Smell the Roses – Life Journey no. 4

Life →is← Worth It

Audio Clip about Life – 6.58 minutes.

The joy of the Lord is our strength.

Life got you down? We can be so incredibly down in the dumps that life doesn’t seem worth the struggle. Have you had days that seem hopeless, the journey too difficult, the joys too few and far between? You sigh. You complain. You commiserate with friends. “I wish,” “if only” escape our lips all too often. Before you know it you’re in a real, stinking funk. Know the feeling? Been there? I bet. You’re on a path going the wrong direction, slipping and sliding all over the map.

STOP!

Don’t go there. But if you do, put a boundary on it so it doesn’t spin out of control.  We are vulnerable to troubles that sideline us and get us frustrated. Not good but unavoidable when a crisis comes. We can deal with it. Here’s what we might do. First, we acknowledge the crisis, and second, we plow through the inevitable to get to the other side. Somewhere in the mix, we begin to make a choice to the good where renewal is found. We can alter our flagging spirit into a better one.

You can do this.

There are ways that help. But it takes work and a change in outlook. I’ve been functioning in stressville these past few months so I’m working on me. I’m inviting God to help me get a handle on it and I’m trusting Him to walk the journey with me. There are positives to be learned during the stressful times if we pay attention. We come out the other side having grown spiritually in ways we didn’t know before the trouble. Appreciation and praise help us get there.

“Work on your attitude in all you say and do.”

I’ve been struggling. In the quiet place, I reached up. This morning I counted 100 blessings I’ve experienced this summer. Fifty were personal and fifty were spiritual–what God means, does, and how He helps and cheers. It became necessary for me to refocus my thinking in a spiritual way. We tend to forget the variety of positives that are ours to enjoy every. single. day. Our outlook is critical.

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.”

Life is about seeing. We must find a way to stop ourselves from wallowing in gloom and doom. I have a friend who allows herself a pity party for a day or two or even a few days after the sad event. Then she gets herself back in the game and looks for the pluses. My friend consciously wills herself to a place of strength and cheer.  I notice that she frequently finds something kind and complimentary to say to people. My friend has learned one of the precious ways to make life better and worth it, by connecting with people and noticing special things about them. I love this about her. We can see problems as opportunities.

“Hide it under a bushel, No!, I’m gonna let it shine.”

Life is about people. One way to beat the madness is to reach out to others. Remember the song we used to sing in Sunday School; “Jesus, Others, and You, What a wonderful way to spell J-O-Y.” Helping others  is a good way to overcome obstacles. Not only do they benefit but the giver also benefits. God has given each of us gifts. These can be developed and shared. Some shy people are fantastic at sending cards that encourage. Theirs is quiet service from the heart. Let’s share the love.

REJOICE  ~  DELIGHT  ~  CREATE  EMBRACE  ~  BELIEVE  ~  PRAISE  CELEBRATE
“Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.”

Life is about beauty. Glorious beauty is everywhere: Blended color, varied music, lithe plants, gentle breezes, soft rain, warm hugs, vibrant photos, elegant signage, amazing art, the human body, bright constellations, and vivid landscapes. Oh beauty, you surround and minister to us. Breathe it in. Share it. Listen to its cacophony of tones, percussion, woodwinds, strings, brass, harp, flute, guitar, harpsichord, voice…. Embrace the flow of fluid elegance, the stream as it cascades over rocks and down waterfalls as it tumbles to the river; the river as it swirls and wends its way to the ocean  where it enjoys restless, repetitive patterns. Seashells or abalone shells, beauty touches us–sandstone creations or granite mountaintops, rainforest canopies or desert cacti–their loveliness is part of being alive. Drink it in, absorb the beauty.

If you’re happy and you know it, say amen. “Amen!

Life is about expression. Clapping, stomping, singing, shouting, praising, tickling, touching, speaking, whispering, holding, embracing, reading, reciting, creating, molding, drawing, painting, storytelling, sculpting, driving, cheering, guiding, loving, hating, sharing, cooking, designing, sewing, playing, crocheting, architecture, gardening, photographing, writing, showing, building, celebrating . . .

“Come ye thankful people come.”

Life is about God. God creates life and all He makes is good. We ourselves are part of that creation and its goodness, which is pretty spectacular. God has a something in mind and we are privileged to be part of that purpose. Each of us has a unique voice. Our voices speak praise to God. Think of God’s joy and pleasure when we celebrate life and Him. God could have made our world in black, white, and shades of gray. He splashed it with living color and vibrant texture. We could eat the same three foods day after day. God gives us a generous variety of nuts, grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, greens, herbs, dairy products and meats–with the ingenuity to make them into utter deliciousness. Enjoy the bounty in ‘thanks’ giving mode.

“O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made.”

Amen.

What do you think?