It's Such A Good Feeling ...
I pray whichever day or time of the day you may be reading this blog, that you are experiencing a truly wonderful day. What was it Mister Roger's would sing at the end of his show?
It's such a great feeling to know you're alive. It's such a happy feeling: You're growing inside... (click here to listen to Mister Roger's sing the song himself).
I have had a great deal to digest this past week. I won't go into it suffice to say, the challenges, setbacks, and experiences have reminded me once more how much I am inclined to rely and lean on the mercy of Christ rather than the platitudes of a variety of well-intentioned, caring human beings. Myself included.
I suppose I PLA-TUDE a lot myself.
Following a meeting I participated in on Friday evening, a fellow member of the team reached out to me on Saturday and asked if I was okay.
On the one hand, I wanted to say, "No," because a part of me was not okay. However, the other half of me wanted to say, "Yes," because that half of me likes to focus on what is right, good, and positive about life rather than to focus on the negative.
So, how did I respond? I said, "Yes and no." After all, that was the truth. Tis' better to speak the truth than to lie. I have enough to answer for already.
This caring soul followed up by asking if I wanted to discuss the "no" part of my response or drop it and let her continue to pray for me?
My response was brief and to the point, "Prayer is always helpful."
If my friend had pressed me, I probably would have obliged her and discussed what was going on. However, because of a similar event that took place a few months back, meaning, I was feeling ho-hum, she recognized that fact, which led her to send me a text similar to the text message she sent on Saturday which led to a telephone conversation that essentially ended with, "Now that I have heard you whine about the situation, what do you plan to do about it?"
That neighbor is the mark of a true friend. She did not tell me what I wanted to hear. She did not mix her words. She did not sugar-coat her response. She challenged me to be the warrior for Christ that I have been called to be by telling me exactly what I needed to hear and for that, I am profoundly grateful.
Because my friend had the courage to act on the love she professes for me as a friend by reminding me through her response the truth about life, which is (and I am paraphrasing), "Life sucks sometimes. Sometimes you are handed rocks for candy on Halloween like Charlie Brown, other times you get to hear the bell ring that is hanging from a branch of a Christmas tree because an angel has just received his or her wings."
There are good and bad, easy and hard, comfortable and not comfortable, winners and losers, hard workers and lazy workers, negative and positive experiences, events, and neighbors, etc., that we come into contact with throughout our life journey. The question is, "How are you going to respond to that experience, event, or neighbor?
Doesn't it truly come down to that? How do we, and this is the operative word, respond to said experience, event, or neighbor?
It comes down to choice.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word, choice is defined as the act of picking between two or more possibilities.
Anyone who says, "I didn't have a choice..." is wrong. Free will is all about making choices. Life is about making choices.
When I wake up in the morning I have the choice to be grateful or grumpy. Grateful because the Lord blessed me with another opportunity to ask forgiveness and get life right and my relationship with Him or grumpy because I have to get out of bed and do today what I did yesterday.
And I didn't necessarily like yesterday.
The thing is, yesterday is gone and tomorrow has not come. All we have is today. Rather than feel sorry for me, I need to put yesterday into perspective. I need to focus on what I can learn from yesterday's blunders, gaffs, goofs, and idiotic episodic events and neighbors and choose to do better today.
Not on my own, but by the grace of Christ and the good neighbors, like the aforementioned friend I mentioned at the top of this broadcast, who has the courage to say, "Dude, learn to deal with it and move on," regardless of how insensitive that may sound to others because he or she is right.
What good does all that worry and wallowing in your own personal sludge of feeling sorry for me goop is going to help your situation? It isn't.
Well, almost isn't. I suppose some personal sludge of feeling sorry for me goop is sometimes helpful in that it gave my neighbor a reason to remind me that I need to get off my laurels and become the person that she believes I am being called to be.
And if I don't know who that person is, if I am a person of faith I will take it to prayer asking the Lord to put the right people in my life, like my friend, who will have the courage and wisdom to point me in the right direction so I may do what I was put on this earth to do -- to love, know, and serve God by loving, knowing, and serving my neighbors which in turn helps me to know, love, and essentially serve myself.
While we need to be tactful, empathetic, and charitable toward those neighbors who are hurting or who find themselves with their backs up against the wall, we also need to, in the spirit of charity, stop walking on eggshells so as not to offend our neighbor who keeps singing the same woeful song over and over again, and instead, find the courage to say exactly what my friend and neighbor said to me, "Dude, learn to deal with it and move on,"
To some neighbors that comment may be construed as rude and insensitive. However, to someone like me who wants to make the right choices and move forward, which like anything worth having comes with a certain amount of sacrifice and pain, is exactly what I need to hear.
I am not going to become an Olympic sprinter by running barefoot through the tulips. I have to know what I want to become (an Olympic sprinter), how I am going to get there (the training and commitment I need to put in to achieve my goal), and what I intend to do once I arrive there (teach what I did to others who desire to be the best as whatever they want to or feel called to do), which cannot and does not happen when we make the choice to constantly cry wolf or feel sorry for ourselves.
I know you are hurting. I know you are feeling down. I know you are carrying a great weight upon your shoulders. As someone who loves you, I choose to do all that I can, with your permission to help you, however, you have to ultimately decide when you are going to make the choice to help yourself because until you say and believe, "I know I can! I know I can" instead of "I think I can! I think I can!" will be the day you will take one small step for mankind and one giant step for you.
That is my two cents for what it is worth.
Have a blessed day.