SBC Life Articles

Ups and Downs of Life

Sometimes I get down, not real low, just down. Not so low that I could play racquetball on the curb, just down. It helps to understand why you're down. It might even help change DOWN to UP. Let me explain.

These things can bring you D.O.W.N:

DUMB ACTS — Wearing your baseball hat backward to a job interview (unless you want to be an umpire) is a dumb act. A man driving down a country road came to a sign that read: "Road Closed — Do Not Enter." The road ahead looked good, and being an experienced traveler, he ignored the sign and pressed on. Five miles later he came to a washed-out bridge and had to retrace his route. Reaching the reversed side of the warning sign, he read: "Welcome Back, Stupid!"

OTHER PEOPLE — A grocery store cashier was annoyed by people who always asked her the time. In disgust she bought a clock and set it by the cash register. Then people asked her if the clock was right.

Some people are irritating. I had a secretary who wouldn't answer the phone. When I asked her why, she responded, "Why should I? Nine out of ten times it is for you."

Other people can be grumpy. The seven dwarfs had a great life. They worked in a diamond mine and whistled while they worked, yet one of them was Grumpy. There is always a Grumpy in the crowd.

WORLD — The world is negative and can bring you down. Have you ever been pulled over by a policeman who wanted to compliment your driving? It doesn't happen. The mate that snores is the one who falls asleep first, and the line you're in is the longest and the slowest.

NEW THINGS in your life can also bring you down. Change is difficult. The standard typewriter keyboard is an example. The most frequently used keys are located as far apart as possible to slow down typing speed. Keys on the machines of the 1800s jammed if the typist was too fast. About forty years ago, a keyboard called the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard was developed with the most frequently used keys in the home row. The right hand does more work (56%) than the left and tests show that typists greatly increase their speed (up to five times) with no increase in errors. Yet, we continue to labor with a keyboard designed to be inefficient. Why? Change is difficult.

Lucy told Charlie Brown, "I'd like to change the whole world, Charlie Brown." And Charlie Brown said, "Where would you start, Lucy?" She said, "I'd start with you."

The dumb things we do, interacting with other people, living in a negative world, and change can bring us down. You don't have to stay down. Let's look at the same word from an UP perspective.

DUMB things we do can make us smarter. A coach once said, "A successful play is the play before it failed." Failure can make us wiser. Every good skier was once a bad skier. Every good speaker was once a bad speaker. Every golfer … well … is still a bad golfer. The principle still works.

OTHERS can irritate you but the irritations are necessary. Disorganized people hate organized people. I have piles, and they have files. But guess what? When I can't find it in my piles, I need someone with files to insure I have what I need. We need others in order to be successful. Your weaknesses are often others' strengths. Others can build you up.

The WORLD that weighs you down can make you stronger. Difficulties develop you. Lifting weights strengthens you. Eventually, the weights feel lighter but they haven't changed. Your muscles have become stronger.

NEW THINGS are good things. An east coast bishop paid his annual visit to a small religious college. Engaging in after-dinner conversation with the college president, he said that the millennium could not be long in coming since everything in nature had been discovered and all inventions had been made. The president disagreed saying that human beings would be flying through the skies like the birds within a relatively short time. "Nonsense!" shouted the bishop. "Flight is reserved for the angels!" The bishop's name was Wright. He had two sons — Orville and Wilbur.

New things, ideas, ways, people, and situations cause stress that causes us to leave our comfort zone. However, new things point us to the Giver of life. Jesus said, "Behold, I make all things new." UP means Ultimately there is a Purpose. If there is UP — Ultimate Purpose — in every DOWN situation, you can cross any river.

A tribe of Indians lived next to a swift and dangerous river that swept away all who fell in. They were attacked by a hostile group and found themselves with no escape except crossing the river. They placed their children, wounded and elderly on their backs and trudged into the river. To their surprise, the extra weight steadied their footing and they reached the other side.

Circumstances that you believe are keeping you DOWN may be what allow you to climb UP. You must be down before you can come up. Christ died for us, was buried, and raised from the dead, and now we are new creatures on our way UP.

    About the Author

  • Charles Lowery