Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Little Things in Life Count

I have posed this question to several people, and often pondered upon it: Why do we go through such big bad things, such as death, illness, money problems, etc. and the good things are usually so small in comparison, such as seeing a flower bloom, enjoying a quiet afternoon reading on the porch, watching the waves break on the shore? It seems that the good things should be as big as the bad things and we should win the lottery, or get a great paying job, etc. If it seems that I sometime argue with God about this, I do.

But yesterday, I had an epiphany. My family and I have had to deal with the illness of my father and I am an only child so there is no siblings to help share the load with my mother, just me. The store is only two years old, the winter has not be conducive to shopping in a place where you walk outside from store to store, and the economy is having its problems. We have a house near the campus where my children have gone to college that we bought so that they could live there after their freshman years on campus (I wanted them to have a campus experience)and our youngest has been so involved in his college life that he has not lived in the house. Our last renters ended up in jail and left the place a mess and owing a great deal of back rent. We have not been able to rent it or sell it yet, but the mortgage and utilities still have to be paid.

Now, you may wonder why I am telling you this personal information. It is because these are big things that have been stressing myself and my family. As far as stress goes, I have felt very much at my limit lately. The nearly last straw was getting a notice to serve jury duty (my husband had been called up last month the same day our dog died) and this was not the first time. Right now, with my father, I really can't plan my days because I never know if he is going to need to need to be hospitalized (twice in the last three months) or if I am going to need to go to the doctor's with my parents at the last moment, so jury duty seems like the last thing I need.

But yesterday gave me a reprieve from the stress. Kerry and I made two good sales that totaled $100. My dad agreed to go to cardiac rehab for reconditioning and has been eating and taking liquids more which had been a real issue. Kerry and I are potentially going to receive help for our store's marketing from an unexpected source. Just little bits of good news but they really made me happier than I have been in some time. That's when I realized that it is a gift that God gives us--to be so happy about little things and that those little things can sometimes balance out the big bad things, or at the very least make them bearable.

There are really so many more little good things out there than big bad ones and while they may not make the bad things go away, they are God's way of helping us cope and one of his gifts to us is the ability to make each of the little good things alone give us so much pleasure that it takes a really big bad thing to mar it. In other words, on the scale of life, the pleasure in one small good thing is portionally greater that the sorrow of one big bad thing. We can't all be rich in material goods but we can all be rich in the ability to enjoy the small bits of bliss that come our way.

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