Reflecting On Blessings Rather Than Anxiety
One Fall a few years ago my stomach was bothering me to the point where I was fearful there was something very wrong with me. My doctor ordered tests. He stated if they came back negative, he would order more tests.
During the waiting period my body felt like lead. My anxiety over the test results totally consumed my mind.
The more I stewed about it, the more I prayed for God's mercy. Then one word came to mind: FUNCTION.
I began to concentrate on activity. After cleaning the house I noticed I felt better both mentally and physically. God's love in my heart was showing me that action absorbs anxiety. With His love manifesting Himself through me, I could change my focus. He is always at work no matter how bad I feel or how negative events may appear.
Then my husband, Dave, took me for a ride to his archery club, a wooded area where he could shoot at targets. I took with me a tablet and pen. I wrote down everything I saw. I centralized my thoughts on God's creation.
Later I read the list to Dave: pine cones, flat rocks, moss, red berries, shining spider web, chipmunk, stump, blue jay feather, Queen Anne's Lace, small white daisies, goldenrod, acorns, buttercups, white dandelions gone to seed, long tree roots, a dry creek, shade, sun, cattails, purple flowers among clover, and, of course, numerous trees.
That day remains in my memory as one of the nicest blessings I have ever experienced. As I reflected on the beauty of nature, SEEING what I would normally MISS, I knew God was in control. I had, for a time, forgotten who I was. During those moments I benefited from concentrating on the free things God has provided for our enjoyment rather than on worry and anxiety.
As it turned out, I did not need additional tests, and my stomach troubles were taken care of with medication.
As a result of that event, I have made a commitment to be more aware of the beauty around me.
During a three day stay at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, I recorded the following in my journal while sitting on a balcony overlooking the ocean:
"I was up 4:45 a.m. There is a crescent moon with one bright star under it, reflecting on the ocean. Also a galaxy of stars and the Little Dipper. As daylight begins, I see the silhouette of a fisherman below, casting his line into the ocean. I sense his relaxation and his spirit of calmness-from here. As the sunrise begins, Dave joins me with his coffee. By 8:15 a.m. the sun is high, bright, hot, and the beach is peppered with people walking, jogging, enjoying life. Thank you, God, for the sights and the sounds of the waves, the beauty, the mellowness, the calmness, the unhurriedness."
What about our remaining four senses?
What tastes better than a hot dog at the county fair or a piece of apple pie on a Fall day?
What feels better than holding hands with someone you love or a sudden cool breeze on a sultry hot day?
What smells better than a chocolate cake baking in the oven, clean sheets off a clothesline, phlox on a humid evening, a steak sizzling on the grill, or a scotch pine in one's living room during the Christmas season?
What greater sound is there than church bells on a quiet morning, laughter, or early Spring peepers?
What is even better than all these simple things?
The gift of life to enjoy them and the love of our Creator who provides them for us.
With each year I have become more aware of life. I miss out on greatness if I focus on the unimportant. I've learned how therapeutic it is to focus on love, beauty and simplicity rather than waste time in a stew over something negative.
I would like to suggest to anyone reading this to try an experiment. This is something I have done many times to demonstrate to myself how fruitless it is to mull over nonsense.
The next time you get upset over something, such as an argument, a rude driver, an inconsiderate co-worker, write this on your calendar a week ahead: "Remember how I felt one week ago about ______? How do I feel about it today?"
Most of the time when I've done this I've said, "Oh, that!? I forgot all about it!"
Lesson learned? I wasted precious time agonizing over something that will probably pass by the next day.
Therefore, I believe life is not a day-by-day journey. It is total dependence on God every single second, trusting Him in all circumstances, and being aware of His numerous blessings.
Sincerely, Sparklea :)