If you have been living long enough at some point you realize that you do many things the same way over and over again. Oh we don’t do it on purpose, but our tidy little pre-programmed brain stores up the information and spits it back out on demand. So we develop habits; many, many habits that we begin to do unconsciously. No thought required, naamsayin? This habit forming part of our brain was designed this way on purpose so that we would not have to constantly reinvent the wheel (or some other suitable cliché.) Once you learn to drive, after driving for a bit, you no longer have to pay attention to what your feet are doing, for example. Remember when you first drove a stick? You played the balancing game where you tried to make the gas pedal and the clutch parallel so you could avoid revving up the engine and/or stalling the engine. But, after a short stint, your feet figured out the drill and you got where you could do it by touch. Habit formed… Well, habits are not only formed in terms of things we have to accomplish physically, but also are formed mentally in how we approach our lives. We have good mental habits that are useful and we have bad mental habits that are not useful. In fact, we have some metal habits that are downright destructive (if we only knew it). And, just like driving the car, after awhile we are not even aware of what we are thinking.
Now, here is where it gets real tricky. Our habits of thought lead to the things we believe or the conclusions we arrive at in our minds. And, everything we have in this life; almost everything we experience; and everything we are able to accomplish is conditioned by what we believe. So, indulge me for a minute. If you learned a negative frame of mind from your well-meaning momma, or your daddy, or your first boss, or your spouse, or your church where they successfully convinced you, you are a worm, or from the information and opinion shaper box called TV, then I would surmise that your thoughts tend towards the negative. Such as, “It’s not going to work out because I’ve got bad luck” or “I can’t seem to get ahead” or “One step forward, two steps back!” or “God is testing me because of my sin!” etc. etc. Okay now even deeper. If you have been thinking this way for many years now, YOU ARE NO LONGER AWARE of what you are thinking. Say it again Sam, “YOU ARE NO LONGER AWARE OF WHAT YOU ARE THINKING!” Those destructive negatives bore down into your heart and now you believe that garbage. And, now that you believe it,it appears over and over again like sign-posts in every facet of your life. And, after it appears you are assured your original conclusion was correct and down the sewer hole your life goes! Then, while your life is a miserable shadow of what you want it to be, you now find it necessary to convince others that their “blind” optimism is hurtful and they better figure out how the real works and in a hurry! That my friends, is how this old world operates. Believing equals receiving (it’s a law that God established) and when you believe for crap or at best slightly okay crap, that’s exactly what you get.
I aint the first cowboy (hey don’t judge me-the name just seemed right) that made that assertion! Most folks seem to know that we should do our best to be positive as opposed to being negative. (Accentuate the positives, e-lim-inate the negatives) But, that’s where this whole habit thing comes in to play. If these thoughts have become deeply rooted habits, how can we even be aware they are occurring? I know, it is easy to say you should control your thinking and think about what you are thinking about (I think). But there is an easier way. Just decide right now that you don’t know anything! [Don’t be afraid you will still know how to drive!] What I mean is instead of going down the same old tired mental paths where you end up at “I don’t get what I want again!” choose another path. The path has a name and it is called, I don’t know! I thought I knew, in fact I was convinced that I knew, but now I have become painfully aware that I do not know. You see, “I don’t know” is now open to new information. “I don’t know” is now able to see a course he hadn’t considered before. “I don’t know” is seeking a new answer to his question because the last 60,000 answers DIDN”T WORK! If you would like a less insulting name, you can also call it humility. Haha (Slick aren’t I?) No hold on a second now! I don’t mean that religious humble pie business where humility is code for you are a lowly worm. What I mean is true humility to God where you and I are willing to give up our “I already know status” badge that we earned over the years and just consider that we may have something wrong or that we might have drawn a wrong conclusion.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”—Matthew11:28-30
You know who made this statement? Jesus Christ himself. I haven’t met him personally yet (smile) but I can imagine he is a fairly confident guy (facetious tone included at no extra charge)! Yet he himself said, “I know this old world is wearing you out and you need some rest (peace). Learn how I do it, man! I am meek and lowly in heart (See it? He didn’t assume he already knew-dadadadadaaaaaa! Horns sounding!) Then, when you live life this way, your yoke or responsibility is easy and your burdens – light. Folks, I didn’t write the book!
So, can you get what you want out of life? Of course you can! God would have it no other way. But, we have to step down from that mighty tower of “I already know” that we have been standing on and take a fresh look. Don’t give up your swag (haha) just recognize the source of it! You will absolutely find, like I absolutely found, that you can finally take a breath; stop trying to figure everything out and just live… All of a sudden you will get a new idea or finally realize the cause of a problem that you absolutely swore was something else! It’s life folks; the more than abundant life and that is one good habit to form!