Perspective

Funny thing perspective. It seems it is always morphing. Things seem to look different under various circumstances and periods in our lives. I have read the same Bible passages for years, and somehow they seem to offer new insight depending on my current circumstance – perspective.

I recently thumbed through my older brother’s high school yearbook. He is only four years older than me, yet these kids looked like they were thirty. The styles, the hairdos, everyone one of them looked so old. Then I looked through my sons yearbooks from a few years back. They all looked twelve. They were just kids – whippersnappers. They had no business being in high school.

Then I grabbed my old, familiar high school yearbook. Perfect. Everyone was as they should be. Just the right age, the right “Beatles-era” hairstyles, the embarrassing basketball and track uniforms, those adorable mini-skirts……ahhh…. these were indeed the good ole days. Theses folks belonged in high school.

Such is life I guess. Our views of things change as we do. Life to each of us seems “the way it is supposed to be” until something happens to shake us up. We go on a mission trip to another world. We experience a tragedy in our family. We receive a disheartening diagnosis from our doctor. We loose a job that we thought was secure. Woah…. now things get shaken up. Life comes to a screeching halt. Our perspective changes. The things that seemed so important and necessary yesterday aren’t so much today.

Life looks different from here. Priorities change from here. Goals and dreams get revisited.

What is my life really about? What am I really doing with it? Is God watching? Does He care?

God allowed me to go through a 24 hour period recently where I was waiting on some lab results that would tell if I had gall bladder, stomach or pancreas issues. It’s amazing how quickly fear can invade your mind if you allow it. Thoughts of pancreatic cancer wanted to overtake me. I couldn’t stop thinking about what I would do with my life if I only had months left. Our prayers were answered and all I had to do was take medicine for the ole stomach.

But for a brief period, my perspective was significantly altered. I was emotionally flat on my back, and asking God to please come through for me (again) and allow me to serve Him for many more years. He lovingly reminded me that we are all “but grass” and fade quickly away from this world. This planet is not our home, yet we hang on to it with all our strength.

One day we’ll all be leaving here. Days, weeks, years – we don’t have a clue. But, we can live life to the fullest – today. We can love our wife “as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her” – today. We can choose to spend time doing the things that really count for eternity – today. Today is all we have – and only we can decide to waste it, or invest it well.

What is your perspective – today?
It’s choice – not chance – that determines your destiny. Jean Nidetch

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About Rob

Married to my high school sweetheart for 40 years. Blessed to be a frequent speaker at marriage and men's conferences, retreats and seminars. Author of 4 books on marriage. Check out resources at allinmariage.org.

One response to “Perspective

  1. Need more time

    I’m all for perspective and I feel like I’ve had some recent shake ups that have caused me to think through what is truly important. For that, I am grateful as perspective and worldview go hand in hand.

    It is sad that it takes something ‘major’ or ‘catastrophic’ for us to stop and think. Let me be the first to raise my hand and shout ‘guilty!’.

    We should make time to stop and think. I believe that if we slowed down and stopped more often we would be much healthier in our perspective. We are too busy to think about it. We are addicted to productivity. Stopping to take in life and process what is important just doesn’t seem productive. We would rather work on the list of chores, make money, pursue hobbies, and take advantage of ‘extra’ time as a chance to catch up on tasks we haven’t finished (or started) yet.

    It’s a shame our culture doesn’t build in more time to reflect, process, and be still. I think we would all be better for it…at least I know I would.

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