What you look for, you will find.
If you look for criticism, corruption, and conflict you will find it everywhere.
If you look for beauty, blessing and bounty you will find it everywhere.
And you can be looking at the exact same scenery.
The reality is that both exist all around us and we choose what we focus on.
One of my favourite drives takes us down a beautiful winding road through the countryside. There are many new homes popping up along the road as land is subdivided and people take advantage of the peace of the countryside.
There are also some older places. Along the route is an old barn, long past it’s usefulness, slowly falling apart.
You could look at it and see a hazard, and wonder when it will be torn down. As time and the elements have corrupted the structural integrity, the building is slowly decaying.
But there are seasonal flowers blooming along the barn, and they invite you to see the backdrop differently. Nothing has changed about the barn, but if you look you see beauty. The sight is a blessing to me every time I pass by. The sunflowers that are currently blooming will bring bounty for the birds and critters to enjoy.
The world is struggling to come out of a global pandemic caused by Covid-19. There are those who have called it a conspiracy, those who have criticized the actions taken by those in leadership all along, and those who have cried corruption. If you choose to focus on that, it will be all you see. I feel it as I scan through my social media feeds.
I choose to look at the same circumstances and see the beauty. Neighbours sitting out on their driveways in the evening enjoying one another’s company for the first time ever. The blessing as people picked up groceries for those who were unable to get to grocery stores, sewed masks for schools, and cheered on the health care system as they looked after our loved ones. I saw families knit together as they experienced more time together than they had in years. Priorities were rearranged as we all realized what we could and couldn’t give up.
I realize these things don’t change the backdrop of a global pandemic. There has been tragedy in the midst of it. But perspective matters. And our view of the circumstances is contagious. As parents we shape what our children will learn from this. Be careful what you share and what you choose to focus on.
I went into the doctor’s office today prepared to be grumpy. My doctor has moved on, I was meeting a new one. I didn’t want to be there. As I waited in the reception area (another contribution to feeling grumpy) I heard the concerns and complaints of others. Angry people wanting their problem fixed now. Confused people wanting things the way they remember. I realized I was buying into the negative view and did an attitude check. Started counting my blessings!
I was thankful I wasn’t wearing a mask in the clinic. I had got an appointment the day after I called. The new doctor I met was pleasant. The reason for my visit was dealt with swiftly. I left being thankful for the health care system we enjoy.
Beauty and blessing. If we look for it.
Don’t let the chaos, criticism, and corruption of the world around you steal your joy. Look for the beauty.
In the midst of the mess