At the Craft Group we encourage each other n so many ways. There are a group of ladies who share "4 minute Thoughts for the Day".
Marianne gave a great thing to think about... here's what she said.
"There are strange paradoxes in life. Often you are searching for something really hard and you don’t get what you are searching for, but when you give up, you often find it. I’m sure you know exactly what I mean.
You know that when you go shopping for a dress for a special occasion, you usually struggle to find it, but when you’re out and about, just window shopping, you might see something straight away that you’d like to buy – but have no real reason to buy it!
At the moment, I am searching for a book – I know what it looks like – I know where it should be – and I just can’t lay my hands on it. But in a few months time, when I’m emptying some pile somewhere or other, I’ll lay on my hands on it! It’s so frustrating.
I think that’s why parents are worried when their children say they’ll go off to Europe for a year, or work in London for a while. I’ve heard parents say, “Well, don’t you go and get a boyfriend while you’re away!” And the young girl will say, “I’m not there for that – that’s the last thing I want at this stage.” And what do you know? .....
It’s the same in what we strive for. Much of our lives are spent in a pursuit of happiness.Here is an interesting little poem...
"I was a child, and it was adulthood I wanted:
The freedom and the respect.
I was 20, but it was 30 I wanted;
to be mature and sophisticated.
I was middle aged, but it was 20 I wanted;
the youth and the free spirit.
I was retired, but it was middle aged that I wanted;
the presence of mind without limitations.
My life was over,
and I never got what I wanted".
We seem to be looking for something to fill the gap. Something to make everything worthwhile. But the Bible presents us with an amazing paradox.
If we are focussing on our own agenda to fill our life with significance, we will end up with an empty spot; We won’t feel filled, we’ll feel discontent; We’ll feel like we missed out;
Why is that?
Here we read, “If anyone would follow me, He must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. Whoever loses his life, for my sake, will gain it.”
To truly gain life, to gain peace and significance, worth in our life, we need to take our eyes off ourselves and our agenda. We need to ‘lose’ our life. Then, we need to focus on God – and His agenda – how does He want me to live? What does he want from me? How can I live my life for Him and not for me? When we take our eyes OFF pleasing ourselves and put it ON pleasing God – we actually GAIN. It’s like me looking for my book. When I stop looking for it, and focus on something else – I end up finding it. God says the same thing – stop focussing on your own life, on your own agenda, on making yourself happy – and look to me, to my agenda, put me first – and what do you know? We find the life we were searching for all along.
A great paradox. Even as a Christian, I find it a challenge to do this. Our lives are so self absorbed and so inward looking – but God tells us – if you want to really find life – don’t search by looking at yourself – look at Me!"