I have a desire to be good. I normally begin my day in and with that thought process. While I am not a perfectionist, I do want things to begin and end well, at least those things that our within my authority to handle or change. I can so relate to my friend Paul who says when he has a desire to do well, everywhere his eyes land and in everything that can be heard, there is temptation. Temptation is normally not unattractive but, in a sense, it is not attractive either. There is a certain amount of focus taken away from those things which are attractive, good and that make sense. And for whatever the reason, at the time, we choose to entertain the very thing that we had hoped to stay away from. I never want to respond to someone in a way that will cause them harm, to feel bad or to do something that they shouldn’t. I am that one who chooses to look the other way in traffic when someone becomes upset for something that I have no control over. I don’t want to fuel fires, and yet there are times in certain situations when I see the FIRE WARNING alerts and, instead rush past them. It sometimes feels as if I don’t choose those moments – or as if someone else is doing the choosing. It is in those moments that I want to consistently think of wise choices and yield to them. I want to get past that test and pass the test with flying colors. If I could choose now, while I have great logic, a clear mind and heart and all is well, for those times when I feel I need that extra boost to choose right, then Yes, sign me up. I want to be right; I want to say the right things; I want to do the right things; I want to be in right standing; I want to say “no” to those things that I should never entertain. Side note: Sometimes the weird thing with temptation is the very thing that is being used for the temptation may be something that I don’t even want, someone I don’t want, a deal that I don’t want to make. And what makes it crazy is that I would somehow begin to think it over, consider it, if you will. I have learned to quickly re-focus my mind because there is nothing good about an idle mind.
There are good days when things just jive and yet there are times when every minute appears to be a battle. How I pray for more of the days where things are all aligned. I seem to get more done and get more out of lessons taught. Wouldn’t it be awesome if one day, we just woke up and everything was good. We hear people say “It’s all good!” quite often, but wouldn’t it just be great if we truly meant it . . . that EVERYTHING really IS good: the news, good hair day, all kids, all adults, parents, all people, gas prices, our bosses, our salary, our attitudes, our lives… EVERYTHING!!! I have been pruning this year. I have had that conversation with myself quite often; knowing that I needed to prune, but not taking the action to do so. I dreaded the process. I mourned the losses. And now… I have been clipping every area: old habits, friendships, associations, even mission work – those things where there have been no growth, no movement, and those things that should never have begun. I’ve been allowing them to fall off, get cut off and reshaped – so that I can grow; so that I am not stagnant or have a crutch or an excuse for not being good (my very best).
But still I have those days when thoughts are strong; when I am constantly re-focusing, when I almost can’t seem to shake the temptation – to pick up offense, to go back to something that is dead, to pick up another temptation to replace the old one. How I wish I didn’t have to have those days. There have been those times when I have given in and given up. I am not perfect. Yes there have been those times when a piece of my mind was given – sometimes asked for and sometimes not. Those are the moments that when conviction is finally accepted, by me – I wish that I could go back to sleep and begin the day fresh. How wonderful it would be to have a “do over”. Do–Overs will come but it is usually not with the same event but instead with the same familiar temptation. There are five people in my life that I have been friends with or should I say, I have been associated with (via work, church, etc.) which I want pruned for good. I’ve known them over the course of the years but I have nothing in common with them, there are things about each that usually at the very moment that I see them, I feel drained, because I realize at some point it will become overwhelming for me. One person is seriously sarcastic about everything. Even in asking general questions – they are asked in the negative instead just asking. (EX. “I need a ride to work, will you take me?” – easy right? But instead what I get is “You know that I don’t have a car, and you are so busy, I guess you wouldn’t be able to take me to work because you always have things to do, huh?”.) I realize that some people (and there are only one or two) who annoy me are in my life because there is something that I must learn. I know that in my pursuit of doing and being good, I will not be able to entertain those things or people who suck the life out of me, who cause burn out. I am grateful that I know the difference, now.
“WHEN YOU’RE GOOD NO ONE REMEMBERS WHEN YOU’RE BAD NO ONE FORGETS”
Today was an awesome day but I almost made the mistake of being in company with one of the five. It is difficult because I am around them a few times a week because of the work that we do, but I try to keep healthy boundaries. I accepted an invitation to lunch which almost ended with temptation. There is always a way out. And I am grateful for breaks – such as a coffee break or break which allows us to walk away and bring distance; breaks that re-focus the mind and heart. Through that distance, clarity came and the day ended up with me writing instead of regretting.
QUIET BY NATURE