have 9 other ones that aren’t hurting. Unless you’re one of those people who look like you have two toes coming out of the same hole then maybe you only have 7 others not hurting. Just teasing!


Debbie said...

Yes, we can't control others but we can choose our response. I enjoy reading your take on these quotes each week. It's been very interesting to read how each one of us has our unique perspective.

Patricia said...

Karen, Great take on IOW! I love this quote: Why go through life picking the sorrows to display and leave the flowers of God’s blessings behind. It doesn’t make sense.

I agree. This is true wisdom! I'm glad you shared today.

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Patricia said...

Thank you for sharing today. What you said with this statement is so true:
"God has never promised us a life free from trials, hard times, and struggles. What He gives us is the ability to travel through these moments in our lives."

Denise said...

Nice post dear.

Susan said...

Thanks Karen, this was GREAT.

I always enjoy your posts on Tuesday.

What a gifted writer you are.

Thanks for bringing out so many good points on this quote.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing today. It sure was a quote to contemplate on. Thank you for sharing about the counseling . . .