Today is one of those days were discouragement keeps knocking on my door trying to find entrance into my heart. Stubbornly reminding me of all the goals and dreams that I have not meet and pointing out all the accomplishments and privileges that my peers enjoy. Whispering in my ear that life is and has passed my by. Insisting that my humble little life is a failure because I have not hit the mile markers of life such as getting a car, a job, a husband, and children like all my other classmates.
When discouragement comes to visit, it is amazing how as soon as its footsteps cross the threshold happiness threatens to go on vacation. Probably because joy, peace, contentment, and self-esteem cannot endure discouragement’s contentious presence. There is something about that dreaded visitor called discouragement that drives away pleasant guest such as hope and comfort.
Like an unwanted guest, discouragement will knock on your day, insisting that he only needs to borrow the sofa for the night, but if you are not careful he will move in for life. And the moment your back is turn he will sneak in his devilish gang of hurt, sorrow, poor-self esteem, and depression. It will not take long for this vampire to make himself at home and turn your life upside down. And when you think that things cannot get even worse, the moment that discouragement thinks that he has won the battle for a free pad, he will move his even more frightful relatives, self-pity and jealousy, onto your sofa knowing that your peaceful home will never be yours again.
On days like this, when I hear discouragements rough bark, when his cold shadow presses itself against the window pane of my soul, I find myself wanting to close the shades and curl up in bed pretending that I do not hear the cutting words that slice my tender heart. The temptation to burry my head away until discouragement grows tired and finally leaves me alone is strong.
But I have learned that this approach is wrong. Oh, from time to time I succumb and curl up for a time. But I have learned that the best method of dealing with discouragement is to dry my tears, lift my head high, and find a task, simple as it may be, to absorb my mind. Maybe it is going for a short walk in my back yard and enjoying the flowers, writing a poem, or even helping to do a simple task that my poor strength allows such as help wash a few dishes or sweep my bedroom floor.
I might not have the ability to clean the house from top to bottom, but the joy of completing a simple task, the pleasure of knowing that I have accomplished something, soon brings back the smile to my face. The sting of a life half lived may lurk in the background, but what was for a time a crushing mountain fades into a small hill capable of being climbed or driven around as I take comfort in the thought that small as it is, my humble life serves a purpose, even if it is to help clean the dishes.
So the next time discouragement knocks at your door, instead of seeking to make camp for the winter in hopes of waiting it out, take a few moments to regain your composure, and then lift up your head, find something that brings you pleasure, and go to work. Showing that soul hungry buzzard that it might as well move on, because you are not going to give it the pleasure of keeling over so it can feast on your remnants.