Rise Above the Madness

Rise Above

The past few days the DFW area has experienced record-setting amounts of rain. In fact this year has been the most in one year for Texas! While those of us in Texas generally welcome any amount of rain, we are all about to the point of screaming “our cup runneth over!”

With rain comes challenges such as daily travel on the highways. The rain collects on the roadways because our systems and soil just can’t handle large volumes. Flooding occurs and inevitably accidents are multiplied.

On our way home from church Sunday my wife and I were caught up in a traffic jam due to a multi-auto accident. A vehicle traveling east bound hydroplane into cars headed west. Thankfully it didn’t appear that anyone was hurt badly, but it did do some damage to the vehicles and I’m certain those involved will be experiencing some soreness in the days to come.

While we were sitting in traffic it was interesting to see how those around us were responding to the delay in their schedule. Some were swerving to and fro to see what the problem might be while others took to the emergency lane to by-pass those patiently waiting. Trucks with the ability to off-road headed off the highway making their own path to the access road. There was much frustration and anxiety for the fifteen minute delay everyone was experiencing.

Of all those who became agitated and impatient I wonder how many gave any consideration to the families in the accident?  The cars  caught in traffic were inconvenienced a few minutes, but those in the accident lives were impacted. There were possible injuries, thousands of dollars’ worth of automobile damage, and I am sure they had to cancel whatever plans they had. Over the next few weeks each person involved will have to take time off work for insurance claims and will have to find temporary transportation to get to work each day. The list could go on and on at how many inconveniences each will experience in the days and months ahead, yet few of those stuck in the traffic jam gave thought to their needs.

We have all been guilty of this thinking process and not just in traffic. At work we can get caught up in the deadlines and politics of business. With friendships the drama of who is saying what or who is mad at who. Even in relationships each of us can become overly obsessed with our own wants and needs, yet overlook the needs of our spouse. When we get in the mix of daily life it is almost as if we have blinders on to the things that are going on around us.

Those who are consistently keeping sense of joy and happiness in their lives are those who look beyond themselves and consider others. It is proven that most depression is centered around one becoming consumed with their own situation. It has also been proven that when are person begins looking outside themselves and doing for others the signs of depression diminish.

As we go through this Christmas Season take time to rise above the situations that you may encounter. Look at those around and imagine what their story might be. The person holding up the line might be counting their last pennies to purchase a gift for their child. That lady who seems to be not paying attention could be thinking about this being her first Christmas without her husband who passed. The lady checking you out might be frazzled because she is a single mom who has no idea how she is going to pay for Christmas this year.

If we watch real closely there might be opportunity to bless a stranger by paying for a lunch, groceries or even toys for their children. Some blessings don’t even cost money. A smile or taking a moment to sit and chat with an elderly person in the mall. A simple “thank you” and “Merry Christmas” to a person who helped you in the store or checked you out could be all that person needed to brighten their day.

We never know what is going on in people’s lives; their hurts, pains and struggles. Rise Above the madness and bring someone with you. Step outside your own needs to consider the greater need of others. Your heart will beat a happier tune and your face will carry a contagious smile that will make Christmas very merry for those you meet.

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