Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Meditations: ...For the Joy Set Before Me

There are some people who have a long-term outlook on life and some with a short-term outlook. Long-term people tend to be visionaries. They can envision the big picture long before it manifests. Short-term people tend to be more practical. Each step is their focus more than the end result.

I fall into the later category. I consider myself to be very practical. Often when my husband and I discuss the long-term goals of the family, my response is normally, “Can I get through today first?” That is one of the wonderful things about my marriage. My husband is a visionary and I’m more practical. He has the plan and I provide the steps to get it done. We balance each other out.

But on my own, I struggle with seeing the big picture. Often, especially when I’m working on a long project, there seems to be no end in sight. I’m often discouraged when faced with a daunting task because my focus is so limited. I’m only thinking about how to get through today.

Of course, writing novels can be very discouraging sometimes. It seems like days after days, week after week of writing with seemingly no forward movement. And one-hundred thousand words can seem like a lifetime away to a short-term minded person like me.

One day I was praying about my WIP, and it dawned on me that my attitude was wrong. I was approaching the project with dread. My negative self-talk had me thinking I would never finish it. But then a portion of a scripture popped into my head, “…who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.”

Jesus was a visionary. He could see the big picture when He walked the earth. He saw us, in our sin with no way to freedom, and endured the cross. We were the joy set before Him.

I realized that I needed to broaden my mindset about my WIP. I needed to focus the big picture instead of drowning in the details of everyday. If you’ve visited my blog before, you probably know that I plan to use a portion of my earnings from a publishing contract to provide clean water for someone in need. That’s the joy. A town or community will no longer have to suffer the effects of drinking contaminated water. I just needed a little reminder of the joy that was set before me.

So if you are like me, frustrated at the length of the situations in your life, focus on the big picture. Don’t let your heart be weighted down with the minute details of your challenge. And even if you don’t have a specific goal, you can look forward to bring God glory with your life.

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