…spend time appreciating the blessings of life.
This Sunday’s second reading holds one of my favourite pieces of scripture – Phil 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” and I am so grateful that God has shown me the wisdom of this discipline, as it certainly changes my thinking and increases my joy, when I can put it into practice.
I used to rebut that you cannot determine what comes into your head, and to some extent I still believe this. But we can decide how long we will let those thoughts run amuck, rouse our emotions and dominate our thinking. The verses from Philippians remind us to take charge of our thinking and to ensure that we spend time appreciating the blessings in life.
Some of you will remember the Generation Game, with the conveyor belt of goodies passing before the eyes of the contestant, who would receive all that they could later recall. I know that when I allow negativity to dominate my thoughts, I’m like that contestant, but with my head down, not attending to all the good that is passing before me in each day. When I choose to be attentive to all the blessings that are stacked in my day, then my mind and heart cannot help but be affected and lifted.
Does that mean we should stick our heads in the clouds and pretend that there aren’t difficult things to attend to in life? No. But we can usually take charge of how much headspace or air time we give those more negative, tricky, emotionally charging or draining aspects of our lives. It is in the more difficult patches of life that we need to work hard at not allowing all our joy to be stolen, but keep our eyes open to ”whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable.”