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Commentary: Finding ways to balance the highs and lows of life

Life is certainly a journey. There are highs and lows; difficult days and days of great joy; moments you would never wish back and moments you wish you could stop time and savor. Time goes faster than what we like, relationships change and emotions run high. We drift, get distracted and get back on track. We have regrets and proud moments, days of confusion and times when decisions and direction are crystal clear. We can get blind-sided and be surprised, disappointed and elated. Life can be monotonous and then an unexpected joy enters our life. We live through seasons of anxiety, peace, grief, rest and weariness. Through it all, here are some thoughts:

Spend time with children and learn from them. Like a child, remain curious, have fun and find joy in the simple, be quick to trust and quick to forgive. Life gets complex quickly. Don't take yourself too seriously. Maybe farts should make us laugh no matter our age?

The only day we should obsess about is today. Yesterday cannot be brought back. Tomorrow has yet to come. Today is full of opportunities. Some days just need to be survived. Most days need to be celebrated.

The people around you really matter. Relationships should always trump circumstances and agendas. Invest in the right people and you will enjoy a great return on your investment. The right people around you can help you carry your burden. They influence your attitude and mindset more than you realize. Having people in your life who will pray for you is a great gift.

When your job, your spouse, your children, or your life frustrates or discourages you pull out a piece of paper. Write down what you love about your job, your spouse, your children, or your life. What led you to marry your spouse? Why were you excited to have a child? Why were you glad to start your current job? Read your list every day. Add to it. Fill your mind first with what is good, right and positive.

Hold tight to the things that matter most. Will this matter 10 years from now? If the answer is no, limit the mental energy you give to that issue. Certainly, don't take that issue to bed with you.

Find a place to volunteer. Your soul needs it. Find someone to serve with no strings attached. Your soul needs it. A soul turned inward will fall. A soul turned outward will rise.

Laughter will always be the best medicine. Watch a video clip or movie that always makes you laugh. Hang out with the friend you laugh around the most.

Embrace the chaos. Practice listening. Ask good questions. Be quick to forgive. Spend much more time being a learner than a teacher. Never forget that Jesus loves you unconditionally and gave his life so you can experience freedom. Jesus struggled with religious people. Jesus included those everyone else in his society overlooked. Jesus saw people for what they could become. Let's do the same.

God bless you. See you next Sunday.

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