Thursday, November 4, 2010

While we were in Puerto Rico, we went to a beach for part of a day. I had to use the bathroom before I went down to the beach, so I was walking away from the rest of the family. On my way to the bathroom, I saw old buildings in terrible disrepair, a rusted out car on the side of the road, and the street was littered with paper, beer bottles, and a dead animal. Once I got into the bathroom, I looked around to see that there were no doors on any of the stalls, there was no toilet paper or paper towels, and the water had been cut off. Excellent. By the time I left the bathroom (thankful that I carry baby wipes with me at all times), I was more than a little disgusted at this "beach trip."
When I emerged on the other side of the bathroom, this is what I saw.

How on earth could this beautiful, secluded beach be just steps away from all that garbage? As I walked toward my beautiful family (the one I never thought was possible just four years ago), my thoughts turned to my path in life. Sometimes we look around and all we see is garbage. We see everything that is wrong in our little world. We whine to God about the broken glass and garbage, and fail to look a few feet away (or maybe even just a swivel around) to see the beauty in our lives - even when the beauty far outweighs the garbage. There are people who are always looking for what is wrong in any given situation. If you are always looking for something wrong, you will always find it. However, if you are always looking for something right, you will always find that, too, and I have to imagine that the latter people are much happier, and lead much more peaceful, fulfilling lives than the former. I want so badly to be someone who sees the beach and not the garbage in my life. Now I know that it isn't healthy to ignore the garbage altogether, but I want to focus on and be grateful for what is right in my life, while I work on correcting what is wrong. If my only focus is on what needs to change, I will become incredibly overwhelmed and those issues will overshadow all the blessings that I have, and I will never see them or acknowledge them. As Christians, we should be a light in a dark world, shining the light of Christ and His love for all people. If we are always complaining, always judging, always negative, what kind of representatives are we for the King of Glory? I want to positively influence my kids, my family, my friends, and anyone else who God may send my way. I want to embrace and celebrate my wonderful life and all the blessings it contains! I want others to hear my testimony and say, "It really is true... with God, all things are possible!" I want to divert people from the garbage and direct them to the beach (and then introduce them to the One who made it)!