Monthly Archives: July 2015

Better Moments

What is it that you want to be in your better moments?

In my better moments I want to be brave. I want to be calm. I want to have deep faith. I want to connect with people I love. I want to be humble. I want to be quiet.

In my worse moments I want security above all else. I want acclaim. I want success. In my worse moments I am fearful. Of everything. In my worse moments I am dishonest. I am impatient. I am uncaring. I’m a lot of other things too.

But this.

This.

Right now.

Is a better moment.

It’s a better moment because I’m not sure if this post will resonate with you or with anyone. But I’m going to post it… because I feel like I should. It’s a little scary, but in my better moments I am brave. In my better moments I do the things I feel like I should, even when I’m not sure others will fully understand. And maybe you know what it feels like to do something you feel like you should do, even if you don’t know why.

Sometimes that’s what a better moment feels like.

I tell you this because I know that from time to time you have better moments too. There is a moment when you want to be more generous, want to work a little harder, want to stay motivated when your boss asks you to work late. You have better moments too. Those moments when you see your best self. The self unblemished, the self untarnished, the self as it might be when sanctified.

You see yourself secured in Christ and the fear of the world falls away.

You see yourself as loved by Christ and the guy in the next cubicle becomes more lovable.

You feel the Spirit move in power and you believe you can do that one crazy thing you’re called to.

Your better moments.

What brings them out? What is the thing that encourages your better moments?

I had drinks this evening with another believer and we dreamed about what the future could hold. I was encouraged by community.

I spent time in the word this morning and was comforted by Romans 8:28. I was encouraged by the Scriptures.

I listened to the podcast of a man I respect on my drive home. I was encouraged by the redeemed story of a broken man.

I held my wife close when she walked in the door. I was encouraged by covenantal love.

What encourages you to have better moments? What are those things? Could you do more of those things today?

Maybe even just for a moment?

Gratitude Problems

When I was growing up, we did math problems. Did you ever practice path problems? (Probably not… I know that’s a really unique experience.)

So we all practiced math problems to get better at addition, subtraction, long division, yadda yadda yadda. Sometimes we would practice with flashcards, sometimes on paper, sometimes out loud with other people. We practiced with counting blocks or those little plastic bears or marshmallows and if we were lucky we’d get to eat the remainders. The point is… we practiced a lot… and in a ton of different ways. Spoiler alert: that practice paid off. To this day, if I ask you what is five multiplied by five is, you’ll likely answer 25 without thinking. It’s automatic. You just know.

We practice and practice and then it becomes second nature. That’s math, and walking, and learning how to work an iPhone…

and that’s how we learn everything (“…and why is this guy spending so much time talking about learning basic math? Get on with it buddy!”)

Right. So here’s the point: Gratitude is the same way.

You can practice gratitude in all situations, but it is a practice. So here’s an exercise to get better at gratitude. Work on a gratitude problem.

A gratitude problem is any situation that causes you discomfort or displeasure. Think of any situation that makes you uncomfortable. Write that down. Now make a list of 10 things you’re grateful for that came about because of, or in response to, that negative situation. You can get 10. From any situation.

Most people stop here (non-believers certainly do.) Don’t stop there.

Finish it the way the scriptures call you to: “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving (gratitude) let your requests be made known to God.”