In exploring how to access all that God has promised us through His Word, I have shared that God uses the acronym FUN (Finding Upgrade Now) with me to understand that in any and all situations I might face, I have a choice. I can look at the downside of the situation or I can look at how God can work it for my good. In the past couple of blogs, I have shared this more as a concept, but today I thought I would share how I actually applied it recently.
In May, I had the opportunity to go to Missouri to a very exciting graduation. My spiritual daughter, having no formal education her whole life, not even home school, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Evangel University. Talk about an upgrade!
On route to the graduation, only 2 hours in to the 15 hour journey, I hit a blown out tire. I saw that it damaged my bumper which I was bummed about, but from what I could tell, I did not damage anything else because the car was still performing as well as it had been. I chose the upgrade of focusing on what was going well, even though I was tempted to focus on what went wrong. I reminded myself that a damaged bumper was far better than damaged people. There were three of us on this journey and had I over-corrected as to not hit the tire, I knew from horror stories that you can flip a car if you swerve at that kind of speed. I also reminded myself that God has provided for things like this in the past and chose to reject worry.
We ventured on stopping in Kearney and then on to Springfield the next day with no more incidents. We got to the baccalaureate service just in time and afterward, got to celebrate this amazing accomplishment with my daughter and the many who have poured into her life. We got to celebrate the culmination to many upgrades in her life that made this exciting event a reality.
The next day, we decided to take my car around Springfield so she could show us some of her favorite places, but twenty minutes into that, my car overheated! We were able to take the car to a service center only 3 blocks away and when the mechanic got my car on the lift it was clear the tire I hit had done more damage than we realized. He kept asking questions like, “You drove the rest of the way at night, right?” “You drove here with the air conditioning off, right?” In both cases, we said no and I asked, “Are you saying we should not have been able to get to Springfield?” He said we were lucky that we did and we told him we knew instead that it was Divine intervention! He ended up having to replace a fan that was not spinning for 12 hours of the trip! He was also able to report that the dented radiator seemed to be holding so he thought we could make the journey back without replacing that.
Now, this repair cost me financially, and the enemy is, as always, tempting me to focus on the fact that that money could have been better spent had I been paying better attention. He also tempts me to worry about how my mistake affected other people (it’s my husband’s money too, the delay in the schedule affected several other people, my daughter didn’t get to show us some of her favorite places). It has been the case that affecting other people has been a trigger to some trauma in my past that led me to believe, “When I have a problem or create a problem I AM a problem.”
I have been actively seeking God with this latter “trauma A” (struggles resulting in later years due to the good things we should have had growing up but were absent). Instead of focusing on what was actively going wrong, I chose to counteract each of the negative facts with the good that was also a part of the situation. I was also able to focus on the proof that some of the things I had done in the past to heal from the Trauma A must have had effect because I was not feeling those things in my heart and body to the degree I had in the past. I chose laughter, being easier on myself, rejoicing over the fact that it could have been much worse, enjoying the present by getting to know the new people I was meeting and what God would want with those interactions and continuing to celebrate the reason we were there. I knew succumbing to “what was going wrong” would steal the precious moments of celebration from me and those around me. I was in my present not stuck in my past! My upgrades were many and by keeping my focus on them, the enemy was not able to steal my joy or connection with others, which was the ultimate upgrade!
Finding Upgrades Now is the FUN we can have searching for the many treasures, gifts, and provisions God has for us as we travel through life’s ups and downs. We always have a choice: God’s plan to prosper us and not to harm us or the enemy’s scheme to steal, kill, and destroy. The difference is contingent upon our focus. Are my eyes on my circumstances that can toss me around like the winds and the waves or are my eyes fixed on the Author and Perfector of my faith? This choice makes all the difference!