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The Bright Spots

November 26, 2019

This Thursday is Thanksgiving. Soon it will be Christmas. The holiday season.

The most wonderful time of the year, right?

Except when it’s not.

The older I get, the more aware I am of how incredibly difficult the holidays are for so many people. As children, most of us were sheltered from this reality. No matter their personal circumstances, adults put on happy faces for us. We didn’t know if they were depressed, discouraged, or disillusioned because they didn’t want to dim the excitement of the season for us. We didn’t understand that things may not have always been as great as they appeared.

Thanksgiving—the introduction to the holiday season—is a time when so many people have a heightened awareness of their deferred dreams and unmet desires. It’s compounded when others share the things they’re thankful for.

Sometimes, these expressions of gratitude can be a hurtful reminder to someone of what they don’t have.

It can be a reminder of the person who’s not at the table…
The loved one who passed away.
The sibling that decided not to come home after another argument.
The baby you’ve prayed for year after year but is still not here.

It can be a reminder that you’re still not married.

It can be a reminder that you don’t love your job and wish you could do something else. 

It can be a reminder that you’re more lonely than you ever have been.

It can be a reminder that important things in your life are not going as planned.

If any of these scenarios hit close to home, I’m so sorry. These are very real hurts and challenges, and I don’t want to devalue, diminish, or downplay any of them. 

But I do want to offer a humble suggestion. 

In the world of business, a key strategy for success is to focus on the bright spots, the areas where you’re having success, and to figure out how to reproduce them. I would encourage you to do the same this holiday season. Though the bright spots for you may feel few and distant, every single one of us has something to be grateful for.

If you woke up this morning and have breath in your lungs and blood pumping through your veins, you have a purpose. If you have a place to rest your head at night, you’re blessed. If you have someone in your life—a family member, a friend, a neighbor, a pastor—who loves you and cares for you, you have so much.

Every one of you has bright spots. Every single one of you. Think about them. Focus on them. Be grateful for them this week.

As we get ready for Thanksgiving, I’ll leave you with this:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” –Philippians 4:8


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