The Great Disappointment
I am supposed to be in Tahiti for the next eight days celebrating my 40th birthday, but I am not. Instead, after 4 flights and two consecutive days either in the air or in an airport, I am ‘penning’ this blog on a flight home to Baltimore.
I lost some money. I lost two days. Most importantly, the hope of a decadent celebration of 40 amazingly blessed years was lost.
Or was it?
Wait a minute. What does this have to do with lemons? Well, lemons happen to make a drink that should be considered an American institution; lemonade. Too often, we look at lemonade as a consolation prize, but in fact, lemonade is the prize.
Why? Because it is refreshing. After you spend a night and two days in American airports, only to have to return home without the promise of your dream vacation, trust me, you’ll need a refreshing.
If life is going to give me lemons, then I might as well make some lemonade.
What To Do with Lemons
It isn’t the vacation I wanted: lemon
I get to spend time with my best friend and lover: lemonade
I don’t get the ocean view I paid dearly for: lemon
I can still rest, relax, and write: lemonade
I can’t go on a bucket list trip: lemon
I will not experience jet lag and need another vacation from my vacation: lemonade
Squeezing my lemons helped me see that I could still have what I really wanted. See, the core of why I wanted to go away for my 40th, why I didn’t choose a party or an expensive piece of jewelry, is that I needed to be refreshed. I wanted to eat, love, pray, sleep, write, and repeat by the ocean for 10 days. I can still do all that… minus the amazing view and the lapping waves.
A New View
God has an epic sense of humor. “Oh, you need to be refreshed, do you. Okay, here are some lemons.” I could sulk about what I have lost, or I could figure out ways in which I gain. You see, to die is gain when I am in Christ. Even when I lose, I win because eternity with Him is my ultimate goal. The suffering I experience in not going to Tahiti for my birthday (lemon) pales in comparison to eternity with Jesus (lemonade).
I could sit around and cry about all the stuff I won’t see in Tahiti, but that would make the view I do have quite blurry. I hope y’all don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to say tears are not appropriate when we are disappointed. I have cried several times throughout this ordeal. It is important to let your emotions out. I would even venture to say that tears may be a step in the refreshing process, but if all you’re drinking is tears, the saltiness will only make you more thirsty.
As I journey home from what most would call a nightmare of a vacation, spent entirely in the airport, I could bemoan all the Tahiti sunrises I will miss, but then I would have missed the most beautiful sunrise view from my plane ride in the clouds.
And that’s the truth about lemons. You may not get to choose the events in your life, but you do get to choose how you view them and if you ‘juice’ them.
In what ways do you need to be refreshed? What areas of your life have become stale? How have the lemons you’ve received positioned you to make your own refreshing? Will you make lemonade that refreshes you or will you wallow in your disappointments, leaving yourself with nothing to drink but salty tears?