Friday, February 15, 2008

Norah got some sunglasses and a new bathing suit for Valentine's Day... she proceeded to wear them both right there in the house.

Smoke Rings and Sun Beams

So, the other day Christy got the girls a ton of library books and after reading this one awesome book about love, I asked Anna if I could borrow it, take it to work and then bring it back a day or so later… whoa! You would have thought I had asked her for one of her lungs! She became so sad and upset and then straight-up told me, “No.” I told her I was only going to borrow it for a little while and then give it right back, but my words were lost in a flood of hysterical tears. Her whole day was ruined by the prospect of that book leaving the house, and no matter how much I assured her that I would indeed bring it back very soon, no smile could break through that sad little face.

You see, as soon as I mentioned borrowing the book, Anna got it in her mind that she would never see it again… She was operating under a false reality, which in turn fueled an unnecessary sadness.

In Philippians 4 Paul tells us to “rejoice in the Lord always…” Now, if it’s possible to rejoice always, then is it fair to say that some of our sadness, despondency and depression is unnecessary? I don’t know… but one thing I’m fairly convinced of is the idea that a whole lot of our unnecessary sadness is fueled by false realities. We look at our overwhelming situations and say over them things like, “There is no hope.” “It will always be this way.” “They’ll never change.” Mike Mason says that the only problem you’ve never overcome in your life is the one you’re in right now… you’ve made it through everything so far and one day you’ll be out of this one too. But most people don’t really think that way. Mostly people think, “Look at this unbearable and impossible situation! I can’t believe I’m here… I can’t handle this!”

In my experience, when you try to talk sad people out of their sadness they don’t really want to hear it, or they’re ‘not ready for that yet.’ If you try to encourage them by talking about all the amazing truths and promises we have in Christ, many folks will blow you off. And hey, I’m the same way and have done the same things. It’s like you’re trying to blow sunshine up my nose or something and I just see all those promises as smoke and mirrors… Well look, I am not an advocate of optimism for it’s own sake or the power of positive thinking. I mean, when the glass is half empty or even all the way empty, I don’t want to say it’s anything else. I don’t want to tell you the sun’s shining when it’s dark outside, but here’s what I am saying: What if it’s a beautiful sunny day outside and we just won’t open up the blinds?

Right after telling us to rejoice always and be anxious for nothing, Paul says this: “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” The cool thing here is that the word Paul wrote that we have translated ‘think’ really means to count on… in other words, it’s not just getting your happy thought… He’s saying that these true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable and praiseworthy things are the reality; so count on it. It’s not optimism, it’s realism! Whatever you’re in, the promises of Christ are the reality! Count on it! The sun is shining, so open up those blinds and let it in!


AmateurDad said...

Was Norah singing "where the streets have no name"?

The Hull Munchkins said...

What a great reminder. I find myself keeping the blinds shut on purpose way too often.
Norah babe, you are a movie star! Can't wait to see you tomorrow.

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