Reframing “How Can I ….”

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 I am, by profession, a psychologist.

Contrary to what most people think, psychologists don’t have profound insight into human behavior - nor do they have magic wands to wave that, after sitting for them for 55 minutes, your life is changed.

A psychologist learns, early on, that it takes the client’s efforts to illicit change of any kind.  No one can change anyone but themselves.

Sometimes, we try to help people by teaching them to “reframe” their thoughts.  Our situations are very dependent on how we view them.

Changing the way we view something, changes everything.

A teenager can be distraught at the rain that ruins their day 

That same rain elicits joy from a farmer who has agonized over the lack of precipitation that year.

The situation is the same.  It’s raining.

And how one responds is a choice.

I had an interesting insight the other day.

You see, I firmly believe that life must have meaning.  Most specifically, that MY life must have meaning - or my life will have meant nothing.

How I view that has changed over the years.

At one point, a meaningful life meant being an established author, lecturer, leader of workshops helping people grow - encouraging them to make the most of who they are.

As that dream slowly died, my artwork came into play.  I had a plan.  A grand plan.

Yet, now - those plans are either on hold - or gone completely.

And I wonder, time-after-time, how I can still bring glory to God?  What more can I do than pound out letters on a page that may or may not be read.

To say it’s been difficult to come to terms with these changes would be an understatement.

However, yesterday I learned an important reframe.

It is not “How can I bring glory to God where I am,” but rather “I can bring glory to God where I am.”

What a difference turning those words around can make for me.

I become more positive.

More open to opportunities.

The stress of having to “do” turns into the freedom of simply being.

It’s ok to be where I am right now.

I don’t particularly like it (another understatement), but I am exactly where God wants me to be at this moment in time.

And I CAN bring glory to Him.

How important those two words become …

Not “ how can I?”

But the assurance from God that I can.

I quote from Oswald Chambers.

“Yet, Jesus never measured His life by how or where He was of the greatest use.  God places His saints where they will bring the most glory to Him, and we are totally incapable of judging where that may be.” My Utmost For His Highest August 10 daily reading.

So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you. 1 Peter 4:19 (NLT)


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