I hope that this Update finds you healthy and happy -- and if not either or both of those, I hope that you can find joy wherever you find yourself today, since it’s not dependent on either of those fickle situations.
Personally, I’ll confess that I’m working to find joy rather than just enjoy happiness right now. Part of that is because I’ve had a migraine (that ebbs and flows) since Thursday, but the larger part of that is because we’re preparing to take our daughter, Megan, up to Chicago this weekend for her Golden Apple scholar Summer Institute and leave her up there for the next five weeks, and that’s no fun -- especially since we’ll have to drop her off on Father’s Day itself!
(worst Father’s Day present ever...)
Now, people keep trying to point out why it’s such an honor, or why the exciting bits should outweigh the unpleasant bits, and none of that helps me at all -- because no amount of “it’ll be a great experience for her” makes up for the loss of our family plans for this last time together before college, or makes it any less painful to say “good-bye” to my daughter two months earlier than we’d prepared for (and on a day set aside for focusing on being a father). No, what helps my attitude is to work on my attitude, rather than on changing my perspective on my circumstances. Our attitudes are certainly affected by our circumstances, but they should never be decided by our circumstances -- instead, they should be decided by our priorities in life. Personally, I think that my priority in life should be in living like I honor God more than I honor my own preferences. How about you?
In our message this week, we talked a little bit about why we shouldn’t just make our decisions based on what’s apparently going on in the world around us -- in large part because God is patently unfair.
I mean, think about it -- don’t we all get all riled up when we feel like people are being unfair? When someone else gets what we feel like we deserved, or when we get in trouble for what we felt we didn’t deserve, doesn’t that just rankle us?
But God created this world, so He gets to decide what to do with what He’s created... and we screwed it up, so we don’t really get to decide what God may or may not be doing wrong with His creation. God may seem unfair to us in this situation or that one, but His wisdom supersedes our preferences... and He doesn’t really owe us an explanation when it does.
So in life, you can choose to base your attitudes on how you perceive your circumstances (but that means that your attitude’s going to change when your circumstances or your moods shift), or you can base your attitudes on remembering the kind of person that your Creator created you to be, and to give Him the praise that even the rocks and the rivers are smart enough to give up to Him, no matter what your circumstances might be today.
When it comes down to it, God blesses not those whom we think deserve it, but those who genuinely live out faith in Him. So when it comes down to it, I think that my priority in life should be in living like I honor God more than I honor my own preferences.
How about you?