When life gives you lemons…

…make lemonade!

…or, as Minneapolis-based hip-hop-group Atmosphere said on their 2008 album, “Paint that S**t Gold.”

Forgive the vulgarity, but, it is meant to be an illustration of the many ways people handle adversity in life – in my opinion, it’s always best with optimism, but this weekend will provide a test for me and three traveling companions.

Tomorrow, me and three friends from out of town have an urban kayaking adventure planned on the Chicago River thanks to a “Living Social” coupon with Chicago-based kayaking company “Urban Kayaks.” It has been planned for several weeks now, and I’ve been looking forward to it, but realized today that, whenever I’ve thought about it, I’ve pictured myself basking in the sun, enjoying the cool river water underneath my cozy little water vessel.

Much to my dismay, I checked the Chicago forecast for tomorrow and realized the high will be 45 degrees Fahrenheit with a 50% chance of rain (which might be, literally, freezing). Yes, I have waterskiied in 50 degree water, and one of my companions has swam in the Antarctic Ocean (pictured above), but our kayaking adventure has all of a sudden lost a bit of its allure since knowing we may be freezing cold in addition to paddling against currents left by Chicago’s water taxis and barges on Lake Michigan.

As Entertainment Weekly writer Dan Snierson said in a lunch meeting at Medill Wednesday, life (as a journalist) isn’t always predictable, or easy. Actually, he insisted that it’s more about being able to handle curveballs than straight shots, then used this omelet analogy to illustrate the petty frustrations of life:

“See, there are some times when you just want to make an omelet. So, you take the eggs and you’re ready to put them in the pan but then, bam, someone takes the eggs from you and throws them on the ground. Then, you’re like, ‘What?!’, but you’re left with some egg whites, so you say, ‘well, I guess I could make this work,’ and someone hands you vegetarian Canadian bacon, and you’re like, ‘well, I’m really a meat-lover, but I guess this could work…’ and life is a lot like that. Being able to adapt in difficult situations.”

I love eggs. And I love Dan’s analogy. So, I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to make my “Saturday omelet:” should I cancel my kayak reservation and go to the Field Museum instead? 😛 But then I remember that giving up isn’t always the best option…to end with a cliche, what would Jesus do?! I couldn’t help but wonder if He would say: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

To quote scripture, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10).

So, no matter what trial, difficulty or tribulation you may be experiencing in life, remember these words above all ^^^ !, and know that no matter how bleak a situation may seem, God can provide strength to help you out of it.

As for me and my travel companions tomorrow – see you on the Chicago River! 😛

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