A couple of years ago I used to watch the tv show Doctor Who, and at the time I wasn’t able to watch the show live so instead I would catch up with the latest episode over the internet. Before I watched the show, I would catch up with my sister and ask her of her opinion of what I am about to watch. Occasionally she would tell me that ‘it’s terrible and it’s not worth watching!’, but soon after watching it I would find that it’s become one of my favourite episodes.
So why the discrepancy in opinion? Apparently years before, whenever her opinion was positive I would immediately find myself feeling disappointed because I’ve set myself high expectation from her opinion. So over time she has learnt to tell me the opposite of what she thought, so that I would set myself low expectations.
I really appreciate what she had done for me. She has taught me to appreciate things more than I normally would under my own power.
Today, I find myself looking forward to setbacks and disappointments. That might sounds like a very strange to say, but it’s allowed me to reset my expectations in life. I’ve grown used to disappointments.
It’s helped me to appreciate the rain because I know that it can get sunny. I appreciate being hungry, so then I can enjoy eating. I appreciate having no money, so then I can feel rich when I have some. I appreciate feeling cold, so then I know what warmth feels like. I appreciate that I will one day die, so then it will allows me to enjoy every single day of my life. Sometimes I appreciate pain so then I can feel strong when I am not.
Unfortunately I am aware of others who are in constant pain, such as those who suffer from ME or Chronic fatigue syndrome. Then there’s the days when we only see rain, or only feel the cold, or are constantly living in poverty. I appreciate that there are others who never see the light of day. What I have shared will not give those who are going through that kind of darkness any relief at all.
However, after having said that, there’s a wonderful verse from the Bible that explains why we need to take heart on appreciating the simple things in life, even when our circumstances are impossible.
Matthew 9:4-5 “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Yours sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?”
The full context of this verse is written below.
Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”
At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”
Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Then the man got up and went home.Matthew 9:1-8 (NIV)
It’s far easier for me to appreciate where I am today than it is to change whatever circumstance I am going through. That is not to say that my circumstances will not change, but at least I can take heart that I am giving myself every opportunity that it can, thus making it more likely that it will happen.
Hope is the greatest relief that anyone can have, without it we are cutting our loses and giving up. It only takes a little hope to power us along our day, and it only takes a little hope to transform situations. It’s easier to accept it and when we come through it, we have a lot to be thankful for.