Monday, September 29, 2014

What Are You Looking For?

I've taken up a new hobby that my brother says is one step closer to dementia.  I've become a bird watcher.  With three bird feeders in the backyard, I've discovered great joy in watching those creatures who "don't plant or harvest or gather the harvest into barns.  Yet (our) heavenly Father feeds them."  At least twice, Jesus used birds to teach the principles of trust and God's provision.                      (Matthew 6:26; 10:29, GWT)

My fascination with birds, spiritual issues, and practical faith has led me to a conclusion.  Sitting at my kitchen table, I've watched hummingbirds dart from flower to flower extracting the sweet nectar that energizes them.  It's a good thing since a hummingbird's wings flap 50 times a second.  

Driving the country roads of Colleton County, I've seen my share of buzzards picking away at roadkill.  They mount themselves on a tree limb or tower and just wait for some poor creature to meet an untimely end.  When that happens, they swoop end to feast on the misfortune.  Yes, I know it's the circle of life, but don't miss my point.  

Let's think attitude!  In life, most of us find what we're looking for.  If we're looking for good, we find good.  If we're looking for beauty, we find beauty.  If we're looking for bad, we find bad.  If we're looking for ugly, that's what we usually find.  It's a principle that's true in family life, church life, and social life. More often than not, we find what we're looking for.   If we approach our jobs expecting to find boredom, emptiness, and pressure, it will be there.  If we see our jobs as ways to honor God, that's what it will become.  If we expect the demands of marriage and family life to be confining, demeaning, and disenchanting, guess what?  That's what it will become.  But if we see it as liberating, encouraging, and fulfilling, that's what we'll have.  IF we go to church expecting it to be dull, ordinary, and meaningless, it probably will be.  But if we go expecting to encounter the God of the universe, experience joy, and be strengthened for the stresses of the coming week, that's what we'll find.  

Now, this is NOT about the power of positive thinking.  It IS about making a conscious decision to a "good-finder."  It's about being a hummingbird instead of a buzzard.  Paul encouraged the Christians at Colossae that "Everything you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."  Colossians 3:17 also v. 23
He reminded the Christians at Corinth that ". . . whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything to the glory of God."  I Corinthians 10:31  (GWT)

Negativity, pessimism, malcontent, whining, grumbling, gossip, and maliciousness -- all these things dishonor God and dishearten others. Optimism, faith, contentment, kindness, confidence attract and encourage others.  What does your attitude say about your relationship to God?  In your church life, in your family life, on your job . . . are you looking for the right things?  Paul wrote, " Since you were brought back to life in Christ, focus on the things that are above -- where Christ holds the highest position.  Keep your mind on things above, not on worldly things."  Colossians 3:1-2 (GWT)  Things above, things of glory, things that honor God.  What are YOU looking for?

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