Cold and frosty morning as I putter around my kitchen, getting my coffee brewing. I slept well, just not enough hours. The sun got up way too early as it peeked through my windows! I am ready to get this day started! After dealing with some major problems at work; the saddest was a client living in chronic pain that I could not help her find relief or comfort with any of our products. Then there was the issue one very angry client that didn’t get her product delivered in time for Christmas because she waited til the week of to order. And then the customer that no matter the amount of good customer service we have offered and provided, she just ain’t gonna be happy! So I was thrilled when midnight rolled around and this particular day was done!
People we come across everyday are hurting; whether emotionally, spiritually or physically. They are struggling and trying desperately to make ends meet, they may be harassed by deadlines and strict schedules, they may be dealing with the dreaded rude and demanding clients and maybe even some non-appreciative family members. Maybe they are trying to hold together a broken marriage or other relationship, they may be recovering from a loved ones betrayal or being abandoned, or the death of someone they loved. They might be shrouded in worry, despair and trying to balance career, family and all the other things thrown on their plates. They exist somewhere between being down, feeling blue, isolated, alone and full-blown depression. If you look around, you will see them. You know them, it may be you.
Christians are not immune to discouragement. We may put a smile on our face and pretend everything is ok, but realistically, we all struggle, lose our balance, slip up and fall flat on our faces at times. We don’t have it all together, we don’t have all the answers and we can’t control everything and everyone in our lives.
However, what we can do is choose how we will respond to the world around us. We can choose to let a rude client steal our “peace” and in turn give them a “piece” of our mind. But I don’t want to trade one “peace” for another “piece”! I will keep my peace and smile and be gracious and understanding and get on with my day. There may be a person that is manipulating and selfish in your life; whether a family member or a co-worker or a paying customer, they will wear you down trying to always get what they want, when they want it and somehow end up getting their way. You may not be able to remove them from your life, but you can choose to stand up for yourself in a firm, nice and polite way. Say “NO, I won’t do that!” Refuse to let them steal your inner joy and make you do something for them you don’t want. Eventually they will get the message and move on to bully someone else. We can’t change them, but we can be in control of our response to them.
Heard a minister talk about how some people in life are “garbage collectors”. They go throughout their life collecting garbage and when they get an opportunity they will spill some out on whomever is around and will look for people to dump their load on. If someone spills their trash on you; don’t come down to their level and pick it up, handling the stinky mess and throw it back at them. Shake it off and move on. Your day is too valuable to become stressed, burdened, distracted and enmeshed in someone else’s garbage.
All of us need encouragement, all of us need somebody to believe in us, reassure us and help us along our journey. Of the many opportunities you will have in the next 24 hours, the 84,600 seconds in this day; may you share your light with someone in darkness, may you be the love in action to one that has none, may you be the peace to a troubling situation, may you be the encourager to that one that is discouraged, may you be the answer to someone searching for an answer. It is Christ in you, their Hope!
Have a blessed day my friends, be a blessing and may someone be your blessing too!
Tonya F. Henshaw