This week I am at a writing conference. Honestly, I wasn’t looking forward to it. Last month was one of ups and downs, challenges on top of challenges, and lots of stress and physical exhaustion. Thoughts of a week of a fast-paced conference schedule at a mountainside retreat center only added to my level of fatigue. However, once at the conference, positive encounters, reconnecting with writing friends, and inspiration shifted my perspective.
Often, we don’t expect good. In a world filled with conflict, uncertainty, senseless violence, heartache, and loss, it’s easy to slide into a pattern of expecting the worst and failing to see goodness and light.
Following are ways to expect the positive:
Look for Good
In the last years of my mother’s life, her perspective narrowed and her focus turned toward the negative. Increasing health issues factored in, but she was also shaken by an episode of personal violence directed at her. A man pulled in front of her, stopped his car, got out, came to her car window, and delivered a profanity-laced tirade because she didn’t choose to turn right at a red light.
Goodness is often overshadowed by negativity. We have become a society of road rage, social media rants, demonstrations, and violent “push back.” Goodness is still present, but often we have to search for it. Look for, and applaud, kindness and goodness in those around you. It may be as simple as a door held open for you, or your gesture of picking up money dropped by an unaware owner and returning it. Doing good enhances forward motion and models goodness to others.
When all around you seems negative, remember the positives in your life. Recognize blessings and expect blessings to continue. Avoid allowing present circumstances to cloud your entire outlook. Like rays of sun filtering through the clouds after a storm, difficulty and darkness will give way to light and hope.
Be a Light
Sometimes it’s hard to see positives and goodness when so many are spouting negatives and focusing on all that’s wrong. You can be light in a fog of confusion and haze of negativity. Encourage and affirm others. Look for ways to lighten the load of those around you. Keep shining even when others paint a dismal picture of our country and world. You may feel you are fighting an uphill battle, but remember, the glow from one small candle can illuminate a whole room.
The day before the conference, my mind was spinning with my to-do list, but also all that is on my calendar for the weeks after the conference. As I mentally calculated all that was ahead, weariness overwhelmed me. Then, as if a refreshing breeze, came the thought that I don’t have to do any of the hard tasks ahead in my own strength.
Often, we forget God is our helper, our advocate, and sustainer in difficult life circumstances. We don’t have to navigate life in our own strength or wisdom. God directs toward the right path and supplies resources for the journey. With God’s help, we can expect light for our path and goodness ahead.
“Place your trust in the Eternal; rely on Him completely; never depend upon your own ideas and inventions. Give Him the credit for everything you accomplish, and He will smooth out and straighten the road that lies ahead” (Proverbs 3:5-6 VOICE).
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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