denialOne of my personal cures for the pastoral blues was to visit the hospital.  I always came away feeling better.  Sometimes it was simply walking in and out and feeling “well” physically.

Other times it was sitting with someone who had graciously accepted their sickness. The person in a “season” of adversity, knowing that there was a return to health, had a “handle” on their ordeal.  While it was unpleasant, it was temporary.

Others faced more dire circumstance where there was no recovery. It was just a matter of time. That’s all that life is anyway … a matter of time and what we choose to do with it. Some were bitter but more were softened, insightful and steadfast. This made me feel so ungrateful … ashamed at the lack of significance that the blessed ordinariness of life held for me. I took so much for granted … missed so many opportunities to thank God for His goodness. None of us have our health forever

These people counseled me.

What I really learned is that I cannot feel sorry for myself while I am aware of others, especially those who suffer more than I do. Most of us don’t have to look far to find them. Like the young lady in the neighborhood last night … terminal marriage. I am so blessed. A military casualty. Lord only knows the pressure that tears at these couples. She wasn’t complaining. There was a “grace of acceptance” there.

I spend way too much time thinking about my own aches, pains, trials, difficulties, failures. How in the world could I look for happiness with my thoughts mired in my own minor miseries?

Too much time thinking about me, means too little time thinking about God … too little time thinking about others and what I might do to brighten their day or lighten their load.

Forgive me, languishing in my ivory tower Lord … give me YOUR heart for YOUR kids.