What you see is what you get

Published on Thursday, 22 May 2014 00:11 - Written by Beth Lytle, Guest Columnist

“’STANG!” Like adolescent boys are inclined to do, my 12-year-old son recently became enamored with the coolness of sports cars.

He now yells, “‘STANG!” whenever we’re driving around town and he spots a Ford Mustang.

“I never noticed it before,” he told me a few days ago, “but they are everywhere.”

“Hmmm,” I questioned (like philosophical moms are inclined to do), “do you think there ARE more Mustangs, or are you just now noticing what’s been there all along?”

He gave me his best patient son look, realizing I was launching one of my favorite diatribes.

“I believe you are seeing more, because you are looking for them,” I said.  

I reminded him about shopping for our new SUV: how we narrowed it down to three choices and then began seeing those models everywhere we went.

It’s not that there suddenly were more CR-V’s, RAV4’s, and Santa Fe’s on the road.

We just saw more, because that’s what was in the forefront of our minds. Our awareness was heightened, and so we perceived an abundance of that on which we focused.

My son also knows I have an uncanny knack for finding front-row parking spaces.

I pull into a lot, and the closest spot to wherever I need to be is usually open.

It happens often enough that it doesn’t surprise me anymore, and my family and friends have come to expect it, even if they’re the ones driving and I’m just a passenger with them.

I don’t drive around and around the lot, waiting for a close place to open up.  It just seems that there is usually one waiting for me.

Now, I don’t know if it’s true that I actually DO get better parking spots than the average person, but I notice it when it happens, and so it seems that it happens a lot.

I see more because I am looking for more.

And so I told my patient, preteen son, “That’s why it is important to look for what you really want to find.”

The Bible says this in Proverbs 23:7. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

Some people see problems or the potential for problems everywhere they go, and their reality is that their life is full of problems.

Other people think about gratitude a lot, and they discover that their lives are full of things to be thankful for. 

Circumstances happen to everyone - good things, bad things, sure.  But on a day to day basis, what we think about, what we talk about, what we expect is generally what we experience.

All around us, all the time, there are sports cars and SUVs and parking places.  But we only see what we put our attention on.

Go ahead and give it a try.  If you think about the “‘STANG!” I’ll bet you find they’re all around.  And then what’s changed ... is you.