I have been blogging under “Adventures in Aging” about how I have been living randomly since I retired. Truthfully, I think my whole life has been random. I had dinner with my nephew, and we talked about memories and how events in our life affected us. It got me to thinking. Of course, the worst thing we can do is blame others for our failures or problems because that takes the responsibility to correct them off us and makes us feel like a victim. There is far too much victim thinking these days. So I don’t want to be a victim of my past, but I definitely want to change how I do life.
I have talked to a lot of people I don’t know this past year on Facebook. They aren’t people I want to know, but they are part of a discussion. Many Facebook discussion sink to calling others names even though we have never met them or just using some canned phrase or meme to answer a question. It seems there is very little original thought in most of the discussions. In fact when someone replies calmly and respectfully, whether to me or someone on the forum it takes me so by surprise that it is convicting. It throws off my game, which may have needed to be derailed anyway.
The effect on me is stress. Stress causes unclear thinking, and for me, that ends up causing me to want to zone out, and I have already wasted countless time on Facebook.
Flight Pattern Change
Facebook has caused me a lot of stress over the years. It has also given me a forum to release some of my tension by being disrespectful and all the things I resent when others disrespect me. I am worried about things that may not even be true. (we all know not everything on Facebook is true, right?) Now Facebook is censoring some people and posts, and it’s not going to get better.
So, in my quiet time, I read a verse that has stuck with me. I think it is the answer to my stress and how I do life. I hesitate to call it a resolution because they never go well with me past January. The verse is Colossians 3:2—”Set your mind on things above and not on earthly things.”
I have found many good Christian friends on Facebook, but even some things that sound really good are more earthly than wisdom from above. It’s easy to fall into the old mindset that “if it makes me feel good, it is good.”
So I decided to change it up this year and think on things that are above. Things that are true, admirable, noble, right, pure, lovely, excellent and praiseworthy will make my life better.
In one of the devotionals, the author, Ruth Chou Simons, talked about living meekly. Jesus lived meekly. The author made the point that’ meekness isn’t weakness, it’s power under control.’ Meekness is not being sarcastic even if it gets a laugh. It doesn’t demand to be right; in fact, it is at peace with not winning an argument. It’s being willing to listen to criticism and learn. It means holding our tongue, choosing our words and choosing our timing. These do not come naturally to me. I am the exact opposite if I am left to my efforts. I also know I cannot change these natural tendencies on my own partly because they are old habits—my mode of operation for most of my adult life. They have not always served me well.
If living meekly is how Jesus lived who was God incarnate and chose to serve others then, who am I to try and live proudly? Assuming living proudly is the opposite of living meekly. If I live in autopilot, I will continue to live in my old flight pattern because it is my natural holding pattern. I can spout sarcasm and satire as fast as anyone.
To keep from being the same old same old, I need help. Supernatural help. Help from above where I plan to set my mind this year. Colossians 3:2 is my theme or goal for the year. I can’t do it on autopilot. I need help from above. However, setting my mind on things above, listening to God, even thinking WWJD does not come naturally to me. I have to be intentional to make a change. Only God can transform a heart, and He is great at it, but He prefers that we want to go through the process.
Keep Calm and Live Intentionally
My other non-meek trait is plowing forward to get things done. I am in overdrive most of the time, and nothing makes me see that more than working with my husband. He is the balm I need.
Living intentionally I feel sure is not charging ahead and getting it done. I think it means taking time to breathe, assess, think and in my case, pray. This is my year to live intentionally and keep my mind on things above. What will that look like? How will that change me, even transform me into who God made me, my most authentic self.