Better Things

I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired!

The red-headed woman who raised me was at it again.  I have told you before that my mother had an almost endless supply of catchy sayings, many of them almost silly in their logic.  This one was different.  It actually made sense to me.

It makes more sense to me now.  And, that’s a problem.

You see, I know what having a negative outlook on life does to you.  Read the original words again.

Do you see the circle they create?  When you’re sick and tired of being just that, the cycle repeats itself.  Again.  And again.  And again.  It may be exactly what the person who coined the phrase vicious cycle had in mind.

I have come to realize in recent days how easy it is to become a part of that cycle.  Oh, I’m not sick–not physically.  Perhaps I’m a little tired, but not sick.  But it is easy to think about the sad things in life and let myself sink down into sadness myself.  The sad things don’t even have to be happening to me.

Still–all of the sudden I realize I’m repeating the phrase in my own head.  It’s not just a memory of my Mom’s voice saying the words anymore.

I hear it, not in her voice, but in my own as my spirit takes on the burdens of life.

Any day, I expect the words to actually come from my mouth as I speak to the Lovely Lady, or to my friends, or to a customer.

There is hardship all around me.  With our instant communication, I know about more of it than ever before.  To be fair, it may also be my time of life.  I’m not sure.  That said, I don’t ever want to expect bad from this amazing world which the Creator has made for us and placed us into.

Friends tell me things will only get worse–that this is just prophecy coming to pass–almost as if that justifies negativity and depression.

It doesn’t.

Right before the start of this new year–it only began three weeks ago, you know–I made a list of things I intend to revisit over the course of the  year.  They are thoughts which have occurred to me as I consider the future, a future which I contend is bright, not dark.

The first words in my list are these:

I refuse to believe our future is not at least as bright as our past.  No!  Brighter!

I know some of you who read these words are in the throes of disaster at this very moment.  My heart tells me that in the next months I will experience some of those same woes.

The statement stands.

Circumstances, no matter how dark, do not determine the condition of our spirits, unless we allow them to.  If we take the sadness, the sorrow, the worry to our hearts, we may find ourselves, like the red-headed lady, in the cycle of being sick and tired of life as we know it.

But, I want to affirm that the sadness, the sorrow, and the worry do not belong to us at all, and it is theft for us to keep them for ourselves.

I see those eyebrows going up as you read the word theft.  You wonder who the victim of the crime is, don’t you?  I believe we steal from God Himself when we selfishly hold those cares closely.  Our instructions are clear.  We are told to cast all of our cares on Him in light of His care for us. (1 Peter 5:7)

daybreakThey are not ours to keep, not ours to cling to, not ours to add to our collection like so many grisly reminders of battles lost or omens of a dark future.

Not ours.  His.

There is life yet to be lived.  It will not be lived in the dark.

Brighter, I say!

I’m ready to walk in the sunlight, but I wouldn’t mind some company along the road.

You coming along?




“It is not so dark here,” said Theoden.
“No,” said Gandalf.  “Nor does age lie so heavily on your shoulders as some would have you think.”
(from The Two Towers ~ J.R.R. Tolkien ~ English educator/novelist ~ 1892-1973)


For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
(Psalm 27:5 ~ NASB)




“What day is it?”
“It’s today!” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
(A.A. Milne ~ English children’s author ~ 1882-1956)



© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

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