It can be hard to let things just be easy and good - there is always something to stress about if we want to. For instance, we know that western Montana is a great place to be in the summer because of the nice weather and sunshine, but also because of the hordes of tourists that make crossing highway 93 nearly impossible. We can relish in the sunshine, or grumble that it makes traffic around here nearly impassable. The choice is ours. We can cherish how the air is getting warm and sunny, or get paranoid about the forest fires that will very possibly be around the corner because of our sunny skies. With the good comes the bad and we can get stuck focusing on the bad instead of the good.
Sometimes it is kind of odd how we get stuck dwelling on the bad. You may receive twenty compliments about a job well done, but the only one you really remember is the person who criticized the work you did. You might be respected by most all of your colleagues and friends, but the one person who antagonizes you is the only person you dwell on. You might have countless holiday celebrations as a family that are blessed and wonderful, but the only one anybody talks about is when everything broke down into a heated argument. While there are many good things to focus and dwell on, it is easy to get stuck paying attention only to the bad.
Yet, for all that we might want to focus on things that can bring us down, God desires for us to dwell on what truly matters. One of my favorite Bible verses is Psalm 46:10 in which the Lord commands through the Psalmist, “Be still and know that I am God.” What a simple but profound command – be still and rest in the knowledge that God is God. Do not be anxious about the people who make you feel bad, the ways that you feel you do not add up, or the circumstances that make you feel miserable. Instead, be still.
In the stillness, remember that God is God and has it all under control. And, in the stillness, focus on the things that really matter… (while enjoying the sunshine!).