I envy those who can embrace seasons of pleasure without worrying about an imminent pain or disaster. I am all too often waiting for the other shoe to drop—even when the first one hasn’t fallen yet. It’s as though I expect an abuse to shadow every compliment.
When life is difficult or something bad happens, part of me thinks: Yeah, this is how it’s supposed to be. And even as I pray and hope for seasons of pleasure and contentment, when they come, I greet them cautiously. I have not learnt this lesson from life (although I have suffered some unexpected earthquake events). My apprehension isn’t studied. It’s just always been a part of me—fear and contingency planning.
I am often suspicious of the good as though it will be a sucker punch for the bad—a distraction that will leave me weakened for seasons that will require my strength.
I know that I must not allow darker seasons to cast a shadow on those that are full of light. I know that I must learn to enjoy what is enjoyable without wondering (or worrying) when it will expire. The truth is that, when my whole life is taken in full view, the bad is well outweighed by the good. Even my worst experiences didn’t destroy me. Even my greatest losses didn’t render me depleted.
Sometimes I can relax and float along the river of life’s blessings. Sometimes I can confidently receive the good and peacefully accept the gifts. Sometimes I can stop seeking assurances from the future and simply dwell in the present—enjoying certain seasons of pleasure without doubts or questions.
If I can lose and continue to give—if I can face death and continue to live—if I can recover from injury and move past disappointment—then I can be less skeptical of the future and trust the gifts of the present.