2006-08-04 - Perspective
Sometimes we lose a sense of perspective. We think this is the "worst" ever - fill in the blank with disaster, climactic conditions, relationship problem - you name it. Some people insist the "end times" are here because of the loss of lives in tsunamis etc. In reality, there have always been earthquakes, blizzards, heat waves, hurricanes and the like. And in fact, the most deaths ever recorded in a natural disaster was in 1556, after an earthquake in China. There is a widespread belief that the weather in the US is hotter now than it's ever been. Actually there have always been extremes of weather. Just as an example, the hottest recorded temperature for this date, in the metro where I live, was in 1957.
Isn't it like that in our personal lives, as well? We may be dealing with a problem at work, school, our church or a relationship. See if you can identify with this; I can. We agonize over the situation. We do pray, but we also lie awake at night, fretting, even though we know logically that doesn't help one iota. We let the situation consume our thoughts, our very lives. Sometimes it affects our health, raising blood pressure or wearing down our immune system, making us susceptible to various maladies.
These situations do matter, and anything that is important to us is important to God. The Bible says that God keeps every tear in a jar. Of course like many things in the Bible, this isn't literal - but the fact is that our minute concerns do matter to God.
However we need to try to get a sense of perspective. When my husband was training many years ago to become an Air Traffic Controller, one of his trainers had a saying that I have utilized many times, when something minor occurs: "May that be the greatest crisis of your day." It applies to all of us.
Think about something: Can you even remember what was worrying you on August 4, 2005? I can't. But I'm sure something probably was. I encourage you to keep close check on your thoughts - and when you find yourself obsessing with something that won't matter a year from now - or most importantly in eternity - stop yourself short and force yourself to think about something else. Ask God to help you with this. Turn to a friend, as well. As Ecclesiastes reminds us, God never meant for us to be "Lone Rangers©."
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