Serendipity & God-Colored Glasses

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2

Our attitudes are constantly bombarded, as we wrestle with our problems, as we watch the news and balance our checkbook. I suffer from stinking thinking, and it’s my constant challenge to refocus and renew my mind. I call it attitude maintenance. It’s like brushing our teeth, you can ignore a rotten attitue for a day or two, but let it go too long and—well you get the idea.

What if we change our thought patterns to view our circumstances in a brand new way? Make a choice not to dwell in the dark shadows, but scan the horizon until we find the one bright spot. One of my favorite props is a giant yellow magnifying glass. It sits on a shelf in my office to remind me to magnify the good that’s going on, not the bad. When I start to dwell on an irritation, I can just move my magnifying glass until I see something to be glad about. An instant lift in my spirits. Try it…

Transforming the mind doesn’t magically happen. It’s something we practice until it becomes routine. When we chew gum we don’t have to think about each jaw movement. When riding a bicycle, the knack comes back with a few turns around the block because we already struggled through the learning curve. Looking at life through God colored glasses allows us to see the serendipity in every moment.

Author Horace Walpole coined the word serendipity from a fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip, formerly Sri Lanka. As the princes lightheartedly traveled from kingdom to kingdom, they made remarkable discoveries—lucky finds—they were not in quest of.

Serendipity is a whimsical way of looking at life, being delighted by the unexpected, enhanced by new insights and surprise touches from God. What if we went about our day expecting serendipity? Even the sound of the word has a touch of magic in it.

Take this thought: Savor the serendipity. Don’t try and understand the mystery of life before embracing every moment.

Re-directing Our Dipsticks

Seventy-five percent of all medical visits are stress related? How can that be? “Stress and its sister diseases actually change the shape of our blood cells,” the article stated.” Pictures showed “normal happy” blood cells compared to “sick, distorted” blood cells. Not a pretty sight, be glad you missed it.

Today’s ailments include migraines, muscle tension, heart attack, high blood pressure, insomnia, ulcers, and auto-immune disease where the body goes berserk and attacks itself. That’s the diagnosis the doctor dumped on me on me a few years back that launched my pity party. I envisioned hoards of rebel blood cells plundering my poor body.

Suddenly, my joint aches took center stage. I whined about the pain, having to change my diet and alter my lifestyle. My selfish spirit expected God to say, “Poor thing, let’s make her better.” Zap, cured. Whining did the Israelites no good after their Exodus from Egypt; it only irked God, so they wandered in the wilderness for forty years.

A bad attitude can be our Achilles heel. Remember him, the reluctant warrior who fought in the Trojan War? As a baby, his mother dipped him in a river’s magic water to protect him from harm. But to get the little guy out of the water, mom had to hold on to his heel, allowing one vulnerable spot where he was never safe from attack.

What’s your Achilles heel? Mine is all in my head. It’s called stinking thinking and it happens when I use circumstances as dip sticks to measure joy and contentment.

Take this thought: We are never defeated by circumstances, but by our view of them. Let’s re-direct our dipsticks.

“Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things….and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9