Thinking on the Beautiful Things

My friend, Nancy-the-Insightful, leads a women's Bible study for Crosspointe called Copper. The other day, she had a stack of laminated cards on her desk that said, "THREW PAL."

Which elicited from me a large, "Huh?"

She looked up from her computer and said, "True, holy, right, excellent, worthy, pure, admirable, lovely....the things we are supposed to think about."

Of course, I teased her and asked if she was taking a flannel board to Copper that night, but the phrase stuck with me enough to look up the verse.

The Message translation relays Phillipians 4:8 this way, "Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse."

It's a beautiful verse. It also captures the character of God.

The thing is that we don't live in a world that celebrates the character of God. His authorship is there. There are inklings in the darkness and chaos we find ourselves in, but like gold in sand, we have to find it.

It occurs to me that pain and fear are the enemies of the beautiful things. It is one thing to feel put out, annoyed, or frustrated and make a conscious decison to shift to gratitude. It is quite another when circumstances are screaming at you that the world is ugly...or even darker, that you are ugly (unworthy, broken).

Maybe in fighting fear and pain, thinking on the beautiful things takes baby steps. Not in the great, glorious celebration of God, but in the simple, frequent noticing of His hand. Like in waking up and noticing light coming in through stained glass or the sound of the birds chirping outside my window. Or enjoying the warmth of my husband's arm as he gives me a sleepy hug and a tender half-awake stroke of my hair. Maybe the brightest and best part of true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, and gracious is simply living in the moment...not allowing the pain of the past or the fear of the future to pull you out of it.

1 comment

NancyJ said...

Wow! Again with the lovely way of seeing things! And now to the substance of your lovely writing...THIS IS SO TRUE! Thinking on the beautiful things is A BATTLE! It's a constant act of one's WILL to make it refocus and rethink how you're viewing your world and actually notice those lovely things you mentioned and receive them as lovely!! Battle on!!

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Maira Gall