“How was your weekend?”
I never thought that my enthusiastic response to this simple question would make a couple of guys laugh, slightly uncomfortably, because they didn’t know what else to do. I answered honestly and quickly, not even stopping to think about the way I would deliver my response or how it would come off; I just said it. I really had the best weekend, so that’s what I told them.
A few minutes before I was asked that question this morning, I was thinking about how we all live our lives. I think we’ve often made ourselves into a big bunch of complainers, and I think we know it. We preface or follow our complaints with the phrase, “First world problems,” knowing full well that the things we complain about aren’t really problems at all. I’m as guilty of this as the next person. We blow the little things that aren’t so great out of proportion, and minimize the big things that we find completely wonderful.
Why? I’m not sure, because I do it, too. I think part of the reason, at least, is our need to “play it cool.” But I’m realizing that there are few things greater than seeing someone truly passionate about something, speaking with joy in their eyes, and radiating their happiness onto others. Being unashamedly joyful gives others permission to do likewise.
When things are bad, don’t hide it, but when things are great, don’t hide that, either. I’m learning to realize that there’s a different way to look at everything: I can look at my problems and complain about them, or I can look at them and realize that God has put so many other great things in my life at the same time, and he’s working even when I don’t see it. It’s important for me to be honest with myself and with others, but also to know that I have a God who goes before me in whatever I face. This morning I came across Psalm 34:8: “Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” One thing I love about that verse is that it doesn’t just say, “Believe in your heart that the Lord is good even though there’s nothing tangible to show for it.” No! The verse says TASTE and SEE. God gives us good gifts and blesses us immensely and we have real ways to know that the Lord is good, even when everything in our lives isn’t good.
What’s cooler than cool?
“As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands.”
– Psalm 119:143