Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Be Mindful: Peace VS Chaos



Have you ever found yourself wanting to reply to something that a person posted on social media that you disagree with? I'm guessing that most of you have, seeing that everything on social media now has to do with politics, laws, rights, and other current divides that are waving over our country. Or maybe you've gotten in an argument with someone and you come across a post that is seemingly directed towards you, or maybe someone called you a name, or maybe they are spreading lies and slander. Or maybe someone in your life is just trying to rattle your cage and see if you'll snap. These are all things that we have to deal with on a daily and we can all admit that it's tempting to want to react and seek revenge. And it's in these moments that I've realized two very important things: Mindfulness & God. or Better yet, Mindfulness OF God. 

Last week, I got in a discussion with a close friend of mine about cutting out toxic forces (friendships/relationships/social media), the importance of distancing oneself for personal betterment, and how we can improve ourselves by just not feeding the drama and negative energies that circle us. Yes, I said the word "Feeding," but heres why: after this conversation I began to really think of how lately, it seems as if social media is the worst offender of toxic energies. Which is why I find myself pulling back and giving less to my social media life. It's become exhausting. And then when it comes to real-life social situations, I find myself being an introvert and giving less to a social life. I can never become FULL in Peace if I'm FEEDING the Chaos. Read that again:

I Can never become full in peace, if I'm feeding the chaos. 


Which leaves us with a few things to think about: 
1. Feeding the Chaos.
2. Mind your Business. 
3. Be Devoted.

Let's break this down real quick:

We have the power and freedom to choose what we will feed. Think about when Paul was sent to the churches in Galatia. He was truly amazed at how lost and confused the galatians were. They were more into feeding of the flesh than abiding the law of Christ. Paul asked  them "You Foolish Galatians. Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as Crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works for the law, or by believing what you have heard?" The Galatians fell hungry and Paul saw that. They fed into the chaos and the stories they had heard because it was easy. And Paul became worried about them. They were not full in peace because they didn't live by the spirit. A spirit that that shows compassion, kindness, what is true, what is pure, love, positivity, a humble nature. My favorite part of Galatians is this amazing reminder:

"You, My brothers and sisters, were called to be Free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other."

So my question for you is this: Would you rather be FULL in Peace or  Left HUNGRY in the Chaos? Would you rather have that peace of mind when you stop worrying about someone else who does nothing for you, rather than focusing on whats good in your life? I don't know about you, but I'd rather live a life that is Full of Peace and that of Godly things. 

So how can we do that?
The simple thing for me to say is: Focus on Your Own -ish. Which is exactly what I'm going to say. Drama on Social Media and Negative People are always going to suck you in, or try at least. And it's easy to get pulled in. Trust me, Lord do I know how easy it is to want to snap back with hashtags and emojis. But here's the deal, we weren't created to live a life in parallel to another. We weren't made to live a life in the way that will make someone else comfortable or to their standards. If someone has something to say about you, let them. If they want to feed the chaos, let them.  Why should we become devoured by someone else's hunger?  -- and all the while thinking of this I was reminded of a verse from 1 Thessalonians that says this:

"...Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody." 

We are urged to lead a quiet life, we are literally handed this opportunity by God. and yet, it's easy to turn away from his plate. It's easier to want to feed elsewhere because we believe we can become full out of some other enjoyment and satisfaction, of becoming the devourer than that whom was devoured. But if you ask me, it's a lose/lose situation if you have that mind set and you've gained nothing. You are left hungry and unsatisfied. 

...You should mind your own business and work with your hands...
Have you ever really thought about what it means to mind your own business? If you're more of a musical person, Listen to one of my favorite songs "Biscuits" by Kasey Musgrave. She literally tells you that when you mind your own business aka "Focus on your own -ish" that life will be awesome. Which, who doesn't want a awesome life? We become so consumed and worried about what others are doing and how that are doing it, that we forget to water our own grass. Tragic isn't it? That God hands us some amazing things but we are so focused on that of the flesh; that we become so blind to what could be a blessing. And then we get angry because God stops handing us things. Why do we focus so much on ungodly things? Why do we focus on being "right" instead of "righteous?" Or Peace VS Chaos?

Be Devoted.
I've had to take a step back and really become mindful. And for the longest time I was convinced that I just needed to become more mindful in general terms. But really, I needed to become mindful of God. Aware of his constant presence. So here's where I was stumped. 
Because I was more focused on being RIGHT instead of RIGHTEOUS. I was more focused on getting the final word in instead of listening to the word of God. I wanted to be the alpha and the omega - instead of already submitting to the fact that job was already taken. Revenge. That's all I wanted. And so, I'd think of the most perfect way to tear down my opponent. I'd fire back with the sharpest knife.   I'd get in that heated conversation over basic human rights, who voted for who, etc. and then, 2 minutes later I'd think...Why did I just do that? That's not who I am. I don't fight fire with fire. I'm feeding the chaos, therefore I'm allowing more chaos to enter my life. So Now What?

I remembered Pauls letter to the Romans. 

12:2 "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, be be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing, and perfect will."

and so I thought, But How? There are so many temptations, there's so many opportunities to win, to devour. 

"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be Devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. -- Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in Harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do Not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written, "it is mine to avenge; I will repay." The Lord Says. -- Do not be overcome by Evil, but overcome evil with good." 

I know, that's a big one. It's like one of those horse pills that are hard to swallow. But did you stick with me? I had to go back and read it several times myself because it came flying at me like a swarm of bees. God never tiptoes, that's for sure. But I like his blunt honesty and I feel like we all need it from time to time; to snap us back into the reality of what is true and what is good. Him.

Pauls letter to the Romans makes perfect sense when you really think about it. His words are short and he keeps it simple. Be Mindful of the decisions you are making, Be mindful of what you choose to feed - Peace or Chaos. What you think will manifest and will become. Don't try to get even, Don't search for a opportunity to devour, don't feed the negativity. I love reading the stories of Paul because before he became an apostle, he was lost and spent his days persecuting those who believed in God and the Good. Where did it get him? What did it get him? And when he finally became mindful of his actions, he turned to that of the spirit. He focused on the opportunities that God was handing him and he received an abundant life.

So here is where I leave you...just like we began....
Whenever you find yourself being pulled in by negativity and drama - Be Mindful of your choices. You Can't be Full of Peace if You Feed the Chaos. You cannot lead a quiet life if you are focused on what others are doing/saying. You can't fight evil with evil. You CAN however live a life of abundance by being right where you are, working for yourself and minding your own business. You CAN, however, rise above the negative posts, the hurtful words, and the people making you feel less than. And you can do ANYTHING through Christ that strengthens you; even if that means you log out of your social media accounts for the time being. 


LOVE WITHOUT FEAR, LOVE WITHOUT EXPECTING, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE



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