Have you ever had one of those days? I certainly have, and I’m guessing that you have as well. Heck, sometimes it feels like EVERY day is one of THOSE days, doesn’t it?!? There are just so many things that come at me from all directions it just makes me want to throw in the towel, or shake my fist at the sky, or just bury my head in my pillow and cry.
Life – is – tough!
But life is also beautiful. The difficulties in my life provide a foil to expose and highlight the joys and the goodness of God. Think about a jewelry store. They display the fine jewels under glass with bright lights shining on them and they look fabulous. Not take a closer look…the backdrop for jewels is almost always a plain, dark cloth. It’s nothing flashy or extravagant. That’s the foil – it’s designed to make the jewels look even more spectacular by comparison. And it must work pretty well, because it happens that way in malls across the land and people give up their hard earned money to by rocks!
The pain, suffering, and anguish of life – past, present, and future – create a wonderful foil for the grace that God lavishes on me. When I reflect for a moment on where I’ve been and see where I am I can see a fantastic picture of hope. My eyes dart around and see so many things. According to a study by Media Dynamics an average American adult is exposed to 600-625 advertisements per day (“Our Rising Ad Dosage: It’s Not as Oppressive as Some Think,” Media Matters, February 15, 2007). Add to that the sights of a typical day spent driving around, shopping, watching TV and you’ve got a LOT of stuff to see.
My obligation to myself is to choose where to focus my attention. Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC all report the news, but they have a decidedly different approach to how and where to focus their journalistic lens. I try to keep my eyes focused on the positive side of things. Certainly there are negative things that happen, but there are also good things to balance them. Just like when we work Step 4 and write our moral inventory, we need to seek balance: too much positive and we miss the point, too much negative and we drown in misery and fail.
We can’t find silver linings without the clouds…so here’s to the storms and to “those” days!