You may or may not be aware that every minute of every day you are being shaped by things all around you and by all the things you see, the things you experience, the things you hear, all the people you interact with, the places you visit, eat at, work, and travel on. We are each like a piece of wet clay on a potter’s wheel. We feel like we are spinning around and around very fast and we sometimes know when we are changing and sometimes we are caught up and we do not even realize we are being molded into something new.
Think back to your teen years are maybe even earlier and something that changed you. Maybe it was a glimpse of something that was not appropriate for your age, or a movie or television show that was very scary for your age, or perhaps a death or natural disaster which changed you forever. There are many more subtle things which shape us daily. When we become glued to a news program during a natural disaster, a terror attack or some high drama event like a death of a celebrity or President we become fixated to the screen and flip back and forth to stand in constant contact with the developing news. We are glued to our computers and phones. What is it in the human spirit which causes us to never be satisfied or quenched with information?
Let’s look at this from another perspective. Knowledge and maturity grow slower than other things in our lives. There’s a reason for this. We are molded into the person we are and are becoming. With each life experience we grow. We gain knowledge. We learn how to think critically, to reason and make decisions. We learn every decision has a consequence whether good or bad. We evaluate our choice, we grow a little, we mature, we gain valuable knowledge.
Think back on this past weekend, what shaped you?
You spouse was shaped too and so were your children. What are you allowing to shape your family?
May I be so bold as to suggest that you take a very good long look at what you allow into your home and where your family goes and what shapes them and for you to take note and change those things which are not shaping you, your spouse and your family in a positive way?
Being around negative people all the time also takes a toll on each one of us. Get around positive people. If you are a person who gossips, is always looking for the next juicy bit of information on somebody, beware, you are on a dangerous slippery slop. Make an effort to only speak positively about others in your life. If you are having trouble with doing that, then keep quiet.
If you find yourself slipping into a season of negativity, make a conscious effort to put more positive people, experiences and things into your life to balance you. It is these small changes which lift and fill. Getting out into the fresh air and sunshine will also do this. If it is possible eat your meals outside. Even in the dead of winter. A bundled up body with hat and gloves on a park bench with a bag lunch with warm soup and a warm cup of hot chocolate will go a long way to lift your spirits. I am sure you can also come up with other activities to get you out into the fresh air.
Take a moment and look around and take notice of what is shaping you and your life today.