This concept keeps presenting itself to me, and my husband suggested I blog on it, so here we are! The concept is atmosphere. The idea that we each have the power to create and shift the atmosphere around us, in a room, in a family, in an organization, in our household, and even in our own selves. How we are being truly affects everyone we touch. Often how we "be" is in direct relation to how we "feel" (although with mastery the "be" can come first.) How we feel is a choice, not a result of our circumstances, the situations we find ourselves faced with. As long-time Navy Seal Robert O'Neill puts it, "All stress is self-created." So true. It is our response that determines how we feel, determines the atmosphere inside of ourselves. How we respond is a choice, every time. With any situation, do we choose gratitude or complaining? Do we take responsibility or play victim mode? Do we look for solutions or dwell on problems? Do we celebrate or condemn? Do we congratulate or criticize? Do we look for opportunities for growth, or wish life was easier? Do we look to be blessed or to be a blessing to others?
This ties in, sort of, with a recent question I posted on Facebook: Is happiness an idol? God's word is clear, that joy and "peace that surpasses all understanding" are available through Christ. I heard recently that "the most joy-filled part of the Bible, Philippians, was written from a jail cell. What right did he have to be happy?" Many times we see people who have nothing in the material world, yet their hearts are filled with love and joy, their faces quick to smile, their generous spirit happy to share what little they have with others. And yet there are plenty who have so much, so many material things, yet their faces are set in frowns, they yell and criticize everyone and everything around them, they never seem happy (finger pointing straight at self.)
So what is the trick? What is the key to holding that inner atmosphere of peace, tranquility, goodness, kindness, and so forth. The Bible calls these the "fruits of the spirit" and promises they are ours to live out when we call forth and allow the Holy Spirit to fill us. (Cue one of my favorite songs "Holy Spirit you are welcome here, come flood this place and fill the atmosphere...) And I think that's the catch, we have to allow ourselves to be entirely filled with something that is not us. We have to continually "die to self", to pick up our own cross and walk with Jesus, to lay down our very lives, that we may have life in Him. So simple, yet so very hard to do.
So on this Good Friday, as we remember our Savior Jesus Christ who died on the cross for us, let us also remember that true joy, true peace, comes from dying on our cross daily for Him who loves us so. And let our atmosphere, within ourselves and all around, be filled with His Holy presence.