Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:8-9 NIV).
So I tried a practical life illustration with my grandson. He wanted me to buy more of the fancy valentines because they were so cool he wanted to keep some for himself. “So, Andy, if you have 27 valentines and you are sending out 20 valentines, how many will you have left?” He thought about that for a minute. He got angry and upset. There were more people he should send valentines to, so he still needed more valentines. Because he wanted to be certain to keep some for himself, he made himself unhappy with what he already possed in abundance.
I wonder if I try to manipulate God in the same way. I wonder if I’m consumed by trying to get God to give me what I want, instead of accepting that what He gives me is all I need.
In my view, my kitchen needs a complete gutting and overhaul. I am so tired of looking at broken floor and bent ceiling tiles, buckled walls and decaying cupboards. It seems everyone I know has a beautiful kitchen. Why can’t I have one? Since I work at home, the deficit is always before me. I hound Heaven with my request. “Don’t you love me, God? If you do, why don’t I have a new kitchen? I’d be a much better Christian with a new kitchen. I’d give out more valentines…I’d entertain more…and the arguments go on and on.”
And since God doesn’t see fit to give me a new kitchen, I start imagining ways I can get it myself. I can forsake my calling, go out and get a real job and then have enough money to redo the kitchen. Before I know it, my behavior follows my resentment. I hate the job God has given me because I can’t get a new kitchen from it. I can’t focus on my writing anymore. Or my prayer life either. I end out the day accomplishing nothing, slapping myself with a wet noodle for lack of productivity. The morrow starts the cycle all over again.
A friend mentioned that she is recently convicted to start her day by asking the Son to shine on her day. To bring to her day what God wants for her, rather than what she thinks is important. Easier said than done. Does it begin with reordering my thoughts? Do I ask God to change my environment or do I ask God to change me?
What do you think? Ponder me back.