As is my custom, I was out walking one day around the first of the year, and as I headed off down the frontage road near our residence, I was enjoying the unusual greenery for this time of the year.
As I turned a corner, however, I was disheartened to see, first that someone had evidently thrown their trash out of their car window, and secondly, that someone else, no doubt getting up leaves, had apparently run their lawnmower right over the paper, shredding it into a hundred pieces and littering both sides of the road for quite some distance.
I must admit that I brooded over this as I walked the neighborhood. I was disappointed to say the least, for now, in all likelihood, we all had to look at this particular mess for some time to come. As I made my return walk, however, I could not help but notice that there was something a bit odd about the continuous stretch of shredded paper. Each piece had a remarkably similar look to it.
Intrigued, I decided to stop and take a closer look. I am glad I did, for I soon made a crucial discovery. What I had earlier assumed was paper shredded by a lawnmower blade was in fact frozen ice, somehow formed when the dew surrounding individual blades of grass within localized clumps had frozen.
To verify that this was indeed what I was seeing, I took my shoe and stomped on one or two of the ice crystals. To my surprise, they crumbled immediately.
Sadly, I was about to miss all of that beauty by misinterpreting what I was seeing. In and of itself, this was bad enough. But what is truly sad is that, in the process of finding fault with my fellow man over what I assumed had been a blatant disregard for others, I failed to realize the problem was really not a problem at all. It only existed in my own heart.
As I have reflected on this, I have come to be reminded of how many times in my life I have fretted and worried over something that, in the end, turned out not to be an issue after all. What is more, many of the things I considered as issues were only issues because I myself had made them any such.
Some time ago, while out rummaging in an estate sale, my sister came across an old cross-stitched pillow that says: “TODAY IS THE TOMORROW YOU WORRIED ABOUT YESTERDAY… AND ALL IS WELL!” I have never forgotten the day she showed it to me. And I doubt I ever will.
Given all these things, I have decided to spend the coming year fretting a bit less as I walk through this world. After all, few things ever are as bad as we initially make them out to be. And I myself have no business making something out of nothing! Most people already have enough issues in their lives. They certainly don’t need me creating new ones for them.