I recently read of a tragedy which happened on Memorial day. A family lost a child due to a car wreck and sat at the bedside of his injured siblings awaiting their outcome. The story was told by a family friend who, during the time of the tragedy had been caught up in some superficial, silly family argument and drama. Upon learning of his friend's loss the family friend realized how ridiculous his worries had been and began focusing upon "what really matters. He jotted down some things at that moment and the list is poignant. The next time you have an everyday worry or stress think on these things:
Forgive everyone of everything now.
Never care if you someone else is preferred over you, ever.
Repay evil with kindness every single time you are wronged.
Love everyone. Everyone.
Fight for everyone's heart. Everyone's.
Withhold nothing from your spouse, your kids, and your parents.
Stop lying. And stop believing that "not telling the whole truth" isn't lying.
Use every single dollar you ever have stewardship of to bless others.
Say "I love you" way too much.
Show "I love you" way too much.
Be with those you love way too much and poor, rather than away from them a little and rich.
If you must talk, talk about what matters.
Respect everyone. Everyone.
If you don't look at your kids and marvel, figure out what is wrong with you.
Get over yourself and become a "hugger".
Walk slowly through the crowd.
Stop being offendable.
Be still without being asleep.
Be present without having to be noticed.
Notice without having to be reminded.
Say the negative things after you have exhausted everything you can say that is encouraging to anyone.
Find yourself in every single other person's flaws, that you may love them.
Accept suffering as a gift, that you may leave nothing wasted.
Think the best of all people, that you may be a blessing.
Humble yourself constantly, that you may be lifted up, and not by yourself.
Receive anything good at all as undeserved grace, that you may be a lover of God, and a benefit to those closest to you and to all mankind.
I certainly have some work to do in all these areas. Sometimes tragedy seems senseless, but how much better can you make your life by working on even one of these phrases?