The Spot that Ate the World II

15 04 2018

Came across an old snapshot the other week that used to be one of my favorites. It’s a Rock _npicture of me with two guys I used to perform in a band with; our wives are also in the shot. Peering down on this print always brings a smile to my face remembering not only the music we performed but the good times we had and the friendship we shared that still lives today. Then a time came when seeing the picture brought sadness and even a little anger. So I put it away not to look at it anymore. Why?

I kept the picture on the corner of my desk at home and while reaching for a black marker on a shelf above the desk the marker dropped, landing on the pic and creating a black mark. I tried desperately to wipe away the mark only to make it worse. Well, Hoot! Even though it was a small area smudged on the print it just made me sick to look at it. I left it on my desk for a few more days and each time I caught sight of the marred image anger would rise in me. How could I be so careless with something that meant a great deal to me. I at last stuck it in a drawer so it couldn’t haunt me anymore. I still had the memory of those people, the fun we had and even the day the picture was taken, and I no longer had to look at the disgusting black mark! That is until I’d open the drawer and there it would be, reminding me once again of my mistake.

Then one day when pulling out some papers from that drawer the picture came out with them. I started to put it back, but then I stopped. I began looking at it like I used to. The mark was still there, but it was like I was noticing for the first time it didn’t cover up the images. And the more I concentrated on the smiling faces and the good times we were having on that day the smaller the dark spot seemed to appear. It was still there and noticeable, but it didn’t cover up the picture of happiness. The only thing that changed was I was no longer focused in on the stain, I was back to seeing what brought me happiness.

I have come to see that like the blotch on my picture we all at times have dark spots on our lives, troubles that will take all our energy, emotions, and concentration and hold them captive. They appear so large that nothing can penetrate the shell of sadness in which we find ourselves encompassed. But the truth of the matter is there’s always joy out there for you to be a part of be it in others that have blessed your life or even those precious moments that elate the heart as you think of them. My point is this, in this world we’ll all face tribulations that bring us down; that’s okay, I understand and I’ve been there. But you don’t have to live your life with that black spot staring you in the face keeping you from seeing anything else. As you know, I like using my Great Aunt Pearl as an example because she was such a mentor to me.

It was as number of years after the passing of her husband Price that I ran into two former coworkers of Pearl. They wanted to let me know how much they enjoyed the time they worked together. Then one said to me, “It was such a shock to us all when we heard of all the years Price was sick, how Pearl had to take care of him often going on little sleep, and finally his death. Your Aunt Pearl would never talk about that; she would come to work in a good mood, enjoy being with us and we with her. That’s one strong woman, your Aunt Pearl.” Pearl had it rough, but she absolutely refused to let that permeate her entire life. She looked for ways to be blessed and to be a blessing.

Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

“Paul says that as Christians we can rejoice even in tough times because we have hope and because we know that God is working in our lives.”  Rick Warren

My fellow “Travelers of the Rock Road,” never Never NEVER, let the black dot in your life grow so big that you can’t see the beautiful picture around you, and especially don’t let it distract you from the love of the Lord. He hasn’t forgotten you, He knows what you’re going through, He’s there every step of the way. And never forget how God feels about you. Max Lucado put it like this: “If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Face it, friend. He is crazy about you!”

To paraphrase a certain comedian, “Now that ought to bring a smile to your face, I don’t care who you are!”

Hey. Let’s stop looking at the dark spot and let’s focus on the picture.

See ya next time.


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