Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good… Proverbs 16:20
Although we have to cover Jocelyn’s eyes for the murder that happens at the beginning of every episode, my kids and I are addicted to the TV show Monk. In it, the freelance detective, Adrian Monk, is trying to earn his way back onto the police force. He lost his position when he had a nervous breakdown after his wife’s death.
Despite it sounding morbid and dark, it’s actually an upbeat and fun show. Monk is incredibly endearing with his OCD and 1,001 other quirks. He solves every case; and creates as happy an ending as you can get on a crime show. However, Adrian himself is never happy.
It isn’t until partway through the last season that Monk finally earns his position back on the police force. Ironically enough, he hates it! He’s now just part of the system, with red tape tying his hands at every turn. He finds himself longing for his freelance days when he could do things his way.
During his therapy session, he turns to his therapist and asks, “Why didn’t you tell me I was happy before?” His therapist responds,”That’s something you had to figure out on your own.”
When we hold the Monk mirror up to our own lives, what are we striving for that robs us of the perspective to see we’re actually happy right now? What things in our lives do we take for granted that we’d lament if taken away? If we woke ourselves up from our dreaming-of-better-days sleep, and looked around, really looked around, would we finally see all the blessings we have right in this very minute? If we counted them, and gave thanks for them, would we realize we have happiness right in front of us if we just look from the right angle?
God isn’t into making our journey smooth and easy. If He were, we’d never grow and change. Just because we’re adults doesn’t mean we’re finished yet. God knows our potential, and wants us to achieve it.
Therefore, every single one of us is in the exact right spot we’re supposed to be, right now, in our journey. If we aren’t happy, is that God not answering our prayers? Or is that us not having the right vision to see He has, just in a different form than we asked for?
In the midst of the life-lessons we have to work through, He does gives us things that could make us happy if we recognized them. Sometimes it might feel like looking for a needle in a haystack, but if we searched that needle out, and raised it up, it would glisten in the sunlight.
Rather than being like Monk and waiting until we get to Heaven to ask God why He didn’t tell us we were happy now, let’s find out, on our own, immediately, before we waste one more minute being sad or lonely. Let’s think about what we’d miss if it were gone tomorrow, and relish whatever that is today. Because the real truth is, it could be snatched away in the blink of an eye. Let’s count that blessing and be grateful for it right now.
Questions for Reflection:
* What in my life do I take for granted?
* If I imagined it were gone tomorrow, how would I feel?
* Can I count that as a blessing now and be grateful for it?
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Good point Claire. Counting my blessings is a good practice and always helps to put things in perspective. I just need to remember to do so, so thanks for the reminder.
I hear you on the struggle to remember, Jean. I have gratitude notes all over the house, yet I still forget to count my blessings. I suppose each day is an opportunity to “simply resume.” 🙂