This world is an ugly place. It seems to only get worse with every passing day. The sheer hypocrisy of people is astounding. Morals have disappeared and integrity is but a 9 letter word that would set most people on fire if it were a lit match. People are lazy, entitled, and ever so vengeful. Wrong doings get swept under the rug, a slap on the wrist is given. Bad people are rewarded, the good goes unnoticed. A simple thank you is a rare thing to hear anymore. Instead only faults and mistakes are pointed out and magnified. I have quit watching the news for the most part because I get so discouraged and afraid for the world I live in and the direction in which it is heading. I scroll quickly through my Facebook looking for something positive in someone's life, but all I see is negativity and hatred. I find myself wanting to curl up under my blankets and just hide away forever.
I come home close to the brink of tears most days because humanity is so disappointing. My soul is weary, my heart is discouraged. I can't help but just hungrily seek God's face for answers, for hope, for promises. I always find it and I go to bed with hope in my heart for the next morning ready to face this misshapen world. But the next day comes and a new batch of disappointment and frustration always ensues. The other day I went out for a sunset walk with my husband. We were only out there for maybe 45 minutes watching the colors displayed across the sky as the sun sank down below the horizon. I was a little sad that the sun set so quickly. I could have stared at those colors for hours. After the sun set, Jose and I headed home and I had a revelation!
What I didn't tell you about the previous day that my husband and I enjoyed the sunset was that it started out cold and rainy and was like that up until about an hour before I left work.
So back to my revelation. As disappointed as I was that the sun had set too quickly for my liking, I realized how much worse it could have been. The day started out ugly, but I was rewarded with a beautiful sunset. It was my hope, my sign that no matter how ugly things are around me, there is always goodness and beauty to be found. It might be small and but for a fleeting moment, but it's there nonetheless. I mustn't become so consumed by all of the bad that I overlook the good, then it would be my fault that I remained disheartened.
I do realize that there is good to be found everywhere, it is just hidden but in the most obvious places. A smile from a passing stranger. A heart to heart over lunch and realizing you have more in common with someone than you thought. A phone call at your job from someone you've never met in person saying a sincere thank you for a job well done. A gripping goodbye hug from someone you've only ever talked to twice, but the hug made you feel like you've known them forever. An, "I love you beautiful" from your spouse as he takes you to work and drops you off at 7:30 in the morning. A promise from God in the Bible, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:5
A beautiful sunset after an ugly day.
These are all of the good things in my own life to name a few. I take these moments and I tuck them away in my heart to keep me going when I feel the world has trodden on me one too many times. But in order to see these things, I have to LOOK, take the time, remove SELF from the picture. Because it's not about me, it's about everyone else around me who is also discouraged. (How can you live in this world and not be?)How can I be their little bit of good? How can God use me to make a difference? You see, that smile I got from a passing stranger, it's because I smiled first and it was returned. That person I had lunch with and found out we had a lot in common, I opened myself up, and they reciprocated.
You have to give what you want to recieve. It isn't always going to be returned, but 99% of the time it is. If you want a friend, go and be a friend. If you want love, go and give love. You HAVE to be the change you want to see in the world even if it is just one smile at a time.
The sunset from our walk. See the angel in the clouds? Isn't God wonderful?