Suck is a choice.

Originally published on March 12, 2020 at 11:01pm.  Thought I would share it again on February 28, 2024.  

As strange as it sounds, I was doing really well today until I saw things being canceled.  I had today off from school – not because of COVID-19.  There were mid-terms for period one and two and I have those periods off.  I was very excited to be home with my wife, Diana.

We went to our normal breakfast spot:  WAFFLE BARN.  Enjoyed a sort of healthy breakfast:  EGGS BENEDICT AND TATER TOTS (knew that would make you smile). 

Then, I went home.  Did my Bible reading / studying.  Noticed that at the end of my Bible reading / studying time I would have read the Bible in one year; my second time in fifty-four years of living. Kind of exciting.  Love accomplishing goals. 

Then, I sat in my comfy chair and did an hour of reading.  LOVED THAT. 

Had a nice Caesar salad for lunch.  While I was eating lunch, I was listening to Dennis Prager (there went all my liberal friends).  But, I had to turn him off.  It was all about COVID-19 and the bashing of President Trump.  Not in the mood. 

Went upstairs… put on my GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 album.  FUN!  Played my Tiger Woods golf. 

Went downstairs to turn on ESPN and then … this is cancelledThat is cancelledOh, late breaking news another “this” is cancelled.   

Then, the closings of all closings:  DISNEYLAND! 

That’s it.  I AM DONE. 

I think about all the children and families that were excited for their time at Disneyland and now … done.

I read all the cancelled events that I am connected to:  WINTERGUARD / WINTERPERCUSSION competitions cancelled.  All those kids don’t get to finish what they started.  Some of those kids experienced the same feelings due to the “Camp Fire” in 2018. 

  • Proms cancelled.
  • Concerts cancelled.
  • School is now online?! 
  • Even church is now going to be on FACEBOOK LIVE. 
  • Things that brought people together are now – cancelled. 

We already have a challenging time being together.  We didn’t need COVID-19 to make us “fear” another person.  Disconnect with another person. 

Now what do we do? 

Well, many of us will turn to God.  “Where is God when it hurts?” 

Some answers to the question, “Where is God when it hurts?”

“The first step in helping a suffering person is to acknowledge that the pain is valid, and worthy of a sympathetic response.”
― Philip Yancey

“Is God somehow responsible for the suffering of this world? In this indirect way, yes. But giving a child a pair of ice skates, knowing that he may fall, is a very different matter from knocking him down on the ice.”
― Philip Yancey

“It is dangerous and perhaps even unscriptural to torture ourselves by looking for his message in a specific throb of pain, a specific instance of suffering. The message may simply be that we live in a world with fixed laws, like everyone else. But from the larger view, from the view of all history, yes, God speaks to us through suffering—or perhaps in spite of suffering. The symphony he is composing includes minor chords, dissonance, and tiresome fugal passages. But those of us who follow his conducting through early movements will, with renewed strength, someday burst into song.”
― Philip Yancey

C. S. Lewis introduced the phrase “pain, the megaphone of God.” “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains,” he said; “it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”3 The word megaphone is apropos, because by its nature pain shouts. When I stub my toe or twist an ankle, pain loudly announces to my brain that something is wrong. Similarly, the existence of suffering on this earth is, I believe, a scream to all of us that something is wrong. It halts us in our tracks and forces us to consider other values.”
― Philip Yancey

I turn to God and I also have a heavy heart.  There are people hurting and people will dismiss their hurt as “first-world-problems.”  Times such as these remind me to NOT be dismissive of people’s pain.  I want to be there fore them.  

It sucks not getting to go to Disneyland.

It sucks not to have that final WINTER PERCUSSION / WINTER GUARD performance. 

  • It sucks not to make memories!  Or the one memory be COVID-19. 

The one thing I need to remind myself… and I have done it several times today (March 12, 2020) is I am responsible for my attitude.  I am responsible for my response to CRAPPY TIMES. 

So, I get pissed off.  And then … this too shall pass.  And what do I do help the bowl-movement-crap-attitude to pass? 

  • ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO BE POSITIVE while at the same time – don’t tell them to be positive.  I like the saying “Success is a choice.”  I then add to that saying, “So is sucking.” 

In the end, we will get through this.  I believe it!  And, one more thing … children are watching us (ADULTS).  The more we can be BALANCED about the situation —You know… don’t be the ass buying all the toilet paper at COSTCO — the greater the lessons for our children.  Acknowledge their disappointments.  They’re real disappointments for children.  And then … do what you can to show them the good things / simple things in life.  They will roll their eyes at you today.  Yet, it’s (teens rolling their eyes at you) the price you pay when you are right about looking at good things in life.    

So yes… there is much suck right now.  But, our attitude does not have to be part of that suck. 

Time to be still and be grateful for the stillness.