My latest challenge: being thankful .
God said through Paul, "...give thanks in all circumstances.." I Thessalonians 5:18. I don't know if that means to give thanks FOR or IN SPITE of the circumstances you're in. In Ephesians 5:20: "...giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus."
In "The Hiding Place," Betsy Ten Boom encouraged Corrie to be thankful for the lice that infested them while they were in a concentration camp. Corrie couldn't imagine how she could possibly be thankful for the lice until she noticed that the guards left them alone more than they might have if the guards hadn't been afraid of catching lice. The Ten Boom's were able to read the Bible and pray and might have been a little better off in other ways because they were "blessed" with lice!
What got me started thinking about this (looking for the good in what seems like a negative experience) was that even though I have been kind of freaked out about my thinning hair and receding hairline, I have noticed some benefits. My hair used to be so thick I could hardly get my hand around it. It really looked and felt like a "horse's tail!" In the past 10 or 15 years...I don't know when it started, exactly....my ponytail has shrunk from bigger in diameter than a quarter, to exactly the diameter of a dime.
Hopefully I am not destined to be totally bald, but I can be satisfied with my hair as it is (Please, God, don't let me lose more! It's supposed to be my "glory" and "covering" after all, isn't it?)
Benefits I have noticed:
1. Hair stays out of face without restraints--I can wear it totally down and it won't fall into my eyes. My hairline was so low and my hair so thick, if would fall right into my eyes.
2. Easier to pin up..not so thick and heavy. I have bent many hairpins and broken many plastic "chignon" pins.
3. Not so hot and heavy on neck in hot weather--The fan in my car even blows through, under my hair to keep me cool.
4.More natural curl without the thickness weighing it down. I used to never be able to curl it...now I can! I tried "no heat headband curls" and they lasted all day without even any hairspray or other product.
5. Dries faster.
6. Probably need less shampoo and conditioner (saves money)
etc., etc. I could probably come up with more if I had time
I know that we are often discouraged from "minimizing" someone's problems by "looking at the bright side" and there might be something to that, but I see the other side as well. Some things just seem so overwhelmingly horrible I don't think it would make me feel better to have someone tell me to look for something positive, like "Sorry your child died, but think of how much money you'll save and maybe now you can afford to get that expensive car you always wanted, or go on that vacation!" But as far as INCONVENIENCES go, I think I would appreciate people helping me look for the bright side and ways to be thankful in all circumstances.
Along this line, the fictional character "Pollyanna" is one of my role models! Maybe we should all try to look for opportunities to play "The Glad Game." http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18456177