the begging to be
seen, corrected, confessed, forgiven, celebrated, heard, protected, cleansed.
disfigured, undiscovered, forgotten, lonely, hurting, rotting, hidden, stolen.
rhythmically to every
morning, home, friend, neighbor, child, field, highway, mountain.
broke, destroyed, severed, tore, distorted, invaded, belied, abandoned.
heart, mind, city, neighborhood, country, family, room, soul.
I was awake again before the alarm sounded. It’s a thing. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. When it’s good, I focus my mind toward heavenly things before stirring. My body may not want to move, but my mind does. Relate?
I asked God a question regarding responsibility. And I got a pretty clear answer:
John, many things you believe you’re responsible for are things you choose to be responsible for rather than letting the right person be responsible. Often, that person is me.
That’s how my day started. Jolting. Or not.
I actually decided it wasn’t jolting at all. Instead, it was loving, merciful, and freeing. Loving because God owns his responsibility for all things, including me. Merciful because God waits for me to give back what I wrongfully take. Freeing because I, with repentance, get to return to him what’s his.
In that freedom, an exercise came to me. The exercise is quite simple. On a sheet of paper or on a digital note, make three headings: God’s, Not Mine, Mine. Under each heading, list responsibilities. That’s it.
So for example, I’ll list one under each heading.
- God’s: Life
- Not Mine: Other’s Choices
- Mine: My Choices
This exercise has lots of potential. It could be an exhaustive look at all areas of life, which could be extremely useful. But it could also be isolated to one present challenge, which is where my mind was before the alarm sounded.
Where’s your mind? Find yourself stuck wondering who’s responsible for _______. Could it be you’re stuck under the wrong heading?
We’ll look more at that in parts 2&3.
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Elizabeth French
Possibilities. Endless they are.
If you allowed yourself, you could drive yourself nuts thinking about them. All the “what could/should have beens,” “if onlys,” or “just supposes” are quite mind blowing. For instance:
- What if Cain hadn’t killed his brother?
- If only Moses hadn’t struck the rock.
- What could have been Samson’s legacy?
- What if Ruth didn’t follow Naomi?
- Just suppose Israel never selected king #1.
- If only David hadn’t stayed home.
- Just suppose Esther wasn’t successful.
Those are just a few before Jesus decided to make his earthly appearance-before he showed us that overthinking the possibilities is unnecessary when he’s in the picture.
As we consider the past, live out the present, and look into the future, in order to keep our sanity we must keep Jesus in the picture. He helps us make sense of it all. For those wanting perfect peace, keep your mind stayed on Jesus.
You will keep the mind that is dependent on you in perfect peace, for it is trusting in you. (Isaiah 26:3)