You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 2 Timothy 2:3-4
As I read this verse, I thought of the many comments on social media from Believers who are distracted by the annoying things of life that we have no control over. The annoying stuff has sticky fingers that will grab our minds, and before we realize it, we are entangled in a web of nonsense and stressed out. Most of the time, we are unaware of how and why our lives are in disarray. We cannot control time, but we can use it well. Nor can we restrict other people’s words, actions, and behaviors, but we can choose to eliminate unloving, toxic relationships.
Yes, each new day brings challenges. Even so, we possess the resilience to handle those challenges. We simply have to teach ourselves to overlook the petty [little] things and reserve our brainpower for tackling the essential issues. Expenditure of our time and energy on matters of priority results in mindset changes, chaos disappears, and we transition into peaceful living.
Honest reflections: Say a prayer of commitment to identify and develop strategies to eliminate all distractions and nonproductive habits. List the little things that wreck your inner peace. Then list your habits [habits are not considered little things] that must change, such as setting things down wherever and then when the item is needed you cannot find it. Always rushing and arriving at work with 1-2 minutes to spare? One of the most important habits that sets the brain in motion for an organized day is to make your bed every day.
For families: Insist on everyone making their bed. No, the little ones will not get it right, but it is a vital teaching moment to establish a life-long habit. Also, every person cleans up after themselves. Expect resistance from children, but meet resistance with the no-option approach. You are teaching structure and discipline that will be required in every aspect of their lives. Think about your employer and their policies–there is minimal leeway on the expectation to adhere to the workplace rules. Your home is not a military base. But it should reflect cleanliness and a neat appearance.
Time to implement the action plan: With the advancements in technology, we rarely use our hands to write. Purchase a journal with an artful cover and identify a quiet place where you can relax in solitude. Taking the time to journal awakens a tired brain–thinking clearly produces deep thoughts. And writing enhances eye-hand coordination. Take a large desk calendar and make it a wall-hanging. Write in your daily goals, eliminate the guesswork, which provides a sense of control and empowerment to accomplish as much as possible. Remember to be flexible.
Sources of contention: Always running late? When working, I commuted at least 40 minutes from home to my job. I allowed 60 minutes just in case the unexpected happened. My clothing was prepared for the week and left-over dinner was packed along with other goodies in my soft cooler the night before.
If you have ever wondered how organization, structure, and discipline could change your life, read the Creation story in Genesis. God does everything with intent and purpose. Since we are created in His image, we have the innate ability to actively pursue a lifestyle that reflects godly habits. Our spiritual health is greatly impacted when we cannot overlook the annoying stuff. Without organization we invite chaos and confusion into our homes, which should be a safe haven and comfort zone.
The mind-body sympathizes with each other. If we expend all of our energy for unimportant issues, when life-changing events occur, we completely fall apart mentally and emotionally, and experience physical exhaustion–total burnout. How does this happen? Our relationship with God has weakened. We did not have time to study the Bible, our prayers were fast and meaningless, and we assumed responsibility for too many cares and burdens.
Pray, make a plan, present your plan to God in prayer asking for His divine intervention. Also, take frequent mini-mental breaks throughout the day. A short walk during the work-day or lunch alone in your vehicle can boost your energy level. We have five senses. Look around your environment at the trees or flowers, even look up. Are the cottony clouds hiding the sun? When you need to regroup, take a day off to have fun. Whether you make plans for your day or you desire spontaneity, ask yourself, “What can I do besides sleeping in for most of the day?” Find a reason to laugh, and most importantly, thank God for His blessings of grace, and mercy. Here’s to our Mental, Emotional, Physical, and most importantly, Spiritual Health!
Bible verse: And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8
Prayer: God, we need your divine intervention to restructure our lifestyles. We have neglected our worship with you and for that sin, we ask for forgiveness. Thank you for the ability to incorporate change into our lives. And thank you for fearfully and wonderfully making us in your image. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen. © 2021 Sonya Johnson