The Black Dot or Something Better

Written by: Steve Crowder

From his youth, Steve knew he was called into the ministry which ultimately led him to Applied Life Christian College in Arkansas. Now as Lead Pastor of Highway, after two decades of ministry experience, marriage and raising three kids, Steve teaches with unique insight and practical application.

January 10, 2022

Philippians 4:8 NIV “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

I was reminded of an important lesson this past week while I was with my family in Atlanta that has stuck with me and helped me right my perspective numerous times since. We had flown Frontier out of DIA with a short layover in Orlando to connect the flights to Georgia. With so many flights being canceled as of late, we were grateful to have one to catch, but inevitably there were delays which closed the gap all too close for the connecting flight. If you have ever seen the movie, Home Alone, you know exactly what we looked like trying to get from gate to gate in the terminal!  And if you haven’t seen the movie by now, you really need to watch more movies…just saying. Anyway, sure enough we made the flight, but our luggage apparently went in a different direction or just didn’t make the switch quick enough to arrive when we did in ATL. So from a little after midnight we stood around the carousel with other passengers until 2:00 a.m. waiting for their possible arrival and trying to find someone from the airline to speak with.  

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to see the positive in moments that don’t go as expected or desired?  If I held a piece of typing paper up with a black dot in the center and asked you to tell me what you saw, most of us would respond with, “Duh, it’s a black dot!” Very few people would let you know that they see a white sheet of typing paper (which is actually the object that I’m holding in my hand). In like manner, life has programmed us to see the negative, and more often than not, it’s so much smaller an issue than all the other things that are actually going well. I seriously was focused on the “small black dot” while pacing around the luggage carousel for hours! It was so hard to see all the positives that were directly in front of my face…my family was together, we were all healthy, our house was still intact back in CO, I was about to spend time with my relatives and crazy enough, we actually had luggage to lose!  The list could go on, but I think we get the point.  

In this Bible verse, the Apostle Paul is reminding us that it takes intentionality to think about the good. To see the “white piece of paper” and not the negative situation that is trying so desperately to frustrate our day.  It’s not something we naturally do. So this week, I want to encourage you to step back in that moment, take a deep breath and remind yourself of everything you have to be grateful for.  “Think about such things.”

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