For those of you that started this journey with me on Jan. 1 you know that my project 365 is about a wide variety of things, one of which is reclaiming moments that were once lost to the craziness of being too busy to stop and enjoy the things that matter most. My focus has been on trying to relearn lost arts of conversation, note writing (with actual pen and paper, envelopes and stamps), cooking, game playing (board games that require nothing be plugged in) and over all memory creating (among many other things)! I have been trying to sprinkle these moments throughout each day and it has been both fun and challenging at times. Today has been no exception.
Did you know you can totally ruin a day with 3 words? I was informed of this breaking news today when I uttered “no games today”! If looks could kill……well, they didn’t because I am sharing my lesson learned with you. I try to limit (most days) my kids time on games. I slack sometimes and days like today teach me a valuable lesson.
There is a reason they call this thing I picture above a CONTROLLER! Really though that picture could be of money, food, cars, clothes, wine, chocolate, tv, facebook….you name it. It is something that makes us go nuts (or at least think we will) if it is taken from us. God forbid someone tell us it isn’t good for us, that we are indulging in too much of it, that we are spending too much time on it or money. Heaven help the person that stands between us and “it(controller)”! I mean really, think about it. What is it that you spend the majority of your day doing? What place in your list of most important things to do today does that “controller” hold? What is the one thing you can’t live without (or at least think you can’t)?
Chances are, if you are honest like I had to be today, you will find that this “it” is really consuming and robbing and maybe even has become an idol. (Anything we seek after other than God) Don’t get me wrong, it might be good, profitable even. It might be your job or your meal or your sleeping in or you’re keeping up with friends on Facebook (gulp). Your “controller” may be just fine, in moderation, however, when it becomes something that rules (or ruins) your day when you are deprived of it, when you crave it and try to find ways to make it work and squeeze it in every possible place you can, maybe it is like this controller and really is controlling you.
My son gave me a bunch of reasons my 3 word phrase was so unfair. He made his best argument. Then I realized I have taught him well. I have allowed “controllers” to control me when I really thought I was the one in control. Just like he has to manipulate that thing to play his games, I have manipulated my time, days, meals, moments, all to play this game of life. I have consumed myself with things that are of little value, so much so that the day passes me by and I have lost it. I forget how to hold conversations, write a quick thank you, pick up the phone and actually call someone instead of texting them, do something that actually costs me something (of my time and energy) to bless someone else. I forget how good it feels to interact with others and laugh and share and make a memory. I become desensitized because, like a kid in front of a tv screen with his controller, I isolate myself and life moments pass me by.
I asked God to help me get to the core root of what makes me ME and what causes my struggles to be tests I repeat. He has been faithful to show me things each day. My role is to do something with it. I know we all get busy. I can list a ton of reasons for why I do what I do. God is looking at my heart and my motives and He is prompting me to re write my list and give him my controllers. In turn He promises me abundant life with riches far greater than I can ask or imagine.
The Message (MSG)
8-9Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.