Without venturing (too much) into politics, religion, or taboo territory, I think most of us would agree today’s morale is low.
We’re tired of self-serving memes, pot-stirrers, and rants.
We’re fed up with harsh, closed mindsets.
We’re saddened by negativity and misguided judgment. *slugs back coffee*
Heck—we’re just burned out. From apathy, anger, and arrogance. Blatant attacks on our honor have left us battle-worn and scarred.
It’s not any single one thing. It’s that one thing multiplied a thousandfold in one thousand different ways.
We can’t turn on the television without accusations flying.
Can’t go to the store without wearing our waders.
Can’t hang laundry because it’s not clean enough.
Can’t eat, drink, or be merry lest it afflict or offend.
Goodness, gracious me. Isn’t it a sight?
How, then, on this vast, old Earth are we to remain encouraged when the world, in general, seems so discouraging?
Well, let me tell you, my friend—if I knew the one-size-fits-all answer to that, I’d be a very rich gal.
The truth is encouragement takes many forms. It’s not the same thing to everyone. It’s not something we can bottle up, spritz on, or sell (at least legally).
It’s not the name-it-and-claim-it mentality. Not your run of the mill holy roller revival. Not even the New Age believe and achieve mantra.
We won’t find it in the candy aisle, shoe store, or pumpkin patch—although those places hold some appeal.
Won’t find it in the fridge, at the coffee shop, or down by the seashore. (But food, java, and salt air do arouse.)
Heavenly days, we sure won’t find it in the national news. Nothing there to even work with.
Encouragement isn’t finite. It doesn’t have tangible dimensions or paint-by-number instructions.
There’s no road map, diagram, or directions referencing it.
No easy fix.
No fairy dust or magic wand.
No ruler, since it can’t be measured.
Nary a clue to give us pause.
Nope. Encouragement is found through unconventional means. In those deep places where we forget to look—in the nooks and crannies of our own hearts and minds. In the depths of our souls where something bigger dwells.
It isn’t perfect and neat or tied with a bow.
It isn’t simple or easily defined.
Sometimes, it isn’t what we imagined.
Encouragement is the seed of HOPE magnified.
It frees us.
It’s that subtle whisper to just keep going. The innate desire to reach inward and touch others with the goodness we find.
It’s our life breath, undaunted by worldly influence—willingly shared to resuscitate the weary.
It’s intrinsic, unbridled, burgeoning belief. A thimble of what if on the cusp of I will.
Sometimes, it’s colorful or muted shades of bittersweet. Always beautiful, despite despair.
It’s awareness without fully understanding.
It’s abandonment beyond the sensible.
We remain encouraged in this discouraging world by standing on principle.
We recognize encouragement is not without sacrifice.
We understand it’s a give and take, day by day, moment by moment dying to self so that others may gain. The thing is during the process, we gain, too.
We have, we give, we bless.
And somewhere in the midst of all the chaos, life goes full circle and we receive so much more in return.
May our Heavenly Father, from whom all blessings flow, upgird you as you set about your mission.
PLEASE SHARE THE LOVE
It’s a hard knock life. Where’s the encouragement? (Strength for your day.)
How do we focus when there’s nothing but bad news? Thoughts to upgird you.
Remaining encouraged isn’t easy. Focus on this.
The simple solution to the world’s anger problem. One positive thought at a time.
Unique traits joy-bearers have in common.
How do YOU remain encouraged?
Has there been a defining moment in your life? A time when someone uplifted you when hope was all but extinguished?
My thoughts and prayers are with those in Hurricane Matthew’s path. May God protect you and strengthen you as you navigate the storm.
Dear friend, may you remain steadfast. Always resilient. Always hopeful. Forever encouraged.