Have you ever noticed, when you’re buying a new car, how many of those exact models you see everywhere you go? You wonder when that car got to be so popular. It must be a new thing, we reason, or else we would have noticed them before. When you are picking out names for your soon-to-arrive baby, all of a sudden you will hear numerous mothers calling out to their toddlers, who all seem to have been given the exact “unique” name you wanted for your child. We are constantly surrounded by things that we don’t notice, but once we start paying attention, we’re amazed by what we find.
I’ve noticed the same thing in everyday life. When I’m mad at my husband, or frustrated with a client, or late paying my bills, it’s easy to let those events color everything else that happens all day. When this happens, my thoughts are on the injustice of what someone said, or the blatant way someone is spending money I don’t have to spend, or the fact that my husband still hasn’t responded to a question I posed him two hours earlier. I will not allow myself to enjoy anything else because I’m consumed by my anger, and the day is ruined (for me and for everyone nearby).
Or I can let go and look for the good. I can remind myself to notice how much I’ve been blessed by the other projects a client has sent, or be thankful that my friend’s finances are in good shape right now, or realize how lucky I am to have a husband who will pick up the kids from all their activities and not complain. Both sides are always there; it all depends on what I’m looking for.
A friend once told me that Satan continually shoots arrows at us, flaming arrows of greed and hatred and hypocrisy and sinful thoughts. She found that for a while, she was reaching up and grabbing hold of those arrows, gnawing on them, letting those thoughts fester and torment her mind. She wasn’t able to forget the trial she was in; it was always right there. But one day she realized she didn’t have to reach up and grab hold of those darts. The enemy could shoot all the darts at her that he wanted, because she was going to let them go on past. She wouldn’t catch them, she wouldn’t gnaw on them, she wouldn’t listen. She wasn’t going to take his bait any longer. I’m with her. I’m going to choose what thoughts I hold onto. And, rather than hold on to the darts, I’ll enjoy the show as I let the fireworks go right on by.