He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:3a

Monday, April 11, 2016

From Grape To Raisin

            “It’s funny,” my friend said one day.  “I feel like a grape that has become a raisin!”

            “What?” I asked, clearly confused.

            “Well, I remember when I was in high school, I had big dreams.  I was cheerleader, part of student government and seemed to have everything going for me.  Then I graduated, married, had kids and my life is anything but what I dreamed it could be.  I feel like I have shrunk and shriveled from the person I once was, to become dry and wrinkled, rejected and worthless.”

            “That’s horrible!”  I replied.

            “It is what it is,” she said dejectedly.

            “I have allowed life to control me, rather than me controlling my life.  I’ve let life events shape the person I have become.”

            “But that’s true of everyone to some degree,” I countered.  “It’s how you respond to events that determines the person you will become.” 

            “That’s just it,” she said.  “I didn’t respond positively or aggressively enough when things were going sour, and I ended up being the “curdled milk!”

            As I thought about the conversation later, although amused at her analogy, I had to admit we probably all make choices and respond in ways we wish we hadn’t to life circumstances.  And it seems once we begin that kind of cycle it’s very difficult to get out of it.

            We are a people designed to make choices.  As believers we have God’s Word to rely on when we have questions.  As we search His Word, talk to other believers, have prayer time and trust in Him for guidance, we will see answers to questions that sometime seem impossible to answer.
           
            Sometimes we get so focused on ourselves we end up blinding ourselves to ways to make life brighter for someone else.  When we think of others, it will draw us out of the “it’s about me,” mentality.  Face it; we probably all want more of what life has to offer.  We want more money, freedom, time, love, happiness, wisdom and a whole long list of other “wants” if we’re honest!

            Instead of asking “Why me?” try asking," Lord, what can I do to make my life better? What can I do to make someone else’s life better?  How can I use my gift(s) to honor You (God)?"  Am I being the best I can be and allowing God to control my life?

            What I’m suggesting is turn your thought process around so instead of being the grape turning into the raisin, you are the raisin finding ways to fill the skin full of juices to round out your life!  While this may sound like another absurd analogy, isn’t this what we really want to see in our individual lives?  We want good things to happen to us.  That doesn’t always happen if our minds are not open to receiving it.

            When we give our mind the gift of positive, directional thinking, we’ve given ourselves a gift of unbelievable possibilities!  So I challenge you to reflect on how you think.  Are you living with a “defeatist” attitude and blocking yourself to good possibilities?  Are you willing, with God’s help, to turn your thoughts into ammunition to fight negativity and move forward to be where you want to be?