So here’s the thing. You watch a movie. There are the ups and downs, twists and turns, moments of laughter, tears, moments of wondering how things are going to turn out and thinking there’s no way a situation can end well. And then? The end of the movie. The beautiful ending where all of the pieces come together and you see where things have been leading all along. It’s a happy ending, a hopeful ending, one that leaves you with that feeling that life is good, you can do this.
Well, last night as I sat on my deck and just enjoyed a few moments of solitude after a really crazy day, I was thinking about endings. I was thinking about how some moments can wipe away all the yuck of the day. Like the sweet ending of a crazy dramatic movie, was my time on the deck. The events of the day were past, and we were all still standing, and I was going to savor the moments for a bit.
In our busy lives, it’s so precious to savor the moments of reflection and solitude and “Phew! We made it!”. Yes we need to carve out time for them, find them, savor them. Because most likely there will be more of those crazy moments tomorrow and the next day. But at the end of the day, as we get through and over and move on, how awesome it is to just make a conscious effort to breathe and reflect a bit. What we ‘bathe’ in during these times makes a difference.
When my children were small, evening bath time was an obvious necessity. With 6 little ones who played enthusiatically in the dirt and woods and often unintenionally wore some of their food after mealtime, well, it was a time to wash away all of the unwanted remnants of the day. I loved wrapping those squeaky clean ‘babies’ up in a towel and seeing how fresh and clean they were after a busy day. They always seemed a lot more relaxed (and approachable!) after their baths.
In the same way as our bodies need showers and baths, our minds need to be washed and cleansed and to have a “Truth Bath” of sorts. It’s amazing the negative thoughts, images, and vibes we can take in in a day, and just as we need to clean up the outside, it’s so good to be vigilant over the inside. I love Philippians 4:8 that says, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” At day’s end, it’s amazing how we can find the silver lining in even the worst of things if we just look, search, for them. But we need to take the time. Like a daily shower, a daily “truth bath”, bathing our mind in truth takes intentional putting aside time to wash away the yuck and focus on what’s good, what’s true, what’s important. God’s Word refreshes, rejuvenates like nothing else I’ve ever known.
So, tonight, as I ‘bathed’ in the sunshine on my back deck, and ‘bathed’ in the truths of God’s Word, it made all the difference in my take on the day. You see, I have a feeling it I would’ve only gone to bed feeling a bit defeated and exhausted if I hadn’t had that “truth bath” of sorts. But just like that feeling of watching an ending to a good movie, I felt the sense that God was in it and I could go to bed thinking on the good things. It kind of gave that “big picture” Hope instead of ‘bad day’ gloom.
And one more thing. Do you know what else I thought about? I know the “end of the story”. I know that my life, our lives, will be full of ups and downs and all arounds and crazy and good and nonsense and purpose. But God’s Word tells me that this is so not all there is. And that gives me deep hope and courage to face the crazy, unpredictable things that may come. Because He is not only Present with us through it, He can use it, and it’s leading somewhere. He has a way of working things together for His purposes.The end of the story is that “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.” (I Corinthians 2:9). The ‘end of the story’ for those in Christ is the beginning of something so much more amazing than what we can imagine! It is like a “Happily Ever After” scene beyond our imagination. Somehow, knowing that, can help me face the crazier periods or “chapters” of my life in a whole new way. That, and a bit of sun, cup of coffee, and Word of God after a long day can sure help keep things in perspective at the day’s end. It can make all the difference in the next day’s beginning as well. Hope matters.