Sunday, March 6, 2016

Nothing Lasts Forever…

Some people say faith is a childish game
Play on, children, like it's Christmas day
Sing me a song, sing me a melody
Sing out loud, you're a symphony”

-Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, Live Forever.

The changing of seasons and the celebrating of birthdays reminds me, nothing lasts forever. We grow out of one stage of life to enter into a different season, filled with new experiences and different problems, struggles and accomplishments.

We complain about the cold only to quickly discover that Summer has come. The Fall colors have scarcely settled when we find that Winter has arrived. The infancy of our children has become long and difficult and suddenly we discover they are nearly teenagers and need us less and less. But, somehow, we need them more and more.

It's good to reminisce. To look back on the good days we had and to think that things were better. We do that a lot when we get older, when something changes in our town, when a new president is coming into office. “Remember when so and so was president?” “Hey, remember when this used to be an ice cream shop and none of these buildings were here? It was all trees and fields”…

But this is flawed thinking. In a class I teach at the prison, on distorted thinking patterns, called “Thinking Errors” we look at one distortion called “Filtering”. Filtering is when you view things strictly through a positive or negative lens, so no matter what good things come your way you focus on the negative. You could also flip it and focus on the good things and ignore the negative.

What's the problem with this sort of thinking? It offers a skewed perspective. Everyone has good things and bad things. Our life, our memories have jumbles of both. Our children brought us joy when they were infants, they also brought us dirty diapers, sleepless nights and the need to be constantly watchful.

Growing up brings new problems, but new blessings as well. New friends, new experiences, some good and some bad but we can't live in the past and truly enjoy the present.

I watched a video of one of my favorite bands the other day, “The Devil Wears Prada” for those curious. They are a metalcore band from Dayton, Ohio. The video in question is of concert footage and there are hundreds of cell phones up trying to record the experience. Everyone wants their experiences to last.

Savor the moment, enjoy the ride. Nothing lasts forever.  

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