“If you have only complained because roses have thorns, this year rejoice because these thorns have roses”
The hardest thing in life is to lose someone who is very dear to us, the hardest thing is to let go of what we know, whether it’s a habit, a belief, or a life style. We want to cling on to what is comfortable and easier for us. There is a great comfort in things that is familiar to us. Thus we are forced to grip on to the past, preventing us from looking at life with new eyes. Yet, we need change; change is inevitable, whether we like it or not. American Journalist Gail Sheehy once compared our life to a kind of game in which we are forever force to change the chairs. Between the chair and the person there is no permanent fit, no life long compatibility. We keep changing the chairs. The things which appear to be appropriate at one stage of life may not be appropriate at another stage. We go through change in living our daily life, food habits, our life style, and the way we think. Therefore, we need to be responsible for that change. There are many areas that we can bring change, but here are three attitudes that we can catch this year, and you can keep adding.
1. If you have spent your time just looking at surface level but fail to see what God has done in your live last year? Set it right this year.
We live in an age of looking not seeing. We look at other people’s affairs with a curious eye. When we look, we look at the surface, but when we see, we see in depth. To see is to go beyond the surface of things. When Jesus healed 10 lepers, nine only looked at themselves when they became clean. It was only one of them that really saw the miracle that had happen and returned to praise God (Lk 17:11-19). If we begin to see, we will also learn to seek God. If you seek you will find. Isaiah 55:6 “seek the Lord while he may be found”, Mt 7:7 “seek and you will find”. God who is invisible cannot be experience by those who merely look, but can only be experience by those who see in all things not just the appearance, but the miracles of life in our daily living.
How many of us have spent the year 2005 complaining about the needs we have but have forgotten to thank God for the daily needs he has given, the daily food that we eat, clothes that we wear, the family and friends that we have. Like the one leper can we see the miracle that has happen to us and praise God for the last year? Can we thank God for the way we are today?
2. If you have spent your time just knowing but fail to practice, act out this year.
We live in an age of knowing not doing. In terms of our daily activities, where to we find ourselves?
Perhaps, we knew that it was not right thing to do, the right place to go, the right word to say, but we still did it. You knew that you are not regular to class or you are not faithful to your studies but never bothered to improve on it. You knew that you have not been regular to offices and work place but you do enjoy the monthly salary without work. If you and I belong to that category that means we have just look at things; we are stuck between the chairs, time goes, the game is on, but we are uncertain of what will happen. The word of God in Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows”.
3. If you have spent more time criticizing others, complaining for every single thing last year, why not also look at the other side of the coin this year.
It is very easy to criticize others but hard to appreciate. By virtue of being a created being, far from perfection we are one sided people. Someone has rightly said that ‘when we look at other false we use microscope but when we look into our own false then we use binocular’.
We spent more time in judging others and so no time to think about ourselves, and to improve on our weaknesses.
As we begin the New Year why not make a resolution to look at things differently. It’s not all easy but it’s possible if one begins to think differently. To change life, one must first change attitude. We are more prone to complain and find the negative side of everything. See the positive side of each equation. Just imagine ‘Roses’, one of the attractive and significant flowers has thorns. You can complain because roses have thorns, but you can also rejoice because these thorns have roses. Don’t just look at one side, but look and see the other side as well. Either in your personal life or in your family lives, if you have been the victim of looking only the negative face, start to see the positive face as well, and appreciate it. If you have only complained because roses have thorns, this year, rejoice because these thorns have roses. If you have completed the year 2005 only with dissatisfaction and with a list of complains, why not your new year begins with a list of appreciation for people around, as well as praises to God. Wear your attitude and smile for Jesus.
Achu Chang, Chaplain NCF Pune