Making Peace With Reality

The world is quite full of discontented people. We do ourselves and one another a favor by not becoming one of them. But how? Life also is full of disappointments,

shattered dreams, and broken promises. How do we maintain a sane, positive outlook without grumbling at the many things that go wrong?

One place to begin our quest for contentment is to align our expectations with reality. Many things are under our control, but most things are not. And while we need not become doormats for the ungrateful or be naive about life’s trials, let’s get real about each day.

First, the weather. Someone has said that “there is no bad weather, only poor clothing choices.” That may be a stretch, but there is wisdom in the principle. Put on warm clothing rather than complain about the cold, and don a rain jacket rather than despise the drizzle. When it’s foggy, slow down and leave earlier, and if it snows so much that travel is impossible, enjoy looking at the fresh, clean blanket of white. If we really believe that “this is the day that the Lord has made,” part of our rejoicing should be IN the weather, not in spite of it.

Then, the choices of others. I find that I have plenty to do just keeping myself on the right path, and so I don’t try to micromanage the lives of others. I know that I resent others’ interference in my life, and so I generally refrain from giving unsolicited advice. Long ago I stopped trying to figure out why people do what they do. Jesus said, “Don’t judge,” and by that He implies that we not go around condemning or second guessing one another in our everyday choices.

Finally, the road blocks. Road blocks are the surprises which prevent us from doing what we planned or going where we had hoped. Some are the intentional work of others, but most are “unforeseen circumstances” such as sickness, societal changes, and economic setbacks. Once again we step back and remind ourselves that God has allowed these things in our lives for His glory and our good. We can pray through them, work our way around them, or merely choose another plan of action. In any case, we need not allow the unexpected to steal our joy.

One day our life will be one of eternal joy without trial and without pain. Until that time, we have a Genesis 3 world rather than a Genesis 2 world. When we recall that we live as a sinner in a fallen world of sinners, we’re better able to deal with the ups and downs, and as a result, are much, much happier.

It is possible to enjoy walking in the rain.

“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”
Luke 12:25

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