I have been thinking more about the stories we tell. What it is that I share about myself or other people? Even more than that, what story am I choosing to live? What is it that drive people to behave and act out the story that they chose to live? With every action, and every conversation there is more lurking in the background. It is the operating system in my heart and mind that drive my outward behaviors. This morning I was reading about the speculations that some psychologists have about why a seemingly mild mannered young man violently ambushed and killed a police officer who was peacefully walking her beat in a neighboring city. What was lurking in that young man’s heart and mind to plan out and execute such an act?
Happy New Year! I am hoping that each of these posts help you continue to grow in relationship and love with God and others!
WHAT DO YOU SEE?
When my son and his wife served as missionaries in Madrid, Spain they partnered with Campus Crusade for Christ (now, CRU) to reach out to international students at the University of Madrid. They set up tables out in the common area where students would gather for conversation, study and rest. The sign read, “¿Qué Vas?” Basically, “What do you See?” The table was scattered with 6X6 black and white photos of people, places and things. There were close-ups and panoramas. Some photos were close-up images of larger things - -extreme close-ups like the hair on grasshopper legs, or patterns of the human eye inside the iris, the veins of a flower pedal or the textures of a fish scale. Other pictures were far off vistas like the earth from space or the view from a 12,000 foot mountain peak over a sea of tumultuous clouds.
The students would then write or talk about what they saw in the photos they chose. A conversation began and those who were interested could continue the conversation and explore things of life, things of faith or make a new friend.
It is 14 days until Christmas. It’s the second week in Advent and the 8th Day of Hanukkah. December 10th 2018. Are you ready? Did I just raise your anxiety level by 110%? Are you feeling “stress” about all the things left to do? What thoughts and visions are going through your mind today? I am pretty sure they are not visions of sugar plums! Whatever is going on in your mind right now, and whatever circumstance you are in, I assure you that you can decide what you will think about it.
“But you don’t know my situation!”, you may proclaim. “You have no idea the test results I just got”, you lament. “You can’t imagine what my family is like!” you shout. Ah, this is true. I do not know any of that. And I do know that some situations are easier to navigate than others. Who can bear the loss of a child, the loss of a home, the endurance of physical abuse, the terror of no work in sight? Some of life’s journey may seem too much to bear. But take heart, the good news is that we are not the victim of our situations, or stations in life. We were created with great resiliency to reframe, reformate and take captive every thought to face every situation with courage and hope.
My daughter-in-law and I just returned from Dr. Caroline Leaf’s annual conference about thinking and the brain. Did you know that your mind can change your brain?