Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
Phil. 4:8 (RSV)
Sadness grew as I watched my neighbors’ family work together planting little red impatiens around the front of their home. Their children nearby tried to outdistance each other on their swings. My heart yearned for my family to be able to work and play together instead of arguing and over-drinking. I called a dear friend and shared my anxiety, saying, "Everyone looks happier than me." She responded, "Do not compare your insides with their outsides."
"Think about anything worthy of praise." St. Paul said. Then I realized I was letting my thoughts dwell on what I did not have. That was destructive, and definitely a waste of my time and energy. It caused me to miss all the blessings God had surrounding me. I took a mental survey of our nice home, and our cupboards full of food and repented of my self-pity. With the time I would have spent thinking negative thoughts, I baked our favorite: blueberry muffins. In silence, my family shared the fresh delicious muffins, but I became a victor instead of a victim.
Dear Lord, Giver of Life, and Teacher: Help me to keep my eyes upward and not inward. Help me be thankful in all circumstances for all your blessings. In Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen.
© 2009 Lois Gosley