Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Keep Your Eye on the Ball ...

March Madness means something different in my life than for the majority of the rest of the world ... at least those individuals in the rest of the world who are sports-minded. I work in an accounting office, and we are slap dab in the middle of tax season. It gets rough. We are all tired and frazzled.

Last week was particularly tough for me. I only took my eye off the ball for a minute, but that was all it took, and I was out in left field. (Oops, I think I am mixing my metaphors, but you get the general idea here.......)

What happened to all that freedom I embraced this past December? I had to go and re-read my own post. Where did all my spiritual health (and mental health, for that matter) get off to? 

I lost sight of God's love, God's provision, God's purpose for me, and I focused squarely on my circumstances.

All too quickly, I found my mind wrapped in all the old self-defeating thoughts and attitudes of the past. Victimhood. It's always there ... ready, waiting, willing to cuddle and comfort the unsuspecting heart and mind. 

I was overworked. Stressed beyond my ability to cope well. My flesh had been super-sized. And my spirit was cowering in the corner, undernourished and weak. 

My super-sized flesh grabbed a megaphone and began to holler in my head: Did you see that? How can I get all this done alone? Did you see how this person looked at you? You messed that up. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah .......

Soon vain imagination jumped into the mix. It was a regular party up in my head. It made for a bad day that stretched into a bad week. 

Add to the mix some other unexpected personal circumstances, and by the end of the week I felt like all the life had been squashed right out of me. And for all practical purposes, it truly had been. I had allowed a mountain of circumstances to snuff out the light of hope in my heart. I forgot that I was part of a team, that I didn't have to handle life all alone. 

I spoke with a dear friend this past weekend, and after I'd shared all my woes and asked her to pray for me, I quipped lightly, "Well, if all this is coming against me, I'm either doing something very wrong or very right."

She chuckled softly and said she was sure the Holy Spirit would let me know. 

She was certainly right. 

The very next day, another friend shared this devotional with me: 

 From Sapphires, the teachings of Jonathan Cahn

How is your day going? You probably think that if things are going bad you are having a bad day and if things are going good, it’s a good day. But the Bible says something completely different. And it can change the way you live your life. Proverbs 15:15 says, "All the days of the downcast are bad, but a cheerful heart has an everlasting banquet."    Or, 'All the days of the downcast are bad, but a good heart has a never-ending banquet.'

In other words, it is not bad days that make the downcast heart. It is the downcast heart that makes all of the bad days. And it is not the continual banquet that makes the good heart. It is the good heart that makes the continual banquet. Get it?

If your heart is complaining, your days will be rotten. And if your heart is full of praise and thanksgiving, your days will be full and beautiful.  So... do you want a good day, a good week, a good year … a good life?  Stop seeking after a good day, and seek instead to have a good heart. Give thanks in all things, and praise to God, and your life will become an everlasting banquet.

TODAYS MISSION - No matter what is around you today, give God thanks and praise Him as often as you can, and you will have a never-ending banquet.
Psalm 42:11

The problem wasn't with the people around me. The problem wasn't having too much work to do. The problem was my very own heart. My heart was complaining. And the problem was with my very own eyes. My eyes were focused on circumstances, instead of on the Lord of my life, who walks right beside me through every possible circumstance I encounter. He is my Way Maker. He is my Victory.  He is my Peace ... my Redeemer ... my Rock ... my Shield ... my Strength ... my Safe Place. He is my all in all. 

At the risk of sounding irreverent, He is the Ball in my court. If I will keep my eyes on Him, we will make the winning basket every time!

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts. May God bless you as you grow in Him!