I read this great little story in our church’s magazine the other day: A woman who had recently lost her daughter in an accident woke up early one day in an attempt to see a sunrise. She and her husband were hoping that a glimpse of a beautiful sky would help lift their spirits and give them hope during their devastation. They waited, facing east, yet as the sun rose, it failed to break through the clouds. The woman felt disheartened and turned to go back inside when her husband said, “Look!” She turned to see him facing west where they witnessed a gorgeous reflection of the sunrise in beautiful shades of pink (her daughter’s favorite color, btw). She felt that God was sending her hope for the future and a reminder of His love. She then went on to say this:
“I have thought often on that beautiful moment and the new perspective it gave me. Who looks for a sunrise in the west? And yet that is where my miracle was waiting. How many blessings and miracles do I miss because they come from unexpected places? How many times do I focus on what I think should be and miss the glory of what is?”
Whoa. THAT was something I needed to hear.
While my anxiety over caring for 6 little ones is nothing compared to this woman’s tragedy, her words helped me recognize all the good that exists amidst the stresses of everyday life.
It seems every time I turn around, someone is telling me to “enjoy these years because you’ll miss them when those kids are gone!” A saying which is most likely true, albeit not extremely helpful to hear as that frazzled mother in the checkout line with a kid screaming for a toy, another licking the shopping cart and a 3rd snorting stolen pixie sticks.
The fact is, however, that the very act of enjoying any stage of life usually means ignoring the messes and inconveniences that come with it all. A bit of a catch-22, if you will, but pretty much applicable to anyone, anywhere.
Enjoying life = ignoring messes (literal and figurative)
One more story: yesterday, on the radio, the lead singer of a Christian band was talking about visiting Disneyland with his little nephew. At one point, the kid threw a massive temper tantrum because his sister wouldn’t let him push the stroller. The guy said, (and I’m paraphrasing) “Here was my nephew, in the middle of the happiest place on earth, throwing a fit about something totally insignificant and I realized how often we do the same thing. We focus so intently on the small problems that we forget to simply look up! We’re surrounded by blessings and beauty and wonder, we just need to lift our eyes to see it.”
Right on, man. Right on.
Lest you forget my life is no longer all green grass and rainbows, here’s a shot of me “looking up” amidst the chaos and laundry. Although I probably should eventually look down cause my kid’s not wearing a diaper here.