Do you remember when your parents or grandparents would say, "I would walk to school every day ... uphill both ways!" It made it easy to discredit their story when there was such an obvious exaggeration of the truth. At least that is what I thought until recently.
I enjoy running the roads near my house. The terrain is relatively flat with only gradual hills. On a recent run that looped me through the countryside, I noticed what seemed to be a disproportionate amount of uphill climbs. My legs and lungs protested with each hill. A week later I thought I would give myself an easier run by reversing the loop — then those uphills will become downhills. The oddest thing happened ... I didn't recognize many of the downhill sections of the course; however, I discovered a new set of uphill climbs.
This gave me an epiphany about life. It is easy for our vision to be drawn towards the negative factors that impact us. We are not inclined (pun intended) to recognize many of the blessings that surround us every day.
I believe that God has richly blessed all of us. To help illustrate my point, if you are reading this article, you are a blessed individual because 1) you have some sort of device to display these words and 2) someone took the time to teach you how to read. Those are blessings that I have easily overlooked in the past and often take for granted ... much like the downhill sections of my run.
It is in our nature for most of us to overlook the good things in life and only focus on the parts that are less than perfect. Granted, sometimes life can deal us some horrible circumstances. But that doesn't mean there still aren't several small blessings in the midst of a tragedy. Recognizing those blessings is a good step to finding joy in our life.
So next time your parents or grandparents start to tell you about the good ol' days, just give them a hug and say, "I think I understand." And then listen to their story because that is another blessing in your life — to have those conversations with family.