At about 3am this past New Year's Eve, we literally swept 2010 out the back door. A broken hose to our washing machine poured two inches of cold water into our family room, and Nicole and I opened the back door, and in rolled up pajama pants and bare feet, we swept the water out into the backyard while Luis tried to vacuum it up with a little wet/dry vac.
There was much to sweep away with all that water. The things that caused us undue stress/pain and major life changes must give way to the peace that passes understanding and joy unspeakable and full of glory.
But it's not a matter of time. It's a matter of changing our minds. How do we perceive the unavoidable circumstances that befall us? And do we react or respond to the each unpleasant situation or person we encounter? I'm of the mindset that we have a choice. Our perceptions and reactions may invade negatively, but it is up to us to take thoughts captive, isn't it? Anger, frustration, fear, stress, depression,(situational, not clinical)and an overall "emo" state of mind can give way to joy, light-heartedness, and peace depending on our choice to overcome the negativity.
Just an example...several years ago, my husband, two daughters and I were on a road trip to another state when we were in an accident in which our car flipped completely over and landed on the wheels in a wooded area off the road. Thankfully, we sustained no more than minor bumps and wounds. However, as life took its course, we had to get back into a car and drive soon after. Fear was gripping. Every time I took the wheel, I would battle the fear of another accident. However, I refused to give in to the fear. Within days after acquiring a new car, I was driving to work, church, or wherever else I had to travel. Each day was a fresh battle against fear, especially when there was any kind of precipitation. But fear would lose. I kept reminding myself that if God kept us the way He did, I knew His angels surrounded and kept me in all my ways, and I had nothing to fear. As months passed, fear attempted to keep its grip, but I would never allow it to win! Driving is no issue for me these days, and I spend many hours listening to worship music and having wonderful times with friends and family on the road!
Are there things we have forgotten to sweep out the back door? Have we chosen to carry things into 2011 that should have been left behind with the old year? Let's check our hearts for things like unforgiveness, fear, anxiety, frustration, stress, depression (situational, not clinical)focusing on the past instead of the present: anger, bitterness, offenses, resentments...
Let's resolve to leave all these behind and chose to do this one thing that will benefit us greatly in the upcoming year:
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8
I hope for each of you that 2011 is the year for dreams to come to pass, and blessings abundant for you. Choose to go in joyful and full of vision!