Monday, October 23, 2006

Some Deep Thoughts

I have been doing some thinking (that's always dangerous for me) about something a friend of mine is going through. While I am not going to go in to details about the circumstances, this friend's situation has made me do a lot of reflecting about my own life.

I once had a pastor who I truly admired. Okay, I've had a few pastors that I admired. But this one seemed to love life more than most....was always glowing, energetic. He loved God and people, and he had some interesting ideas. His enthusiasm was contagious. He was confident, and truly seemed like a happy individual. He loved his wife, kids, and grandkids, and clearly, they all adored him as well.

It was a small church, and he made the time to meet individually at his office with anyone who was interested in being involved in the ministry...whether it be sending cards or working with kids or conducting a study or whatever. We ended up having I think 8 or 10 weeks of bible study, which often ended up to be simply talks about why we believed what we did. I made the decision to follow the teachings of Christ when I was 3 years old. Some may say that's too young to make such a decision, but I tell you I remember the moment, and I knew exactly what I was deciding. But that's another post for another day. It's this pastor's words that are echoing through my heart and mind today.

So many of my friends are going through some emotional times. Blogger friends, old friends, new friends, etc. In fact, I go through so many ups and downs emotionally myself that I am sure to get motion sickness one day from all the tossing back and forth of my feelings.

One day I feel like my husband is a total hunk, my hero, my Great Love of my charmed life; the next day I wonder what on earth I was ever thinking by staying with him for 16+ years?! I wonder "who is this guy?" and I can barely stand to look at him. My life is crap and he is the Chief Crap Shoveler, and my misery in life is 89.9% HIS fault.

A few days later, I feel like sqeezing him and never letting go. I feel so blessed to have him, I am sure I can see butterflies dancing about the halo on his handsome head.

So, where is this whole thought process going?

What this pastor said was this:

Thoughts are very powerful. Look around you. Everything you see with your eyes started as a thought. The keyboard, the phone, the can of pop or even the pencil on your desk had to first start with a thought. From there, the thought grew. If the thought hadn't been born, that item would never exist.

It's like the expression: "Why, you were just a twinkle in your daddy's eye at that time." Truly, even our children exist because of a thought. ;)

Unfortunately, our thought processes can't always be trusted because they're guided by emotions. Our emotions are based too much on circumstances.

Think of it this way:

It's the end of July. All week long, it's been a muggy 90 degrees. The a/c has been running full blast in both your car and house. In fact, you break out in a sweat just after you get dried off from your shower. It's sweltering. It's Tuesday, and you wonder how you'll make it through the rest of week in the heat. You feel like getting out of your car and running through every lawn sprinkler you pass by on your drive home from work.

On Wednesday morning, you wake up, leave the house and it's 50 degrees outside. It's a shock to your system. What do you say? Most likely, you say, "Wow! It's cold!" You might go back inside the house, throw on some warmer clothes and maybe even a jacket if you have one handy. Right?

Skip forward to January. All week, it's been hovering around 15 degrees with a wind chill factor that makes it feel like 2 below. By Friday, you're ready to invest in some socks that are heated by battery. You would like nothing more than to sit in front of a warm fire all day and sip hot chocolate.

So, Saturday morning you get up and open up your back door to see what the day is like. Much to your amazement, it's 50 degrees outside! What do you say? "Oh my gosh, it's hot out here! Woo-hoo!" If you can find a pair of shorts, you're gonna put those puppies on today! You fling off your coat, and drive around doing your errands with the windows down.

Is the 50 degrees any different in July or January? No. It's the same 50 degrees, no matter what month it is. 50 degrees is 50 degrees. It was only our perception of the 50 degrees that made it FEEL different.

When he was sharing this with me, it was like a light bulb went on in my head.

Why are some people content and happy in a given situation, while others in the exact same situation are unhappy?

It's all about perception.

How do I perceive myself? How do I perceive others? How does what I think about myself impact how I live my life? Does my thinking about myself need to change in order for me to live a successful, contended life?

Food for thought....


pat said...

Thank you for your insight.

Holli said...

He is right. Attitude is 90% of our day. I try (oh do I try) to have a positive attitude. To find the good in everyone, to find the good in every situation. I try to chose to NOT be a victim but to be a victor in Christ. I have been blessed to have a very steady tempermant. I am almost always in a good mood. I'm pretty predictable (in a positive way). But of course, like everyone else I have my days, I have times where I feel like I've more than my fair share of strife, and I decide I'm going to stomp my feet and tell everyone how unfair my life is! haha! Bottom line: We all have ups and downs. We have spouses that we love and hate sometimes at the same time. It's life, it's the way it is and will always be. I know that life can thrown nothing my way that I can't get back up from. I choose to be happy, I choose to believe that I am annoited and chosen by God!

Elliemarie said...

Great post. And 100% on the money. Perception and attitude colours the way we think, feel and react. As a pessimist, I know how much my mindset affects everything around. Thanks for the food for thought.

neicybelle said...

i'm sorry i'm getting to these posts so late...but this is an excellent one, kristi!! thank you!