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Cheer Up…..Things Could Be Worse

Songs were often written in difficult, heart-breaking, and soul-wrenching times.  The song writer chose music to help alleviate a pain that dug deep into his or her heart.  Rejection, death, disease, war, or isolation created such a wound in the song-writer’s heart that they had to express the depths of their emotion.  You have often heard a very popular, secular song that was written after a tragic break-up of the song-writer’s family.  How many old hymns were the result of great heartache that sought solace from God’s Spirit?  Or, what about novelists, poets, playwrights, artists, and other creative folks that wrote their best when their hearts and minds were tormented by some tragedy?

Everyone responds differently to difficulty.  The pain pushes many people to achieve things that they would never have done before.  Athletes vent their hurt and anger by working harder than ever to achieve greatness.  Actors pour their emotions into a character and critics declare they have never been as accomplished in any previous work.

There are those, however, that fold under criticism and hardship.  Some seem to think that if they have no meaningful relationships, they will never be hurt.  Others become very pessimistic feeling that everyone is seeking to harm them; no one can ever be trusted; and every person is just seeking to use them and then throw them away.    Once we begin to listen to pessimism, we will become so warped in our thinking that it is very difficult to ever recover.  How we see the world, the people around us, and how truly vibrant is our faith in God to make us “more than conquerors” will determine what we do to be pleasing to our LORD in the life He has given to us.

A man decided to start a hot dog business. He bought a cart, filled it with hot dogs, and pushed it down a busy city street during the lunch hour. He sold out, so he ordered more from his supplier. As the weeks passed, he kept expanding his business and became a successful vendor.

One day his son came home from college and gave him some advice.

“Dad, don’t you know what’s going on in the business world? Things are bad. We’re in a depression.”

            His father replied, “We are? I guess I’d better cut back on my supply of hot dogs.”

So, he did. He reduced his inventory, ordering only minimum quantities. Because he kept running out, his frustrated customers stopped buying from him. Several months later he shut down his business.

That night he called his son at college and said, “Son, you were right. We are in a depression!”

            The way you choose to see the world creates the world you see. Pessimists expect the worst to happen, which often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

(Kent Crockett, I Once Was Blind But Now I Squint, Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2004, p.37)