Summer Smiles, Grad Gifts, and Great Giveaways
- May 31, 2023
Forrest Gump was a novel written in 1986 by Winston Groom. The main character was a lovable man that stumbles and bumbles his way through life and history. The book, however, did not reach peak fame until July 6th, 1994, when the movie premiered starring actor Tom Hanks. Both book and movie are very quotable,
Forrest Gump was a novel written in 1986 by Winston Groom. The main character was a lovable man that stumbles and bumbles his way through life and history. The book, however, did not reach peak fame until July 6th, 1994, when the movie premiered starring actor Tom Hanks. Both book and movie are very quotable, but one line, in particular, stands out, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” This simile likens life to the variety and general unpredictability of a box of assorted candy. That there will be successes and failures. Sometimes, there will be seemingly unbearable heartbreak and loss. If we are fortunate, however, we might also find love and joy. Life is not one thing.
Rick Warren, founder and senior pastor at Saddleback Church, a megachurch in California, and author of the best selling book, The Purpose-Driven Life, believes that life is not good or bad. Still, it is both, and they usually run in parallel. In an interview with Paul Bradshaw, Warren states that life is not really a series of hills and valleys, ups and downs, or highs and lows, as is often portrayed. Instead, he explained, “Life is actually more like two rails of a railroad track, with one rail representing the bad things that happen in your life, and the other rail representing the good things. We always have both at the same time — never just one or the other. Life is never all good or all bad. Both come at you simultaneously. No matter how good things are, there’s always something you need to be working on, and no matter how bad things are, there is always something good you can thank God for.”
In the middle of the enormous international success of The Purpose Driven Life, Warren’s wife was diagnosed with cancer. With both positive and negative things occurring simultaneously, the Warren’s focused on their faith instead of the success of the book or the negative of the diagnosis.
Life will always bring us conflict. In some ways, conflict is good. It makes us work harder for certain things, thus appreciating them more. It keeps us surprised, thus staving off boredom. Conflict often teaches valuable life lessons, as well. Occasionally, however, life provides a challenge that we would much rather not face, such as the loss of a loved one, a diagnosis of cancer, or an automobile accident. In these cases, it is easy to fall into a negative mindset where we only focus on things we perceive to be bad. It is during these tough times that we need to remember that not everything is negative and that there is more going on in our lives than that one negative thing.
Life is not lived in a straight line. It is not a series of events one after another, though we usually focus on one thing at a time. In fact, life is not even a single series of events. It is probably more realistic to view life as a multitude of events and experiences happening simultaneously. In the end, take Rick Warren’s advice and be humble and grateful for the good things, know there is always something for which to be grateful when things go wrong and keep your faith in God through it all.
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