My dad taught me many specific lessons as I grew up but one specific one stands out. He taught me that most folks grow up reading story books about life that is lived happily ever after and that they tend to believe those stories. What I mean by that is that people have a mistaken notion that the “normal” life, the status quo life is one that is lived fairly problem free and void of pain and devastation. They have incredibly high expectations which basically sets them up for huge disappointment as they make their journey through this life. He explained to me that one never knows what life will throw at them, what crushing hurt one will have to deal with and that it is so much better to understand at an early age that the normal life is one riddled with lots of stresses, hurts and hard circumstances. He would tell me that if I could wrap my mind around that fact, then I would not be completely leveled when some of those crushing curve balls came flying my way. It is not so much a negative slant or perspective, just a realistic one.

 

        This is not to say that we are to approach life with a “gloom and doom” approach in which we view the landscape through dark glasses….no, not at all. It is just having a healthy understanding that we should not be thrown off balance by both the big and little problems that are part of every day living. I sort of chuckle when I talk to someone whose day has been ruined by a flat tire or a broken washing machine. Folks who are in a funk over such every day normal occurrences have yet to gain this proper perspective that life is just like that. The normal day will usually possess a variety of potentially unpleasant experiences. It may include a misunderstanding with a friend or loved one,  a missed appointment, a late arrival, a broken appliance, a rude clerk, a disrespectful child and the list is endless. We should not be shocked or rattled by these events as that is quite simply the human experience. If we lived in a perfect world, it would be so much different, but we do not. We live in a flawed world that has lots of snags and bumps. It is a world in which  lessons are learned, relationships are often broken, hopefully sometimes mended, emotions are damaged and then healed. There is much that requires a remedy.  It would be nice if all would be well all of the time. I suppose some may be thinking right now that they could get used to that sort of life very quickly and in one respect, I agree that such a utopia is something wonderful to dream about. It actually will be a reality one day if we find ourselves in heaven. The Bible tells us that heaven is reserved for those of us who understand, believe, and accept the truth about Jesus Christ and his death on the cross for our sins. Sadly, many folks will live out their seventy to eighty years on this earth and pass on to an eternity never acknowledging and understanding this fundamental and most important truth. These are often the same folks who are constantly frustrated and disappointed with their every day lives down here as they mistakenly view this life as one that should be glorious and happy all of the time. Their thinking is unfortunately switched around…they focus all their energy, time, effort and resources on this temporary life on earth all the while ignoring the truth and reality of an after life. If they could just get a hold of the reality that God designed us not to be consumed with the temporal but to be aware of the eternal, their entire perspective of life would change. They would realize that the disappointments, the hardships, the tough stuff of the here and now is not what is paramount.

 

        Let me ask you…have you ever even considered these things? Do you just go about your life every day . working your job, running errands, taking care of kids, buying groceries, cutting the grass…you know, getting it done without thinking about what is most important? If that describes you, stop, and start thinking. Realize that life is a mess, but there is an answer. Understand that utopia is not now, not here, but awaits us as we love and live for the one who died on that tree some 2000 years ago.  

 

Grasp what it’s all about.

It’s not you getting to enjoy a problem free or stress free life.

It’s about understanding human nature, sin, and what we should dread or look forward to.

 

Start mulling it over. You owe it to yourself.