My son Tyler and I have started to commute to the local university together one night a week. Tyler has a night class, and I decided each week to go along. It has been a great time to chat and catch up on university life, and the ups and downs of life as we know it in general for both of us. Tyler appreciates the company and I very much enjoy the chance to spend some one on one time with him. This week on our rainy commute we unfortunately got caught in back to back traffic near the U.S. border for about an hour. For miles semi- trucks were backed up as far as the eye could see. We felt like a very small fish in a big pond with so many huge vehicles surrounding us. Yikes! Many times we were at a complete standstill and to add to the dilemma, the rain kept pouring down. The situation was less than ideal that is certain but somehow being together made it that much more bearable. Tyler made the observation that he was so grateful that I came along as it was pretty intimidating feeling sandwiched in by a barricade of massive trucks. I reflected on the fact that I was so thankful we had stopped for gas and a bite to eat prior to heading into Windsor. Tyler also mentioned that much to his relief midterms were two weeks ago, so the pressure to make it on time, as much as we make it a priority, was lifted. Realizing there was nothing we could do about the situation, rather than complain we chose to see the bright side. I realize this is often hard to do but today we settled in and just accepted it. With a warm coffee in hand, a positive outlook and good company by our sides an irritating scenario was suddenly quite comfortable.
Life is like that sometimes. We can often handle the “biggies” but it is the little things in life that can really weigh us down if we allow it. We have to make a choice of how we will respond to negative situations. When we feel surrounded by life’s demands that have put our world at a standstill, do we put on our seatbelts and enjoy the journey, or do we honk and yell and complain the whole way? Our response is our choice, yet some days are sure harder than others let’s be honest. Some days just seem to hand us one stress-filled scenario after another. We are left thinking “Lord have mercy! When will this day end?” One of my favourite children's books is Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No-Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. In the very funny book everything seems to go wrong for Alexander such as having cavities at the dentist, having no dessert packed for lunch, being declared to be a “third best friend” by someone he considered a BFF and rejection by the family cat just to name a few! As the story continues he repeatedly declares he is moving to Australia insinuating that that is the magical place where problems no longer exist! At the end of the story his mother reassures him that tomorrow will be a better day and that many people have terrible, horrible, no – good very bad days, even in Australia. Alexander’s feeling that there is some geographical cure for his hardships is not uncommon. I have heard time and time again people say such things that if they just “lived here,” or “moved there,” their lives would be so much better. The reality that people seem to miss at times is that wherever you go, your problems follow you. Sadly whatever is unresolved “here,” will still be unresolved “there.”
Happiness is a choice. Happy people do not necessarily have happy lives. Many have lives that are very stressful and sad, yet still they have found a reason to be joyful. Outlook is everything! A little boy in my class years ago had an expression he was always known to say when faced with a challenge. Like clockwork he would take a deep breath, smile and say “I will try my best.” I really respected him for that and it was really the secret to his success. No matter what life brings our way when we try our best to have a positive attitude and view challenges as a learning opportunity, many wonderful things can happen.
Yesterday was Remembrance Day and we had a wonderful assembly to honour this day and all that it means. It was very touching to hear all the poems, songs and readings by the kids about what it meant to live in peace in our wonderful country Canada. One song that really spoke to me was called “Do You Know Where I Find Peace?” The song went on to say “peace begins inside of me” and I couldn’t help but think how very true that statement was. We can make peace with our situations and by doing so allow ourselves to be more effective to others. I have found that the most powerful example to others are those who are in the storms of life, yet still find a reason to be joyful.
The expression “Life is hard, but God is good,” is very true. We were never promised a perfect life. We were never promised all rainbows and no storms. What we were promised was that we have a God who hears our prayers and is “closer than a brother,” to help us through our trials. Doing our part by keeping our spirits positive and trying to see the good in less than ideal situations can really give us an advantage in life. Life can be really hard but know that we all go through hard times. Tough times don’t last but tough people do, and the expression that we often don’t want to hear when we are in the thick of problems that “this too shall pass,” really is accurate.
What has life handed you today? Do you feel like moving to Australia? Tomorrow is a new day and we serve a God who says that His mercies are “new every morning.” Be encouraged as you never know what tomorrow will bring. It just could be the breakthrough you have been waiting for is just around the corner, so let’s look at the bright side!
Until Next Time,
Lamentations 3: 22-23 ~ The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.
Little Lesson Learned: There usually is a bright side to little stressful situations if we are willing to look for it.
Copyright: littlelessonslearnedbydana, 2014