For the past week I have been really up – we had a successful hymn-sing Sunday, the Commissioning Service went well, conversations have gone well and we are meeting new people and being introduced to new resources in the area. Things are going WELL. And once again I have forgotten that one can get used to good things really fast.
Friday is our day off and after a couple of chores around the house Nancy and I went out the parking strip behind the church to drive to Kentucky to explore some things in the Louisville area. Arriving at the back and turning the corner towards my car I suddenly realized that the passenger side window had been smashed overnight and Nancy pointed out that our GPS unit had been stolen.
The reality that everything is not good and right and wonderful was present with me once again. A smaller version of the dismay we had felt at the home burglary in March came back. Today turned into waiting for the police officer to arrive and take the report; calling the insurance company, finding a glass replacement firm, vacuuming up all the glass inside and outside the car, and then just waiting for them to arrive and replace the window.
But it was a good thing I had to wait. That wait gave me the opportunity to regain a perspective. And the perspective is the reality that we so often choose to forget life is a mixed bag of events. Some good, a few great, some not so good, and a few that are terrible.
A Peanuts cartoon I saw years ago has Charlie Brown telling Lucy not to be upset that life has its ups and downs. Lucy cries out in anger “I don’t want any downs! All I want are ups, and ups and UPS!” And that describes so many of us – we don’t want any downs.
Once again I have to be reminded that what makes life good or bad is not the events that happen to us but what we do about them – how we react and whether or not we allow the external to control us.
Standing outside while the technician replaced the window I realized it really was a good day. What I was dealing with was an inconvenience – not a problem. No one was hurt or injured. Nothing of real value (other than monetary) was gone. Life is still good and this place is still home and all that I truly value is still here as part of my life.
And if I hang in and hang on and keep from seeing the glass as suddenly half empty there will be ups to enjoy, and more downs to keep in perspective. Sometimes we see one side of life and at other time the other. And life will be as good or as awful as I want to see it – depending on which side of life I choose to concentrate.