What do you do when you lose your perspective?
On New Year's Eve, we gather as a family. We reflect on the past year, sharing highlights, lessons learnt... Then we dedicate our journey in the year to come and ask God to grant us wisdom and safe passage. We each think of a word that will be our 'theme' for the year, each individually. Last year I chose 'Verge' which is a new word my pastor came up with to mean the opposite of stuck. This year I decided that my word would be 'Focus'. As in keeping my eye on the field. As in looking up when all the madness around threatens to overwhelm, consume.
Boy has it been a crazy time. When I said change was coming, I surely had no idea what I would be in for.And yet. Is the loss of a dream more harrowing than a sudden aneurysm which leaves you with less than all your memory. Should I mourn & grieve over wasted time when a man on the street says, "Brother, I waited for you, please help me, I have no one". This guy was a parking attendant at the gardens where we've been walking for 8 years. He 'disappeared' and today he asked for a ride, told us he was HIV positive and that the church was helping him. That he had no one. We knew he was an addict but how could we turn our backs. And yet, as we dropped him off, shoving awkwardly a gift into his hands, we turned quiet. If he had asked to come home with us, what would we have said? This broken, foolish young man, not being able to eat for the ulcers in his mouth. If he had said, "Brother, I'm dying, please give me a bed to sleep in, at your house," what excuse would we have given?
What do you do when you lose your focus?
Maybe you'll look at the vast sea and decide your problems are ,quite frankly , just really tiny. Maybe God will send someone into your life , who will say,"Aiyoh, so troubling!", who will say, " It'll be ok la". And maybe she might even be called Esther. (smile) The same Esther who sat at the bedside of the girl with the aneurysm.
Everyone's got troubles. Even the people who look like they're having a pretty good time. Perspective will tell you that not being able to sleep is not a threat to your life. Neither is disappointment, losing your job (especially one you've had for twenty years), stress or betrayal, unless of course you happen to be Jesus! In His case betrayal did lead to death.
Here's a test . Reflect on the things that have caused you grief, sorrow, pain in recent times. Now ask yourself, how would you like to change places with someone else and not be you. And maybe now you're thinking, "erm, ok, maybe not". Things aren't really , really, that bad! So there. Instant perspective. Which brings me back to focus. The word, you know.
Ruth lost her husband and fled with Naomi, who also lost her husband and her sons, one of which was Ruth's husband. They came across a field and Naomi went to work there. Ruth was told to keep her eye on the field, this field and not the others around.. And as she worked, she did. Believing that something would come out of it. As it happened, she found favour with the landowner and in the end he redeemed her and they had a son, and Ruth became the great grandmother of King David. (Please excuse the loose retelling of this passage, if I've got it mixed up, feel free to give me the NKJV version at anytime!) But there is a point to this rambling. Ruth kept her perspective, no matter the pain she was going through. And, like a butterfly, (I'm really relating to these winged creatures), she emerges from the excruciating pain of change, leaving the darkness and living in the beauty of that transformation. Wow!
I'd love to hear what you do when you lose your perspective. Oh, and please save a prayer for the girl who is recovering and for the young parking attendant. And here's one for you, may you be abundantly blessed and that any troubles you may have had will be no more .