Bad times make us appreciate the good even more

Bad times make us appreciate the good even more

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.

An old Merle Haggard song asks, “Are the good times really over for good?” It’s easy to look around at the price of food, inflation, gas and utility bills and decide the good times are over. Not to be a bad news bear, but by the time you read this, we might be in a recession. There will always be people who are doom and gloom, who are always living for yesterday. They say things like “back in their day,” “when they were a kid” and the list goes on.

I would love to say we can go from one good time to the next, but that is one of the most unrealistic things I could tell you. Life is a roller-coaster ride, full of ups and downs, twists and turns and more. The only difference between life and a roller coaster is you can see everything on most roller coasters. With life we can’t see it all laid out. There can be one turn, then a few dips, and all might be well for a while. Then it starts all over again.

Do you ever feel like you want life to stop temporarily so you can get off the ride? Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way, but what is worse is we contribute to the wild ride. Now before you get up in arms and tell me you would never contribute to that, let me ask you this: How many times could you have said no to something that in the long run did not really matter? I feel so many times we sabotage ourselves.

Sometimes we act like it is a sin to take care of ourselves, but it is not. I have even heard preachers compare self-esteem to self worship. However, didn’t Jesus tell us to love one another as ourselves? How can we obey that commandment if we don’t love ourselves? I know everything needs to have a balance in life. If we don’t take care of ourselves, then how can we take care of other people?

Last November I had a panic attack. I even had thoughts about harming myself. One moment I really got argumentative with Stacey. I was an emotional volcano, and I blew my top. My whole body just went numb. It was like I was watching a movie play out on TV. It wasn’t me.

The next day I went to my doctor. He gave me medication and approved a short leave of absence for me. During the time I was off, I just unplugged. I read, prayed and just enjoyed time with Stacey. That was a great time in my life.

I look at it this way: If I don’t take care of myself, then how can I write to help people? One thing that just popped in my head is how many times did Jesus go off by himself to pray? We’re talking about God himself. Jesus did not need a vacation, but Jesus is our example. God took a rest on the seventh day. I wonder if he took the rest to show us we need to do the same.

I don’t know how you take care of yourself or even if that flashed in your mind before. I know one thing: We need bad times in our lives to help us appreciate the good times even more. Let’s go back to Merle Haggard and his question. No, the good times are not over for good.