Ann K. Frailey considers the value of intentionally directing her attention rather than being swept along by emotional currents.
“Temptations prove thee.”
A line from a prayer book I read this morning stopped me in my mental tracks. I had been talking the night before with my daughter about the value of professionalism in our world and how important it is to apply the concept to our thoughts as well as our actions. The words struck a chord, reminding me of the value of intentionally directing myself rather than being swept along by roaring currents.
Now at the end of the day, as I listen to the frogs’ chorus, the rustle of wind across the dried cornfields, note the silence of kids gone to bed, and join in a peaceful moment of solitude, reflecting on a day of off-road paths, I realize how many times I was tempted to react rather than put my life in proper order. Not because it would have been good but rather because it would have felt so natural.
I have come to the conclusion that my life is a trial. Seriously. A try-out for something that I can’t see yet. The person that I could be. The life and home I long for. The love that every human desires in the core of his or her being. Free will is the name of the game. And transformation is the goal.
As spokespersons, media personalities, politicians, Google search engines, bots, and a host of realities nudge me through the highways and byways of my online world, I sometimes forget that I make the choice of what I hear, what I see, what I pay attention to, what I react to. I don’t have to get hot and bothered by commentaries. I don’t have to seethe, live in terror, or seek a particular end to someone else’s trauma drama. I can choose my mood and make productive even the oddest moment.
From unexpectedly having to get tires checked this morning, I was able to have a humorous chat with the service guy who proved that a gentleman doesn’t make a lady feel like an idiot even when her ignorance of auto operations should glare with flashing neon lights. I was tempted to feel stupid but decided to be grateful instead.
A surprise call from my sister who is dealing with health problems led to her offering me insight and advice with my own health challenges, drawing us beyond a dark past into a supportive present. I was tempted to end the call early but instead allowed her to be the big sister she longs to be and relaxed in her enduring love.
When a collaborative effort with a voice actor on one of my projects didn’t pan out, I could have been hurt and annoyed. But as the situation remained not only professional but also pleasant, we were able to recognize the situation honestly and wish each other the best and move on.
There are times when the trials of life enmesh me in idiocy, and I need help to break the fear and “What if —” cycle. Conversations with friends, classical music, a prayerful book, a walk in nature, efforts to seek out good, beautiful, and noble realities — even in stories — break the vicious cycle and redirect my mind as well as my feet.
Ultimately, I — and everyone sharing the planet with me — are works in progress. I don’t see all ends. I’m lucky if I see the road a few feet ahead. Flexibly meeting the day while constantly reaffirming my priorities — toward what bears healthy, holy fruit makes every day a good one — no matter how tempting.
Copyright 2020 Ann K. Frailey
Image: Pixabay (2016)
About the Author
As a teacher with a degree in Elementary Education who has taught in big cities and small towns, Ann Frailey homeschooled all of her children. She manages her rural homestead with her kids and their numerous critters. She writes books and a Friday blog alternating between short stories and her My Road Goes Ever On series. Put Your Mind in a Better Place—Entertainment for Life: AKFrailey.com.