By Gail Armatys
Do you want a more meaningful life? There are three words that can help you. They can change everything: your posture, your attitude, your actions – your life. Not that you’re into change – but if it’s change you choose and it makes a difference in the peace you find at the end of your days, why not give it a whirl? Maybe it’s worth knowing and speaking those three significant words.
So what are the words that will help draw you into a better, more meaningful life?
Thank you, God.
Twice a week, I find myself in a yoga class in an effort to, among other things, improve my posture. Previously, I was constantly slumped over driving my car or working on my computer. (I’ll bet you just straightened up a bit, didn’t you?) Having back trouble most of my life, I knew this hunching over was one source of my off and on discomfort. Changing my posture strengthens me and relieves pain.
It is good to change posture in another way as well – one that will impact more than your back. This change in posture strengthens you and relieves pain as you bend your heart and your knees.
Come, let us bow down in worship,
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker
There is a pose in Yoga called Child’s Pose. You sit knees to the floor and upper body stretched forward, head to the floor in front of the knees, (yes, it’s possible) with your arms outstretched before you. It is for me the most protective and comforting posture of the class.
And so it is when you bow your heart and soul before the Lord. He sees and his Spirit protects and comforts as the posture of your heart reflects your love, respect, and gratitude toward God.
Humility is the fear of the Lord;
Its wages are riches and honor and life.
Your attitude matters. When you have an attitude of negativity rather than possibility, you live in fear. Not ‘the fear of the Lord’ (translated as reverence: Humility is the reverence of the Lord) in the scripture above. Rather, you have an attitude of fear and worry that is binding and fueled by pride dressed up as confidence. This kind of fear keeps you from giving thanks freely and with the attitude of humility desired by God.
Don’t fret or worry.
Instead of worrying, pray.
Let petitions and praises
shape your worries into prayers,
letting God know your concerns.
Phil 4:6 (Living Bible)
Won’t you replace your negative, fear-filled, and worrisome attitude with humble prayer? Let your sacrifice be that of a humble, thankful heart.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
A broken and contrite heart…
I have a distinct memory of a particular day at work several years ago sitting at my desk complaining about something…don’t even remember what now. The person listening to me responded and said, “You should be grateful.” That, I remember.
“I am”, I said and believed. Yet, it was obvious by my words, tone, and grumbling that I was not…that is…grateful.
Give thanks in all circumstances,
For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
2 Thes. 5:18
Sometimes you may find yourself feeling frustrated and stuck. You grumble because you don’t feel motivated, encouraged, interested, confident or energetic enough to act. And therein lies the problem. You expect to feel your way into action. The truth is, neither you nor I can feel ourselves to a better place…we must act ourselves to a better feeling.
Feelings are not bad. They are good. They function as indicators that can help you complete the work God planned for you. Ever feel like not doing something you dreaded, but once you started doing it, you felt better about it? If you feel defeated, ask the Holy Spirit to show you what steps to take to gain strength and victory. If you feel overwhelmed, seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance to a mind of peace.
The expression of your feelings is valid, but it is not the ultimate goal. The goal is action based on God’s loving plan and purposes for your life.
Thank God in all circumstances…regardless of your feelings about them…and take godly action.
Piglet noticed that although he had a
Very Small Heart,
It could hold a rather large amount of
Piglet realized no matter his size, a sense of thanksgiving was a big part of who he was.
Have you, like Piglet, taken notice? Is gratitude a big part of your heart?
If so, you have discovered the first step to creating better days.
If not, it’s not too late. No matter your hurt, fears, and delays – once you determine to make “Thank you, God” a big part of your heart your posture, attitude, and actions will change. And in that change you will find…day-by-day…a more meaningful life.
- Change your posture. If you are physically able, pray on your knees as you bend your heart toward his. Child’s Pose anyone?
- Change your attitude. Intentionally choose humility and vulnerability over pride and fear. Pray. Thank God He is in control.
- Change your actions. When you sense your feelings leading you – stop. Draw close to God through prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you.
- Change your life. Begin your days and your prayers with thanksgiving. Be intentional about filling your heart with “Thank you, God”. Write God a ‘thank you’ note for all he has done.
Thank you, God, for your love, sacrifice, goodness, and mercy. Thank you for being in control. Thank you for my family, friends, church, work, freedom – for my very life and breath. There is no one like you. Thank you, God. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.
Listen to your HeartSong below.