I stood in my kitchen tonight, preparing part of tomorrow’s dinner and listening to some old time bluegrass on the radio (okay, the radio app on my phone). I felt like I should be wearing an apron and sitting down at an old yellow formica table with matching vinyl chairs. I considered how simple life used to be in a time when people had more patience, when they weren’t so easily offended and just as easily angered; a time when respect was common and arguments on social media were not.
It seems we were given a brief space in time the last few months to take ourselves back to a slower pace, back to more family dinners around the table, back to more time outdoors and to a sense of oneness with our neighbors, our family, even the entire world. It truly was just a brief space in time though, as I knew it would be. The oneness has been divided into so many directions that it makes my head spin. The more I considered this the sadder I became; sad for my daughter who is becoming a young adult in a world that doesn’t look anything like the world I grew up in.
But as I gave more thought to this, a verse came to mind…or maybe was given to me by a still small voice.
“Do not be conformed to this world…”
And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be [a]transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]. Romans 12:2
The rest of Romans chapter 12 goes on to say we should be devoted to one another in love, live in harmony and peace with one another and to overcome evil with good. It also encourages us to use the gifts given to each of us. If your gift is to serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
It comes down to your focus, and your thinking and how you feed both. It is so easy to become bogged down by the opinions of others and by the state of our world in general. Fortunately, we have God as our hope and the bible as our guide. And written words that can feed our focus.
Once your heart and mind is aligned with the will of God, not only is it easier to discern right from wrong but it will renew your mind in such a way that the goal is to encourage, not tear down, to live your life as God intended and to have a heart like Jesus. You can attain that “peace that surpasses all understanding” and this world in it’s topsy-turvy state will look like a different place, because ultimately being led and accepting of God’s will for your life not only gives you hope here in your temporary home, but for eternity.
I found so much promise in that tonight.
And as I cleaned up my kitchen, I let the negativity of this world wash down the drain with the dishwater.