Country music artist, Darryl Worley's new song really struck a chord in my heart. His message? In the most encouraging way imaginable he's saying the same thing Don Henley sang in the 1994 Eagles' tune "Get Over It."
While Worley's "Sounds Like Life to Me" is sweeter and more in the spirit of a pep talk, the Eagles' words are bare-bones honest and a bit harsh. Both serve a purpose that seems to be in short supply; a reality check for complainers and malcontents.
Face it; life can be hard. Things don't always go well and sometimes they get worse before they get better. This may seem like mercy isn't my strongest gift (it's not) but I think sometimes compassion's best companion is tough love. If life isn't all you'd hope it would be at this moment, be grateful for the blessings you have and stand firm in the knowledge that surely there is someone worse off than you. Maybe even someone who could use your help or encouragement.
My friend Doug is a seasoned and talented journalist who is working in what he calls a survival job. In a recent note he said:
"The hours (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.), pay (less than half of what I used to make) and commute (25 mi one-way) are not good. But I've always seen my work as my gift back to God, so I bust it every night for them -- and for Him. It's an entry-level job being done by a 30-year journalist (me), and there isn't much creative satisfaction in that. It's paying the bills, barely. There are many people in similar situations these days, so I am hardly alone...I treat myself to an iced tea every afternoon, and that represents luxury in life. The thing right now is that I remain obedient to God and continue to listen for His direction (always a good policy!). So I've renewed my commitment to study and prayer, just being still in His presence."
Then there's Natalie, a 20-year-old girl who has suffered every day for more than three years with migraine headaches.
"Pain medication doesn't help so I don't take much of anything. Complaining doesn't help so I try not to talk about it. I don't like seeing other people feel so awful because they know I'm hurting so I've gotten good at hiding it most of the time. I know God loves me and has allowed this in my life for some reason. I trust Him to get me through each minute of each day and rely on Him to give me hope that one day my pain will end and I'll get to have the kind of normal life other people have."
When you begin to feel too hot, tired, or bored... when you become frustrated because you can't take the vacation you've dreamed about or because your car is getting old; please pause and take another direction in your thinking before you speak it aloud because that Sounds Like Life To Me.