Out of a blank mind…

I have heard that when you ask a woman what she’s thinking, and she says. “Nothing” she is, in fact thinking about what to cook for dinner, picking up the dry cleaning, returning books to the library, sending a birthday card, calling her sick friend, adding to her shopping list, and fetching the kids from school.  But ask a man that same question and when he responds “Nothing” he is, in fact, thinking of nothing. Every morning, when I wake up, there is a menagerie of thought in my head – not this morning. I have no idea where my mind had gone because when my opportunity clock went off, it sounded to me like a far distant pinging. Zig Ziglar said an optimist has an opportunity clock; it’s the pessimist who wakes to an alarm.  Maybe you have an opportunity clock too.  If not you might what to go get yourself one.  They are a fabulous invention!
There’s a problem with waking up with a blank mind though….deciding on the story to tell today. Oh no! Rambling, random thoughts from my notebooks.  Hang on.  It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Contentment – is not what you get, it’s being satisfied with what you already have.  Contentment is not complacency, nor an escape from life’s challenges; it’s about peace in your circumstances. Paul was content because he devoted himself to rejoicing. Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! “ And Philippians 4:12 “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
Gratitude – there is nothing wrong with wanting good things unless those things become too important to me.  Be thankful for the little things, especially those you never think about. The heart is our control center – feed it constantly with an attitude of gratitude.  Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Colossians 3:15 says to “Let peace rule your heart  . . .  and be thankful.”
Trouble – What day goes by that doesn’t have a little bit of trouble.  What can we do with trouble – learn from it. Trouble can terrify or it can transform.  Life is a series of problems, but they are all teaching moments – even those that are devastating and seem impossible to us. 1Peter 4:12  lays it out for us “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” Don’t be surprised – I’m often surprised when bad things happen, especially to my friends.  Somehow I find it hard to fit devastating circumstances into the framework of ‘good’.  After all doesn’t the Bible say in Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”?  That’s what we hang on to – that somehow, God will bless this person who loves him, with a good outcome – even if we don’t understand how this can be good.  2Corinthians 4:17 says “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
Most of all – through it all, this is my forever prayer.  I’m sure David won’t take me to court for quoting him. Psalm 119:33 “God, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course. Give me insight so I can do what you tell me—my whole life one long, obedient response. Guide me down the road of your commandments.”

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Refining Grace