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Savoring The Sour - Life And Lemons

Updated: Oct 19, 2022

Choosing Not To Make Lemonade

The sour parts of life, when taken by themselves and digested individually, are bitter. When added to and looked at through the lens of perspective, understanding God's plan and gratitude for the tart taste, personal growth takes place -- even while chewing on the change derived from the bitter.


 

While high in the sky they test their wings


Going Against the Wind








When pain grips me, holding on like a vice.

I wish to escape in some way, as pain never plays very nice.


Why would God let me suffer so --

not knowing what to do or where to go.


Somehow my vision seems clouded, and my options seem but a few.

My world seems but a prison, jailing freedom from my view.


I always end up doing the last thing I really want to do.

Responsibilities always keep me in line from doing something new.


Maybe I misspoke, could it be, that it is me -- letting fear rule the day?

That when I'm faced with options, my prayers reflect, “Dear God, please just take the pain away.”


Anything risky, painful, or that will cause me to grow --

I find I just want to stay true to what I already know.


But something inside is stirring, and even though there is pain, I'm silently pleading for it not to stop --

somehow let me bear it, using courage as a prop.


Though anguished and fearing I'll fail --

let me face and at least conquer "just trying," please at least let me do that well.


I long to reach the untouched parts of me --

carving out new growth, exploring, being vulnerable for all to see.


Dear God, I'm your child. I lack in so many ways.

Please bless me that this awakening within me stays.


Let it further open doors to move me from merely opening my eyes --

to looking and using thy strength to arise.


If I could stand and move amidst the pain, even though I'm unsure of the way --

with thy power, could I take these chains of fear and break away?


And then, as I know of me, you would ask more,

may I walk and then finally have wings with which to soar?


Let me fly in flight to some of the highest heights and gaze at the wonders below --

rise with the warm winds and roll with its gentle flow.


Then spread my wings, and with the sound of a free bird's cry,

swoosh into the opposite direction of the air current to give the unknown a try.


Let me face the wind as it whips me about during my flight --

placing my vision and goals within my sight.


Change and the newness of wings may at times cause me to stall --

but it is my promise to self and God to give it my all.


Let fear be stripped away while I tumble about in the sky --

Life is about choice -- I’m going to fly.


-- J Osei-Boamah --




The First Taste of the Lemon -- Sour


I lost my job. I think it has to be one of the least fun things I've encountered in my life. Maybe "encountered" isn't the right word to use. Let's just say it's the least of things I would choose to endure, presupposing that nothing comes up that tops it.


There are things about losing your job that cause all sorts of feelings to emerge -- things apart from wondering how long you can pay your rent and how long until you can find another job. Though those things most definitely rattle around in the mind -- rather, there are more cumbersome thoughts -- especially when you are often engaged in a conflict -- self-against-self. It can be as brutal as your self-esteem allows for, "why did they not want me?" "What do I do now?" "Will there be anyone else who will want me?" And if you have worked hard up until the last moment, you will wonder, "What did they not like about me?"


You are bound to hear from others that "the time can be exciting if you let it be," or, "a new door will open up," and that "better things await you" -- "great opportunities are to be had." Don't get me wrong. Those are all marvelous things to hear, and you tend to cling to them and want so much for it to be true. What feeds your hope even more, is that the people who tell you such things must believe in you and think you can come out of this situation shining. It indeed is helpful to have others expressing faith in you.


I think that within us all, rejection or perceived rejection is not easy to handle. Some bounce back quickly and are ready to plow ahead with minimal fears and trepidation about what is ahead. Others, like me, who tend to ride a wave all the way to the shore and even until it's retreating back into the sea, find themselves stuck in the sand -- hoping for a big wave to pull them back out to sea. Making that effort to get back in the water and search for that big wave again is not easy. Riding the last wave left you stranded on the beach, and then it deserted you.


What I Might Be Discovering


Maybe embracing all this pain and change as a friend is the answer, letting it take me to different places within myself -- allowing it to stretch me, pull at me, push growth through me, let it have its place within me without insisting it move aside. Finding where the pain will take me and discovering what it will ask of me might ease the sting and anxiousness in dealing with it. Maybe that is how I should deal with this discomfort brought on by my emerging insecurities with this unexpected change in my life.


