When you look at this world what do you see? If we’re being honest I bet most of us would start our list with words like “pain”, “chaos”, “disaster”, “bad news”, and maybe even go as far to say “evil.” Now, I’m going to throw a big “What if” your way and then take some time to explain myself a bit further.
“WHAT IF we change the way we look at the world?”
Some of you may be thinking, “Is she serious? Is she trying to be funny? That’s as simple as simple can get.” And if that’s what you’re thinking then you are absolutely right! However, when we try to put it into action it isn’t as simple as it appears to be.
What am I talking about?
I’m talking about being “spiritually aware.” It’s extremely easy to be physically aware of what’s going on in the world because with a click of a button our televisions, phones, and radios immediately update us on the newest headline. However, being spiritually aware takes discipline and discipline requires time and devotion.
So that we’re all on the same page here I’ll give you an example. Last year I started to train for my first sprint triathlon, which is a race that consists of a swim, bike, and run. Never had I desired to do anything like this before but after my dad convinced me that it would be worth it I decided to give it a go. I devoted myself to the training and thus became aware that in order to succeed I needed to learn the art of discipline. I began to carefully consider the effects of anything I ate and made sure that it would be beneficial to my body. I exercised in various different ways every day, even when I didn’t want to or feel like it. I became more aware of the tools and equipment I would need for my training and ultimately my race. After a few weeks of this consistency I began to realize that my mindset began to change; the food I craved had changed, I was talking about my training all the time, there was a physical change in my appearance, and anything that had to do with triathlons or being active would always catch my eye. Do you see where I’m going with this? When we devote ourselves to change the way we think about something then we begin to find ourselves more aware of that particular thing rather then what we previously had been focused on. My focus before training for my race was that I could never do anything like that and that I loved cookies too much to give them up. Nevertheless, every bit of this lifestyle change was worth it when I was able to cross that finish line and run into the arms of my dad who had been with me every step of the way and was cheering me on the whole time.
We have a Father in heaven who has invited us to do the same thing in the sense of laying down desires and mindsets that do not line up with His Word in order to exchange them and become more aware of tasting His goodness, talking about His love, seeing His Kingdom, and actively living out what He has created us to do.
“Set your mind on things that are above, and not on things that are on the earth…Put on then, as God’s chosen people, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another, and if one has a complaint against the other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so should you forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
We begin to change the way we see the world and we become more spiritually aware when we discipline ourselves to set our minds on things above and devote ourselves to becoming more like who God created us to be!
Instead of seeing “pain”, lets see people who can be healed! Instead of seeing “chaos”, lets see a stage set for God to bring His indescribable peace! Instead of seeing “disaster”, lets see God shifting things into place and establishing His Kingdom. Instead of seeing “bad news”, lets see a chance to get down on our knees and pray. Finally, instead of seeing “evil”, be reminded that Jesus was born during a time when King Herod had ordered the killing of all male babies. Thirty-three years later, Jesus willingly endured the most evil and gruesome form of punishment for a crime He was not guilty of. However, evil COULD NOT stop God’s plan for saving the world and that gives me hope to believe that evil CANNOT stop His plans now!
In closing, let me ask you this question again…
When you look at the world what do you see?
Featured photo by Susanna Dobbin