A coworker and I were recently talking about about how life is a continuation of Burdens and Blessings.
She referenced a message that she recently heard of the same title by Joel Olsteen that talked about how the burdens help us find the blessings that we might not have noticed otherwise. No one wants the burdens, but it’s how we respond to them that makes all of the difference.
I was trying to have a positive attitude about my trip to the tire store that turned replacing two tires into a snowball of repairs, resulting in paying hundreds more dollars that were unplanned and not budgeted for.
After an employee showed me one of the back tires, I was grateful that it didn’t blow out on a recent trip to Sandusky to ride the new coaster Valravn. Two girls driving through the night, getting a flat in the middle of nowhere, was not a a scenario that I wanted to experience. I’m also grateful that I didn’t have a tire blowout while driving with my family.
I’m grateful that I have the ability to work hard to help pay for things too. I just like to pay for things that are more fun. Adulting is HARD!
I have to focus on the positive because it’s pointless to dwell on the negative. What good does it do if I focus on all of the things that I would have rather spent my money on?
You can’t have a positive life with a negative mind!
I have to keep retelling myself this.
Sometimes by the minute.
One of my other gym coworkers is the perfect example of this. His job description is less than desirable but his positive attitude is contagious. I’ve never met anyone who greets each day and task with such positivity. He recently had his vehicle vandalized and he said that he wasn’t going to be angry. He chose not to be angry or let it steal his joy. I don’t think that I would have had the same outlook immediately afterwards.
I can get upset for much less.
I need to remember to ask myself, “Did you have a bad day or allow a bad moment to turn into a bad day?”
Another way I have to take my thoughts captive is over shame, sometime over big things, other times over stupid mistakes. During a recent trip to Daytona, I woke up early to walk on the beach and watch the sunrise each morning. As someone who lives in the Midwest, I know what a gift it is to walk along the beach, to experience the sights and sounds at the beginning of the day that are worth every minute of lost sleep.
My last day in Daytona, I decided to bring my GoPro in addition to taking pics with my iPhone. I wanted to get pictures partially in the water which is perfect for a GoPro. I placed the GoPro in a side pocket and continued to take pictures up and down the beach. I discovered that my GoPro was no longer in my side pocket while at a Daytona memorial along the boardwalk.
I combed every area of the beach path that I walked that day back and forth 4 times and still didn’t find it.
I kept on hoping that it would miraculously turn up.
I didn’t want to give up but my sinking feeling was that it was already discovered by someone else along the beach.
My loss was their gain.
I was sick to my stomach.
I would try to not dwell on it and then the guilt and anger at myself would resurface. I spent the whole day battling those thoughts.
While I was at the airport on the way to my terminal, I saw a blind man navigating the busy airport with a walking stick designed for the visually impaired.
Perspective. I lost a camera. He lost his eyesight. There is no comparison.
I also had to keep in mind that I lost an item, not a person. Unfortunately, I’m all too familiar with losing people. Things can be replaced. People can’t.
I’d be lying if I said that I don’t still deal with those thoughts blaming myself for losing my expensive Christmas gift that I was just beginning to learn to use or other things that pop in my mind when I think about areas that I still struggle in.
I read a devotion this morning by Christine Caine that also talked about shame.
She said,”Breaking free from the shackles of shame is not an overnight experience or a quick-fix, ten-step process. It is, however, a grand, ongoing adventure of discovering the depths of God’s love and huge scope of God’s power to transform us, re-create us, and continually renew us.”
What we look for, we will find. We just have to look for the redeemable. There is always a blessing to be found in the burden. We just have to remind ourselves that it’s all about perspective.