Romans 1:21 (New International Version)
21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Romans 12:2 (New International Version)
2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
As I drove home from church on Sunday, listening to CBC radio, a young woman was talking about reducing our "carbon footprint" in the world. This of course was referring to the toxic waste we humans leave behind us. But I got to thinking, not about footprints, but fingerprints.
I often think of the fingerprints we leave on people's lives.
Have I left behind something as simple as a warm smile; a kind word of encouragement? Or have I left an atmosphere polluted by negativity?
It is a powerful thing to realize that we have a choice. We aren't mere victims of our circumstances. We can choose how to respond to them; and how we choose makes a huge difference.
I recently watched a video clip with an intriguing title--it was called, "Brain Rot." A minister was speaking on Romans 1:21, about people who know God but don't glorify him or give him thanks and their subsequent downward spiral into negativity and futile, dark thoughts.
He said that once he was in a tough place and could not see much around him of the glory of God. God brought to mind Psalm 33:5, which says that the earth is full of his unfailing love. He reminded God of his circumstances and God reminded him of Revelation 3:18, which speaks of asking for a special "eye salve," so that we can "see." The minister prayed for God's help to see him in his circumstances and God helped him to do so. He said that as a result of this revelation from God, he started a "Glory Story" board on his web site, for people to share about the goodness of God in their lives.
This so resonated with me that I immediately sent an email to my team at work and said, "Hey, let's start looking for Glory Stories every day."
Even in the most difficult of days you can find something to give God glory for if you think about it and I have seen it having a powerful effect as people have bravely declared the goodness of God, even as they've been under fire. The situation is still as tough as it ever was, but they are changed.
This time of year is so busy, and at work we've had several big deadlines bearing down on us all at once. Last Wednesday I came home exhausted and I wanted to do nothing but collapse into a chair; any chair. That evening it was our monthly two hour worship practice, and Susan and Cindy, who are doing our church newsletter, had suggested a meeting after the long practice to talk about the newsletter. The evening loomed in my mind like Mount Everest before a mountain climber.
I decided that I could either go into the worship practice worn out and not really wanting to be there, or I could find a glory story, so I decided to look for one. My glory story that night, was, "I get to sing on this worship team. How awesome is that?" It changed my experience of the evening and infused me with renewed energy.
In the end, Susan and Cindy decided they didn't need to meet about the newsletter and the worship practice finished early. By 8.30 I was on my way home!
I don't always win the battle in my mind and heart, but I have posted Romans 1:21 on the desktop of my computer at work as a reminder, and I'm hoping that remembering to look for the "glory stories" in every day will become a habit.
Psalm 33:5 (New International Version)
5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.
Revelation 3:18 (New International Version)
18 I counsel you to buy from me... salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.