Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Don't Rain on My Parade!

"When others are happy, be happy with them, and when they are sad, be sad." (Romans 12:15, CEV)

"Wake up, don't tell me it's just a dream, 'cause when I've had enough you'll hear me say, Now don't you try to rain on my Perfect Day - Nothings standing in my way. On this perfect day, nothing can go wrong..."* We've heard this song play again and again as it's used for resort commercials recently. The appeal of it comes not only from its catchy tempo and melody, but from its rejoicing in the day that goes right. After all, who doesn't LOVE the day when everything goes as it should and even beats our expectations!

Still, there always seems to be those who are the "fly in the ointment". When something good happens to us, they are the ones who lament that nothing good ever happens to them. When we finally overcome a hurdle, they're filled with jealousy and anger as if we've abandoned them. When we are blessed, these people treat us as if we undeservedly stole that blessing. Individuals like this can really rain on our parade or at least take a little wind out of our sails!

Too often this can happen in the special needs community. While I tend to focus mainly on getting others outside of the community to show us compassion and comfort us in our grief, I find that we can fall short with one another when it comes to the rejoicing part. When a child progresses in their therapy, others whose children aren't to that point yet can be stuck in bitter envy. When parents find a way to get a break from the demands on their lives, some can find themselves jealous and gossiping about it. When a financial floor appears under a family who has endured utter hardship, there can be disgust by those who still struggle.

This creates factions and new wounds in a group of parents that already endure enough hurt. How sad it is when we can't be happy for one another! After all, celebrating another's success holds out immense hope for us. If other families just like us can overcome difficulties, that means there's a good chance that we can too!

Jesus tells us, "He (God) makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And he sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong." (Matthew 5:45, CEV) Put another way, every life, without exception, experiences both the good and the bad. While this sure ain't heaven, it's not hell either! We need to have our eyes wide open to be "good finders" in the world around us. That means celebrating when there's reason to celebrate, even if the victory isn't presently our own!

I've been stuck in that position of being agitated and frustrated with the forward motion of others while I'm still spinning my wheels. It has made me an unpleasant person for both myself and others to be around! Instead, entering into that joy of another makes it more gratifying for them to be happy with me when my turn comes. And trust me, we will all have our turn at being both happy and sad!

*"Perfect Day" - Written by Jason Evigan, performed by Hoku, from the Legally Blonde Soundtrack

1 comment:

  1. barb, i tell my kiddos that the inability to rejoice in the joy of another is the clearest indicator that we are miserable with ourselves. i also try to help them determine the difference between being jealous, wishing we had something and envy, begrudging that someone else has it. bottom-line, i want to teach them to weep with others as well as rejoice with others...it is a difficult thing to do apart from the grace of jesus...for us all!