When We Invite ‘Misery’ To Stay In Our Guest Room

In the classic 1954 Hitchcock film ‘Rear Window’ is found this exchange between the two lead characters:

Lisa:(Grace Kelly), “I wish I were creative.”
Jeff: (Jimmy Stewart) “You are. You’re great at creating difficult situations!”

Over the course of my life I have met a number of individuals who seem to “create difficult situations’ out of nothing. Sometimes I wonder if I am not guilty of the same. If there is not a crisis going on in our lives, do we create one? Do we become so comfortable in living with crisis, such that when it is not present, we feel ‘uncomfortable?’ Do we feel some need to manufacture or blow up something in our life such that we ‘create difficult situations’ that don’t really exist? Perhaps we need the attention from others, or maybe talking about problems becomes such a part of who we are that we just can’t help ourselves. The problem, of course, is that in “creating difficult situations” out of little or nothing, we unconsciously make those around us miserable. And unfortunately, we pay the highest price because we raise our own misery index to levels where they need not be. I know none of us can believe we are ‘guilty as charged,‘ but if we examine our lives we might find there is more truth found in this indictment then we want to accept. Life will, of course, “create difficult situations” without our help.

Recently my wife and I went out to dinner with another couple who are also “empty nesters.” The other woman mentioned that, looking back on raising her children, she realized that she worried too much about things that were of little consequence. She recognized that she had spent an undue amount of energy worrying about bad situations that never presented themselves; yet she had experienced the internal personal misery as if it had. She found that some of the joy that this life has to offer was lost in “imaginary” problems that never came.

As we continue down the path of life, we don’t need to create misery in our lives. It will appear without our help. No need to send it a text message inviting it live in our guest room. Let us remember what Jesus said to His disciples when they were troubled, “Be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid.” (Mark 6:50)

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