It’s OK to go after what you love in life, and don’t take no for an answer.
o A little orphan boy had a pet donkey and he it became very ill. He wanted to take it to church to have it healed, but the friars would not let the donkey in. He was told to lead it down to the basement sanctuary, but it could not fit down the stairs unless a wall was removed. He was told that only the Pope could give permission to remove the wall. So the boy went to the Vatican. He was repelled by the Swiss guard, and turn away by a secretary who threw the flowers he sent to introduce his plea out the window. The boy was dejected, and started to leave, but a father was walking in the Vatican garden and saw the discarded flowers. It looked to him as if they were weeping blood onto the feet of a statue of Jesus. He read the note, and raced to find the orphan. He was granted a visit and petition to the Pope, who granted his wish, and the wall was taken down and his pet donkey restored to health.
It’s OK to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.
o JC Watts reminds us in his book, Dig Deep, that we must know what we can and cannot control He quotes Kelvin Sampson who said, "In life there are only two things you can control, your work ethic and your attitude."
It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
o Bill Graham reminds us that even if we get angry with God, He will never stop loving you. Remember the prophet Jonah in the old Testament? Some called him the reluctant prophet because he tried to flee when God called him to preach to his enemies. Later (after God sent a large fish to stop his flight), he reluctantly obeyed God and preached to his enemies. To his surprise they repented and turned to God. He should have rejoiced – but instead “Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry” (Jonah 4:1). Gently God explained to him that He loved even Jonah’s enemies – and so should Jonah. What is the point? Simply this: Jonah was angry at God – but God didn’t reject him. Instead, Jonah needed to learn to trust God, even if he didn’t like what was going on. Perhaps this is one of the lessons God wants to teach you.
It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
o Crying is an expression of normal human emotions. Some are moved to tears by a sappy commercial or a sad movie, but life-changing experiences such as death, the loss of a job or a troubled marriage can also lead to an episode of crying. If your children are nearby, you may feel that you need to shelter them from your grief, stress, sadness or frustration, but it isn’t necessary. Would it make sense to hide your laughter from your children? The same answer applies to both laughter and tears.
It’s OK to make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
o “The Trouble Tree” The carpenter who was hired to help a man restore an old farmhouse had just finished his first day on the job and everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong. First of all, on his way to work he had a flat tire that cost him an hour’s worth of pay, then his electric saw broke, and after work his old pickup truck refused to start. His new boss volunteered to give him a lift home and the whole way to his house the carpenter sat in stone silence as he stared out his window. Yet on arriving, he invited his boss in for a few minutes to meet his family. As they walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When he opened the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was one big smile as he hugged his two small children and kissed his wife. Afterwards, the man walked his boss to his car to say thank you. Now on their way out of the house, the boss’ curiosity got the best of him so he had to ask the man about the tree on the front porch. He said, I noticed when you came up on the porch before going into your house you stopped and touched the tree, why? “Oh, that’s my trouble tree,” he replied. “I know I can’t stop from having troubles out on the job, but one thing’s for sure – my troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again.” “Funny thing is,” he smiled, “when I come out in the morning to pick ‘em up, they aren’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.”