As I type this, I sit in my bedroom/office/prayer room/ “whatever else I decide to use it as today room,” in my temporary apartment, and examine the very white walls. (A 6-month lease will have you rethinking putting even one nail in the wall and sacrificing a deposit!) I’ve examined these walls pretty thoroughly and there’s no specks, no holes…not even a blemish. But if there were, with all the time I spend in here, I’m sure it would grab my attention. I’m sure after a while the speck would become bigger and bigger until that’s pretty much all I can focus on.
Are you there right now? Are you focusing on the specks around you and ignoring the beauty of the freshly and newly painted wall? Are you choosing to ignore what’s right and focus on what’s wrong? Are you choosing to complain about the things that are out of your control or are you choosing to adapt?
By no means am I attempting or would even dare to minimize any difficult circumstance you may be dealing with. Chances are, we’re all dealing with something in life that is uncomfortable and challenging and causes us to question many things. I’ve been there numerous times and quite frankly, I’m there now. What I hope you take away from this is one key word—adapt.
We all have a choice with how we adapt to a situation. As much as I dream big and as much as I rely on my faith, in many ways I’m a realist. The realist part of me knows that life is unpredictable and often brings about many uncertainties. Aren’t we all experiencing that in different degrees right now? More times than not, we’re going to find ourselves in positions in which we must adapt.
This may come in the form of a new job (or losing a job). It may be adapting to a new relationship (or losing one). It may be doing school online instead of in person. It may be having to wear a mask every single time you go outside. The list is endless of ways we must learn to adapt to a new situation. The question then becomes, how will you choose to adapt?
I love Philippians 4:11-12 and truthfully, as of late, I have a newfound appreciation for it. It states, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
Adapting to life circumstances means we learn to choose the right attitude despite our situation. This is not to naively say or think that we have to be happy about the disappointing situations that come our way. We hurt, and we cry. We experience sadness and feel depressed. We get to a point where our cup is beyond full—where it’s actually overflowing. These are all valid human emotions and feelings. But in the midst of change and in the midst of uncertainty, we can choose to adapt to the situation and move forward or stay stuck in a place we don’t want to remain. We can sit and complain about how life used to be, or we can look forward to what life can be. We can choose to focus on the positive or choose to focus on the negative.
No. Life is not like it used to be and truthfully it won’t return to that place. We have new norms. Some are positive and we’ve all adjusted to them, and some are still taking some time to get used to. But like God tells us, we can learn to be content in our situation.
The benefit of white walls is that you see the potential. You see what could be. You see what could be despite the speck on the wall. My white walls truthfully aren’t that bad. Remember what room I said I was in? My bedroom/office/prayer room/ “whatever else I decide to use it as today room.” The last one is where I’ve learned to adapt. The whatever else I decide to use it as today room is me choosing to continue to dream and have faith—all while adapting.
(For more on this topic, check out my YouTube channel)