My dear hubby has two history degrees. When we discuss “historical fact” I often push his buttons by reminding him that everything we know about history is based on perspective. And… there are other perspectives than the one we usually accept as “fact”.
For three years we have lived in a house I adore that looks out over the Potomac River. Quickly after moving in I established a 3.5 mile walking pattern and a 1.5 mile walking pattern. I fight routine in every other area of my life, but when it comes to walking, I’m a creature of habit. I leave my driveway and head south and continue to where I make a slight turn to the east and then quickly turn north. I walk along the river, turn west, and then back south to my house. Whether I’m walking the short route or the longer route, I have always gone in the same direction.
Last week I decided to spice things up and head north out of our driveway. That decision changed everything about my walk. I actually noticed a house that I can’t ever remember noticing before. The same spot where I’ve caught my first glimpse of the river for the last three years, was now the spot where it slipped from my sight…
Little did I know that last week I would have to work really hard to see things from a different perspective. My new walk was really just a launch pad for how I would have to get through the week.
On Sunday our vacuum cleaner died (while cleaning the house for dear hubby’s birthday bash/pig roast). On Monday, our second refrigerator died (filled with leftovers from the pig roast/birthday bash). On Tuesday, our empty
breaking-the-bank house in Georgia went on the market. On Wednesday, the engine light came on in our only family vehicle. On Thursday, dear hubby pulled the code and discovered that we’ve reached the end of the lifespan on our Honda Pilot’s transmission. By Friday, I was throwing myself a not-so-pretty pity-party.
And then… I took a beating from the Apostle Paul. Paul and I have often had a love/hate relationship. My coming back to Christ as an adult was a direct result of realizing just what a bad guy Paul had been before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. Jesus didn’t remind him of his screw-ups or ask him to do any sort of penance in order to be forgiven. He simply told him to “Get up and go.” That’s where my love affair started with Paul. I’ve screwed up too. A lot. I required much grace and I was given much grace. The flip-side of my relationship with Paul is that I think he has some serious issues with women. His opinion that women should “Cover up and shut up.” did not sit well with me. Until… I had a teenage daughter.
Even when Paul’s words bother me, there is one thing about his writing that is undeniable: The man had God-glorifying perspective. While sitting in a prison cell that we can assume had no modern creature comforts, the man still managed to praise God and find ways to choose gratitude. I have a confession, as hard as I try to be like Paul, I usually go the way of my walking pattern. When walking through hard stuff, I have a tendency to see things from the most obvious perspective and totally miss out on what God is doing behind the scenes. Please tell me I’m not alone!
But you know what? God is always at work.
Long before we started draining our savings to carry two houses and while the vacuum cleaner, refrigerator, and transmission were all in good working order, my dear hubby and kiddos signed me up for a writers’ retreat at God’s Whisper Farm. Today is day one of that retreat.
Here’s my attempt to be a little more like Paul, y’all:
I’m choosing to see green pastures and fur attached to farm animals as opposed to thinking about the dog fur I cannot vacuum off the floors in my house.
I’m choosing to be thankful that all the groceries I bought this week fit in the refrigerator in my kitchen and to be especially grateful that we have insurance that covered all the groceries we lost in our second refrigerator.
I’m choosing to turn up the radio and open the sunroof as I drive our new (to us) vehicle and not think about that bright orange engine light on the dashboard of the car in our driveway.
I’m choosing to be thankful that we had some savings that it made it possible to carry two houses for the last two months and to not think about how we will do it next month.
And… I’m choosing to see the next three days away as a date with my maker.
See. It really is all about perspective.
Hoping that each of us finds countless opportunities to choose a God-glorifying perspective today. Walk a new path. Change history. Count your blessings. Give gratitude. Rather than half-full, may your cup overflow.
Psalm 23:5… My cup overflows with blessings.