I woke up this morning the first day of 2011, looked out the window to see overcast rainy skies. My first thought, yuck, not a great way to start the New Year. I hoped this was not a sign of the year ahead. Then I walked outside, it was warm!! The week before had been cold, I needed a jacket and gloves when I let the dog out. Today I was fine standing outside in only my sweatshirt and jeans. As I stood there waiting for Raider the realization hit me, this was actually the perfect day to start the New Year. The day had a strange harmony of good and bad. Overcast/rainy yet wonderfully warm for January. A happy medium.
Isn’t that the way life should be, a happy medium? If the sun always shined, if there was no rain then life would cease to exist. Nothing would survive. Plants, animals, humans, we all need the amazing cycle of water. The earth needs those wonderfully overcast rainy days to survive. So maybe it is also true for our being. Is it conceivable or just possible that we need the same type of balance for our soul to thrive? As harsh as it may sound, we need both happiness and heartache in order for us to experience life at it’s fullest?
If we never experienced heartbreak then there would be no love. If we never cried tears of sorrow would we ever be able to experience true joy or recognize it? If we never walked the hard road would we recognize God is always with us? Would we seek God or simply deny his existence if we never needed him? If we did not see the ugliness in the world would we no longer see all the beauty that surrounds us? Would we ever realize how lucky we are? Would we no longer appreciate the gift of life, our lives? If everything was easy would we no longer set goals, reach for what we believe is unobtainable? How sweet is it when we reach what we thought was once impossible. If it wasn’t hard getting there would we ever truly appreciate the journey?
In my life I have experienced heartache and the deepest depths of sorrow. At the time I thought I could not survive the emptiness I felt, but I did. Those tears of mourning, the heartbreak, the agony I endured gave me a strange confidence that I could survive anything. Each tear was a lesson, time is precious, life is wonderful, never take for granted today waiting for tomorrow. Most importantly never leave those three magical words unspoken even if you fear your love is unrequited. From my sadness I learned how beautiful life is. I am still experiencing it when so many are not, how lucky am I?
Last week at the Irish Channel a few of us were discussing my running, my daily laps, how some days I ignore my doctor’s advise and run when it is extremely cold. A gentleman there commented that was not smart on my part. I explained to him, I knew me better than my doctor, I knew when my lungs could handle the cold. Every day I woke up was a gift so why not push it, live life to the full extreme. He replied that was a stupid concept. Is it? Shouldn’t we all push our limits both physically and mentally? Walk an uncomfortable moment or two to expand our comfort zone? If not how will we ever know what we can truly handle? If we fear the worse will we ever discover our best?
With that in mind, this being the first day of the New Year I have decided it would be an absurd request asking God for a perfect 2011. What I will ask for tonight when I say my prayers is for life and all it’s wonderful ups and downs. Most importantly I will ask once again for God’s grace to handle everything that comes my way, the good and the bad.
Happy New Year everyone!