Friday, March 27, 2015

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on Cause and Effect

Exciting things are happening here in Allison. Work started today on the building that will house "Allison Little Lambs Child Care." Lots of volunteers came to do some work gutting the inside of the building. We got quite a bit done in just a few hours.

Well, before going to help with some of this work, I decided to put on some old jeans and a sweatshirt. The sweatshirt worked just fine, but I ran into a little problem with the old jeans. One pair could never have buttoned and the pair that I did get on would button but I could barely breathe that way. Yikes! When did this happen? I had to put on a newer pair that were already stretched out to fit.

This got me thinking about cause and effect. I thought back to all of the candy corn I ate this fall, and the many marshmallow peeps I've consumed as Easter gets closer. To give myself a little credit, I haven't eaten nearly as many peeps as I've wanted to eat. Now add on the ice cream, nutty bars, oreos, and (lately) many handfuls of semi-sweet chocolate chips and I can see why my old jeans won't button. There was a cause (overeating) and there is an effect (clothes that don't fit). 

Unfortunately, the solution is simple, but not easy. Eat less, move more. It's time to spend a few more minutes on the treadmill and not reach for a snack whenever I get stressed or bored. There is no pill I can take that will magically melt away the pounds. It's just going to take some hard work to get back into those jeans and feel more comfortable in my clothing.

I wonder if almost everything in our lives can be explained by cause and effect.

Treating others badly can lead to strained relationships.
Cheating on your taxes can lead to an audit and jail time.
Procrastinating can lead to missed deadlines and lots of stress.
Ignoring a friend can lead to loneliness when they move on to someone who appreciates them more.
Yelling at your children can lead to resentment that can last for years.

I don't want to try to list every negative cause and effect. I'm sure you can think of many examples from your own life or someone else's. 

Luckily, it works in a positive way as well.

Showing love to your spouse or children can result in warm feelings returned to you.
Getting things done on time can lead to a feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment.
Writing someone a letter can brighten someone's day and strengthen your relationship.
Learning to manage an illness well (physical or mental) can help you to thrive in life instead of just gloomily coping with symptoms.

I hope you can apply this to your own life and see where you may need to change some "causes" so that you will get different "effects." It's going to take some hard work, but it will be worth it in the end. As a friend of mine encouraged me this week: Don't give up, don't give up, don't give up!

"All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty." (Proverbs 14:23 NIV)

Is there something you need to be doing differently so that you get a better "effect?" How can focusing on Jesus help you to not give up and learn to do things more effectively?

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