I used to be really good at looking at the bright side of things. I look back on my life and see my younger self full of so much hope, despite the hard things that I was going through.
Sometimes I wonder when that hope turned into bitterness and anger. And lately I’ve wondered how to get that hope back. Because I want it back. I need it back.
Then, tonight in my online zoom class, we were talking about trials and adversity and hard things. And at one point, it hit me hard just how I can bring that hope back into my life. We read this quote from C.S. Lewis:
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
What if I started looking more at the bigger picture? What would happen if I put more trust in God instead of trying to do it all myself or getting upset when he starts knocking those walls down? What would happen then?
These were the thoughts swirling in my mind when we read about this experience:
I remember loading up our children in a station wagon and driving to Los Angeles. There were at least nine of us in the car, and we would invariably get lost. Instead of getting angry, we laughed. Every time we made a wrong turn, we laughed harder. Getting lost was not an unusual occurrence for us. Once while heading south to Cedar City, Utah, we took a wrong turn and didn’t realize it until two hours later when we saw the “Welcome to Nevada” signs. We didn’t get angry. We laughed, and as a result, anger and resentment rarely resulted. Our laughter created cherished memories for us.
This comes from a talk given called “Come what may, and Love It” we talked about that idea, that maybe regardless of what came our way, we could try laughing more, showing gratitude, and maybe maybe even loving it.
It’s so hard for me to do. And I’m not saying that we should ignore our pain or grief or anger. We can feel those things, we need to feel those things because life is hard and we lose people and dreams fall apart and we can be abuse or hurt or so many different things can go wrong.
But maybe, just maybe (and this really is just me trying to think out loud for how I want to be In the future). But maybe, instead of holding onto that anger (even when the moment has passed) or the stress or the sadness, what if I started to look for the good again, like I used to so often.
Because hard things are always gonna happen, but I’d rather go through life looking for the good things, even in the hard stuff, than feeling bogged down by all the stuff that isn’t so great. Cause I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and I don’t want to live that way anymore.
So I’m gonna keep looking for (and sharing) the good. Because there is so much good, even if it’s a small thing today, someday we’ll be able to see the big things.