Back in the US, after many adventures in the UK, I now reflect over several weeks of wonderful "whatever moments." Actually I shared only a few on this blog, since I was out of email contact for many days, especially when holidaying in the North of England.
Because I was on the look-out for positives, I found them everywhere. Sometimes very small things! For example, walking on the moors in Yorkshire awoke me to the wonder of every passer-by cheerily greeting me. Actually, I experimented on one long walk - would everyone I met look me in the face and say "Hello"? Yes, they did! Every single person, of all ages, some walking dogs, others jogging, or even cycling, greeted me - often with a smile. I know it's a country tradition but how wonderful! When I got back home I commented how this continuous sense of recognition and warmth from people you didn't know would be a little like heaven! Everyone you meet in glory will belong together with you!
I was interested in Richard Wiseman's new self-help book: 59 seconds. As a "professor for the public understanding of psychology", he claims his advice is based on sound research. He warns (rightly) about self-help books in general, because people can become dependent on them. He claims that anyone doing something differently for a short period will think the advice has made a difference, but actually they will either go back to their old ways, or realize that this new thing is not as effective as they were told! Instead, he calls people to think a little, but change a lot.
For example, he writes: "Boost your health and happiness by spending a few moments at the start of each week listing five things that you are grateful for in life."
Does that remind you of anything? Now I am back to reality, with mounds of mail and duties I realize it may not be as easy to keep being positive. But I need to hold on to a great truth, by God's grace:
Whatever is true,
Whatever is noble,
Whatever is right,
Whatever is pure,
Whatever is lovely,
Whatever is admirable.....think about such things (Phil. 4:8).