I don’t know if you have ever considered that there are indeed silver linings to dark clouds. I have always admired people with positive attitudes and an optimistic faith that everything will work out for the best, and try my best to have such an attitude and such a faith, although I would have to say that I often fall short. Lately, though, I’ve been connecting problems or shortfalls with blessings and opportunities. I don’t want to be unrealistic about losses and grief and suffering: they are real and they cause hurt and distress. But, if we look for the blessings that come with raindrops, I believe that we will be blessed.
Last week, I was not feeling well, and, making my usual round of errands, could not find a parking space anywhere I went that was, as we like to say, in Centreville. I was mentally grousing to myself when suddenly I thought, “Hey! I can get a few more steps toward my 10,000 for the day! This cloud has a silver lining.”
And, as some of you know, I have been doing small repair jobs around the church. And it seems that most of these become unnecessarily complicated and difficult. I’ll try to think of the tools and materials I need and bring them, but invariably it seems that I need something else. So, I have to go home and get it or force myself to go to Rice’s Hardware and buy it from them. So, there’s a blessing already. In addition, I have learned how to deal with paint that won’t cover a previous coat, how to unfreeze rusted nuts and bolts, how to replace a fluorescent fixture without shocking myself too badly, and how to adjust an automatic door closer, among others. As the kids say, it’s all good.
Perhaps more importantly, I’ve learned some important principles from my experiences that make life easier and help preserve sanity. One is, a job takes about twice as long and costs twice as much as you expect. Count on it. Another is, take every tool you own to a job. You’ll need them. And, know when to quit for the day. If you force yourself to forge onward, you ruin the project or break something, which might just be yourself.
I know that many of you bear heavier burdens than I will ever know. My wish and prayer for you is that you see rainbows and blessings among the raindrops. They’re out there. You can count on it.