is your life full of difficulties and temptations?
Then be happy,
for when the way is rough,
your patience has a chance to grow.
So let it grow,
and don’t try to squirm out of your problems
For when your patience is finally in full bloom,
then you will be ready for anything,
strong in character, full and complete."
— James 1:2-4, the Bible
[Classic post from 8-23-12]
Stuff happens. It’s inevitable. We certainly could have attracted it unknowingly, and in all reality, it simply doesn’t really matter where the current circumstances came from. It is just that they are here right now.
Who knows what it is or how many there are one upon another? A loved one in a hospital with serious illness, a lost employment position, a foreclosure, a bankruptcy, more bills than you have funds for, a deadline you can’t meet, and so many more. We all have some of these things going on somewhere in our lives. Maybe in our face, on the horizon, around the next corner, it matters not. What does matter is not what they are or the fact they are here or looming. What matters is how we think about them, respond or react to them.
The quote above indicates to get excited about our problems and be happy for the blessings that they contain in results, changes, and even personal growth.
It sounds crazy to get excited and be thankful for getting fired, but crazy sounding or not, it is a powerful and positive choice that holds the brightest and wisest future in its grasp. Any other response will provide less, and often keep the problem in tow longer than desired.
If you’re a Christian, I strongly suggest to go get a copy of the book by Merlin R. Carothers titled Power In Praise, How the Spiritual Dynamic of Praise Revolutionizes Lives. My copy has so many underlines, margin notes, stars, and so on to remind me to reread that part again and again. If you’re not a Christian, read it anyway and you can substitute Universe for God, and such. It will still be powerful and even life-changing.
This is the first book that taught me about being thankful for problems and challenges along with the so-called good things. Since that is not how most of the world responds, we have been well-trained to be unhappy, perhaps even devastated when these negative things come around, but take joy in the fact that you can be different, and you can find a better way. I practice now all the time. I may not react or respond immediately, but when I allow myself to consider the situation, I remember to be thankful for it, accept it and begin to find joy in it. I can’t wait for the day when I go there without needing to think about it. In the meantime, I take the joy as it comes.
It always seems to work out for the best. I’ve found that even the most initially traumatic things turn out to be the best thing that could have happened. Isn’t that interesting…
Being Thankful In Everything, Changes Everything!
Spread Some Joy Today–Make a list of your current problems or situations that bother you. After you’re done, write in large letters at the top of the page: Things and Situations That I Am Thankful For: Then, take another look at each entry and see how different they look