Gratitude Day 499
Sat., Aug. 15, 2020
Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
It’s one of the common phrases that I say. Think. Ponder.
It’s as much of my make-up as the color of my hair. (Well, at least the outward appearance of my hair.)
I say it to myself. Hubby Rick. My friends. Family. People who are struggling. When I’m struggling. To people who really don’t want to hear it.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, where does this land?”
Imagine a 10 as being the most AWFUL thing ever. Really. Most awful. Not what you think is awful today. But most AWFUL EVER. I remember attending a workshop a million years ago where this was discussed. Research says that a 10 is death by torture. But the researchers discovered that the 10 can always get worse because the death could be slower and more tortuous than it currently is. (I know. Talking about torture. This is a great way to get people to continue reading a blog.)
Anyway, think of your 10. What is the absolute most AWFUL thing ever?
Now, think about what is something that when it happens and could be viewed as a challenge but in reality, it’s a little blip on the map. In fact, it is so insignificant that it really shouldn’t even take up air space. Thought process. Energy. It should just be immediately passed over and you should go onto the next thing. Quick example: when ice comes out of the ice maker on the fridge, falls on the kitchen floor and leaves tiny little puddles on the floor.
Alright. So, do you understand the scale of 1 to 10?
Now, think back to those things that happened this past week that got under your skin. Irritated you. Made you get a little huffy, even if only internally. Rank them on your scale of 1 to 10.
Here’s a couple quick ones from my last week:
Having the moped quit running while I was riding it.
Waiting for someone to call me back that didn’t see my message.
Having files sent to me with wrong information.
Watching someone say good-bye to a loved one.
I intentionally put them in increasing order how they would fall onto my 1 to 10 scale.
Part of the problem with this? What is a number 8 or 9 or me maybe a 1 or 2 for you?
A few years ago, Hubby Rick said why I never vacuum out the inside of my vehicle. He wondered aloud why I don’t take more pride in my car and wash it more frequently. For me, washing my car is like a -2. Keeping the inside is higher, maybe a 3. Now for Rick, making sure the outside of the car looks nice is like a 6. Big difference from me.
He really didn’t get it until I pointed out that for me, clean floors in the house is a 6 and he would rank it much lower. Then, the light bulb went on.
In daily life, I think it is SO. EASY. to take something that is probably a 2 or a 3 or a 4 and turn it into a 6 or a 7 or an 8. Yes, for some people this situation maybe high. But often, we take a relatively insignificant situation and amp it up way too much.
The problem is right now, we’re dealing with a whole bunch of stuff that could be remarkably high for some people (whether or not to send their child to physical school vs. virtual school) and less dramatic for others. We can all think of the person who wearing a mask is a -5 and for someone else, it’s a 12.
In reality, I think too often, most of us spend way too much time and energy on 1’s, 2’s and 3’s and may even have a tendency to turn them into something bigger than what they really are. And this leaves us little energy and headspace to deal with the really big stuff; the 8’s, 9’s and 10’s.
Especially now. During a pandemic. In a time when there is so much divergence on what’s important. When folks are all over the board on what REALLY. IS. IMPORTANT.
My best suggestion today? When you find yourself overreacting to something, quickly ask yourself, “Where is this one a scale of 1 to 10?” When someone else is getting way too caught up and exerting so much energy and time on an issue that is a 3 or less, ask them where they see this falling on their scale. Maybe they will reconsider their approach.
I keep trying to remind myself to spend my absolute best energy, time and headspace on the 8’s, 9’s and 10’s in my life. Some days I do better than others.
And then, there are the days, when I fail miserably.
Reminding myself to turn to God and ask for guidance on where this falls on God’s scale is also a super good way to gain perspective. If God isn’t going to spend more than five minutes contemplating something, then why am I?
Often on Saturdays, I share a list of little tidbits that I’ve collected throughout the week. Today, I’m just sharing one big tidbit. I’m also going to throw in a song that I’ve been turning to over and over again this week, looking for inspiration.
Sit back. Close your eyes. Listen for the next five minutes. Hear God speak to you. Let God remind you that it’s so important to let go of the things on the lower end of the priority scale. And if you are dealing with some big ones right now? May you hear and feel that your soul can be well.
For God’s desire to always may my soul well, I am grateful.
Almighty God – May my soul turn to Your soul today and know this is enough. If I’m hurting, Your soul hurts as well. If I’m celebrating, Your soul is excited as well. Help my soul be well today. Amen.
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