The other day I met Heidi and the girls at Costco for a tasty $1.50 hot-dog and drink. Each of us got our own and the girls wanted to pick their own drink. Maren choose Root-beer and Hazel choose a lemonade/Sprite mix.
I was busy chomping away on my hot dog as Hazel (2yrs) announced, "I like it!" We all looked over at her as she lowered her lips for another sip of LemoSprite. She had a clear straw so we all could see the liquid, almost as though it were in slow motion, go up the straw, through her little puckered lips and into her mouth. To the nanosecond, the moment the liquid left the straw and entered her mouth she made this crazy little sour face. (I wish I had thought to snap a picture) All her facial muscles contracted and her eyes nearly shut. After a second or two of partial paralysis she again announced with a big smile, "I like it!"
Today while in a meeting a good friend of mine shared several thoughts that brought this incident to mind. I think one of the more difficult things to handle in life is the "bitter" challenges that are sometimes thrown our way. Divorce, the loss of a loved ones, hopes unfulfilled or delayed and many other challenges all are examples of the "bitter cups" we may be asked to drink. Unfortunately, but understandably the intitial reaction most of us have to the "bitter cups" of life is to make a bitter face. Sometimes if bitter feelings are allowed to linger we in to turn become bitter.
I don't think the test is about our ability to drink bitter cups. I think the tests is will we shrink in the face of them. Will we like little Hazel drink our "bitter cups" and smile or will we shrink. Standing tall and not shrinking before the bitter cup's of life is a difficult challenge. I don't really have any advice on how to do it. Hazel's reaction might be useful. She knew that the initial pain of bitterness was worth the sweetness that surely came after but a moment.
Life is rough sometimes but we all get through it. Let's just try not to let it make us bitter. You don't want to end up looking like this guy.
Thanks Brad for the great pep talk today!