While ago, I was doing something that involved reading. I can see better without my glasses when I’m reading so I took them off and laid them on my desk. When I put them back on there was something interfering with my eye. I thought it was hair behind the glasses and kept trying to get my hair out of my way. Nothing was changing, so I took my glasses off and saw a piece of tape on them. (I’m keeping a couple of tiny pieces of sparkly cut glass on this tape. It’s a long story.) The tape was on my desk and it had gotten stuck on my glasses. I immediately thought of something similar that happened years ago.
Once when I was newly married, I was complaining to myself about my husband. Not out loud. Just in my thoughts. But God hears our thoughts. As I was complaining in my head about him being tight-fisted with money (which he’s not!) I sat down on the edge of the bed. At that moment I saw a penny on the floor. When I bent over to pick it up, I bonked my eyeglasses on the nightstand. The first thing I thought was that I needed to get the nightstand out of my own eye before I tried to get a splinter out of my husband’s.(Matthew 7:3-5)
Today, I was complaining in my head, when I took my glasses off… I’ve GOT to learn this lesson!
I started to say “I’m working on a new way of thinking” and had to stop myself. I need to rephrase that. Not sure how right now but this is what is going on. I’ve been looking at everything I do as “WORK.” It doesn’t matter if I’m cleaning inside or doing something in the yard – in my head it’s been WORK. Even art and writing sometimes become things that have to be done. Thinking this way clogs my brain and makes my muse hide out someplace.
I am going to change the way I think about this stuff. If I’m cleaning something, like dusting or mopping, that doesn’t take a lot of brain cells and I am usually thinking about things while I clean. Sometimes I’m composing a blog or a letter in my head, or I’m planning a project and setting more goals. That’s not work – it’s ponder time. If I’m doing something in the yard I’m creating order and beauty. Probably “sweatin’ ‘n swattin’ ” (as our meteorologist says we do here with humidity and mosquitos) but that’s just part of life around here. I want to move thoughtfully through the day and not attack everything like it’s just something that has to be done. It’s exhausting to live this way.
This reminds me of when I read one of Don Aslett’s books, “How to Handle 1,000 Things at Once.” In this book he said he used to have a cleaning business. He had one rule that was practically set in stone. Breaking this rule led to immediate termination of employment with him. If he asked someone what they were doing and they answered by saying they were “trying to” do whatever, they were fired immediately. He said trying implied they thought they might fail and that wasn’t the kind of optimism and confidence he wanted to see. I thought that was pretty rough till I began to listen to what psychologists call our ‘self-talk’. I saw that when I would think to myself that I was “trying” to get something done, it sounded like “I’m trryyyyyyyiiiiinnnnggg to clean this house” or whatever. What a whine! What a revelation of my attitude!
But, I guess it’s really not the words so much in themselves but what they reveal. We do work and we do try and with all our might and high expectations, too. I just want to listen to the way I talk to myself. This all ties in with things I’ve been thinking about concerning God’s Kingdom, hope and His purposes. And here I have to use that word – I’m working on a piece about that. It ties into the caterpillar nursery I had last summer.
And another thing. I’m glad God does His work of sanctifying His people. And He does it with much patience and He doesn’t get tired of us. In fact, He blesses and keeps us, and gives us His peace. Now that’s something neat to think about.