Monday, May 27, 2013

Swarms of Annoyances

While doing yard work the other day, I was attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes. I ended up on the losing end of that altercation, though I jumped, smacked, flailed and flapped like a maniac. I’m pretty sure the neighbors wondered why I was break-dancing with a garden hose.

Annoyances are like mosquitoes. They’re everywhere, come at you from every direction, attack when it’s least convenient, and usually come in swarms. Everybody deals with them, as an unpleasant part of life.

Why do we expect life to be trouble free? No person in the course of human history has experienced a trouble free week, so why should this week be any different for you?

Some troubles are huge and life altering. Most, however, are just pesky annoyances that get under our skin and bother us.

Here are a few thoughts to help when you’re swarmed by annoyances.

1. Look for the blessing in it.
We have a choice. Are we going to focus on our frustration or look for the bright side. Negatives are always accompanied by blessings. For every problem, there are a hundred positives. It pays us to seek those out and remember them. There’s a silver lining behind every cloud, and we always have a choice.

“In everything, give thanks,” the Apostle Paul reminds us, “for this is God’s will concerning you.” We are hardwired to look for blessings, and when we do so, we find encouragement to face the daily stresses.

2. Look for the lesson in it.
Think back over the course of your life. When have you learned the most? I’m almost certain it was during the difficult times.

Someone once wrote:
I walked a mile with pleasure,
She chatted all the way.
It left me none the wiser,
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with sorrow,
And ne’er a word said she.
But oh, the things I learned from her,
When sorrow walked with me.

James 1:2 says to “Count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds.” Why? Because hardship is an excellent teacher, who, readily and willingly shares life’s most valuable lessons.

3. Look for the humor in it.Sometimes, the best thing to do in the face of adversity is to throw back your head and laugh!

“A cheerful heart,” says Proverbs 17:22, “is good medicine.” This has been proven by science.

Dr. Lee Berk and Dr. Stanley Tan, of Loma Linda University, have researched the effect of humor on the immune system. Their studies have shown that laughter lowers blood pressure, increases muscle flexion, raises disease fighting proteins, releases endorphins, and produces a general sense of well being.

Laughter not only brightens our day, but it improves our mental and physical health as well. Just think - - a good laugh is absolutely free!!

If faced with an overwhelming swarm of annoyances, here’s a good prayer to say, “God, help me to see the funny side of this.”

Give me a sense of humor, Lord
Give me grace to take a joke,
To get some happiness from life,
And pass it on to other folk.
 -- Chester Cathedral

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