In the deep end of the pool:
The only thing that keeps me from feeling sheer panic about the state of the world right now is my faith in God and the knowledge in my heart that He is in control.
In the middle of the pool:
I must cultivate a perspective of thankfulness in all areas of my life. My personal contentedness is almost wholly reliant not on my circumstances, but on my perspective. When I choose to see the blessings in my life instead of focusing on what I lack, my entire outlook changes. I suddenly remember that, in truth, this world is the hard one and I am not honestly entitled to a single thing that it has to offer. I may be indirectly responsible for the good things I enjoy, but honestly, I am no more worthy of them than anyone. It’s quite often by chance or thanks to someone else’s efforts that I have what I have—not because I earned it.
On a side note:
I’m watching the world rip on the UAW and its silly demands, ridiculous expenditures, overly generous treatment of the leaders of that organization, and I’m chuckling every time I hear about how the UAW’s sense of entitlement brought them to their current state. Is not the United States a bigger, badder example of the UAW’s values? How many people are whining now, and being rescued now, because they overspent and over-extended and had to cry for help? Is there not a preposterous sense of entitlement buried in every American heart? How many of us bemoan hungry children and homeless people whilst we sip our Starbucks, which we feel perfectly okay about drinking? I occasionally have the pleasure of eating at a restaurant—and always, always, the restaurant is filled, often with people complaining about how they have no money. Ironic? Stupid? Both?
In the shallow end:
Is it wrong for me to root for Jen Aniston? I do. I’m a married woman; of course I root for her. I am so pleased to see her being truthful, being positive, being sure of herself. I won’t lie: I was weary of Angelina big-lips long before she became a home-wrecker. Now I am really quite un-enamored of her. Still…is it wrong for me to notice that Brad is looking rather worn? That he actually wears the face of a still-handsome but lined and exhausted father of six? Does that make me a bad person?
In short—my advice to myself and all in 2009:
Trust in Jesus (but still lock your doors), remember how incredibly blessed you are, and be glad when people who once mourned begin to celebrate.
Happy New Year! Hope to see you in 2009!