Life is good even if it's not perfect


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By Reggie Ponder

Saturday, August 17, 2019

I am thankful for the blessings I have in my life.

They include, but certainly are not limited to, a loving family, good friends, a safe place to live, work that is challenging and meaningful, and occasional adventures in the water or on land.

Undergirding all these things is a relationship with God that I have completely by God’s grace. God has gotten through all sorts of difficulties and continued to bless me in more ways than I can describe.

For all these reasons and more I am thankful.

In the past week or so, though, I have been thinking about how my life in the column — while it’s an accurate depiction of the parts of my life I find myself included to write about — is not my actual life.

The reason I feel compelled to make this point is that I don’t want anyone to think the small slice of my life that makes it into the column is my actual life.

I suppose what started me down this whole path was a sermon I heard a couple of weeks ago at a gathering of clergy. Marty Cauley, who may be familiar to some of you who are United Methodists (especially if you have attended Annual Conference in recent years), spoke about how many of us view our own lives in an unnecessarily negative light because we compare our actual lives with other people’s Instagram lives.

Nobody’s Instagram life is their actual life.

In the same way, the life of a columnist is much more complicated and varied than the few inches of column that come out once a week or so. In general, I try to take what I think are the most interesting parts of my life and build the column around that.

That probably ends up being a bit misleading.

On the other hand, it does reflect the way I actually think about my life. There are probably some people who could have the life I do and be absolutely miserable because of the things they don’t have or the things that aren’t going the way they wished they would go.

I just made a decision at some point to enjoy the life I have because I figure that’s the best option open to me.

So while the column isn’t my whole life it does embody the way I think about my whole life.

I don’t want people to envy the life I have.But I certainly don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me, either.

There are things I don’t have and things I have never done. But there are also lots of things I do have and plenty of interesting things I have done.

It finally comes down to perspective.

Reggie Ponder is a staff writer for The Daily Advance.