“Never underestimate perspective, it can change everything.”
The other day whilst making our way towards the Cape Town Airport we managed to find ourselves stuck in a traffic jam. Our eldest daughter (who lets be honest, is your cup half full kinda gal) looked at this traffic and said: “Oh no I feel sorry for these poor people in the traffic.”
I had to laugh at this point because we were sitting in the exact same traffic. It is her perspective that changed the way she viewed our situation and caused her to respond accordingly.
I’m more than ever convinced that perspective is the game changer that will help us to cultivate hearts that are truly grateful for all we have been blessed with. We need perspective to keep us grateful. We need to remember and take a step back. Look at things outside the frame so that we don’t lose sight of the good.
I found out today that someone I know has been diagnosed with cancer. Now I know we have all become somewhat desensitized to the ugly disease but this seems scarily close to home. A young mom with very young children. Beautiful. Ambitious. Full of life and passion. I don’t know her well but I feel like I can relate to her season of life and so this makes me think hard about my reality. I’ve spent the day moving between fear of the unknown to wondering how I would face tragic news and a fight for my life.
So yes. Her story has given me perspective. Somehow the fact that my housekeeper didn’t come in today because of severe violence and protests in her neighborhood (also a bringer of perspective) doesn’t seem like such a big deal. The pile of washing hasn’t sent me into a flat panic. The unwritten blogs and messages I haven’t replied to don’t seem so important. I’ve spent the day watching my children and rethinking my priorities. I’ve prioritized medical checks and have allowed myself the space to rest and recover this week.
Perspective is everything.
And you know whats crazy is that as I sit and type this I realise that her story has given me hard hitting perspective and I feel a deep sense of gratitude the kind that is raw and overwhelming. I’m grateful for my health. For our home. For options. For my children. For their feistiness and passion. That I do have the energy I need to parent them. I am grateful for my marriage that the togetherness we need to face our future is growing stronger each day. That our choosing of each other over and over again is ushering us into the unity we dream of. I am grateful for a church, for people who see the God gift within me and encourage me to run into all God has set before me. For the part they’ve played in my redemption story. I’m grateful. Somewhat unnerved and vulnerable but grateful.
I feel like there is evidence of God’s grace everywhere I look in my life and I am humbled beyond what words can eloquently describe. It’s so good to be in this space.
Sometimes I think we need to broaden our view and allow ourselves to truly see. To look around our lives and appreciate the good. To allow someone else’s story to affect us towards deeper gratitude. And then in response we give thanks. We whisper prayers to heaven of THANK YOU THANK YOU and we let people know all that they are to us. Grateful hearts are healthy hearts and so we need perspective to help us stay thankful in every season of the soul.
Like Oprah says: ‘The tiniest change in perspective can transform your life? So look at something differently today”.
You can listen to a message I recently preached entitled GRATITUDE CHANGES EVERYTHING, here.