What a miserable life it must be to wake up to the same pain and misery everyday. I think of cancer patients going through constant and unceasing pain till their dying day. Or, those living in abject poverty with no relief in sight from difficulty and deprivation. Yet, even such people have moments and even days of light and laughter. And I have found them to be generally stronger in character and of joyful spirit.
And on the other hand, how boring a life must be when one has the same joys and pleasures day after day. I think of hedonistic people for whom life is a round of one party after another party. I think of those who have everything one can imagine, nothing excites or pleases them anymore. These are people whose spirits are brittle and easily broken.
Yes, life is mixture of joys and sorrows, an endless cycle of pleasure and pain, a rhythmic cadence of laughter and tears. There will be good days and there will be bad days. I think the challenge for me is to keep my head even when everything around me would tend to make me lose it. I love this poem I learned and memorized in my youth:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
~ from “If” by Rudyard Kipling
Jesus warned me of such eventualities. There will be good days and there will be bad days. There will be people who will bring me good days. And there will be people who would love nothing more than to make my day go bad. And He has these simple yet reassuring words for me: “Do not be afraid.”
Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
~ Psalm 33
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you, my friends,
do not be afraid of those who kill the body
but after that can do no more.
I shall show you whom to fear.
Be afraid of the one who after killing
has the power to cast into Gehenna;
yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.
Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins?
Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.
Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.
Do not be afraid.
You are worth more than many sparrows.”