Everyday of my life, I have an invitation to be less. It can come in the form of something as simple as driving down the road and begin goaded by someone else’s bad driving behavior into reacting poorly, to something deeper, like allowing negativity to invade my thoughts and shut me down emotionally. I find there is a daily siren’s call to beckon me to a place of being less in my words, my thoughts and my actions. Yet every day those very same challenges can be turned into an invitation to be more, even more than I thought I could be. Cut off in traffic? I can send out a prayer of peace and blessing upon that person. Have people’s bad behavior emotionally slam against me? I can set a boundary and realize their behavior is just that – theirs. See life circumstances knock the wind out of my sails? I can choose faith and hope. See my worst choices decide to go on parade right before me? I can remember God has already shut down that circus, and His grace is free, abundant and more powerful than any of my actions. Day in and day out, there is always one thing I have control over – my decision to be more, to honor God and to take the higher ground, or to get sucked into being less and let go of mercy and grace for myself and for others. I’d love to say I perfectly choose to be more, but that would be a lie. I have days where I can seemingly make all the wrong decisions. It’s like a slippery slope. The more I give in, the more negativity can dominate my day. But I have also learned that the more I make the time to tie into God and His powerful love, the more I am able to avoid the downward slope, and the easier it becomes to choose joy, to choose to be more than my circumstances, both from past and in the present. I have learned that God’s peace and happiness are powerful tools, as are the truths He tells me about both myself and others. He reminds me I will never perfectly know some else’s story, what their path has truly been like, any more than they will know mine; He allows me to understand that people’s hearts and souls are sacred spaces, that I am sacred space. The more I move toward God’s compassion for both myself and for others, the better this life becomes, and I can experience “more” in greater and greater abundance. For Further Thought: In 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 it says, “The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way–never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful Good-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.” Think of two areas, one big and one small, that you can be tempted to be less in. This week, pray and look for opportunities to reach for being more in these situations. NOTE: Saturday is the last chance to join my fall class, “Renewed: How to Find a Window When Life Has Closed the Door.” Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in attending. Hope to see you there!