Seeing the Sour For What It Is


I find the ins and outs of daily life read rather monotone -- not much inflection or change unless God has blessings or love to give you.


Then the change could be a whopper. You could get blown off your feet as the so-called "winds of change" rush toward you like a flash of lightning out of a darkened sky. Whoosh! And double whoosh! You are lying on the ground with a hurting hiney and grappling to get up. That is part of God's love too. The whooshing sound is a heavenly reminder of God -- he has not forgotten you. He has massive blessings heading your way. The hurting hiney, well that is the pain, pushing you from your comfort zone, and lying on the ground, is so that you look up and know whose hand to take to lift you on your feet again.


Lemons are Sour


While Lemons are sour, they are widely used to enhance the flavor of very many dishes. Something about this fruit’s sourness creates a plethora of possibilities and alternatives for redirecting the taste buds to a new and varied encounter.


By itself, eaten directly, the experience of eating a lemon can be savored and enjoyed only by a few -- though even they cannot escape a squelched up face and puckered lips as they gingerly eat it.


I find it interesting that such a singularly bitter taste produces culinary delights when utilized with other flavors.


The Lemon With Other Flavors Added


The sour parts of life, when taken by themselves and digested individually, are bitter. When added to and looked at through the lens of perspective, understanding God's plan and gratitude for the tart taste, personal growth takes place -- even while chewing on the change derived from the bitter.


In The Korean Drama "Start-Up," On Netflix,


The main female lead (MFL) is trying to persuade one of the other main male leads (MML) to get behind an idea for their Start-Up business. Their business plan was for an artificial intelligence device that would aid the blind and those with diminished visual capacity. For this business proposition, the profits, per projections, would be meager in terms of financial gain, however, of immense benefit for those with visual impairments. The MML tells the MFL that it (the project) would not work as the investors are only interested in the money the company could make -- not in how much good it could do for others. When she persists with the idea, the MML says, " think again, it's a path filled with hardship. While trying to do good, you'll fail everyone. You could get hurt." After which, the MFL says, "Mr. Han, I've given it a lot of thought, and I think I actually enjoy hardship."


I found that enlightening and helpful to me on so many levels. While the MML spoke of the fear of getting hurt and uncertainties accompanying this idea to do good with their business technology, the MFL grasped that she could enjoy the hardship, endure the pain to achieve a righteous goal, and grow with her efforts. She further understood that stepping out of her comfort zone was a must to attain her desired result.


She was ready to relish heading into the headwinds she knew would buffet her about.

3rd Nephi 8 -- A Three-Hour Catastrophic Occurrence


Scripturally described events documented at the death of Christ that have been a strength to me during these trying times:

 


 

The people present heard the cries of many of their loved ones perish. They felt destruction on a scale previously unseen and unimaginable.


When the cataclysmic events stopped, they were plunged into a vaper of darkness allowing for no light -- leaving them surrounded by their grief and the distraught and inconsolable cries of others.


Feeling and mourning the loss of the Savior also, the earth creaked and groaned under the weight of the massive changes -- missing the holy feet that had walked upon her.


Yet, even as the thunder shook the earth and lightning flashed across the sky, the signs proclaimed not only the advent of Christ's death but that Christ would rise again.


A hope -- of greater magnitude than the disaster was infused into the world at the very time humanity probably supposed the world was coming to an end. God's promises and prophecies of the long-awaited resurrection and atonement of his Son, Jesus Christ, were coming to fruition.


A pattern was established whereby man could have hope -- whereby I could find hope.


When circumstance or pain seize us and leave us wanting, in need, feeling alone -- when darkness settles over us after tragic or challenging events or the advent of falling into sin, there is power available to rise from the grave of hopelessness -- because --


When the stone rolled away, the tomb was opened -- the Savior stepped out from the dark confines of the grave. Christ did not walk out of the tomb alone. All who accept his invitation -- walk out with him -- into the sunshine.


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