Glass half full, or glass half empty? Do you say to yourself “I know the Lord and I can climb this mountain?” or do you grumble “Great, another uphill battle?”
These are the quips that can occupy our mindset at times. Yesterday, I spent some time talking about your self-talk and the head space you live in. Today, I want to chat with you fine folks about perspective and what that does to your daily outlook.
A few years after my accident, I would listen to my brothers and sisters divulge in confidence about their struggles, their daily grind, and the things that seem to chafe their spirit. After I began to process what most of the folks were relaying to me, I discovered that what bothers, stresses, and requires a great amount of prayer for others, doesn’t seem to require that same level of worry for me. Why? Well, after you come so close to death your perspective changes greatly, about what you really need to have. You focus more on the hear and now, and you are so much more grateful for the “extra time” God granted you to live. In other words, the window that I look out of is framed a little differently than the average person.
Now, I don’t want you to get the impression that I am not sympathetic to other’s situations and needs. I am; and do listen with a prayerful heart. I simply began to re-think the way I saw certain situations and that didn’t always align with most folks perspective. I discovered that some wonderful people, persons I would consider ‘solid’, looked through their proverbial windows with dust upon the glass, or worse, with bars in front of their view.
One of the main things I began to hold on to a couple of years after my accident, was that my priorities needed to change greatly. I had a epiphany of sorts. Suddenly, it became quite clear that there were things that I could flat out live without. Here is a small list that changed my perspective greatly:
- It wasn’t about money so much any more… The newest gadgets weren’t that important. My thirst for consumerism diminished quickly, and not because I couldn’t afford it monetarily. I couldn’t afford to occupy my mind and energy with the fleeting attainment of goods and services that didn’t augment my need for Jesus, or bless me with more family time.
- People aren’t going to relate to my situation very well and I needed to be okay with that… I have a very special, one in a million, Jesus miracle situation, that many people wouldn’t be able to comprehend the magnitude of. I gave up being frustrated by that. I became secure in my place in this world because I was secure with the Lord’s ability to handle anything that came our way.
- I stopped trying to win peoples hearts and minds… I no longer exhaust myself with the fruitless exercise of doing things to get folks to like me. I cultivate the relationships that bear fruit and I don’t pursue the ones that seem to be going nowhere. Not because I don’t want to get to know others, but because I have a limited amount of energy, and the effects of failure on this front leaves quite a bruise on my soul. In other words, I am too busy trying to live, to endlessly attempt things that will just end in non-productive and possibly destructive ways. The folks that mean a great deal to me, I will push the stone all the way up the hill for, and carry them all upon my back if necessary. I’ve learned that a handful of committed friends, is much better than an huge ‘Facebook’ amount of so-so relationships that bear no fruit.
To sum up: When you have a few things taken away from you that most people take for granted, when you get a second chance at life, you really discover how valuable your time on this rock is.
Perspective is everything in walking with Jesus. If you are barely getting by financially, but you are warm and fed, your window has much cleaner glass than you realize. If we are to learn the lessons Jesus is trying to teach each one of us, then we need to always be glass half full Christians; because you already have victory in your life. God’s word says this on the subject: [1 John 5:4 ESV] 4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.
Have faith that God has it all under control; because he certainly does. I challenge you all today to look out your proverbial windows with a new perspective. Get out the Windex and realize you are so wonderfully, intentionally crafted with excellence, and eternally blessed by God.
Take some advice from a guy who wasn’t expected to live, beat all odds, and fooled every medical diagnosis and prognosis: You probably don’t realize just how much you need to be thankful for today. If you woke up today and are reading this post, praise Him, you then get more time with loved ones. You get to impact lives for Christ. The sunset is more beautiful than the day before.
When the clouds do roll in, be thankful for rain that grows crops, gets delivered to your faucet, and provides you with the nourishment your body requires.
Perspective: See the picture for what it really is; not the visage the world is telling you what you ought to think about your view. Read the verse above. Remember you ARE victorious, and so very blessed.
You might need to remind yourself of that today.
May the Lord shine upon all of you.
The Great Plains Poet