“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” (Dr. Suess)
As a small child I remember driving away from my grandparent’s home in Colorado Springs. As we pulled away, Dad’s mom would stand on the front steps wave goodbye, and wipe a tear from her eye.
I never understood that as a boy, but I get it now. The Colorado grandparents were the ones we didn’t see very frequently, making our visits cherished treasures for them. So when the time came to pack up and head out, it was very bittersweet.
If my timing is right, most of you will read this sometime during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season. Hopefully, most of you will enjoy extended visits with friends, family, and loved ones during this time. However those gatherings end, giving way to our usual routines. For some, those goodbyes are just downright painful.
So what do we do when the gatherings become only memories? Suess’ words above provide the two obvious choices. We can focus on our sadness that the events are now over. Or we can smile that the gatherings occurred at all!
Paul reminds us of the same choice when he says, “…if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8). What we choose to focus on will either cheer us up or weigh us down. As Proverbs reminds us, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (17:22).
A cheerful heart or a crushed spirit. Tears or a smile. It all depends what we choose to focus upon. Choose wisely – and smile! –Dave
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