I know that this may seem like an odd analogy, but I was struck this morning by how easily we are governed by “the chip.”
Whether on our favorite cups, our windshields, a crack on our phones, all we can see is the imperfection. We are too ready at times to discard the whole for the tiniest flaw. We do this in all kinds of ways, from our belongings to our relationships.
What about the chip on our shoulder? You know the one, that causes us to treat others with indifference; the one that allows us to think we are entitled to be offended, condescending or rude, just because we think someone doesn't understand our plight.
This chip is so powerful. It causes us to compare our circumstance to another. It gives us license to be jealous, to be careless with relationships, to throw a pity party to which no one else is invited but everyone comes away with a favor. It causes us to see life as unfair.
It is, at times. But that’s not the point.
The chip, as I see it, has wrecked havoc in my own life. It’s the worm in the apple, it’s the pebble in our shoe. It’s the thing that we focus on as not being as it should be, rather than seeing all that is good, all that is worth savoring and being grateful for.
The truth is, we all have chips. Every single one of us. Whether our bank accounts are plentiful or empty, whether our relationships are blossoming or broken, whether we are brimming with opportunities or beseeching God for new ones. We all have a tendency to look for — and find — the chip.
It’s easy to write these words, to point out my own propensity to see the “if only’s” that render me sometimes unable to claim my life as whole. It’s harder to correct this, to create the awareness that the only thing standing in the way of my seeing what is right in my life, is that what is wrong follows me like a shadow.
I wonder if you can relate?
What I do know, is that I have a choice. What helps me, is when I replace the perception of the chip - that thing, that imperfection in my circumstance that is not great - with expectation, something shifts.
The trick, I think, is in exercising gratitude for what is right, what is good. It’s a mental inventory of those things and people that we are grateful for, that God has given to us, and then acknowledging the work He is still doing in them.
Our chips have names like provision, the seeking of a new vocation, a faithful love, good health, or just the longing to feel that what you do and contribute matters. Whatever it is, plant that chip like a seed in the soil of faith, and thank Him that He has this care in His hands. Replace doubt with belief that He is at work. Allow the light of His spirit to shine upon it, exposing it to the expectation that a solution is coming and it will be better than okay. It will be great.
God is good. I don’t believe that there is ever a single, solitary life that doesn’t have something that needs His help, His grace.
What is your chip?
Take it off your shoulder and give it to Him. Celebrate what is good in your life and praise Him for it. We are all a work in progress, and the chips will come and they will go.
Seeing them for what they are, disables the power they can have over us.
God is greater than anything you are facing, big or small. Anything.