Everyone loves a puppy. They’re so cute. Their fuzzy hair is so soft. Their big paws make them clumsy in a whimsical kind of way. They walk with a bounce in their step. They hold their head high as they take in a world full of wonder through those cute little eyes. They’re playful – until they exhaust themselves and then take a nap. They’re even cute in their sleep. They nibble at our nose and ears, yet all we notice is their puppy breath. Yes, they’re high maintenance but the joy they bring us makes the duties of feeding and cleaning up poop a burden of love.
We were born that way too. But as we grow up something happens.
It starts with school. Getting up to an alarm clock. Our lives are regimented by the clock. Bells ring to alert us. Crowds fill the hallways. Stress begins to mount as we struggle to fit in a conversation between classes. Conflict can emerge as we encounter inconsiderate people who won’t move out of our way. Peer pressure becomes a persistent reality. High stakes testing siphons off our time even after school is out. Extra curricular activities add even more stress.
All this to prepare us for “life”?
Yes, because once we emerge from school, we enter the adult world of “career”. Good thing we’ve been “prepared” because the stress intensifies. But we’ve learned how to deal with it. Our emotional skin toughens. We develop a keen sense of vigilance in every situation. We’re always on the lookout for the unexpected. Emotional scars begin to accumulate. We maintain “shields up”. We have to – to survive. Life adds layer after layer of crust around us to protect what’s at our core.
Life can be a grind.
I like pepper – lots of it. I buy the big cans. They have a flap for sprinkling, pouring, and even one for spooning. I never use the sprinkle flap – too much work and not enough pepper. I use the pour flap. I’m pretty good at laying down a layer of pepper. Well, at least I don’t use the spoon flap!
See, I have to use a lot of pepper because it’s in a can and it’s lost some of it’s flavor and fragrance. When we have company over, I don’t set this can of pepper on the table. We get out the pepper grinder and load it with pepper corns. Freshly ground pepper just tastes better doesn’t it?
I like coffee – lots of it. I watch for coupons and sales and stock up when I can. But when we have company over, we buy coffee beans and make of pot of freshly ground coffee. Freshly ground coffee just tastes better doesn’t it?
Would you put pepper corns on your meal? Would you dump coffee beans into your coffee maker? Of course not. First you grind it. Grinding it releases the flavor and aroma. Grinding gets past that crusty outer shell and exposes the richness of what’s at the core.
Yes, life can be a grind. We’ve built up a crust around our innermost selves to survive. But that puppy is still in there. Some, unfortunately few, have found ways to use the grind of life to bring out the freshness and tenderness. Once you’ve discovered inner peace, you’ll see the donut – not the hole. You’ll begin to see opportunity in adversity.
The bible says it this way in Phillipians 4: 7
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ~KJV
and this way in I Corinthians 2: 9
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” ~KJV
still not convinced? Try this one in Jer 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~NIV
That’s what I think. I’m interested in your thoughts. There’s lots of ways to hit me up so let me hear from you.
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