I love where I live. I love freedom, I love cold weather, I love the clean country air. But when my thoughts shift outside of my little circle of influence, and focus on the influencers at large, fear/worry/depression sets in. I can only control myself (and sometimes not even!...mm, chocolate). I need to think about my people, my attitude, my calling- and hope and pray that as I stay true to Jesus and the truth of his Holy Bible, my small circle of influence will be bettered. And in turn, the circles that overlap mine will reach beyond and use my courage to light their group, and on and on. It's sort of like pay it forward. We all do as much as we can on a small level, and pretty soon it's a movement toward truth and respect and forgiveness and justice and mercy. But don't try to make your circle too big. Eventually you may be responsible and mature enough to handle more humans, but start by getting deeper with just the folks you already know. Strengthening your current personal relationships will increase your zeal and love for life. The Bible tells me to do everything without complaining or arguing, so while I'm getting deep with my peeps, I need to be mindful of keeping the conversation high and tight- like my brother-in-law's haircut. I mean encouraging and pertinent. No gossip, no dragging down. High and tight.
There's a chance I watered this down to the point of ineffectiveness. If so, here are some wise words from Valley of Vision- a collection of Puritan prayers and devotionals:
I commend my heart to Thy watchful care,
for I know its treachery and power;
Guard its every portal from the wily enemy,
Give me quick discernment of his deadly arts,
Help me to recognize his bold disguise as an
angel of light,
and bid him begone.
May my words and works allure others to the
highest walks of faith and love!
May loiterers be quickened to greater diligence
by my example!
May worldlings be won to delight in acquaintance
Let my happy place be amongst the poor in spirit,
my delight the gentle ranks of the meek.
Let me always esteem others better than myself,
and find in true humility
an heirdom to two worlds.