Shorter days and cabin fever often combine together as a recipe for the winter blues. A time when energy, motivation and happiness can be difficult to produce. Add to that mix a daily dose or two of the unending stream of bad news strumming across the television or internet and one can feel left grasping for anything worth hoping for. Our minds can wander all too quickly to digest upon all the negativity that surrounds us and our outlook of life and humanity will sink to ever new lows. Is there really any hope? Can things really be this bad?
Yes, there are plenty of negative, horrible circumstances and events taking place at this very moment. On the other hand, there are also some absolutely wonderful and beautiful things happening too. While there is no end to the former on the typical news and media outlets, the latter is very much under reported. We can surmise as to the reasons for this unbalanced approach to reporting, but in the end it is what it is. Is there anything that can be done about it? Sure, but it may take a little extra of that hard earned energy to find it. Once you do however, it may just be a surprise to discover the blanket of winter blues has fallen to the floor and the warm rays of sunshine are falling on your face.
It all goes back to that Cherokee legend of the two wolves:
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
If you feed only (or mostly) on the negativity this world has to offer, your heart, mind and soul will soak it in until those inputs become the output of your own life. When instead you feed upon the positive things, your heart, mind and soul will reap the healthy benefits of happiness, contentment and joy.
Finding such encouragement and inspiration is a high-risk gamble if you are looking to most main-stream media outlets. Instead, you have to do a little more searching around to find what your mind is seeking. Here are a few sites that I enjoy visiting and I hope you too will find encouragement there. This world is and has been chock-full of violence and mayhem since the fall of man, but God has remained steadfast and at work this many millennia. His grace, mercy and love are not that hard to find if you really want to see it.
Aside from developing a regular habit of trading bad news for good, consider turning off the television one or more evenings a week and sit down with a good book. It may be a daunting challenge to find a really good book that is worth your hard-earned money, but they are out there. Ask your friends, colleagues, librarians and so on what books of an inspirational nature they’ve read or heard about. You can also visit our WhirldWorks eStore as we will continually seek out good sources of positivity.
Remember that while bad things are happening around us, bad things have always been around; but also that good things happen every single day and God smiles upon those that seek to rise above the fray.
Thoughts from a pastor
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