Find your place
I’ve received mail at around 30 addresses in six different states but “home” for me will always be out here where my mind gets right. Some of the most impactful church services I’ve attended took place at sunrise on the water with a choir that perches in the trees and a message of grace and new beginnings that never gets old, never becomes irrelevant. This book I read every morning talks about peace that transcends understanding which I find when I am still and quiet on or near the water.
Every morning I get up early to spend time being attentive to that source of peace which tells me to focus on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. I am learning to be the gatekeeper of my thoughts and to only let in what is good, to flush out the junk (the worry and fear) that constantly tries to take up residence in my head. The sun coming up on the water takes me back to time on the water with my earthly father receiving guidance for all the trials of this life. None of those bits of coaching have served me better than the ones about focusing on the good stuff.
I’m especially attentive to the focus on the good stuff right now because I am eyeball deep in a difficult season that has my mind extra “busy”. I’m sixteen months into recovery from a car wreck last year while working in Florida. Surgery and all kinds of rehab has done very little to get my back repaired causing uncertainty about the future of my career. This is not my first difficult season, but it has been a tough one. Encouraging others by sharing insight I’m learning about getting my mind right during the difficult seasons inspires me, so I wanted to share some this morning.
If you’ve never established a place where you can be still and quiet and get your mind right, I hope you will give it a try. Call it your prayer closet or your “Happy Place” or your “Whisper Spot” as Mark Batterson calls it. Call it whatever you want to call it but find it and put it to use! This morning I got up early to do church before church like I do every Sunday. My back was hurting and anxiety about the loss of income during this experience was weighing on me heavy, so my mind was drifting toward fear and worry. Once I got in my spot and began to chase out the noise in my head (crashing the chatterbox as Steven Furtick puts it) my focus shifted from anxiety to gratitude and peace…
I noticed the US flag in the yard and was reminded that my son is serving our country, preparing to deploy. I noticed my neighbor who was also injured on the job but much worse than me with much more severe implications. I heard the choir in the trees which made me think of my favorite Bob Marley song “Three Little Birds” and its message that “every little thing is gonna be alright”. I watched the sun rise and could hear “if creation sings your praises so will I” being sung just as clearly as I still hear my dad’s words of encouragement when I get out on the water and am still and quiet.