II Peter 1:5-8: “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Have you ever noticed that on certain days nothing seems to go right? It’s a downward spiral from the time your feet first hit the floor until you fall back into bed sixteen hours later. You hit the snooze one too many times and missed your morning workout as well as time for your devotions. You spilled breakfast on your outfit, so you had to go back and change, which caused you to be late not only for morning drop off at school but also for your meeting at work. The kids were extra crabby in the car, getting into an all-out brawl in the backseat which distracted you from driving and you ended up getting a ticket. Work was full of impossible clients, impending deadlines, and your boss seemed to wake up on the wrong side of the bed because no conversation between you two had a happy ending. You burned dinner, your husband was late, and you were stuck dealing with homework and the bedtime routine alone. All you wanted was a few minutes to put your feet up, grab the half gallon of ice cream, and watch your favorite series on TV.
I’m reading a great devotional right now, Unglued, by Lysa Terkeurst. In it, she makes the statement, “what a woman thinks is often how she lives.” She talks about the science behind the thalamus and the hypothalamus and how when we think fearful thoughts, our body reacts with a fight/flight response and when we think peaceful thoughts, our body responds with clearer thinking and a more level head. One more reason why I believe God is so amazing. He made our physical bodies to respond to our emotional state. (Also another reason why God tells us repeatedly in the Bible not to worry, to give our worries over to Him, and to not be anxious about anything. He wants our bodies to live in a levelheaded state of mind instead of the fight/flight mode all the time.)
We are always going to have days like the above described. We cannot control our environment. We can only control our response to our environment. We cannot control our family, friends, job situation, and to a degree, even our health or financial stability. We have choices we can make, but ultimate control is not ours. We can only control our response when curveballs are thrown.
I find for myself, when I focus on living the way God shows me in His Word to live, the curveballs don’t affect me as deeply. They still sting, but they don’t leave as big a mark as they would if I hadn’t prepared myself ahead of time. When I’m soaking myself in the way God instructs us to live, I’m much more prepared for the craziness of curveballs. I’m quicker to have peace and my body’s emotions stay much more balanced. When I neglect my relationship with God, I’m more easily flustered and things go from bad to worse much, much quicker.
I challenge you this morning. What thoughts are you going to fill your mind with today? Those will ultimately be the emotions that will flow out…and might help determine if life’s craziness is ultimately laughed off or you feel like selling everything and living alone on a remote island.