Take Off Those Blinders
Take Off Those Blinders
When I was 7 years old, I asked for a new bicycle for Christmas. This was in addition to the many other items I had circled in the annual Sears and Roebuck Christmas Wish Book. I did not expect to receive a new bike for Christmas, as it was more than my parent’s budget allowed. But a girl can wish, can’t she? Christmas morning came and my brother and I opened all our gifts and we got most everything we wanted, but there was no bike under the tree for me. As we started enjoying our new toys, my dad asked if I would get him a glass of water from the kitchen. I got up and went to the kitchen, got him a glass of water, and brought it back to him. He looked at me rather puzzled and asked if I saw what was in the kitchen. Of course, my reply was, “What?” He suggested I go take a second look and, when I did, I saw a brand new shiny blue bicycle with a sparkling white seat. I was ecstatic. I rode through the house and then out to the yard. That bike brought me miles of enjoyment for many years.
Why do I tell you that story? If you recall, when I went to the kitchen the first time, I did not see the bike. It was as if I had blinders on and went in there for the glass of water, completed the mission, and returned to give it to my dad. My dad did not really want a glass of water. He wanted me to find my bike and I missed it because I had blinders on. Blinders can appear in many forms – missing things in your path, having a negative mindset, letting outside influences affect you, traumatic life experiences – you may also think of others.
Why do we let these things keep us from experiencing life to its fullest?
The short answer? Because we are human. We let our minds go down crazy thought paths, we let other people affect how we act, we struggle with putting the past behind us, and the list goes on.
How can we turn it around?
- Make prayer a priority. Ask God to show us how to experience a full life. Colossians 4:2 instructs us to, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”
- Memorize Scripture – If our hearts are full of God’s Word, there will not be room for negativity. Psalm 119:105 tells us, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
- Have faith. God knew us before we were born. He has a great path planned for our lives. Some reminders include 1 Peter 1:8 which says, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.“ 2 Corinthians 5:7 also reminds us, “For we live by faith, not by sight.”
- Keep a positive mindset. See our cup as half full. Keep our thoughts focused on good things like we read in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” We read in Proverbs 17:22, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
Make it practical
- There’s an app for that! Download a Bible app that will remind us daily to read the Bible and pray.
- Still a little old school? Read the printed version.
- Write Scriptures on note cards and carry them with us as a memorization tool.
- Look for opportunities to do good things – open a door for someone, buy the person behind us a coffee, make cookies for the local fire station, send an encouraging text or email to a friend or family member, and the list goes on.
Take off those blinders and let’s find the fullest life possible.
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