My walk to work this morning was an abysmal endeavor—the rain was pouring down, the streets were full of puddles, and I forgot my umbrella at home. Needless to say, when my day started, I was wet, cold and miserable.
I sat at my desk and combed some of the rainwater out of my hair and hoped that my pants and shoes would dry out soon. As I looked out the window of the 17th floor of my building, I took in the image of a gray, dull sky. My mood matched. But then a funny thing happened. As I started to get into my work, I forgot about my waterlogged clothes and focused on things that were more important—namely, the tasks at hand. I had a job to do, so I got to it even though I was so miserable I didn’t want to do anything.
Later on in the day, the sun came out and dried up all the rain and at the same time it lifted my spirits even more.
I was reminded that nasty weather can’t last forever. The same is true in life. When tragedy, obstacles, sickness or the death of a loved one comes about, it can seem as if you’re saturated with sadness and frustration. That’s how I felt this morning. I felt as if the day couldn’t get any better. But I was wrong. Once I took myself out of my own misery and focused on things outside of myself, my day gradually improved.
The same is true for our spiritual life when we take the focus away from what is wrong in our lives and focus on the blessings.
I think that was a good lesson for me. I often see nothing but the raindrops of my life, so much so that I miss everything else that is going on. I admit it, it makes me a bit self absorbed. St. Paul wrote about this sort of thing when he said, “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves” (Galatians 5:16). Sometimes I feel as if my nature generally tends toward the miserable. Perhaps the same is true for you.
But that’s not how God wants us to live. He wants us to be happy, and hopeful, and full of joy.