I want you to imagine you decided you wanted to take a photo of a beautiful rose. You turn on your camera, find the rose that you want to photograph, but then you turn your camera in the direction of a pile of trash that is near the rose. You carefully adjust the focus, and the camera settings so that the item in view is clearly in focus. Then you snap, snap, and snap several photos. But you’re a bit annoyed! There’s nothing but a pile of trash in your photos. The rose is no where in site!
So you attempt this process again. Being even more careful, and diligent about your camera settings. Being careful to keep the camera steady. Checking the light and the camera angle. But again… you turn your camera towards the pile of trash, focus in and snap shot, after shot after shot.
Again, no rose.
At this point, you’re convinced that your camera must be broken.
Did you not focus on the pile of trash and not the rose? It is foolish to expect a rose in the photograph when you were focusing on a pile of trash–right?
The camera isn’t broken. You’re simply focused on the wrong thing.
The fix is simple, focus on the rose.
In the same way, we often focus our thoughts on one thing, but we expect a different result. We focus on everything we didn’t accomplish in a day. We focus on everything that went wrong. We focus on every part of our body that we don’t like. We focus on every person that cut us off in traffic, or every annoying word that was spoken to us. We focus on what we don’t like about the government. We even rehearse negative, painful memories in our heads over and over again. We even focus on trash–lies that are spoken through the media.
And somehow, we expect our lives to be wonderful!
Sounds crazy when I say it that way doesn’t it? But we do. I know I do. It’s amazing how one negative thought feeds another negative thought and before you know it, my mind is overflowing in negativity.
Some of you are depressed, or stressed or fearful or you’ve got this tension in your belly because of what you’re feeding your thoughts. Some of you are battling with health problems that will not be solved with a pill. You just need to stop focusing on everything going wrong in the world, and focus on the wonderful blessings that are all around you. You need to really enjoy this moment. Take a deep breath in– and feel the blessing of being alive. You need to take a walk, and relish the strength and flexibility in your legs. You need to lift your hands up to the sky, feel the wind against your face and enjoy the beauty of the day.
Some of you need to hear that you are a wonderful, valuable gift to the world. Stop brushing off my words. Stop coming up with excuses as to why that’s not true. Stop telling yourself, “well if you only knew me you wouldn’t say that”. Some of you refuse to receive my words because you keep thinking that you have some things to fix before you can accept that you’re wonderful. Nope! You’re wonderful and valuable right now.
God says you’re his treasure. And He knows ALL of your flaws!
Some of you (probably all of us) need to go look in the mirror right now. Look at yourself. Remove your clothes. Stop avoiding the mirror. Really look at yourself and say, “You’re beautiful” “You’re God’s masterpiece.” “You’re not perfect, but you’re still amazing” Look at that part that you try to hide from others and say, “Yes I’m beautiful. Even with this round tummy, or my wide hips or freckles or stretch marks or you fill in the blank” Focus on your beauty, and feel beautiful. Stop looking at your tummy or hips or stretch marks, rolls of fat, wrinkles or sagging breasts and wishing you could fix it.
Honestly, I’m still working on this myself. So I join you in praying that we will see ourselves as God sees us. He completely loves and accepts us as we are TODAY! He’s not waiting until you lose 25 pounds before he accepts you. He’s not waiting until you get your house clean to love you. He’s not waiting until you prepare a healthy, homemade meal from scratch. He’s not waiting until you pay off all of your debt to accept you.
He’s waiting for you to accept the love that he longs to lavish on you today–right in the middle of your imperfections. Right in the middle of your mess.
You have the power to choose to focus on the things that are good, wonderful, lovely, honorable, right, pure, admirable, true, kind, gracious, loveable, or just. No matter the circumstance. No matter how frustrating or even wicked, we can find something good to focus on. (It doesn’t mean we ignore the bad. We can acknowledge the bad, deal with the sorrow, but we can do it from a position of hope and not hopelessness. ) We can have joy in the midst of sorrow.
We’ll be talking about these topics and many others in my Online group mentoring program. I’d love to have you join us.
Share in the comments below something that you’ve experienced today that is good or wonderful or lovely or honorable or right or pure or admirable or true or kind or gracious or just. Let’s make this world a more joyful place!
Tonight, before you go to bed, write down at least 5 good things you experienced. I think you’ll sleep a lot better!