I think God has been trying to tell me something – I keep coming across the word “metanoia” in different books I am reading. Metanoia is a Greek word that means a transformative change of mind or heart. It’s similar to the word metamorphosis which describes the process of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly.
I have always been a “glass half empty” person. James O. Henman, Ph.D. says “If you see the glass half empty, there are several natural reactions you are likely to have – feeling bad about what is missing, resenting what is missing, getting defensive about what isn’t there. These reactions make it harder to enjoy what is in your glass. On the other hand, when you see your glass half full, there is a natural tendency to value what is in your glass, thus increasing the chances of enjoying it. This reaction naturally enhances your pleasure with what is in your glass.” How can I change and become more of a “glass half full” person?
In 2013, Rick gave me a beautiful birthday gift – a recommended “book of the month” for 12 months from 12 of my dearest friends. One of the books, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, spoke to my heart in a deep and lasting way. I have picked it back up in the last week because I believe the message of this book is the metanoia that God is calling me to today. Ann asks, “Someone please give me – who is born again but still so much in need of being born anew – give me the details of how to live in the waiting cocoon before the forever begins”. She wonders, “How do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties? What does a life of gratitude look like when your days are gritty, long, and sometimes dark? How do I wake up to joy and grace and beauty and all that is the fullest life when I must stay numb to losses and crushed dreams and all that empties me out? What is God providing here and now?”
Ann’s questions resonate with me because I am trying to figure out how to give up despair and grasp hope; how to choose joy over sadness; how to see trials and losses as ways to see through to God and enjoy His presence and His loving arms. I know that changing my perspective from “glass half empty” to “glass half full” will take intentionality and a determined will. Ann embarks on her quest with the challenge to write a list of a thousand things she loves, to name a thousand blessings/gifts from God. She says, “this writing it down, it is sort of like unwrapping love…but this list, it feels foreign, strange. I am a woman who speaks but one language, the language of the fall (in the garden of Eden) – discontentment and self-condemnation, the critical eye and the never satisfied”.
This is where I am right now. God is calling me to have a change of heart – a metanoia. God is wooing me into a deeper relationship with Him by a renewing of my mind and heart. Learning how to be grateful, thankful and joyful, to believe in His goodness regardless of the circumstances. To believe in my heart that in Christ my glass is more than half full.
Instead of “my job can be so frustrating!”; “Thank You, God, that I have a job!”
Instead of “I miss my adult children so much that it hurts- they are so far away!”; “Thank You, God, that I can stay in touch with my babies through cell phones, texting, and e-mail”.
Instead of “It’s so expensive to eat healthy!”; “Thank You, God, that we have the ability to buy healthy food”.
“ Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
“ Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18