And what do May flowers bring?
That’s right. Allergies.
The other day, as I rubbed my itchy, watery eyes and sneezed for the twelfth time in a row, I complained loudly, to anyone who would hear, how much I missed being able to breathe. I whined of how I hated all this congestion and how unfair it was for Nature to treat me so cruelly. I indulged in a private pity party until even I could no longer stand to be around me. Finally I decided to suck it up and I took an allergy pill. Lo and behold… I got to feeling better.
As I looked around at the flowers and listened to the sounds of the birds in my yard, finally noticing all the little gifts of spring that I had been missing, it struck me that I hadn’t missed these things because I felt bad. I missed them because all I could think about was how bad I felt.
Too often I fall into that same pattern in my life. I allow the little frustrations and annoyances to pile up. I focus on the times where life just wasn’t fair, when someone said something hurtful, when the pressure just seemed like too much. I take all these negative feelings and put them on display, making them the centerpiece of my life. I let them determine how I feel and, worse, how I act.
Yet more often than not, when I take a step back and look around, I find that those apparently insurmountable problems are a speck compared to the blessings I have been given. In those moments of clarity, I can see that the giggles during youth group far outweigh the frustration of a seemingly never-ending to-do list. The pure joy of discovering I’ll be an aunt is bigger than any gathered amount of hurt feelings could ever be. The peace in knowing that I am a beloved child of God surpasses any real or imagined flaw on which I could focus.
It is in those moments that I am reminded of the bigger picture of a hopeful future. May this spring bring you out of your struggles and into your hope.
Marlie Heberling, Director of Youth Ministry
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is
pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is
commendable, if there is any excellence,
if there is anything worthy of
praise, think about these things.
~ Philippians 4:8