Is Your Plate Too Full?

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Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. James 1:17 

The older I get, the more tenuous I realize life is.  There have been so many losses in our immediate family, our extended family, and among my friends this year.  And, the older I get, the more losses there are.  

Kind of an obvious statement, that, eh?

I guess I didn't expect that.  (Expectations again.)

Somehow, I think I grew up thinking that at some magical point in my life, when I was all grown up (Has anyone figured that out yet?  What being all grown up is?),things would be good.

Yet, life isn't like that.

Bad things happen.

Pain happens.

And in between, we have moments.

Moments of joy, moments of happiness.

The good times.

Funny how I separate life like that - into good times and bad times.

I don't think it's truly like that, though.  I find there are bright spots in the bad times, and discouraging times tucked away in the midst of good.

It's a mix.

Not good or bad.

Good and bad.

I've a friend who always says to me, "Doesn't God think your plate is full enough already?"

I realize I can take that two ways.

I can look through my life and look at all the bad things that happen in my life.  I can add losses, and pain, and sadness until my plate is indeed full.

Feels like I am drowning when I even start to think about that.

Or, I can pick and choose.  "Cherry-picking" they call it in research circles.  You pick out the facts that you want to support your theory.

Well, I am going to cherry pick from the moments in my life.

I'm not gonna pretend that the bad stuff isn't out there.  I sure know it is.  After eight years, I still try not to think about the night my daughter was killed.  

I do try to think about the good times we had together.  Those things I will gratefully add to my plate.

It doesn't take much to fill my plate with the bad.  It overflows easily.

It takes a lot more to fill the plate with good.  The good is filled with a lot of little moments.  Tiny memories.  Not always huge events.

This morning, I realize the choice is mine.  Am I going to cherry pick the bad times and forget about the good?  Or do I acknowledge, that yes, there is a lot of bad out there, but selectively choose the good things to focus on?

Kind of like the King of Hearts in "Alice in Wonderland."

“"The horror of that moment," the King went on, "I shall never, never forget!" 

"You will, though," the Queen said, "if you don't make a memorandum of it”

What are you going to find on your plate today?

The choice is ours to make.

Father God, in the world of so many difficult and challenging times, help us to find the good that continues to come from You.  Sometimes it can be hard to find even little bright spots in our day.  Help us to look for them, and when we find them, savor them as best we can.  Help us to always be looking toward the good, searching it out in our lives, and rejoicing  when we find them.  Amen and amen.


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