All it took was one look at him, and I was smiling and blushing.
I know, this sounds like a typical start to a predictable, sappy love story, but it’s even better than that, people.
I smiled because his sign said “cheer up, it only gets worse.” I blushed because I felt convicted.
Up until then, I’d spent the majority of my day giving into bitterness and self-pity. Someone had let me down, ruined my plans, and everything at work seemed to annoy me more than it ever should.
But of course, as God’s sense of humor would have it, my eyes caught those black, bulky printed letters squeezed tightly on a piece of wrinkled cardboard.
Might as well have been a lightning bolt shot straight from the heavens to my heart.
I hated to admit it at the time, but he was right.
With a knowing, satisfied smirk, the young man dawdled by every car lined up at the stoplight, his mission complete. Or, at least, it was fulfilled in me anyway.
In all honesty, I don’t know if I can ever say I’ve hit rock bottom before. But I may have come pretty close.
Then again, rock bottom might look different for all of us.
Now, I’m not advocating that we minimize our issues in relation to others’ or even make someone feel like their problems are meager in contrast to ours. None of us should compare our accomplishments or our defeats with anyone else.
Pain is relative. Our battles are our’s, we all have highs and lows–and that’s that.
However, I can’t say I’ve ever been homeless-on-the-side-of-the-road-writing-cardboard-signs low (by God’s grace).
And yet, even in that young man’s state, instead of wallowing in it, he found a new perspective and decided to share it as an encouragement with those around him.
Perhaps you’ve had a similar experience. Maybe you’ve been caught red-handed in the middle of a WOE-IS-ME moment and something, or someone, made you stop mid-sentence.
Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like those are good moments.
I feel like our attitudes need to be checked sometimes. I feel like we need to be reminded of real plights outside of our own discomforts. Again, not to downplay our trials, but to refresh our point of view and adjust the reaction we give to the actions that affect us.
Remember, it CAN always get worse. Sometimes it is almost guaranteed.
But our approach to our situation could be the determining factor of changing it from worse to bad and then even bad to OK.
Keep looking up, folks!