It is a huge truth that your thought life determines your attitude. Huge in the fact that believing it and understanding the power it can have can be life changing. If you let your feelings have free reign, they have the unfortunate habit of leaning toward the negative… Let me tell you a little story.
Once Upon a Time…
Not very long ago, the three of us went on a day trip with our sleds. We went to a town an hour away where we met up with another family. The plan was to ride to one warm up shack by the lake, then on to another town, where we would stop for a bite to eat. It ended up being longer than most of us anticipated; the 5 year old for sure would have been just fine with just the first stop and back.
As we got ready to head back, I decided that I WOULD NOT let myself think about how cold it was or all the things I didn’t like. So I would have to think of something different. What would I think about? Maybe think up a blog post, or think about LOVE, which is my word for the year. Or, “10 Things I Love About Sledding!” – I remembering laughing at myself about that, but I did start to think about the good side of it.
And while it started as a lark, what I realized as I went was that even if I never remembered my items, never wrote about them, it was the exercise of deciding what to think that was valuable. Deciding to think about love. Deciding to look for the good in the situation instead of being cranky. Because it totally worked. I was probably just as cold, but I felt true joy, and it was so much nicer than the feelings I was having before, which if left to fester would have eventually turned me right off sledding and I would have lost out of what is a good family time for us.
10 Things I Love About Sledding
- Nature. It’s great to get outside in a season we usually hibernate through.
- The wooded trails down the sides of the valley felt like an adventure.
- The colours of the blue sky, pale golden stubble, and snow, with all it’s blue shadows.
- The beauty of the valley.
- The patterns of the stubble in the fields is oddly satisfying.
- Watching my husband and son toghether and getting a glimpse of their future relationship, and imagining all the things they will share.
- “Building relationships through shared experiences.” I have no idea who first said that, but the sharing of experiences makes those experiences worthwhile, even if they are not all good.
- Nolan chatting up strangers in the warm up shack – it’s fun to see others being entertained by him.
- It’s a family activity we can do together.
- That Sean loves it & it brings him joy.
The Bottom Line
What don’t I like about sledding? Does it matter? No, because I CHOOSE TO THINK about the good things. Because I know it is better for my mental health and my joy in life. God did not build us to be cranky, but the evil one likes nothing better than for us to get lost in a miserable funk. God gave us the power to choose, and that includes choosing our thoughts. Choose well! Choose well over and over! While it may not be natural, it can be ingrained as a habit. Decide what to think and how you think. Your thought life can lead you into a better life.