The word "contrast" is defined as "the degree to which light and dark areas of an image differ in brightness." It can also be explained as "to set in opposition in order to show or emphasize differences."
Contrast is why some of us farm and enjoy rural America so very much. We indeed have mundane jobs at times, even in farming. Just like a factory or desk job, running a tillage machine or a combine for the third week in a row begins to wear on the nerves.
But without a doubt, there is hope. We eventually finish what we've been doing and go on to the next job. Book work leads to taxes which lead to the planting season, certainly a nice contrast which leads to tending crops and on and on. It is the contrast that makes it all worthwhile.
Maybe it's the "grass is always greener" aspect of human nature, but it always seems that what we're about to do is much more interesting than what we're doing right now. The weather is going to be better next season. We love spring but it leads to summer which makes us yearn for fall and then here we are on the edge of winter and we've already begun to dream of getting the planter out of the shed.
It's all of this anticipation that makes life exciting but it can also ruin your very existence. We get so tied up with looking ahead that we fail to see the blessings we should be thankful for every day. We plan to get involved in Christmas programs, parties, shopping and when the time comes we say "Okay, we sing at 10 a.m., but we can't hang around after the program because we have to load up and get over to Sarah's for dinner "but Dear, you'll need to leave Sarah's early to drive little Bobbie over to the neighbors." … and so it goes.
I read this week that we need to be careful of everyone's feelings because each of us is carrying an unseen burden. The part about all of us having burdens is for sure true and with that in mind I decided to try an experiment a few days ago. I was walking through a crowded store in a neighboring town and being in a holiday mood I decided to watch folks carefully and see if I could get a smile out of them.
With the exception of one woman with three young children in tow, no one looked at me. She smiled but almost everyone I looked at just stared at the aisle ahead of them, or the floor or for the most part their husband or wife who were walking along side. They almost all had a look of disdain on their face. I didn't find many happy people except for the workers in the store who were being paid to smile. It was part of their job.
What have we come to? These folks need some contrast in their lives.
I think it's a benefit of age that we eventually figure out that money or what we have has nothing at all to do with being happy. We get around finally to learning how to be happy with what we have and who we are and what we can help others become.
For your contrast this season try taking a deep breath, think of your family and friends and think of them as the gifts to you that they are. Handle all with love. Keep your finances and emotions in check, slow the pace down and decide to be happy.
Getting back to that store. They were decorated all the way to the ceiling fans in red and green and trees and toys but yet the word Christmas was missing. Not to be found anywhere. How is it you can try to make a significant portion of your yearly income by selling Christmas presents, yet you're afraid to use the word Christmas. I think they're afraid of the contrast. That being the dark world lit up so brightly by a star over a small city a couple of thousand years ago.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ONE AND ALL!