Early in my photography years I learned an old rule of thumb in the arts. To better understand your composition and perfect your eye for capturing an image, take a picture and then turn it upside down. What sticks out? What seems foreign? Where does your eye naturally fall and where is the distraction?
I've since found that rule has a better application, a life application...
Sometimes when studying what Christ might be trying to say in the Scriptures, I can check a few commentaries, read 3 different translations, and usually get side-tracked in the detour poetry of Thee and Thou in a Fortnight. I drift off wondering something about Shakespeare or I rabbit-hole down to the Book of Martyrs and try to fathom how Sir Such-and-Such could go and kiss the stake by which they meant to burn him. Then I imagine what kind of karate jump spin kick I might employ if they tried that garbage on me in the name of the Lord, and before I know it I'm measuring my peanut-sized faith against the Greats and I've lost all sense of why I ever ventured to learn something in the first place... sigh... see how that happens?
In the end I have to look at the antithesis. It's a big word that basically just means to flip it upside down like the picture, and then study what He ISN'T saying...
'Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.' transforms into this:
"Rejoice never, pray occasionally, give thanks only in the good times, for this is NOT the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.'
I'm a ragamuffin through and through. I don't know much, but at the end of the day as my head hits the pillow, if I consider that my life better fit into the pajamas of the antithesis, it's here I know that I'm not living in the abundant life that God has prepared for me. It's in that sinking awareness that my spirit cries out, and if I care for anything, before the lantern is snuffed and the light goes out of this world, something must change.