Have You Made Up Your Mind?

I bury the sautéed spinach in the scrambled eggs—my attempt to disguise a healthy vegetable. My 20-month-old grandson isn’t fooled. He pulls out a slimy green leaf and tosses it aside.

I try a different method. 

“Grandma loves eggs. Can I have some?”

I pretend to eat some of his spinach omelet. Then I lift the spoon to his lips. He shakes his head, lips pressed together. 

Critter made up his mind. He knows what he likes (scrambled eggs) and what he presumes he doesn’t like (spinach). Today, I’m powerless to convince him otherwise.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Which got me to thinking—

Is there something I dislike or don’t want to do simply because I’ve made up my mind to do so?

If so, have I made up my mind based on my research and personal experience? Or, do my emotions and preconceived notions govern my decision?

For instance, I’ve made up my mind that I’ll never sky dive. There’s nothing anyone can say that will persuade me to jump from a plane. But, I’ve also made up my mind in areas that are less daring.

That person I avoid at work because . . . I know I won’t like her even though I never took the time to get acquainted.

That new hair salon that I won’t go to because . . . I’m a creature of habit.

Tofu because . . . who eats that stuff? Just Kidding!

Maybe that thing we think we’d dislike is an activity or event: participating in a fundraiser, attending a marriage retreat, joining a gym. Heaven help us if we try something new. Something that might benefit us—like spinach.

I met a young mom named Claire who felt isolated and struggled with depression. She said, “I’m stuck at home with a demanding toddler and a husband who works long hours. My closest friend moved away.”

“Have you thought of getting plugged into a church?” I asked. “Or joining a women’s Bible study. You could meet other like-minded moms.” 

I told Claire that having women friends and developing a deeper relationship with God preserved my sanity at her age. It still does.

She shook her head. “No thanks.”

Claire had made up her mind that church fellowship and Bible study weren’t the answers. In her mind, how could she make friends or study her Bible when she didn’t have the mental or emotional energy? How could she make time for God and pray when she had no time for herself?

I empathize with Claire. But I recognize that her fatigue and volatile emotions govern her mind right now. Unless her need for positive change outweighs her complacency for status quo, I doubt I’ll change her mind.

What say you?

Can you think of someone or something that might be good for you, but you’ve made up your mind that’s not happening?

Have you ever questioned why you think the way you do? And then asked, “Is this true?”

What keeps you from changing your mind?

Is There Any Excuse?

Being ill with the crud is like having an uninvited houseguest who refuses to leave—quite the pain. For over a week, I’ve lived as a couch potato. My allies are a box of tissues, hot tea, Vics cough drops, and my Downton Abbey DVDs.

I try reading my Bible, but my foggy brain doesn’t comprehend much. And my nasal, hoarse prayers seem to fall flat. Thank God for His grace that covers everything—even my congested head. I wasn’t always so merciful towards myself.

Years ago, whenever I’d get derailed from seeking the Lord due to life’s circumstances, or spiritual sloth, I’d wallow in guilt or justify myself with pithy excuses.

What I failed to see was that my frothy view of God kept me from pursuing Him for the sheer joy of being with Him. Still, I kept waiting for that perfect season when life would be perfect or slow down so I could spend quality time with my Lord. 

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Then I met Loretta who told me, “To the degree we want God, we’ll seek Him.”

Her words banished my excuses.  I asked myself, “To what degree am I seeking God with all my heart, soul, and mind? Either my relationship with Him is a priority…or not.”

Granted there are times of illness and grief when we can barely lift our heads. God meets us there and His grace is sufficient. But making time for the Lord is a necessary discipline if we’re to fully experience God’s presence and hear His voice.

If we’re not intentional about our relationship with the Lord, it isn’t going to magically happen.

We make time for the things we truly want to do.

I learned that truth when I homeschooled my children. I knew the value of consistent exercise to stay healthy, but I complained I didn’t have time. If only I was a woman of leisure…

And then my husband’s job took us to London for two months and our family lived in a hotel with maid service. Other than caring for my children and having fun, there were no other demands. The hotel had a free gym and I was free to exercise. Excuse me, but I never saw the inside of that gym.

We make time for things we want to do which includes seeking God.

Is the Lord someone we love and long to know? Or a nodding acquaintance we meet on Sunday mornings? Perhaps we only call on Him when we’re in trouble like a 9-1-1 emergency call.

Remember, to the degree we want God we’ll seek Him even in this….

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Photo: www.JennyWredePhotography.com