We live in a mixed-up, crazy world. No matter when you access this blog post, you're sure to agree with me that things are WEIRD. I just came from Germany, and though the weirdness is much more amplified here than it was there, contrary to popular belief.
What's taking place externally threatens to affect us internally, as well. I was telling my community this morning that I have found myself more permissive, if not tolerant, of speaking extremely negatively toward myself and my surroundings. In the past (I'm exercising conscious language here), I used to wake up and think about my ankles creaking, and then fast forward to the most untimely things possible. Like, horrid things about myself that I don't even want to type. I have been working SO hard to replace those evil thoughts of demise with "what is good, noble, praiseworthy, lovely" (Philippians 4:6-7). It does take time because I also am reminded of all the times I've thought similar thoughts in the past. I am working to "throw off every sin that so easily entangles" (Hebrews 12:1) so that I can run with perseverance the race that is set before me.
The fact is that Jesus has come to "give life, and give it to the full," (John 10:10), and to "overcome death by death" (Paschal hymn), and it is my job to live in that resurrection reality. As we live in the church age as the church triumphant, it is my job to keep living now.
It is said that after Lazarus rose from the grave, he was so disenchanted with being back in this world after seeing the next world, that he never smiled again (Prologue). I think a lot of Christians live like that now, but the difference is we haven't yet been to Heaven to see what we are missing. However, am I the only one that sees a problem with living in grief and sadness, to mourn what has not yet happened yet? Am I the only one who is saddened by Lazarus's response to his being raised from the dead? I remember being so sad for Lazarus that he had to leave heaven to come back to the world!
At the same time, I am here NOW. This is where God has placed me, and I feel very strongly that the joy of the LORD will be my strength. So I endeavor to live in His grace and truth, and to believe that "the best is yet to come." (Frank Sinatra) I endeavor to live in the hope of the resurrection. I love the reminder in my church that as the church militant we are worshipping with the church triumphant, as a reminder of what is coming. While we are here, let me practice living in LIFE on this earth, and not in the dark cloud of the opposite.
What kinds of things do you do to keep yourself centered, positive, strengthened, and optimistic of all God has for you going forward? What books and/or scripture verses help encourage you to stay focused on good things, and what lies for you in the future?