Friends, if you are a caregiver who is feeling bogged down with the stresses of caregiving, perhaps this inspirational post by Reverend Lotz will help you contemplate ways to “find” a small measure of peace, even during the hard days. ~ Karen
Post by Reverend Louis Lotz
It can be hard to say to someone whom you care for, and hard to hear when someone says it to you, but it is true: We tend to find in life what we are looking for.
Today is a lovely day, and I am happy. There are a host of reasons, however, why I shouldn’t be happy. Projects I should have finished a month ago remain undone. A magazine article I’ve been working on is very good and very original, but the parts that are very good aren’t very original, and the parts that are very original aren’t very good. My doctor says I am ten pounds overweight, my pickup truck has a flat tire, and the deer got to my wife’s hydrangeas again. A friend suggested I sprinkle moth balls around the bushes, and that worked pretty well. I haven’t seen a moth for weeks. But the deer visit every night, and the hydrangeas look like someone pruned them with a blunt machete. I thumb through our church directory, looking at the names and faces, and it seems that every person could tell a story of sickness or sadness. There is so much sorrow in the world. And yet…
Today is a lovely day, and I am happy. I got up early this morning, sat on the deck with a cup of coffee, and watched the sun rise. The eastern sky was a Wheaties box orange, and the air smelled fresh and clean. My honeybee hives survived the Michigan winter just fine, and there were three first-time visitors in church last Sunday. I married the woman I loved and I love the woman I married, and my grandchildren run to my arms even when my hands are empty. And while every person in the church directory could tell a tale of sickness or sadness, each also has much to be thankful for.
My morning devotions today took me to the book of Numbers, chapter 13, the story of the twelve spies sent by Moses to reconnoiter the Promised Land. Two of the spies, Caleb and Joshua, are convinced that the Children of Israel will overcome to hostile tribes that inhabit the land. The remaining ten spies insist that the Israelites are hopelessly overmatched. “We seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers!” (13:33) they moan.
Remarkable, isn’t it, how two people can look at the same set of circumstances and give completely different assessments? All twelve spies visit the same land, but somehow, they see different things. “Two men looked out from prison bars, one saw mud and the other saw stars,” said Dale Carnegie. Some people say the glass is half empty, others say it is half full. Some people see the thorns, some see the roses.
Me, I think we see what we want to see. We have a way of finding what we are looking for. When I look for what’s wrong, oh boy do I find it. When I look for what’s right, I find that, too. What are you looking for today? Or perhaps a better question: what are you finding? Usually, what you are finding will tell you what you are looking for.
Lincoln was right: “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” I’m not a stargazing Pollyanna, really, I’m not, but I have found that even in the midst of daunting circumstances, there is still much to be happy about, much to be thankful for. Today is a lovely day, and I am happy. How about you?
The Rev Louis Lotz, D. Min, is a retired pastoral leader of Central Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.