Okay, I admit I did it again. It was too easy. There it was, glaring back in the glowing blue light of technology. I tried to scroll past, but found myself scrolling back up to what I had quickly passed by. It was one of those unexpected things in my otherwise boring routine day, but…. I did it… I fell for it….. the old comparison trap of social media. So there I was staring at the details of another person’s life and their new awesome job. But what made it so different than all the other posts? It was MY job, or I mean my DREAM job. The one I would like, or so I thought. But how did they get it? It wasn’t even someone I really know, just a friend of a friend of a friend who hit like or something. So, why did it bother me? I scrolled past the post again and saw another post below in the feed. It was an invite for me for something. And I kept scrolling. So there I was still stewing in my thoughts, my terrible critical and fault finding thoughts. If you have never been jealous of others and found yourself critical, then well, I applaud you. You probably won’t understand my ramblings on this post. But, I’m just trying to be real here. I’m not perfect, just growing in faith and walking it out everyday. So, if you’re tempted like me at times, you’ll probably relate to the feelings of jealousy and even indignation when we see others getting what we want, what we deserve (according to us), and we might even hear our own thoughts tell us “It isn’t right, it’s not fair!, WE are the ones who should be getting this blessing from God!.” Of course we know these thoughts aren’t great or even biblical, but we think them anyway. Why? Well, for one we are humans living in a fallen world. But second, it’s because we are trying to follow somebody else script. What do I mean?
Well, we all have this idea of what we think our lives should look like. We might even have role models we look up to or have even mentors. We look at their lives and decide, that we too want to do what they do. So we create a script for our lives that we think we can follow. And by following it, we too will arrive at the same place they have with the perfect job, perfect ministry, perfect family, perfect car, perfect house, perfect body, perfect gear, etc. Of course, if you’re my age, over time you realize that life happens and our perfectly written script adjusts over time. But what bothers us the most, is when someone takes a line of OUR script. We feel robbed when they get it and we don’t. But the real problem here is not them, it’s us. The script we carefully crafted, as it turns out, wasn’t really ours, but theirs. God has created us uniquely and individually. We are not like others. We are different. And different is okay. It is good. We have to choose to accept ourselves and the life God has given US.
It all begins with our thinking and what we choose to think. 2 Corinthians 10 :5 tells the reader to “Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (NIV). Thankfully, we can do this and we do this probably without realizing it. There is a part of our brains that acts as a kind of holding tank, where we choose to either accept the thought or reject the thought that is coming into our minds. When we accept a thought it becomes a part of our mind and we can build upon it and grow it into a larger thought. It’s really pretty fascinating how powerful our minds are. We are the jail keepers, if you will, to decide what we are thinking about.
The Bible has quite a bit to say about how we think and making choices. Many of you may have seen the familiar Joshua 24:15 verse on plaques. “As for me and my house…” Well, right before Joshua’s famous proclamation he says, “Choose this day whom YOU will serve”(NIV). The Israelites gathered before Joshua had to choose for THEMSELVES whether they would follow idols or follow God. It wasn’t just about Joshua’s choice, he put the ball in their court, and they had to choose what they would do. Follow God or follow idols.
The last example I can think of to relate to choice is found in Matthew 14: 22-31. The story of Peter walking on the water. Peter was brave and left the boat to walk towards Jesus, who was out there walking on the water. Peter was doing great until he started looking more at the waves and the wind and less on Jesus. So he began to sink in a panic and Jesus reached out and grabbed Peter before he sunk. When Peter is safely back on the boat, Jesus asks him why did you doubt? Why did you have so little faith? Tough questions no doubt. So, as I was looking up this passage I noticed something new. The NIV version says it like this, “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid” (vs. 30). So, how do you SEE the wind? We see its affects, but not the wind itself. Peter was looking at the effects of the wind and took his focus off of Jesus. And he got scared. He put his attention on the wrong thing.
Which brings me back to my own focus and attention. As I continued my scrolling that day, I went back to that little insignificant invite and hit accept. I realized, that this was my script to follow, to chose what God had given me. Not someone else’s choice, but my choice.Not someone else’s script, but mine. The dream job I thought was my dream job, wan’t really meant for me, it was meant for them. I was too busy looking at the wind, to see Jesus. My challenge to you today, is this: Are you looking at the wind? Or staying focused on Jesus? It’s your choice. God Bless- Nancy