This is a post by Prudence Sinclair.
I thought we would play a little game today. Are you game for a game?
Okay, take a look at this photo:
What do you see?
Some people might say they see a sad man, thinking about someone he has just lost.
Others may say this man is in deep thought, planning his future.
And still others might say this man is overwhelmed by the natural splendor around him.
Which of these is the right perspective? Or are ANY of them the right perspective?
Human beings have a habit of judging people and events. We judge things in all sorts of ways. We decide one thing is good while another is bad; believe that this is hard while that is easy, think that person is mean and this one is nice.
Why do we do this?
Most likely it stems from our ancestors needing to stay alive. For thousands of years, our ancestors had to quickly judge everything in their environment because at any second, something in their environment could literally harm or kill them.
That tribe shares food. That tribe steals food.
This berry is safe to eat. That berry is poisonous.
This bunny is nice. That bear is deadly.
We seem to be hardwired to judge things and put them into specific boxes in order to make sense of the world around us.
But the thing is, we no longer live with 24/7 danger all around us. Yes, there are still those moments when we perceive there may be danger and we quickly judge walking down that alley is dangerous or getting into the Uber car with that driver is not safe.
But for the most part, judging things no longer keeps us alive, it actually keeps us from living fully.
Judging Kills Infinite Potential
When you make a decision about something, when you judge it to be something case closed, well, you’ve closed the door to infinite potential because you are now blind to that potential. X is bad so it can’t be good.
Here’s a for instance. A friend of mine met her now husband in a funny way. About three years ago she and a friend of hers went out to eat at my friend’s favorite restaurant. The only table that was available was back near the kitchen. That was BAD. My friend did NOT want that table and she was pissed she was going to have to settle for something less than what she believed was GOOD. It was either that or go somewhere else.
Well, as I said, it was her favorite restaurant so they took the table, but all while looking through the menu, she stewed and was an absolute sourpuss according to her.
Well, halfway through the dinner, a couple of men were seated at the table next to them. Long story short, one of the guys struck up a conversation with them, she had a wonderful night, she gave him her number, he called, they dated, they fell madly in love and are now happily married.
Now, if she had been pigheaded and decided to leave the restaurant because that table was BAD and not GOOD, she may have never met her husband. That BAD table turned out to be the GREATEST table she could have ever sat at!!
God Works in Mysterious Ways
Life is a love affair with the divine creator. Together you both create your life. It is the most intimate collaboration you can imagine, and “He” uses all sorts of colors and textures to co-create your life with you. When you make a rash judgement about a person or event in your life, you are, most likely, missing the ENTIRE point of God’s message or gift to you.
Our minds and imaginations are puny compared to God’s and we can’t possibly comprehend the moves “He” makes on our behalf.
When you “decide” that it’s miserable out because the sky is gray and it’s cold, you miss the gorgeous bright red cardinal that just landed in the tree in front of you.
When you decide that your neighbor is a grumpy old guy, you miss the opportunity to learn from him and hear his incredible stories.
When you decide that the bumper-to-bumper traffic is annoying, you miss the 8-year-old in the car next to you making hilarious faces at everyone. You can stew, or you can have a good laugh. It’s up to you.
We’ve all formed opinions and beliefs based on our past experiences or based on what other people believe. For instance, most people think a gray day and 27 degrees is miserable. But does this actually make the day miserable? There is so much beauty to enjoy. So much wonder all around. Why is it miserable?
“Because it’s cold!” you might say.
“Well, what’s wrong with being cold sometimes?”
“I don’t like being cold.”
But when you are cold, you get to experience that awesome feeling of stepping inside and getting warm, no?
So is a gray winter day bad? No. It’s just a gray, winter day. And one filled with potential, if you would simply observe the day instead of judging it.
When we observe instead of judge, we invite God into our lives. Observing opens doors while judging closes them.
Observing says to God, “Okay, show me what you got.”
On that invitation, God smiles and lets loose!!
Life is More Fun When…
We stop pretending we know everything and start wondering more.
I encourage you to catch yourself in those moments when you’ve DECIDED that something isn’t good or right or fun or nice. Stop in these moments and ask yourself what makes you think what you think. You’ll find it’s not a fact but just a belief or an opinion you have formed for some reason or other.
Try to stop judging and start observing the world, people and events around you and let infinite possibilities into your life.
It’s a gray cold day today but I’m going to rug up and get out and walk and see what makes me smile!!
Enjoyed this posting of yours – thanks for a timely reminder about the limitations of judging!
Just want to thank you for the uplifting messages. I don’t always have time to read your posts, but when I do, it’s during a moment that I most need to hear the message. God bless you always, and don’t stop your good works.