Don’t try to hide from life…

December 16, 2021

A couple of quotes that I’ve had laying around from some time seem to point to the same thing – that one cannot and should not try to avoid the hardships in life but strive to overcome them.

“A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships.”  (Helen Keller)

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”  (Dolly Parton)

Those who spend their lives avoiding anything that might bring hardship often end up living really boring and unsatisfying lives. They never try things that they fear – a fear created by their own imaginations most of the time – and thus miss out on some of life’s great rainbow moments of success and pleasure.

Many people interviewed after overcoming great adversity or mastering some great challenge report that they have never felt “so alive” as in those moments. Whether you attribute that to an adrenalin rush or to the flush of success doesn’t matter, they are rainbow moments in their lives.

A life carefully crafted to avoid hardships becomes bland and seamless. Instead of a mantra of “we shall overcome” they follow the rule “we will not participate”. One cannot even achieve contentment living such a life because they must always be on guard to avoid imaginary confrontations, dangers, or hardships. They are hiding from life rather than living it. For them the rain never stops, and the rainbow never appears.

Sure, the rain will fall in the lives of those who do participate; however, those who chose to overcome the hardships will get to see the rainbows in life. So, maybe, one should not pray to God to help you avoid life’s hardships; but, rather, pray that God give you the strength and perseverance to overcome them and show you the rainbows.

With God’s help, master the hardships life throws at you. Live a happy life. See the rainbows.

Keep looking for the rainbows in life…

September 13, 2021

We tend to associate rainbows with the beautiful and positive things in life. Here are two quotes that I had in my collection of quotes about rainbows –

“If you want to see the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”  (Dolly Parton) Parton

“You’ll never find a rainbow if you are looking down” – Charlie Chaplin

Dolly reminds us that there will be hard times in life, but that there is often a rainbow at the end of each hardship. We must persist through the tough times to get to the good times. Having the attitude that you will get through whatever you are facing and continuing to look for the rainbow at the end is made easier if you recall the words “…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

It is in that peace, just as in the calm after the storm, that you will often find the rainbow.

Chaplin’s quote reminds us to keep our heads up and not get down, during difficult times. If you walk through life with your head down, you will miss seeing the rainbows in your life. Always be looking for the good things in life (the rainbows) and you will find them. Ziggy Marley put it this way, “There’s a rainbow in the sky, all the time, don’t be blind.”

An even better approach to life was suggested by poet Maya Angelou – “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” Imagine how good it would feel to be the rainbow in someone else’s life. Keeping your head up will allow you to see those opportunities, too.

Yes, there will be rain in your life – failures or disappointments, setbacks and even the deaths of loved ones. However, if you keep the faith and keep your head up, there will be rainbows, too. Keep looking for those rainbows and keep being a rainbow to others.

Distance yourself from negative things and have a better day…

February 23, 2016

“Everything is going to be alright, maybe not today, but eventually, because beautiful things happen in life when you distance yourself from all the negative things.”  (Unknown)

As we start a new week, we once again have choices to make which will impact how we view things, react to things or let things affect us. We are constantly bombarded by negativemind at work things in the news, since the news media thinks we want to see and hear about the misfortunes of others, or at least the sensational bad things that happen in the world around us. In our daily lives both good and bad things happen all around us and we choose which we will focus upon. We encounter people as we go through the day and we can choose to greet them with suspicion and cynicism or with a smile and an open mind.

We can’t really be like the cartoon characters who loudly yell “La, La, La”, in an attempt to ignore or not hear the bad things in life; however, we don’t have to focus upon them or feel obligate to react to them or let them drag us down. Some people might misinterpret your lack of negative response as being uncaring; but just the opposite is true – you care; but, you just refuse to let it overwhelm you and change your approach to life and towards others. In fact, you care enough to remain upbeat and positive to help others out of their funk.

The British created the saying “Keep calm and carry on” as an expressnever give upion of this approach
to life. The sometimes stoic British ability to remain calm in the face of great danger or threat, especially during World War II, was what Winston Churchill tapped into in his famous speech that exhorted his people to “never give up.”

In our daily lives it is important to pause when negative or bad things happen before reacting to them. I’ve written here in the past about being able to say, “So what” to those things; to be able to put them into perspective and realize that most will not have the dramatic and dreaded impacts on our lives that we might initially think. After all, if you’re still there to think about them; and well, you’re still there. It didn’t kill you and that a good start and a positive thing.

rainbowSo, instead of spending any more time dwelling on that past incident, take the advice of today’s little quote and distance yourself from that and all negative things. Focus instead on finding the beautiful things that are also happening in your life. Meet someone new and perhaps make a new friend. Try something new and perhaps discover a new passion. Look for the rainbows in life and not the dark clouds


Keep track of the right things…

December 19, 2015

“Count your rainbows, not your thunderstorms.”  (Alyssa Knight – Age 12

That little saying is sort of a take-off on an older saying, “count your blessings and not your problems”; which I could not find an attribution for, although it has been used by many writers. As I looked through many of the quotes that are similar or in which the count your blessings quote was used, it became obvious that the overriding theme ill windis to be thankful for the things that we have – the blessings that we have received – and not to focus upon the thunderstorms of life, the trials and tribulations that we may have been through. A point well taken is that we are through those thunderstorms, still standing, and able to see the rainbow on the other side.

Sometimes when we have experienced saddening events, like the loss of a loved one; we wander off into the weeds for a while and focus upon the darkness of the thunderstorms, on our grief, and on our sense of loss. We allow our troubled ego’s to ask the question of God, “Why have you done this tomemories of the lost me?” It’s as if the death of someone else was purposely allowed to happen just to cause us pain. We may doubt God or question our faith during such times.

How can you find the
rainbows in such a situation? They are there, in the back of your mind if you just look for them. They are the memories of the good times shared with that person. They are the visions that you can conjure up and appreciate of a long life well lived or an all-too-short life that was enjoyed in what time was allotted. The rainbows flow out of your memories of the smiles of those who are no longer here but who will never leave you.

So, remember and count those rainbows, rather than focusing on the pain of their loss. If it might help to be with others who have gone through similar things and who are also seeking God’s help in dealing with it, the Milford United Methodist Church (MUNC) in Milford is holding a Blue Christmas service on Monday, December 21.  The MUMC is located at 1200 Atlantic Street in Milford. Remember that rainbows are formed when the sun shines through drops of water. Let the Son shine through your tears and see the rainbow that only He can create.

For some, their time is ill spent coveting what others have, which they do not. Focusing upon what one does not have instead of enjoying and being thankful for what we do have is not a path that leads to peace and joy. It’si want certainly OK to have goals and aspirations in life and some of those may involve getting to a position where you can have certain things that you don’t now have, for instance a first home or a new car; however, not having those things right now should not be considered to be a problem or thunderstorm in your life. Rather they represent rainbows that you haven’t gotten to yet. Focus on the persistence and perseverance that you need and keep a positive attitude and you will one day see those rainbows, too.
Along the way to achieving your goals, just continue to be thankful for the
things that you do have and content with where you are at in thrainbowat moment in your life. Remember what Clint Eastwood said, that sounds a lot like a line from one of his Dirty Harry movies – “Tomorrow is promised to no one.” Be thankful for the rainbows that you already
have in your life. And, if you get the chance, do the things that will make your memory a rainbow in someone else’s life. Have a great weekend.