So I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about the ugly side of life and how to see the good things in the midst of those challenges. I probably missed the rest of the conversation (sorry K) because all of a sudden my mind starting running with this thought…
I have this recurring temptation to “count my blessings” in the midst of trials. In fact, I was probably taught this at some point in some Sunday school class.
I use the word “temptation” there because I, at least, have this tendency to make a list of my blessings in order to somehow counter-balance the trials that are in my life. How can I allow myself to compare goodness with evil? What a crock!
Here is the thing I am trying to clarify… good and bad things shouldn’t be something that should be compared in terms of number. It’s like light and darkness. Warmth and cold.
Light and warmth is the presence of something. Darkness and cold is just the absence.
“I had 7 darknesses and only 1 light today. My day sucked.” That just doesn’t make sense.
“I had 84 coldnesses and 16 warmths. Brrrrr.” What?
Since all I ever do is quote Lewis and Howard, Lewis made a reference to this idea in The Great Divorce…
“Look at yon butterfly, if it swallowed all Hell, Hell would not be big enough to do it any harm or to have any space… And yet all loneliness, angers, hatreds, envies, and itchings that it contains, if rolled into one single experience and put into the scale against the least moment of the joy that is felt by the least in Heaven, would have no weight that could be registered at all. Bad cannot succeed even in being bad as truly as good is good.”
Wow. That is incredible. Read The Great Divorce if you haven’t.
So here’s my point. Next time that the unfortunate situations of life have its grip on you, don’t just count your blessings as if one ice cream sandwich or even a friendship can outweigh a poor circumstance. There is no competition!!!
Why even get out your balance if there is only something on one side of the scale?
So perhaps next time I am becoming overwhelmed with a poor circumstance in life, I think I am just going to only look at the blessings in my life.
Besides, can you even think of a word for the absence of all blessings? I guess Hell could fit there.