I teach high school. Every day is a new adventure. My daily grind there, in and of itself, could be a completely separate blog! One day at the end of class, one of my girls walked to the board and was doodling her name. As she was writing on the board, she said, "Mrs. Adams, it is what it is, and it ain't what it ain't." I had often heard the first part of that saying, but had never heard that second part. I chuckled to myself and thought, "Darlin', you have just described my life."
I thought of how this statement applies to my life. Originally, I must admit that I thought of it with negative overtones.
It is a reason to be bitter. It ain't an opportunity to be better.
It is a reason to show revenge. It ain't an opportunity to show grace.
It is the end of a marriage. It ain't gonna ever be the same for my family again.
Over time I have realized how destructive this way of thinking is. Why is it so much easier to think that way? I have shown my fair share of revenge over the last few months. I have said and done things for which I have had to apologize. It is not a good place to be. I once heard someone say, "Bitterness and unforgiveness is like drinking a toxic poison and hoping the other person dies." I cannot live with those feelings eating me alive. I am slowly realizing that with God's help (because we sure can't do this in our own human nature) we have the ability to change the way we think. So now I will choose to say:
It is an opportunity to be better. It ain't a reason to be bitter.
It is an opportunity to show grace. It ain't a reason to show revenge.
It is the end of a marriage. While it ain't ever gonna be the same again, it ain't the end of a friendship.
The list could go on and on. It is simply a matter of how we think.
I think there is not a verse that reminds us of this any better than Philippians 4:8-9. I love The Message paraphrase of it.
"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. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies."
The best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly - I like that!