I am restless. Restlessness, at least for me, equals dangerousness. When I allow myself to become restless, I become impulsive (at best), difficult for everyone else (at worst). I know when I’m prone to restlessness, but I rarely do anything to prevent it and just wait to see what the impending storm looks like once I’m in the midst of it. Not a very smart choice and certainly worth getting ahead of.
So why don’t I? Because it takes effort. And once I feel the seeds of restlessness starting to sprout, the last thing I feel like doing is making any effort beyond what gives me instant gratification. Ugly but truthful.
I was restless last night, itching to start “something.” Fortunately, I didn’t feel well. Yes, this was fortunate because I didn’t have the energy to create any real chaos. Instead, I went to my “go to” music and read a few chapters of Beth Moore’s A Heart Like His. This helped. Not because Lincoln Brewster was singing and Beth Moore is a brilliant writer (although she is) but because it forced me to change my focus and take my eyes off myself.
I woke up a little less restless today but still wavering on the brink of making myself and others miserable. What to do? Instead of turning completely into myself, which is where my compass was pointing, I decided to set my thoughts aright. This was difficult. Do I love Jesus? Yup, I do. Do I always want to choose him first? Sadly, no. I’m selfish enough to not necessarily gravitate to Him and His ways on Round 1. And, by the way, going the long way around causes me and others a lot of discord along the way, so it’s really a no-brainer that I need to give up my natural path.
Anyway, I planted my feet and faced the restless beast that torments me. And while I wanted to fight, I also wanted to give in, give in to that center that allows me to take whatever direction I want, no matter what. (Yuck, right?) But instead I calculated what’s been missing that put me into this mood, this ride to nowhere good.
Ready for the answer? It’s pretty simple. I lost my gratitude. I lost living in daily thankfulness no matter what. It’s a bad, bad place to be. There is so much in life for which to give thanks. Not always obvious things. In looking back at my 1,000 Gifts List (okay I only made it to 253 but I didn’t start until August) from 2013, here are a few things for which I found gratefulness:
- Bare feet
- Ripening tomatoes
- Holding hands
- Grandma’s quilts
- Tears to wash away poison and pain
- The smell of ironing (I know, I know, but I like it!)
- That my husband grocery shops with me
- Hair appointments (I actually had this one twice!)
- A black purse I forgot I had tucked away in the closet
We are surrounded by things, people, and circumstances for which to be grateful. Start counting – You’ll be amazed at the change it brings.
I’m no longer restless today, therefore no longer dangerous. And simple gratitude made the difference. Incredible!