By Judy Brandon: Local columnist
Several years ago I attended a women’s conference in Austin, Texas. Still today the keynote speaker’s words stand out in my mind. She had only four points: Life is made up of moments. Some of those moments are good. Some of those moments are bad. And most of the time we can’t tell the difference. I really do believe that.
Life is made up of moments and those moments add up into hours, hours into days and days into years. Suddenly we look back and say “Where did all the time go?” That has been true in my life. Children are small one day and before we know it, we find ourselves at the motor vehicle department signing for that child’s driving permit, or we are attending their high school or college graduation. These were all moments at one time that have added up into hours and hours into days and days into years.
Some of those moments have been good. Marriage, the birth of children, family trips and get-togethers and sometimes just everyday happenings that for some reason were frozen as memories in my mind have been really good over the years. They are the good moments that are the benchmarks that mark family traditions and heritage.
Then some of those moments have been bad. Sometimes circumstances were so frustrating in my life that I didn’t think I would even live to see the next day. Hard financial times and those times when nothing could even be done about the situation were really terribly painful for our whole family. There were times that different problems just seemed to occupy our entire thoughts and cloud the horizons of our lives. But we survived and even the bad times have paled in the years since.
Now as I look back, I can identify with what the speaker said at that retreat. Her fourth point was that most of the time, we can’t tell the difference between the good and bad times. That seems paradoxical. Yet, I am the way I am today because of certain things that happened to me. I suppose in the whole scope of eternity, what seemed bad for me was not bad. God allowed me to get through those things and in that process matured me so I would grow to lean on him more and more for strength to live.
In going through those times, a new awareness of the different kinds of pain that people feel has changed my entire perspective. I have sympathy for someone now who goes through financial problems. I sympathize because the people are hurting. I can pray for them, not judge or condemn them, and love them.
I feel for someone who has a child that has problems in school. No one knows the pain and the frustration associated with that unless they’ve had a child with those kinds of problems. Now when I talk to someone whose father has died, I can not only sympathize but I can empathize. Because I lost my father, I know the pain.
What we may think is bad today could very well be the circumstance that God allows in our life to make us into the person He wants us to be.
Paul wrote, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28). That tells me that God is working everything in this life for my ultimate good — no matter the moment.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: