Focus on God - "Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you." Verse 2.
Step one to focusing on God: Listen to better music.
I ran away from the rain and into the gym, which was crowded with body odor and new year's resolutions. I love to work out. It's my sweat therapy. I have my pandora playlist set perfectly, centered around The Black Eyed Peas. I pretend to have more rhythm while I watch all the muscles walking around, and I imagine that this would be my sound track if we were in a movie. But, in compliance with January's goal, I changed my pandora station to a more appropriate tune. One hour with God to work my spirit, while I worked my hams.
At first I was sure I had Spiritual ADD. There were so many thoughts bouncing around in my head, I couldn't focus. I missed the beat of my old music and the urge to walk with a swagger on the treadmill.
Somewhere around the 200th burned calorie and the fourth round of Casting Crowns, it struck me. I couldn't seem to get a recent parent conference off of my mind. At one point during the meeting, the mom simply said, "I just pray." Because she didn't know what else to do to help her child.
Possibly the hardest thing about teaching (and I assume parenting), is that you can't do it for them. You have to equip children with the skills they need to succeed and somehow push them out of the nest... hoping they fly. What's crazy is that this is what God does with us. And the crazy part? He chooses to be this way, letting us make mistakes and fall. How frustrating must it be to give us what we need, teach us what to do, and watch us fall right out of the nest on our big flying debut? I think it makes His love for us even that more special.
And really, maybe that mom is on to something.