Give Life To Your Story: Dealing with Disappointment When Life Lets Us Down

Mike Green serves as Executive Director of Tuscaloosa Youth For Christ. He and his wife, Laura, have two grown children and two adorable grandkids. You can reach Mike at mike@tuscaloosayfc.com  Mike Green serves as Executive Director of Tuscaloosa Youth For Christ. He and his wife, Laura, have two grown children and two adorable grandkids. You can reach Mike at mike@tuscaloosayfc.com Mike Green

Life is hard. We try to convince ourselves that one day, everything will fall into place just as we wish. We’ll no longer deal with the sting of disappointment. But, that is a day that never arrives. Friends let us down, we aren’t treated fairly, the promotion we know we deserve escapes us, and we are never fully recognized for the contribution we make to the world around us. And yes, even far worse tragedies happen in the world in which we live. The list of ways that life disappoints could fill this column 10 times over. I know I have grown more capable in dealing with these setbacks, but they still surprise and hurt.  

Let me be clear: I have much joy in life. I love my family and career. Playing with my grandkids is just plain fun. The beach, mountains, forests, and deserts of the world are awe-inspiring sights through which God shows His astonishing power. I am no “negative Nate.” But, in the words of the great poet, Bono, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” 

So, I have an unusual question. Why does life disappoint? Where do we get our expectations? Why, after countless examples of life letting us down from the day we draw our first breath, do we cling to the belief that one day, our hopes and dreams will all be realized? I’m sure as I ask that question, many of my readers will already have an answer. If you do, I would love to add your insights to my own. Send me an email. But, since I have been granted the opportunity to write, let me share my insights. 

We tend to be disappointed because we know life is meant for more. I believe our Creator has placed within each of us a nagging dissatisfaction with this world. Now, if you come from a Christian view of life, as I do, this probably comes as no surprise. Our faith teaches that there is something not quite right with the world we live in, and we will never fix things on our own. Yet God has made us for a life that does measure up. So, we are dissatisfied. 

Should we just give up? Maybe we should lower our expectations. We could just accept we will always live in a state of disillusionment. The answer, I believe, is hope. The undying belief that one day, things will be made right. Some still cling to the belief that mankind will get its act together. For others, there is a bedrock conviction that God has a plan for eternity that makes the struggles of this life pale in comparison. And that hope gives meaning to a life full of joy and disappointment.  

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Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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