Thursday, September 4, 2014
BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER
Bridge over Troubled Water, Kiawah Island, SC
I recently read a column written by Regina Brett with forty five life lessons she had penned on the occasion of her “odometer turning 90”. None of us has enough time in a lifetime to learn everything we need to know, but we can learn from the lessons learned by others that have gone before us. So I enjoy gleaning what insights and truths I can find in these musings, because they’re like pebbles in the good road of life that help us keep our footing. And really, many problems are simply well disguised opportunities! To paraphrase Kipling, if we can keep our head while all about us are losing theirs, we’ll succeed in life and be able to press onward. Our attitude in approaching any problem is golden and even large issues can be broken down into their inevitable components to make them more manageable.
Dealing with life in general and the storms of life in particular are common realities for everyone. The column contained a handful of insights that I especially liked beginning with the observation that “Life isn’t fair, but it’s good”. Once we come to terms with this reality, life can definitely become more enjoyable. No one is being singled out for challenging problems. We all get our fair share, but I’ve learned that although we can’t always control these bumps in the road, we can control our response to them.
I’ve also considered many times that some folks simply seem to have a much easier path to travel in life than others. And I’ve learned that when someone attacks my credibility or cuts me off on an Interstate highway, my response should be measured. No one can take our self-confidence or self-control without our permission. Ms. Brett counsels that we shouldn’t compare our life to others or be too quick to judge because “You have no idea what their journey is all about”. When some erratic driver gives me grief out on the open road, I now give them all the room they need to drive ahead of me. You never know what’s going on in their head at the time. I’d rather have them in a position where they can be monitored versus in my rear view mirror. Which leads to one of my favorites, “If we threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back”! That’s probably more correct than we’d ever like to admit!
I’ve also used one of her reflective thoughts every so often that we should “Frame every so called disaster with these words, ‘In five years, will this matter’? And even more to the point, in fifty years who will really care? And every time we think that we’re being rejected, we may just be being redirected to something better!
Finally, one of my all-time favorite truths is that we can never cross the same river twice, for by then both the river and we have changed. Ms. Brett observes that “However good or bad a situation is, it will change”. The only constant in this world is change, so we might as well pull on our big boy or big girl pants and embrace it! She leaves us with the encouraging thought that “Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don’t worry, God never blinks”! And like a bridge over troubled waters, trusting in the ultimate love of our eternal Father will enable us to lie down in green pastures and give us peace.