But, I don’t want to….

Most of us have had to go to a function that we didn't want to attend. Maybe it was a work thing that we didn't feel like being at. Maybe it was some family event, like your spoiled nephew’s or niece’s birthday. Maybe it was an event with people you don’t even know, like when your spouse needs to go to a wedding for one of their friends and you won’t know anyone there. You start dreading going. Your mind starts telling you how much you’re going to hate the event. How boring it’s going to be. How much you’d rather be doing something else. It’s just like a big, dark cloud on that date. You might even wake up in a bad mood because it’s the day of the [insert ominous music here] dreaded event.

Usually when this happens to me, the event is not nearly as bad as I imagined it would be. You might end up at the good table with some friendly people and actually have a good time. Who would have thought that was possible? Occasionally, the event is as bad as you thought it would be – but in my experience, it’s usually not. We build up the possible things that could go wrong that we won’t like and make it much worse in our minds than it really is.

We do this with more than just work functions, family get-togethers and weddings. Have you ever dreaded going to the doctor or the dentist? I’m sure we’ve all looked forward to cleaning out the garage or that junk room/closet. Sometimes even the mundane chores like doing the dishes or getting your car smogged can be an exercise in procrastination.

I suspect there are many reasons for why we do this. There’s probably nearly as many reasons as there are people. But I wonder how much easier our lives would be if didn’t make mountains out of molehills. What if we didn’t dread going to these events so much? What if we tried to look forward to these things? What if they were opportunities to have some fun instead of something to dread? What if they were opportunities to make a new friend instead of something to endure? What if they were opportunities to show a loving and kind spirit instead of getting into the usual family argument? What if they were an opportunity to show God’s love? I think that would change a lot of things. It would probably make our lives a quite a bit easier. We’d probably be a bit closer to the kind of attitude Jesus would have. And we might even help bring someone to Jesus.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 (NIV)
Can you change the way you think about things you don’t want to do? That’s worth pondering about….