Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Bad Day at the Fresno Bible House

Our circumstances sure have a way of trying to dictate our outlook. That has been so evident to me in the last couple of days as we deal with a potentially serious financial setback. As I started out to work Saturday morning, I was dwelling on this situation. Yes, dwelling. I know that doesn't seem very spiritual of me but it is honest. And, I really do think being real is better than being spiritual.

Back to my trek to work-since Katie wasn't in the car with me, I thought I would take a break from listening to Justin Bieber. (Because trust me, once you hear Eeny Meeny Miny Mo Lover, you will NEVER get those lyrics out of your head!) I switched over to the only CD I have in the car-Mandissa. She started belting out these words:

"Been a hard one, Been a bad one
Been a tough one, Been a sad one
It's been just one of those days
That keeps chipping away at my heart
Nothin' new here,It's what I do here
It's a stereotypical day in the life
I'm surrounded by all of the pain and the strife
But I know it's alright

'Cause it's only the world I'm living in
It's only today I've been given
There ain't no way I'm giving in
'Cause it's only the world
I know the best is still yet to come
'Cause even when my days in the world are done
There's gonna be so much more than only the world for me"

That song started me re-focusing on how temporal our problems and circumstances are. And that led me back to a memory from the day I worked in the audio visual department (this was in the era of the giant 16mm films; hey, I'm old!) of the Fresno Bible House. My co-worker, Debbie, and I were having a rough day. Nothing had gone as planned, pastors hadn't shipped movies back so we could ship them someplace else, movies were returned damaged beyond repair, we were in the middle of a meltdown. You would think that working in a place surrounded by Christians and Christian books and gifts and music and all would make dealing with a bad day easier. Not that day.

A pastor called to check on the delivery of his film. We had never met him but knew him well as he was a regular customer. Evidently, through my co-workers' tone, he was able to surmise that we were having a bad day. He told her to put him on speaker phone so he could talk to both of us. And this is what we heard,

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

We were moved by those words and by his concern for us. This pastor who didn't even know what we looked like, had never met us took the time to minister to our weary hearts. It totally changed our day. Or, actually, it changed our OUTLOOK about our day! And that's what we can do every day. The day has been given to me. It is up to me to decide how I am going to receive it.


Megan said...

Thanks for this, I needed to hear it. Just think, that same pastor who encouraged you is encouraging others through you! It's amazing how much God can do through faithful followers. Thanks!

LG missionary said...

So true, but sometimes so hard to remember. When Neil was speaking in SS Sunday, he drew a visual on the board. At the top he wrote "Events". At the bottom "Emotions". He asked, "How many of you believe that the events in your life affect your emotions?" We all raised our hands, and he said an emphatic "NO!" After I got over feeling like an idiot, I listened as he told us that events produce THOUGHTS that bring about emotions. If we "take our thoughts captive" and "renew our mind" (both from Scripture), our emotions will not be affected by the events in our lives. So, when I'm upset that the events of the day are not going like I would like, I'm going to quote Scripture and think thoughts of JOY. Then my emotions won't run away with me in the negative sphere. I'm just learning this, so we'll see how I do. :)

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