Do you know what the first sign of Spring is? No, it is not the glistening wet roadways, nor the presence of daylight at 5pm. No, it is not the melting of snow and waterways, nor the warmth of sunshine or the delightful sound of chirping birds. It is the sudden appearance of monstrous potholes eating at the roadways overnight. Today I saw one big enough to throw a cow into. Well, almost.
I wrote that Facebook post several days ago after a daily commute to/from work left me feeling abused by the washboard type ride. We all know it takes just a little water to trickle its way through cracks in the pavement caused by wear and tear of traffic. All that water needs is freezing temperatures with the continuing weight of traffic, and POP, you have a vertical shaft big enough to drive your car into, resulting in hundreds if not thousands of dollars in damages.
But, I’ve been thinking, these destructive blisters in the surface of our roadways are not the only potholes we deal with. Some of us have hungry gorges eating our souls, chasms of pessimism, resentment, cynicism, and hate. All they need is one misdirected thought or word to encourage the erosion of relationships, the loss of good ol’ Bessie. ( Mark 7:20-22, James 3:2-6)
A conversation with several coworkers reminded me of this quote…
The grass is always greener over the septic tank. ~ Erma Bombeck
Then some time later, I read this on Facebook…
The grass is greener where you water it. ~ Neil Barringham
I do not wonder where your green grass is because that is obvious. It is where you are in your home, workplace, neighborhood, and relationships. The question running through my mind is, what do you (I include myself here) water your grass with? Do you use downpours of sarcasm, negativity, discouragement, and even hate? Or do you spray refreshing showers of respect, enthusiasm, hopefulness, compassion, and love? (Proverbs 15:4)
Today I am thinking of childhood vacations at Barnegat Light, NJ with Great-Uncle Everett and his family. Why, I do not know. Maybe it is the desire to feel giddy with anticipation while standing with our backs to the surf once again. Yes, I know it sounds crazy. What is so exciting about knowing you are about to be taken under water? There is nothing fun about seawater and sand rushing up your nose as the surf violently rolls you onto the beach. Yet, stand there we did as Great-Uncle Everett encouraged us “don’t look”. Don’t look to see the next wave coming, don’t look to see how big or forceful it is, don’t look. In the not looking, we just trusted, trusted that after each wipeout, he would be there smiling as he grasped our hand as we attempted to ready ourselves for the next breaker. In that grasp was the promise of surprising fun as the seaward pull of water away from the shore carried with it the fear of the next wipeout.
As we stand on the beach of 2013 with the surf of 2014 tickling our feet, do we catch the next wave with excited anticipation or fear the undertow of past failures and defeat?
It is the time of year when our minds gravitate from the holiday season of meals and parties, shopping, decorating, gift giving and getting to the season of how to lose what I did not want to gain. With the abundance of self-help resources competing for our desire to “fix” not only the holiday weight gain but also the many problems in our lives, it is hard to choose which will give us the best in long-term results.
Better to eat the fruit than drink the juice.
An interesting quote by a friend on Facebook in response to a video she shared, a video about health and “the difference between an orange and a glass of orange juice.”
Amazing how a simple choice can greatly affect one’s life.
Why do we settle for a variation of the original when we can have the very best from the Source?
That question is a norm in my life these days with its unusual stresses attacking from every side like hungry parasites. Yet, I find myself not thinking so much about the stress but about how to respond to it.
Am I giving 100% of my best with the resources I have at hand? Am I doing what is right or what makes others and me comfortable?
If I can answer “yes” to these questions each night, then I can expect the quality of my sleep to be peaceful which will influence my response to the next day’s pressures. On the other hand, if my answer is anything but positive, will my forty winks be any less rejuvenating? Will the frenzied feeding on my psyche increase in irritation? Not necessarily, as the next day holds a new opportunity to fight more effectively than the day before. (Psalm 3, Philippians 4:13)
So, in the words of a former client, “May you sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite. And, if they do, bite their heads off!”