Welcome to Monday! Whether you are a fan of Monday or not, it’s here. I invite you to make it terrific.
As this is written, I am sitting outside. It is one of those perfect summer mornings that I never want to take for granted. I love that we live in a world that has warm enough-sunny-breezy-blue skies-kind of mornings. I hear sprinklers sprinkling, birds calling, squirrels chattering, and leaves rustling. And I must mention the cutie chipmunks that are scampering around. I love God and His creations!
Let me be clear though. I also hear traffic in my neighborhood and on the expressway. A helicopter is going overhead. I see weeds in my lawn, cobwebs on the patio chairs, and bushes that are super overgrown. The flowers that I planted in a fun little pot are seriously in need of attention, and I can expect any minute to hear our neighbor’s dogs barking at me.
Such is life, right? There are so many things trying to grab our attention that it’s almost impossible to catch all of it at once. We can only focus on so much at any given time. There is the good and the bad, the pleasant and the repulsive, the fragrant and the stinky. Sometimes one side is weighted more than the other – Like in a dump, it stinks to high heaven, without much to call it pleasant. Or like in an ice cream shop, that is filled with giggles and deliciousness.
Have you noticed that even in the best circumstances we could be sour about something? It is also true that in the most unpleasant circumstances, we can find happiness. If we have eyes to see, a mind that searches, and a heart that is open, we can find it. We can cast our attention beyond weeds, cobwebs, and barking dogs that bring all the icky feelings, and focus on the sunshine and chipmunks to find joy.
I certainly don’t mean that we ignore unpleasant things. If we have stewardships, we have responsibilities. But even in our obligations happiness can be found. Take our crazy,out-of-control bushes – We are planning to tackle those tomorrow. I think it is one of the worst yard jobs ever! BUT, I get to work on them with Darren, spending time together creating a more beautiful backyard, and it will be all done when it’s done. I could absolutely go into this task with the worst attitude – It’s going to be hot, there will be bugs, I will get scratches on my arms, my back will ache, and on and on and on. Not that those things aren’t probably true, I’m just going to deal with those, move on, and look for the blessings of the moment.
I’m also not suggesting that life is not sometimes really difficult and that we can look past pain, suffering, or trauma by singing a happy song. There are tragedies, adversity, and darkness that need our time and effort. I am suggesting though, that even in those times we can turn to God who in turn can help us find peace. And peace can lead to joy. We can be swallowed up in despair, and sometimes that is easy to do, or we can step up, say no thanks to the gloom that wants to consume us, and latch on to any scrap of light we can find.
Okay – my point. Life can be hard, boring, frustrating, irritating, loud, lonely, discouraging, heavy, hateful, crazy. Agreed. But with all of that, there is ease, fun, enjoyable, quiet, surrounded by good people, rewarding, light, soft, loving, calm. Search for these. It may take some time and effort to discover but even the searching can bring happiness to our hearts.
Like I said, I love this perfect morning.