I once heard a woman talk about her little girl. Whenever the child was whiny, the mother would send her to Time Out to stay there until she was happy.
Sometimes, the mother would ask the girl if she was ready to be happy, but she’d reply, “Not yet.” The mother said it was easy to forget the girl was sitting there because she took so long to decide to be happy.
Are we ever like that…ever like that with God. I’m pretty sure He would like for us to be attractive witnesses for Him. Happy, loving, forgiving, believing! What if at some point He said I have an opportunity for you to be an example of My joy, or My love but you need to sit over here until you’re more joyful, more loving, sincerely forgiving, until you truly believe I am and can do everything I’ve said I can do in scripture.
What if He comes back to check on us and we tell Him, “Not Yet.” I’m not ready to be joyful, or loving, or forgiving, or to believe the lovely things You say about me. What if?
Have you ever done that? Now be honest. I have. I absolutely know there have been times when I could have chosen to be happy and because of my stubbornness, my pride, because I wanted my own way, whatever…I chose to turn down opportunities.
Oh, I didn’t let myself (did you catch that? — I didn’t let myself) see I was choosing to be unhappy or choosing to be a poor example…but I was.
We all go through hard times (this is not heaven, after all, this is earth). But people who are high in EQ are more likely to choose to be happy. They’re more skilled in self-awareness and behavioral self-control. They’re able to navigate emotions rather than to give in to the impulse to make poor choices. They’re better able to adapt and act on opportunities because they deliberately choose their thoughts and actions.
Increasing self-awareness can help reveal when we’re choosing to stay in Time Out. So, let’s declare it to be a new season and deliberately choose to be happy, to navigate emotions better, to pursue opportunities. Let’s choose to be deliberately present and engaged in life.
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