I’m guilty of being a people watcher and have often wished I hadn’t prayed for eyes to see. There are just some things I’d rather not see as I sit and observe folks unawares. Oftentimes I get a good chuckle at the child who is being willful and not wanting to listen. A child who has learned that they have likes and dislikes and choose to, in that moment, be a booger while a frustrated mom or dad pleads or reasons with them. At times there’s a bribe involved and I can’t help but say, to myself of course, that someone needs a spanking and mom or dad need a backbone. There are other times when I see playful couples frolicking around as if they are the only two people existing in that moment. Yet, other times I see couples barely speaking to one another and looking as if they’d much rather be somewhere else. My heart gets sad and I wonder what brought on their sour puss faces. What tactics they used to deal with whatever has them so melancholy.
A number of times I’ve asked God why I see the brokenness and badges of hopelessness people willingly wear. He gently reminds me that to be used wholly by Him, I have to see the good and bad elements of life in order to be that beacon of light in this occasionally dark world. It’s in those times of people watching that I see the ones who are truly happy and enjoying life. Others who are just going through the motions of living and begrudgingly existing. And still others who are just flat out miserable. I ask God to remind them of the gift they’ve been given with the life they have and the manner in which they have chosen to live it. That the free will they’ve been given affords them a choice in how to live out the screenplay of their life.
Sometimes we have to step away from people, situations and circumstances before we say or do something we may later regret. Often, I lock myself in my bedroom just to take a woo sah moment; deep breathing and exhalations. Life happens at warp speed and if we’re not careful, it can suck us up into its whirlwind. Frustration becomes a fixture in the day to day living of life, and we regularly forget what is most important to us. When things get out of whack, we should get to a quiet place, reflect on where we are, where we want to go and the things that need to happen if we want to effect a much needed change to bring peace and balance to our vortex of a life.
If we weren’t so busy trying to be and do this or that, we could hear God’s prodding to shake off the old view we have of life, and see things through a new lens. However, living brand new requires a heart check. Some days when I’m just in a blah kind of mood, I ask God “to create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me (Psalm 51:10). Believers are reminded that when they come to Christ they are a new creation and the old person is gone (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Sadly, many Christians carry the weight of their old life with them into their new life with Christ. Coming to Christ means we are given a new lease on life and an opportunity to live and exist differently. The writer of Ephesians reminds us of how life was before being saved. He says that we were dead because of choosing a life of sin (Ephesians 2: 1-10). He continues by telling us how much God loves us and by His grace and mercy we are given a new life because of whom we belong to. So, then, why walk around with the sour puss face because of carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? Especially since God has directed us to leave the worries and cares of this world at His feet (1 Peter 5:7).
Furthermore, I wonder how many of those people I watch are believers and whether or not they know, really know, what it’s like to be free from the weight and burdens of this world and what a brand new life in Christ actually means. Whether or not they know that God feels their pain and wants them to know that, in their new life, they should lift their heads high and think about “the realities of heaven (Colossians 3:1).” That by choosing to focus on Him and having an honest relationship with Him will forever change the way in which they are living life. That by casting every care on the LORD (Hebrews 12:1) He lightens our load and makes life more enjoyable because of viewing it through differently. Being brand new in Christ means we think more positively, behave more exuberantly, don’t sweat the small stuff and have pep in our step. Gone are the melancholy days of old that drained us of joy and happiness.
Some days I need to be reminded of just how far I’ve come and how, despite having a brand new life, things won’t always be easy. The difference is the way in which I approach and address things as they come, and being ever so mindful of Christ while conducting my business in a manner He would approve of. Being a newbie means spending quality time developing a relationship with God. Being prayerful about EVERYTHING, even those thoughts you wouldn’t share with anyone; NEWS FLASH: He already knows what you’re thinking anyway. As a newbie, take that extra minute to ask God for His guidance and wisdom in every situation and circumstance. That extra minute can lead to the very thing needed at that moment and as God intended, or a consequence because of slipping back into the old way of handling things.