Spin it!

THE ART OF THE SPIN

“Consider it a sheer gift…when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.” James 1:2 MSG

When I worked as a staff writer in a senator’s office I learned that every story has a unique spin. Think of a little league pitcher and the spin he gives the baseball. Or a pool shark’s magic with the cue ball.

The right slant makes all the difference.

In psychologist lingo, it’s called reframing and works this way: You buy a painting you admire, such a bargain you couldn’t resist. Only one minor problem, it’s in the most gaudy, ugly frame that doesn’t show off the artwork, plus it clashes with your décor. You regret the money you spent, but wait—there’s a way to save the situation. In your resourcefulness, you truck yourself over to the frame shop and swap it out for one much more complimentary. Voila! The colors pop now, the picture comes alive, and there is new life on our wall.

Bingo—if the picture is not so pretty, the answer is to slap a new frame around it. See it in a different light. Some of our greatest blessings come disguised as bummers. Give it a new spin and see opportunities instead of problems. Find the flip side of your flops, the silver lining in each cloud, a gift shining in the darkness that you never expected.

The Lord may choose what we go through, but we choose how we go through it. For years I blamed my messed up childhood for all the bad choices I made, and I thought “if only….” Now I see my childhood through a different light. If I hadn’t been a lonely only, if I had a cheerful household full of happy siblings I’d never have spent so much time reading classic books, creating scripts from my favorite novels, writing endless stories. I’m way too social, but God knew me, and he used this painful time to make me the writer I am. I’ve reframed that experience, and it’s made all the difference.

It’s not often easy to put a new spin on our pain and suffering, but eventually we see the hidden gem in every difficult situation.

Joy is truly a choice, the frame through which we choose to view our world and all that’s in it.

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