Take another look?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Rather than concentrating on the trials of life, should we fix our attention upon the many blessings we have that may be more obvious than we know? Perhaps the more we stare at trouble, the more we'll miss the blessings God has placed right before our very eyes?

Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.

Years ago our rescue dog, Annie, and our senior Dachshund, Webley, didn’t like each other very much. Most of the time they give each other a wide berth so as to avoid the eventual snarl and snap they share in natures. I remember a time, however, the avoidable became unavoidable. I had called the dogs to their evening supper and they all dutifully gathered around my feet. Webley, who should have been focusing on the food bowls I was holding in my hand, was, unfortunately, focusing on Annie who was standing behind me. He was, in a sense, looking right through me. Annie picked up on the stare and before I knew it the hair was raised, lips curled and tails taut. With a wave of my hand and stern command to Webley the stare-down was broken. Although gathering to eat, both dogs had missed the blessing of the meal for the curse of the stare. In a sense, neither dog could see the forest for the trees.

You and I are often like that when we focus so intently on the bad things that it's easy to overlook the blessings.

Here's a story: As a minister was addressing a group of men, he took a large piece of paper and made a black dot in the center of it with a marking pen. Then he held the paper up before the group and asked them what they saw. One person quickly replied, "I see a black mark." "Right," the preacher replied. "What else do you see?" Complete silence prevailed. "Don't you see anything other than the dot?" he asked. A chorus of no's came from the audience. "I'm really surprised," the speaker commented. "You have completely overlooked the most important thing of all, the sheet of paper." Then he made the application. He said that in life we are often distracted by small, dot-like disappointments or painful experiences, and we are prone to forget the innumerable blessings we receive from the hand of the Lord. But like the sheet of paper, the good things are far more important than the adversities that monopolize our attention. (Our Daily Bread)

This reminds me of a bit of verse that, though I admit is somewhat trite, does express good practical advice. Someone has written: "As you travel down life's pathway, may this ever be your goal: Keep your eye upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole!" Like old, long-gone Webley dog, the more we focus on the negative things around us, the more likely it is that we will miss the obvious blessings sitting right before our eyes. Sometimes it takes God to intervene through hardships and sorrow to break our focus on the negative and refocus us on the positive blessings in this life. Yes, rather than concentrating on the trials of life, we should fix our attention upon their blessings. The more we stare at trouble, the more we'll look past the blessings that God has placed right before our very eyes.

We pray. Father. We give thanks for those many blessings that we often overlook because we are so preoccupied with what ails us, what presses us, what threatens us. Forgive us Lord when we become so focused on what is going wrong that we are unable to see what is going right? We receive so many undeserved blessing by your pure grace. How sad it is that we often overlook what is given to us without any merit on our part at all. We know that this day will have its troubles and sorrows. Help us Lord to look past these and take comfort in your bountiful and free mercy. In Jesus Name. Amen!

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to ”This Passing Day!”

<markcbrunner@thispassingday.com> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.

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