I have to come clean here with a little confession: At the very core of my soul, I was not the Lover, Prince Of Darkness that I pretended to be for all those years. I enjoy focusing on the positive aspects of life.
No one will ever mistake me for a jingle write for Hallmark Greeting Cards! No I still live in the moment and try to stay grounded in reality but there is definitely a positive or negative "lens" as it were that a person can CHOOSE to view their own life through.
It is a difficult concept to explain and yes, 3 months ago I would have laughed at anyone making this suggestion. But I try to live a positive life each day, it is a conscience choice to do so and focus. I start my day of reminding myself to choose the positive (Reminding myself? Yep, remember I USED to be the Prince Of Darkness...old habits require a disciplined routine to break them, lol!) point of view.
Ephesians 5:8 (NIV) Says- "For you were once darkness but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of the light". I will not apologize for choosing the LIGHT. I lived in darkness for many, many years...embraced it, loved it and yes chose to live in darkness. I know what it was like, I will simply never forget the hollowness of a live lived for nothing but one's SELF. That was the focus of my life in darkness: ME, MYSELF and I.
I used to brag about being so free of thought and spirit...I worship No One. Huh, boy was that a ridiculous, empty assessment on my part..just a big: DUH! I worshiped MYSELF...MY desires, MY needs, MY wants, etc. I never recall thinking that but in hind-site, looking at my life in retrospect I was playing god. I and I was disaster at it!
Today I realize the futility of that kind of life choice...I was terribly lost. I thought I knew what I wanted from life yet...I didn't...I couldn't.
I was a ship without a sail, a bird without wings...I was incomplete and hopeless without GOD. I was dying a painfully pathetic and lonely death every single day of my life. And I didn't know it...I thought I KNEW what I was doing. Everything I touched turned to dust. I was expert at turning dreams to dust, my own dreams...
I have spoken about living a positive life, focusing on the positive. In no way confuse Positive, happy, good, etc with the word EASY. Life in Christ isn't easy...no Luke 9:23-25 says- Then he said to them all: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world and yet lose or forfeit their very self?"
This is the choice I make: To take up MY CROSS DAILY...Perhaps it is just me but there is nothing in those words that suggest anything about being EASY. Taking up one's CROSS isn't a picnic, yet we must do it willingly for our lives. And you know something that has occurred to me? I lugged my Fear, My Sorrows, My Hopelessness around like an anchor (or a cross) for all of my previous life and didn't seem to mind. I did it for my own selfish reasons.
I willingly (most of the time) make that CHOICE today. And that quotation from Luke has become my rallying cry, a motto to live by.
On St Patrick's Day, the following quote was making it's way around FaceBook from the notafan website. I was stunned when I read this, the imagery unmistakable. I do not know all the detailed history of St. Patrick but the thought of him living by this creed, this prayer really just strengthens my resolve all the more to follow...to FOLLOW the Lord, My GOD...
"Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ beside me,Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in Quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger" - St. Patrick's Breastplate Prayer
I can't think of a more fitting way to prepare one's self for adversity...in Life, In Battle whatever that adversity may be. To KNOW with all one's heart that HE is ALWAYS there.