Sunday, December 29, 2013

Making a List, Checking Myself

I made a list today . . . 

a Sandra-type To Do List.

I'm thinking that may mean my brain is beginning to work again after four months of battering.

That's probably a good thing since there's still so much in front of us to walk through, sort out, submit to, learn from, and basically survive.

As I re-read that sentence I realize there's a problem with the last word. Survive is an honest word at this point in my emotions, but God has so much more planned for those He calls His own, for me.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.  John 8:36

The Father's plan is for the salvation He offers through Christ to bring freedom to those imprisoned by sin. The days ahead of me are for me to be FREE.

And Christ tells us more about His rescue mission.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.  John 10:10  ESV

Jesus the Christ intends for my life to be not only free from the oppressive power of sin. The Savior brings more to those who trust in His work and words, the opportunity for His sheep, for me, to live life ABUNDANTLY. 

In this last little while I have to admit that whenever I used the word abundant it was to describe all the woes and trials in my life. Something happens to the human perspective when we find ourselves under the discipling [sic] hand of our sovereign and all-sufficient God. 

My experience is that when I feel like I'm battling from morning 'til night the troubles somehow takeover the entire view finder of my vision. The only things that come into focus are all those that can and do go wrong, the struggles - even potential and imagined struggles. 

The really dangerous aspect of that process happens when the difficulties continue over a long period of time. The view finder seems to lose its ability to catch the image of anything other than the hard times. Negativity somehow takes over the entire screen and a viewing habit develops.

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to break a habit? And I find this one is particularly difficult for a couple of reasons.

1) It's easy to find something that has or could or will go wrong because we live in a fallen world. That's the nature of it. Perfection exists only with God. 

2) It's easier to follow a familiar pattern than to strike out in a new direction. Feet and minds find it comfortable to walk along a well-worn path.

Speaking hypothetically of course, I would suggest that it takes super-human (divine, actually) strength to put such a negative habit to death. That's why sometimes we don't have victory in the midst of the effort. 

If I ever happened to find myself facing such a dilemma, I think I would have to force myself to stop in my thought tracks, turn to God, and plead for the Spirit's intervention. 

Then, if I ever did find myself at such a crossroad, I might have to consider the suggestion of a friend and audaciously challenge the criteria of my view finder and the way I choose to respond to what appears.

So . . . just in case I might possibly have fallen into such a nasty habit recently, I've decided it might be worth it to put a fresh set of parameters in place. I'm calling it the Blessing List of 2014

I'm going to begin focusing my mind and heart and soul and spirit on the ways that God blesses me every moment of every day. Thankfully His Word lets me know I won't have any trouble at all collecting items to fill in my list.

I will bless them [my flock, v. 21] and the places surrounding my hill. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.  
Ezekiel 34:26  NIV'84

These crazy people will appear at the top of my Blessing List.

What would appear on your list?

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