Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Don't settle for mulligrubs

It was Winston Churchill who reminded us that if we are "going through hell, keep going"! It isn't one of those places where we should stop and 'enjoy the scenery', for sure! Hell on this earth often isn't so much of a place as it is a condition or set of circumstances that make life just too doggone unbearable that we almost want to just curl up in a fetal position and languish in our misery. Churchill was also the one who said, "The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty." I think that is how I try to live my life - as one who looks for the opportunities - knowing full well the difficulties are there, but not being willing to settle into them and allow them to settle into me!

3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to be patient. 4 And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. 5 Then, when that happens, we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. (Romans 5:3-5 TLB)

When we settle into the difficulties and allow them to settle into us, we are almost creating a misery sure to overwhelm us and take us further down into the mulligrubs. Don't know what that means? Mulligrubs is a Southern term for being kind of ill-tempered, grumpy, or colicky! It means we let the misery of the moment change us, not for the better, but into whiny, temperamental twits! We become 'tainted' by the circumstances - they begin to get under our skin and they annoy the heck out of us, but we don't do anything to change the circumstances. 

The melancholy of the moment is often determined by the difficulties inherent in that moment. You have probably heard it said that we can get happy in the same pants we are getting out of sorts in. We don't need to necessarily change the circumstances, we just need to stop changing into what he circumstances dictate from us! We need to dictate how we will change - for the better and not for the worse! I am not speaking of positivity here - thinking good thoughts to help us make it through. I am speaking of making a break with the ideas that all bad circumstances have to leave us scarred and torn up on the inside.

Every difficulty comes with a chance to 'solve the problem' a little differently. No two solutions will ever be the same in life - regardless of what your math teacher tried to drill into your head! Not all of life is made up of right angles - sometimes you get thrown an obtuse one! You have to be able to recognize the angle you are dealing with and then adjust your attitude (mind and heart) to find the solution. We aren't going to see any solution if we maintain a thought pattern that says the problem is too hard. You are probably right! It is too hard for YOU, but it isn't too hard for GOD! Just sayin!