not the end of the world
In this life there is not much that is the “end of the world” for us. We spend a good percentage of our time being worried, upset, and angry about the things that really are not that big of deal. Don’t get me wrong. There are some big things like dealing with an illness or marriage issues or job loss or death of a loved one. But most things that occupy our minds, that simply put us in a rotten mood, are not the “end of the world”.
However, these things definitely rob us of our joy! That car in front of you that is driving too slow in the left lane, not the end of the world. That bad hair day, not the end of the world (needed this message in high school circa 1982). Missed your workout, not the end of the world. The dog chewed your favorite socks, not the end of the world. You overslept, not the end of the world. That car repair, that bad grade, those extra loads of laundry, the mess your kids left out overnight, not the end of the world.
We have had our share of these things lately. In the last two weeks, we have had an alternator go out on our son’s car, a lawn mower die, the microwave stop working, a leaking shower, and a faucet go kaput. And, even this morning as I type, the roofers show up…unannounced. Sends me scrambling for clothes and changes my morning schedule…determined to put me in that rotten mood as I type these very words. Funny, how God turns my words right back around at me.
Rather than moaning and complaining and worrying and spewing over all these things, what if we asked these questions:
“What can I LEARN from this situation?”
Like I tell my grown kids, everything is a learning experience. Everything. Nothing is wasted. Not even the painful stuff. Even if what we learned is simply to “never do that again.” I have had a few of those experiences. We can learn valuable lessons from even the small, irritating, unexpected things.
“What can I be THANKFUL for in this situation?”
Gratitude in the middle of a situation can take our eyes off the mess and on the Master....“Let every detail in your lives - words, actions, whatever - be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way (Colossians 3:17 MSG).
By the way, He is ultimately in control anyway. In fact, He holds all things together (Colossians 1:17).
Next time we are tempted to worry or whine, fret or fire back, we should stop and ask ourselves: "Is this the end of the world?" Most likely, it is not. Instead, we can choose to learn from our experiences and give thanks in all circumstances. It will restore our joy and keep the rotten mood away.
Photo by: Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash