Simple beauty. God created the first garden and He keeps on doing it. Think of ALL the beauty He created for us to enjoy! Let's be thankful for that. : )
It's been a rather unusual week. So many different things went on this week that it's been hard to keep my mind on any one thing that sticks out above the rest. So much so that even in my morning prayer time my mind would wander to a certain situation, a certain person, the past. I don't like it when that happens because it causes unrest. It can cause discontent. It can cause me to overthink and over analyze. The only silver lining to it is that when that situation or person or a past issue arises, I can remember that I'm in the presence of God and be reminded to give it all to Him.
C.S. Lewis said "Prayer doesn't change God, it changes me." It's hard though, isn't it? Because when we get up from our knees the situation didn't go away, the difficult person is still there, and the past (which is past but we keep bringing it up), is still painful. But there CAN be peace in the midst of it all - and only God can do that. When it comes down to it, God is the ONLY ONE who can do anything about everything! And I have to admit, I pretty much bring everything and everyone to Him! Through this, I've seen where God has changed me. Understanding, sympathy, empathy, are just a few characteristics that He has put into my heart. Like I said last week, the tears flow a little more freely now than they did when I first became a Christian.
There are two old television programs I watched in the past couple of weeks that used the phrase "do unto others." I thought that was interesting. And they both used it in a humorous way. One was on the Andy Griffith show when he was trying to tell little Opie about what this phrase means. And Opie (in his very cute way but telling his "pa" that someone took advantage of him so he's passing it along) "Jerry did it unto me, now I'm doing it unto Jerry." The second time this was used was in Little House on the Prairie where "ma" was reminding Laura to "do unto others" and Laura said "If I have to do it unto Nellie, why doesn't she have to do it unto me?" Humorous, but we tend to think that way.
It's SO frustrating to "do unto others" and they take advantage of us. Or they hurt us. But the second part of that phrase is "as you would like others to do unto you." What does that look like to you? What do you want from others? When we think about that question and answer it, those are the things we should do for them. Do you want someone to call? Call them. Do you want to receive something in the mail? Send them something. Do you want to be included? Include them. And the list goes on................... It's not easy because we tend to be selfish and self-centered people. We want things from others, but we don't exactly want to extend the same courtesy.
Yesterday while out and about for a little shopping, it's amazing how people respond if you're the one to "do unto others." Open the door for someone. Be the first to say "hello." Be the first to say "have a good day." You be the one to smile at them. Say "please", "thank you", "excuse me." We did not encounter one person who did not respond to these simple, but effective ways of just being nice. You never know whose life just got a little bit brighter because you took the time to do something without expecting anything in return.
Let us, today and throughout the week, do what Jesus did. He took the yoke of perfection off people that we tend to put upon them. You never know, that through your kindness and attention, how someone else will want to pass it along as well. There was a sign in a magazine I was looking at that read "May someone, who doesn't know God, come to know Him because they know you." As Christians, we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus - and, seriously, it doesn't take much nowadays to have a positive effect on someone. If, by just saying "have a good day" makes someone who wasn't smiling a moment ago smile now it would have been worth it. It's such an impersonal and angry world that we need to do this. People are yearning for someone to care about them. Let's try to show them Jesus.