We all know that good lemonade needs the sour and the sweet. And things happen to everyone that are “sour,” but it is our responses to life’s lemons that make us bitter or sweet.
“Lemons” are almost always unplanned and undesirable, at least initially. A lemon in your life could be that all of your friends are in the same English class without you. You spill barbecue sauce all down your favorite white shirt on a date. You or a family member is seriously questioning their testimony. A lemon that popped up in my life is running. I didn’t start running till I was in college. I even ran a full marathon and four subsequent half marathons. I loved running. I loved the runner’s high and crossing some long distance off my list; however, after I had my girls, running was not fun for me anymore. I lost all the wind in my running sails. This was super sour for me because felt I had lost this activity that I had come to identify myself with. But at the beginning of the year, my sister bought us Groupons to a yoga studio, and I started doing yoga twice a week. Guess what? I love yoga—even more than I ever liked running. My “sour” loss of running turned to a sweet, sweet love of yoga.
So we all get the basic gist of what a lemon is, but the question is what is the sugar? I would like to suggest two sugar shakers we can bring to the table.
- Faith is sugar. When life hands us a lemon, we have to have faith that God can make it good, no matter what it is. I have a stake calling that I often feel unqualified for, and I have been in it for over two years now. It has gotten easier in a many ways, but it’s still hard. Even so, the sour is combated with the sweet friendships I have made and all the members of my stake I would never have had the chance to work with otherwise.
- Movement is sugar. If we are dealing with a problem, we need do something about it. Elder Holland says that there is “no misfortune is so bad that whining about it won’t make it worse.” For example, if I am just sitting around, scrolling through Instagram and getting petty about how other people’s’ lives look so much cooler and they have so many friends, I shouldn’t sit sad on the couch and just be miserable. I can learn to identify what they have that I want. A.) They take good pictures to document their life. B.) It appears they have a lot of friends. Solution A.) I can then take a class or tutorial on how to take better pictures and edit better. Solution B.) I can actually call up people and make plans to build relationships with people I actually want to spend my time with.
With these sweet tools of faith and movement, lemons can make us better not bitter.