The rugged canyon at Laity Lodge, deep in the Hill Country of Texas, illustrates that even the hardest surfaces can be worn down over time. So can we call it the “water wearing away rock” phenomenon. I am referring to hard circumstances in our lives that go on and on.
Some of them, perhaps all will sound familiar:
– Elderly parents, frail unhappy, in varying degrees of Alzheimer’s or dementia
– Children whose fondest dreams are not becoming reality
– Chronic pain
– The phone call saying- the biopsy is positive
– Financial worries
– Worry for the very safety of our country
– Caring deeply for others which opens up the potential for both pain and joy
Life, as Scott Peck put it in The Road Less Traveled, is difficult. Many of us remember the opening three sentences of this still best selling books:
Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because one we truly see this truth, we transcend it.
Jesus said it another way in John 17:33 (NIV):
In this world you will have trouble (life is difficult) but take heart (accept this) I have overcome the world (together we will transcend the difficulties).
So how do we find life in the midst of darkness and joy in life’s journey? Again Jesus has wise counsel for us. Eugene Peterson translates his words this way in The Message:
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes (Matthew 6:34)
Many others have counseled much the same. Lucy Swindol in You Bring the Confetti advises:
To experience happiness we must train ourselves to live in this moment, to savor it for what it is, not running ahead in anticipation of some future date nor lagging behind in the paralysis of the past. With wholeness and sensitivity we must live in the here and now…Our circumstances may be dreadful and riddled with reasons for discouragement or sorrow, but that doesn’t mean those moments are utterly devoid of happiness.
Pay attention to any happiness that comes your way. At the bottom of it all there is grace; there are little devotionals, encouragements, parables everywhere.
So don’t miss the sound of the bird’s song, the smell of bacon, the look on a friend’s face. Treasure the rainbows in your life because the clouds will be there. Trust God, and be open to what is particularly a gift for you this day.
Savor the moment!
From “The Stars Shone in My Hands” by Judy Parker