Just this past week our garage door up and died, the morning my husband left on a weeklong business trip. And as I’m standing in my garage looking at my door that is completely ajar — listening to the garage door repair man talk about door differences, tracks, springs, and such — I’m throwing a little pity party in my head. Because this minor inconvenience is not only going to cost money, it’s putting a wrench in my plans to attend one of my favorite meetings every month or so, a writer’s meeting with a group of ladies I dearly love. A truly minor annoyance.
But then I talk with a friend who has water in her basement. For the third time. In a house that has never flooded before. When I texted her this week to see how it was going she said, “It’s been a bad week and my attitude sucks. I haven’t checked (the house) because the carpet is already ruined and it just feels a bit overwhelming.” And I agree. It’s a small struggle in the grand scheme of things, she later reminds me, but no less stressful as you walk through it.
And, finally, a dear friend’s house started on fire in the attic. It’s the worst place for it to begin, as it seemingly smoldered for hours before it was discovered. Her family emerged safe and sound, but they will spend the next several months living in a rental as their house is gutted, cleaned, and fixed. It’s a time in life where something comes along that is completely unexpected, changing plans and uprooting a family.
And I wonder where you find yourself today, friend? Are you walking through something relatively minor but nevertheless annoying? Maybe you’re facing something bigger, something completely life-changing that you were not expecting.
Whether big or small, we all face situations everyday meant to steal our joy, our drive, or our dreams. Shaking our heads in response, grumbling under our breath (or maybe that’s just me!), or becoming annoyed with life are common responses.
How do you overcome a poor attitude over a minor fiasco? In my case, I thought about my friend with water in the basement and how much worse that was for her to deal with, and suddenly my garage door didn’t seem like that big of a deal.
And when I talked with my friend about her water troubles and asked how she was managing her mood, she said she reminded herself of our other friend who had just had the fire, and suddenly the water didn’t seem too bad.
And when I’ve talked with my friend who just had the fire, now living in a hotel with her family while their house is being fixed, she talked of others whose life situations are far worse than theirs.
Remembering those in this world who may have it just a little bit worse than I do can do wonders for my mood. The reminder of all I do have puts things in perspective once again.
Because the truth is, there will always be something going on, struggles we face that can make life seem annoying. But how I choose to look at it can make all the difference.
Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death…” This is true not only by what we speak to others, but also by what we tell ourselves.
What are you choosing to see and believe about life today?