package deal

Life is a Package Deal

Nathan Smith Life Skills, Perspective

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Everything seems to be ‘bundled’ these days. No one wants you to simply buy a sandwich;  they offer a package deal of fries and a drink alongside your entrée. We see it in insurance companies packaging our home, life and auto plans together or with our tv, internet and phone services. More than ever we are seeing package deals all around us. You may like it or you may loathe it, but what I feel we should consider is while we can negotiate a way to parcel out our meal purchase or our home services, life itself, is a package deal from start to finish. Maybe you have encountered the agony of trying to separate out the things of life that you like from the things that you don’t. Typically, we are the ones that feel fragmented at the end of such an endeavor. What exactly am I talking about? Let’s pull this all together…

Much of the breakdown of peace in our lives, unity in our homes and tenderness in our relationships can be traced back to the moment we started trying to parcel out the things we wanted from the things we didn’t want in this package deal called life.  We find someone we see as good-looking and fun to be with. We want to enjoy all the wonderful benefits that can result from a relationship together with that person as long as they don’t ask us to deal with any of their flaws or problems. We want to parcel those parts out. We enjoy getting paid for the work we do at our jobs, we just don’t want to be expected to do too much of it or have to work very hard at it. Let’s leave that part out. We want to have a whole and healthy family at home but we don’t want to acknowledge our Facebook fling or pornography addiction is undermining it all. Truly, we are the ones kidding ourselves when we try to parcel out the consequences from our decisions or the difficult parts of life from the parts we like.  At our core, we know this… we just don’t like it. So what do we do about it? (Click Here To Read ‘Relationships Aren’t Efficient’)

We Know The Deal

The sooner we acknowledge that our culture is hurting and not helping us, we can start seeing the issue a little clearer. The more we live our lives double tapping slices of the best parts of each other’s day, the more we will be separated from the fact that each post is just a slice, one Insta moment, in a very full and possibly lackluster day. The longer we diminish face to face communication the more we will control what we want to say, to whom we want to say it, when we want to say it and not give them an opportunity to respond. It’s not real. It’s all parcels of what is supposed to be a package deal.  We cannot separate out the pain of the day and pretend it doesn’t exist. I wish I could say ‘we only fool ourselves’ but the truth is we are fooling each other and especially our children who are growing up trying live Insta-realities, only to find there is a lot of pain in this life. And since everyone has tried to carve out that part of life by avoiding conflict, walking away from hard relationships, and giving up on teachers or coaches that don’t immediately crown them champions, they have no coping skills to deal with the hard truths of life. That is a painful reality we must face. But we can. (Click Here To Read ‘Posting Our Pearls Before Pigs’)

Yes, it would be more fun to go hang out all night with the guys, but it won’t be fun to drag into work tomorrow half-dead or get caught calling in sick again. Cause and effect. Summer and winter. Life. It’s a package deal. We don’t have to like it but the sooner we embrace it, the sooner we can start living a real, actual and accountable life. A life that is full of joy AND pain, hope AND loss, laughter AND tears. But this is what a full, real life consists of. No one fully knows how to enjoy a warm, spring day without a cold winter chill at some point. If we try and sequester ourselves from disappointment or difficulty we also rob ourselves of the ability to truly appreciate the beauty around us. It’s a package deal and it is supposed to be. So be mindful when you find yourself not wanting to interact with actual people that might ask you a question you are not ready to answer or make you talk when you don’t feel like it. Grin and bear it. Fumble through it and laugh at yourself later. It’s not the end of the world if you have a moment when you aren’t on your ‘A’ game. It may actually give you more compassion for those who are seldom on their ‘A’ game. (Click Here To Read “Miles Apart in the Same Room’)

Today, find the beauty in the sunshine and in the gray clouds. See the sweetness in a happy hello and a tearful goodbye. It’s a package deal and it’s supposed to be. Trust the Lord who made both spring and fall, newborn cries and elderly sighs. There is beauty to be discovered in it all. You will see and appreciate it all more when you accept the reality that life is a package deal and that’s not all bad. Actually, it’s a gift.

From the Bible

He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? – Matthew 5:45-46 NIV 

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance… – Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 NIV 

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. – 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 NIV

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