Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Saturday, April 2, 2011

One Small Stroke

I’d been driving around with my gas gauge on “E” and figured if I didn’t soon stop procrastinating I’d be in big trouble. So I headed over to the gas station and within ten minutes was driving away again, 75 dollars poorer. But my “E” had been converted to an “F” as easily as if someone had come along and erased the bottom stroke. It occurred to me that sometimes “one small stroke” is all it takes for our emotional tanks to go from Empty to Full as well. And vice versa.
     As a writer, I’m learning rejection is part of the game. Some experts say you should expect six or seven rejections for every acceptance, so if you make it a “goal” to get six rejections a week, you’re on track. Strange goal, but if it helps keep things in perspective and makes you feel successful, why not?
     But it’s not easy to maintain one’s mood. I’ve found myself swinging like a pendulum after just one little email. An acceptance that has me energized and happy today is only temporary. I have to guard against the crankiness, depression, and self-loathing I’ll be tempted toward with tomorrow’s rejection. How easily we can go from full to empty! Just one little stroke.
     Where do you go for your “strokes?” Depending on people to provide them is risky business, for even when they do come our way they provide only fleeting joy. In a twinkling, whatever encouraging words may have been spoken to bolster us can become meaningless--blown away by circumstances or by our own second-guessing. Such is life as a frail human being, forever checking our Facebook comments to see if anybody "likes" them.
     Likewise, our own accomplishments will never satisfy our need for full tanks. For no matter what I achieve today, tomorrow is coming. How will I match it, much less top it? Sooner or later the athlete’s body weakens, the successful businessman’s mind will get cloudy, the brightest Hollywood star will become little more than a collection of memorabilia or an icon to be impersonated.
     Many years ago, the writer of Ecclesiastes got it right when he said, “Meaningless, meaningless, utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”
     I don’t mean to weaken the power of our words to uplift others. But while there is much we can do to provide positive strokes for others, ultimately what your Creator says about you is the only thing that will last. What does he say? Check out Romans 8:38.
     You are loved. Every day. Fill your tank with it daily and let it keep your engine humming!

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