By Johnathan Gerdes
My daughter was in the barn with me late one evening, assisting me in a difficult birthing situation and we decided to start a little “TV” show that we would share on my family’s social media page. We called it “Reality!”
My daughter would hold the camera and record things as they were happening. When she would say, “Action!” I would say, “Welcome back to reality!” Then give a little tour of our current happenings. We would show how we were taking care of the cow in distress and how we were covered in blood and amniotic fluid. We would show the great effort we were putting forth to help the cow, and we showed the difficulty of it all. All the while, as we were sharing and recording, it changed our glum attitudes! In the days to come, we continued the “show” as equipment broke down or as we needed to do the more undesirable tasks and chores. We felt like there was a lot going on that was just plain dumb! But as we recorded and rewatched some of the “footage,” we couldn’t help seeing things from a different perspective. We started seeing good things that were happening as well. I saw things from outside of the situation and it changed my attitude. Turns out, my current feelings about my circumstances do not always reflect reality. Our feelings can be as fickle as a plastic bag in a storm.
When I was in the rainforest of Indonesia, I struggled through a raging river to get to a large rock standing in the middle of it. As I climbed onto the top of the huge rock I looked down and all around me was raging water, but I was perfectly secure! My circumstance was that I was surrounded by raging water. My reality was that I was securely clinging to a solid rock.
In life, whatever our circumstance, God is holding steady. Psalm 18 says, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge…”
Reality is that our circumstances will change.
Reality is that God is constant! “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Most Christmas songs get oversung and I get tired of them by the new year, but there’s one that I keep singing. I just change the words a little. Ok, here goes, sing this with me! “It’s the mo-st won-derful ti-me… of our lives!” Then feel free to make up your own words for the rest of the song. Every season of life could be described in that tune.
Though it’s not always easy, what if that could be our daily tune. Each season – childhood years, teenage shenanigans, college awesome, when we were newlyweds, or right now as we are surrounded by kids. We can choose to focus on whatever is getting us down or we choose to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
There can also be fear of the future. What will it be like to get old? It looks painful. But I remember a pillow in my grandma’s living room. It said, “If I would have known how wonderful grandchildren are, I would have had them first.” So I’m choosing to look forward to grandchildren as well. I hear they are pretty awesome! The jury is still out on the rest of it.
On my birthday last July, I decided that since I’m just about a grown up now, this will be the best year yet! Anytime I want to act like I have it all together, I put my hat on backwards so I can be the kind of confident person who wears their hat backwards (how do you always do it, you backwards hat wearers?)
Through all of our my circumstances, if I let feelings be in charge, I would have quit most of life long ago. Instead, I’m learning to bring my brain back to reality – focusing my thoughts on the “most wonderful” in front of me.
Meet your farmer – Jonathan Gerdes. He and his wife run a farm-to-table raw milk dairy in Caledonia, Minn. If he isn’t in the barn, you can find him dating his wife, playing with his kids, leading youth group, or flying in the sky. Visit gerdesfreshfarm.com for more info.
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