I have a pillow on my bed that reads “Life is Beautiful”. I bought it as a reminder to appreciate the life I have and also to consider even the most difficult parts beautiful. This morning as I made my bed after a fitful nights sleep I contemplated the saying and wondered aloud if I have indeed found life to be beautiful.
I came to this conclusion. Life is beautiful but oh so inconvenient. Life is often messy and interferes with whatever idea we may have of how we are to live, where we are to live and who we are to live with. Life can derail the best laid plans of mice and men. Life too can be filled with laughter, song and myriad of beautiful color if we let it.
So how do we live this life and as it interrupts, derails, changes plans or goes as smoothly as silk and butter, continue to believe that “Life is Beautiful”. Pondering this dilemma gave me three things that I think are key to living the beautiful life in spite of the difficulties.
Change your perspective. Sometimes how we look at things determines how we feel about it. How we feel about it is often how we live it out. A change in perspective can help dissipate negative feelings. Sometimes a change in perspective can validate feelings too. Changing the way we see a particular situation can also bring about clarity and strategy that we couldn’t see the other way. Sometimes we need help to see a situation in a different light in order to see what God is doing through it. In that case it is best to choose wise Christian counsel. Some one who will not tell you what you want to hear but what you need to. I often rearrange my bedroom and living room at least twice a year. Not only to clean under and behind everything but also to freshen the view from our self assigned seats in the house. This is often met with grumbles from the crowd about having to maneuver a new landscape when they just memorized the old. However, rarely does this last past the first week of the rearrange then exclaims of I didn’t know I would like it like this, or now I can see the TV better happens. A change in perspective was what was needed.
Attitude is everything. Grumbling only got the Israelites so far. Actually grumbling is exactly the cause of the forty year march through the wilderness for them. Their attitude or lack of a positive attitude about their deliverance from Egypt is what kept them going around and around instead of straight through. Our attitude can determine altitude, outcome and resources. God’s word says there is the power of life and death in the tongue. Meaning we can partner with life and all the things that God does that gives life or we partner with death and all that satan does that brings death. It truly is up to us. It is also harder than it sounds, to be positive in the face of something unholy. I’ve found, though; that every time I am tempted to expound aloud about my misery if I will turn it into a prayer and petition heaven things change. God mostly begins with me and my attitude. But things do change.
In all things give thanks. The word says to enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Gratitude or thankfulness opens the heavens for God to move and brings us into His presence. He says in all things give thanks. Meaning when we are needing something or when we are doing just fine. Thankfulness is an indicator of trusting His faithfulness and sovereignty in our lives. When we have trouble expressing our gratitude toward Him we need to check the faultiness of our view of trust and who he is in our lives. Thankfulness precedes a breakthrough, brings peace to our circumstance and joy to our hearts in spite of what we may be enduring.
Giving thanks, having a better attitude and changing our perspective can have radical and life altering effects on our situation. It may not change the circumstance (but then again it may) but it certainly will deepen our connection to the one who can see us through any state of affairs. We can discover through the process the beautiful parts of the life we live. We can not only see the laughter, the song and the myriad of beautiful color of life but we can face any situation that was not in our original plan and declare that with Christ indeed “Life is Beautiful”.
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