Dogs walks and deep thoughts

The Kerrs are not morning people.

We are counting the days ’til summer break when we resume our schedule of staying up late and sleeping in. That is our natural state – our homeland. What we’re living in now is the foreign land of responsibility.

However, since the alarm bells are still ringing around 6:15am, a bright, sunny, warm-ish morning like today is much appreciated. So I took full advantage. After lunches were made and morning pep talks to eye rolling middle schoolers were completed, I took the dogs for a walk.

About 30 steps into my walk I started thinking about my week. I was doing a mental inventory of all that is to come in the next few days. As with most weeks, mine will have good and bad – stuff to dread, stuff to be excited about.

For me, this morning, I have big picture stuff for our church for which we are praying. There are some relationships and connections that are tense these days. I got run into in a roundabout on Thursday (I have a strong love for all things roundabout, except for those who don’t know how to use them) so my week will involve insurance companies, loaner cars and auto-body repair shops. There are upcoming trips and ministry opportunities. There is yet another Sunday service coming up which needs sermons and worship songs and donuts. There is the endless parade of tasks that need to be done for any family with kids – my kids seem to be in the throws of a “who can get the most cavities” competition, which means there are 7 dentist or ortho appointments for our family in the next two weeks.

As I was processing all that needed to be done, I could feel the emotion attached to each one. I found myself feeling “down” regarding a few things and realized my outlook on encounters yet to happen was causing me to view good chunks of my week with dread.

Then I had this thought: What if I approached this week with faith and optimism? Now this sounds like a lame, generic thought – you know like those short, tweet-able, motivational quotes people like to post on Mondays that are completely inane and make you want to punch said tweeters in the face?

“Your legacy is the found at the cross section of your attitude and your potential!”

punch.

“A positive mind is the elevator taking you to the top floor of opportunities!”

punch.

“As a leader, when you elevate those under you, you elevate yourself.”

kick.

“I am more spiritual because of the cool-ness of our church’s worship team.”

punch.

“I took my dogs for a morning walk and now I’m making you read about all my thoughts.”

lame.

But for me, it was a very practical moment at the start of another week. What if I, instead of dread, approached this week with some different thoughts:

There is reason for Joy.

My wife and kids are the source of great happiness.

My kids have teeth.

There is a God who is all powerful, and who promises to walk each step with me this week.

My God can abundantly supply for every need and every lack I will step into this week.

For many, yesterday was a day when you went to church. What if we applied what we know of God to this week? For me, yesterday I was privileged to hear the lovely Kristie Kerr preach. She spoke on Peace of Mind. One of her points was to “keep casting.” 1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” If we are people of faith, we know God loves us, cares about us and is more than capable to take care of us. What if I applied some of the stuff I learn in church to my life this week? What if I keep casting my anxieties on Him? All the things I think about which cause me to feel anxious… Just keep casting.

What did your pastor preach about yesterday? Re-read those verses today and have it impact your life. If you can’t remember anything your pastor spoke on yesterday, pay better attention, take notes, put your phone away, be more awake for service – either go to bed earlier the night before or go to a church with an 11:15am service.

Even if you’re reading this and you’re not a churchy person, you can approach this week with optimism and determination. What are the good things you can celebrate? What are the tasks you’re dreading that you can conquer?

Now, I realize for some, your week will involve some very difficult, heart wrenching stuff for which it’s impossible to “flip the switch” of mental optimism. But for so many of us, it may be as simple as flipping that switch.

Romans 13:11-14 (bits and pieces version) “The hour is at hand for you to awaken from sleep, the night is almost gone and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let’s not waste our time carousing with immorality, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ every day.”

That sounds like a great week.