By: Amy Dalke
One recent Saturday morning, I went about my business trying to hold the whole world in my hands (as I sometimes do), and I was a little stressed out (as I sometimes am).
The day’s calendar was bulging at the seams, and I had kicked it off in sort of a grumpy mood. It was in that sour attitude that I hustled through the house and observed its contents through an Angry Mom lens.
Apparently a sporting goods store had just blown up in the middle of the living room; there was a layer of dust covering the coffee table; and animal hair (so help me, God) had gathered in each corner and doorway within my line of sight.
This didn’t exactly have a positive affect on my state of mind.
After I took all this in, my mind raced to count all the things that were wrong with the house. The pantry floor needed to be mopped. Luke’s bathroom still had dried Scentsy wax on the floor. The windows hadn’t been cleaned in 9 months. The kitchen walls desperately begged for a make-over. The curtains in the game room cried to go back to the year they were cool. (Which, well, I’m not sure when that was.)
According to my perspective, there was nothing good or satisfactory between these walls. In fact, everything was just all wrong.
But then smack in the middle of my internal grumbling, I recalled a day earlier in the week when I viewed the exact same scene through a happier (rosy-like) lens.
On that day, the clutter didn’t choke me. The dust bunnies didn’t throw me into a tailspin; and the baseballs and cleats strewn across the wild blue yonder didn’t gnarl my nerves. The game room curtains didn’t rent any space in my head.
I didn’t even threaten to kill the cats because of their exasperating propensity to shed.
It occurred to me that I had prayerfully begun that particular day, and had determined to live with a non-emergency attitude. My mind was bent towards grateful instead of grabby, and since I had acknowledged from the get-go that God was in charge, I was able to maneuver unwelcome setbacks with grace.
Tasks were purposefully performed one at a time, and I deliberately paused to take a breath before reacting to various hiccups. I was miraculously calm inside and out, and outside circumstances didn’t have permission to toss me back and forth.
So what’s the deal? (Besides the fact that the latter description seems like I stepped out of a Mr. Clean commercial where the mom always scrubs the toilets with a smile on her face.)
One day I’m all Cloudy With a 98% Chance of Tornadoes, and the next, I’m Miss Sunny With a Cool Breeze & Fluffy-White Clouds.
Same set of circumstances.
Same baseball cleats.
(Also, same animal hair.)
The only variable factor present is my mindset. Which sort of means that I can change the weather just by changing my thoughts.
A non-emergency attitude is only possible (for me) when I set my perspective on truth (beyond how I might feel), and intentionally humble myself before the One who (really) runs the world.
On the other hand, a “me-centered” perspective sees other people and situations as they relate in orbit around the ego-centered universe. Everything teeters or totters according to how it fits with my personal plans and expectations.
(Which leaves no wonder to why I whine about the color of the kitchen walls because my view doesn’t go beyond that.)
So what does your own view look like today? Do you see things through heaven’s reality, or your personal worldview? Is it all hazy in your head with a major chance of storms, or are the skies all clear?
If you catch yourself wallowing in negativity, remember that you don’t have to change a single thing around you to experience a completely different scene.
You just have to change how you look at it.