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Grace Beats

Every now and then I am surprised by something someone does or says that I honestly never expected them to do. I am quite certain I have surprised people more than once with my own actions - actions they never thought I'd do either! So many times we form opinions of others based on what we see. The only "chink" in this method of "opinion forming" is we don't have the full picture! When we can realize how we miss the mark sometimes, we are taking the first step toward correcting our actions! Actions don't correct themselves - there must first be an acknowledgement that we need to change and then we must take the correct steps.

But Noah was different. God liked what he saw in Noah. (Genesis 6:8)

Do we ever wonder if God likes what he sees right now when he looks at us? I do! There are definitely times when I think God DOESN'T like what he sees because the actions were rude, harsh, or just downright selfish. I sometimes think my actions are based upon circumstances - the more stressed I get, the less reliable my responses to life! I find I cut corners - answer quicker than I should, get a little short-tempered with others, and even just 'check out' for a bit into my own little shell to just get a grip on reality once again. Do you know what it means to be in a FRENZY? It is a condition of the mind in which the mind becomes wildly excited by the input it is receiving! Now if we were all truthful, whenever this occurs, we all have a tendency to "act out of character" just a little bit, don't we? It is like we just "could not help ourselves". Uh oh! Gone to meddling now, haven't I? But....don't forget....I am meddling in my own muddle first!

Why does our mind get caught up in the "frenzy" of the moment? In my case, it is often that I am on sensory overload. There are too many people asking me questions, telling me what they need, all at the same time - making demands of an already tired brain! In trying to keep all this organized in my mind, I "flip the switch" from being "in control" to allowing the frenzy to control me. Rather than stepping away a moment so I can regroup and calm the frenzy inside my brain, I sometimes stay in the thick of things and that rarely works out well for me or others who have to deal with me! There is great wisdom in recognizing the "breaking point" we all experience from time to time. There is even greater wisdom in knowing when it is time to step away for a few deep breaths. Nothing anyone else is doing is likely to actually be all that "wrong" in the moment. WE are what is likely wrong! We are allowing input to determine our response.

I wonder what God thinks when he watches all this unfold in our moment of frenzy. I still think God likes what he sees in each of us, just as he did when he looked at Noah, or considered the heart of David. God sees the bigger picture, he knows our responses even before they come, and he looks deeper than the response - right into the heart. God forgives our blundering responses - because he recognizes our heart gets hurt by our own actions! We feel the weight of those incorrect actions more than people probably realize and we are our own worst critics! Why does our "heart hurt" when we act in an unbecoming manner? I guess it is as plain as the nose on our face - God has been in the business of changing our heart for a good many years! He has softened it, rearranged its priorities, sensitized it to others, and made it beat best when it is listening to his heart! If you find yourself ever "undone" in the moment, just remember this - God sees your heart, not just your actions. He knows the actions are wrong, but he knows the integrity of our heart. 

I honestly don't know how you respond in the moment of frenzy, but I do not think I am alone in this muddle! Thank goodness God sees our hearts first - our actions matter, but it is our heart he really directs his focus toward, as it affects our responses to life in the long run. When he sees a right heart which just "skipped a beat" for a moment, he allows us to deal with the "arrhythmia" of an irregular beat or two, then move on! What a gracious God indeed! I call these 'grace beats' - the beats of our heart where he just 'resets' the rhythm and restores the pace of life once again! Just sayin!

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