Pain, sorrow, conscience, accidents, sickness and death, all are things we try to avoid or correct, if we can. Our view of these is such that our lives are poorer, are corrupted when these are present. And yet, strange as it may be, there is a very positive side to all of these negatives.

When our body feels pain, it is telling us that that joint, that muscle needs care. We may be able to lessen the pain, but without it we would not know that some part of us needed care. Conscience is always looked upon as something that reminds us of our failings. But conscience is also a guide to steering us to where we are to avoid the pitfalls that we have had in the past. Sorrow is experienced when something bad has entered the picture, or looms ready to strike. This sorrow is an outgrowth of fear. We fear that the calm, the peace that we have had is about to be destroyed. We fear the unknown. Sickness and death also cause us to fear: fear that we, or someone we love, won’t get better; fear that our lives are about to change for the worse; fear that we, or someone we love, are about to die.

In all of these trials, many times we focus our thoughts only on the side that we don’t like, the negative. The negative side is always, ALWAYS, looking at the discomfort caused. We have allowed this focus to strip ourselves of any ability to rise above the problem. We are unable to even see the positive side.
But there are two sides to these coins. Each pain, each sorrow, each traumatic event in our life offers us the opportunity to grow. The growth may be a better understanding of what drives us, or a deeper realization of what is truly important to us. The growth might help us appreciate the people in our lives, or what our religion means to us. The growth might be an acceptance that we can’t control everything and so we learn to accept what we can’t control. In that understanding, that appreciation, that acceptance comes the peace that we strive for.

We begin to realize that Jesus’ message is not a passive form of living, a bow-your-heads-and-succumb way of life. It is not an accept-the-inevitable, take the negative and like it style of living. On the contrary, it is a vibrant, heads up challenge to live a life that is thoughtful, aware and meaningful. It sees the negatives in life and tries to understand and accept the positive, growth-filled opportunities that they afford. In that acceptance, the peace of Christ flows into our souls.

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