Lessons I Have Learned: I suspect the notion that life has it’s ups and downs came as a surprise to me. I am the kind of person that likes things to be positive and happy. I guess that makes me an optimist. My late wife always said she was a pessimist, a person who looks on the bad side of things. I remember her telling me she had read an article which said that being a pessimist was better because if things turned out better than you expected, it would be a plus. And if they never did, you could always claim you were right.
I have come to see both good and bad things happen. Life has up times as well as down times. They just come as part of the ebb and flow of life. As one who tends to run from trials, I have come to see they are not cruel and unusual in any sense of those words. They are simply part of the rhythm of life.
What helped me see things better was a section from the biblical book of Ecclesiastes the third chapter, verses one through five (ESV)
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
Ironically, or maybe not, this was my late wife’s favorite section of the whole Bible. It made her cry.
All good things seem to have their corresponding bad things too. Every great experience is usually followed by a time of trial.
It is helpful, I believe, instead of deciding to be either positive or negative in outlook, to realize that good and bad things happen. They seem to be part of life. Judgmentalism only makes them worse than they need to be.
There once was a man whose favorite verse in the Bible was “It came…..to pass.” He saw that line as a promise that all trials came his way with the purpose of eventually passing away. There is a time for everything. Life has rhythm to it. I’ve learned that the best way to respond to life is to accept it.