Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Best & the Beautiful*

Another year is drawing to a close, another birthday is almost upon me and once again I find myself in a reflective mood. What has been done this past year? What was good? What was bad? What needs to be tossed and what needs to be kept?

Now the above reflections seem innocent enough, but I have a tendency to focus on the negative and miss the good when it comes to what I’ve done with what God has given me. Crazy, I know, but it’s a mindset I’m learning to lay down and leave at the foot of the Cross.

What I’m finding tricky, I guess, is having an accurate view of myself. I don’t want to get bogged down by the negatives, but I don’t want to blind to them either because then how do I change them; or, more accurately, how can God change them?

Paul, as he so often does, has some good advice:

Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

~Philippians 4: 8-9 (The Message)

I’m not much of a gardener, but I do know if I’m focused solely on getting rid of the weeds the beautiful plants and flowers will eventually die from neglect. Also, if I make sure the ‘good’ plants are healthy and strong, the weeds will not have much of a chance to flourish. And to use the driving analogy again, where I want to go is where I need to focus. So yes, I’ll deal with the weeds. My focus, however, will be on the One Who, when I trust in Him, will guide my steps (see Proverbs 3: 5-8) because that is a true win-win-win** situation.

*I’m sensing a theme with the last few entries . . . how about you? ;-)
**A win for today, tomorrow, and eternity :-)

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